Welcome back to our weekly column on gambling legislation changes around the world. If you want to know what is going on in your country, you can scroll down or you can read all the regulatory movements.
If you have any information on gambling changes near you, send it to [email protected] or leave a comment at the bottom of the page.
This week we’ve been keeping a close eye on the tie-up between the two Australian gambling companies, Tabcorp and Tatts. Meanwhile, a controversial leader may become the US gambling industry’s saviour. And across the ocean, a Kenyan bookmaker is still fighting the hefty tax hike recently signed into law. Scroll down to find out more.
Australian poker machine industry is causing controversy
The tie-up between the two Australian gambling giants is facing more obstacles with reports emerging the corporate bookmaker, CrownBet may submit a late bid to acquire Tatts. The popular betting site has performed well within the last 12 months making it a prime candidate for Tatts. Meanwhile, Tabcorp is continuing to commence transaction negotiations despite the deal being reviewed in Federal court.
Poker machines, or slots, are causing problems all around Australia with the state of Victoria attempting to limit the number in venues. This week the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation rejected an application by a social club to add 20 more poker machines to the existing 50.
Meanwhile, Tasmania is awaiting the State Opposition’s stance on the future of gambling including whether or not the Federal Group will maintain the monopoly over poker machines.
American state looking to save its online gambling industry
Whether you love him or hate him, President Donald J. Trump may keep online casino gambling in New Jersey legal. According to media reports, the New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, has reached out to the controversial President. The Governor wants President Trump to oppose legislation which could stop individual states from allowing Internet gambling. The US government is considering negating a 2011 announcement which allowed states to legalise online gambling and implement the Restoration of America’s Wire Act (RAWA).
The Pennsylvania Senate resumed this week and it could pass the gaming reform legislation which would legalise online gambling. But it is unlikely the state will have a legal Internet gambling industry until the end of the year since the House will have to agree to pass an imperfect bill.
California has become the latest state to join the fight for a regulated sports betting industry, after Connecticut and Mississippi. The latter two states have amended legislation to legalise sports betting provided the New Jersey appeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) is successful. The Act bans sports betting outside the state of Nevada and provided the Supreme Court approves the appeal, individual states can pass legislation to allow the pastime. California will still need to get it on a ballot and given the government’s track record when it comes to gambling issues it may prove difficult – the state has been attempting to legalise online poker for the past 10 years.
Private operator to Toronto casino control
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG) has confirmed gambling operations will now be run by a private operator. The OLG revealed they would be selecting the operator in coming weeks, which will have power over the casinos and slots machines in Toronto for the next 22 years. According to reports, several local and international operators have expressed interest. These include Caesars Entertainment, Brookfield Asset Management, and Genting Group.
Brazilian land-based casino industry could be legalised
When it comes to Brazil’s online gambling industry, playing at popular offshore online casinos will soon be even more difficult. The country’s lawmakers have passed a new bill which prevents punters from depositing at foreign online casinos in a bid to launch a regulated Internet gambling industry. The bill also requires Brazil’s Central Bank to come up with ways to prevent players from accessing the sites.
Land-based casino gambling is looking a lot more prosperous with Caesars Entertainment Corporation, Las Vegas Sands Corporation, and MGM Resorts International all looking into acquiring a casino license provided the country legalises casino gambling.
UK regulator makes it to submit gambling complaints
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has launched a new tool for consumers to make complaints regarding gambling-related issues. The service, known as Resolver, is free of charge and provides users with the option to create and submit a case against a gambling operator. It will be available to use from August 1, 2017.
The UKGC has also granted a license to the Australian bookmaker TopBetta. The bookie will now be able to offer their products to Great Britain punters including the Global Tote, which allows bookies to bet back into tote pools from all around the world.
Additionally, the UK-based bookmaker, Ladbrokes Coral, has announced a media rights deal with The Racing Partnership (TRP). Under the terms of the deal, Ladbrokes will be able to broadcast the races live from the 12 race-courses and seven independent tracks owned by the TRP.
Uruguay to crack down on offshore gambling
The Uruguayan government is following a number of countries blocking offshore casinos from targeting players. While online gambling is already illegal in the country, players still access popular and secure offshore casinos. Lawmakers are reportedly considering a legal framework which would block these operators from targeting Uruguayans.
Japanese slot machine appeal denied by Supreme Court
Japanese lawmakers may no longer have a casino industry to regulate as analysts have suggested that casino licensees are not interested. Along with Las Vegas casino operators considering Brazil as a preferred casino destination, reports have emerged the industry may be over-regulated and in turn undesirable.
Meanwhile, an appeal by Universal Entertainment Corp has been denied by the Supreme Court of Japan. The case between the slot machine manufacturer and the news agency, Reuters, has been ongoing since 2012. Reuters published a number of articles suggesting Universal bribed a casino project operator in the Philippines. The slots maker denied the allegations and sued Reuters for defamation but two lower courts and now the Supreme Court has found the articles to be accurate.
Macau casino faces seven chip scams
A Macau casino has taken a hit this week with reports of seven chip scams taking place in just five days. Since July 19, the venue reportedly lost HKD600,000 due to counterfeit chips. Despite the police withholding the exact location, public broadcaster TDM has reported the scams occurred at Galaxy Macau.
Bermuda to get its first licensed casino
Bermuda is about to get its first casino after the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club successfully retrieved a license from the Bermuda Casino Gaming Commission (BCGC). Submissions for casino licenses opened in April and closed on July 21. Hamilton scored the first of the three licenses available and will operate under the Bermuda Casino Gaming Act 2014.
Russia clamps down on esports skin betting
Russia’s telecom watchdog, Roskomnadzor, is cracking down on esports skin betting sites due to the fact they target children and mirror gambling. Roskomnadzor has added a range of eSports-related domains to its online blacklist, which Internet Service Providers must block. The sites, including skingames.co, csgofast.co, and csgo.tm offer a range of skin betting options in Russian. Esports players can wager skins of lesser value for high-value in-game items, known as skins via lotteries or games of chance. The process has been likened to an online casino for children.
Kenya bookmaker fights tax hike
Kenya’s popular betting company, Sportpesa, has taken the government to court over the recent tax hike. The bookie claims President Uhuru Kenyatta “overstepped his mandate” when recommending the 35 percent uniform tax hike. The appeal is heavily supported by the Kenyan Premier League, among other local sporting codes, which will all have their sponsorships pulled if the tax is enforced.
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