WELCOME back to our weekly column which covers legislation changes, new gambling ventures, industry announcements and more. We take a look at what’s happening all around the world, as one change in one country could have impacts right around the globe. Scroll down to find out about local news, or if we haven’t featured anything this week check out what’s happening elsewhere in the world and come back next week for more.
If we missed an important change and you think we should know about it, send us an email at contac[email protected] or leave a comment at the bottom of the page.
This week, a Las Vegas casino company is being urged to ban OJ Simpson from visiting its venues, while lottery scams are tricking Pennsylvanian players. Across the ocean, the UK gambling industry is undergoing some changes with a potential tax increase on the cards. Additionally, the Vietnamese government has finally cleared up the requirements locals must meet to enter land-based casinos in the country. Keep reading to find out more.
Australian horse race really does stop the nation
The race that stop the nation took place this week and according to data from the Commonwealth Bank, the country really did pause for the Melbourne Cup. CommBank figures revealed that credit and debit transactions dropped by 38 percent between 2:55 pm and 3:05 pm (the race commences at 3 pm). Taxis, and the ride sharing service, Uber, also reported a drop in customers of around 37 percent between noon and 3pm. The rate of customers then shot back up by 52 percent on the same day of the previous week at 7pm.
The Queensland Labor Party has ruled against supporting a new boutique casino on Great Keppel Island, despite One Nation demanding a license. There’s two licenses up for grabs in the Australian state, with one set for Cairns. Senator Pauline Hanson said the other should go to the central Queensland location, however it is likely it will go to a Gold Coast casino instead.
Gambling not on the rise in New Zealand, despite claims
Independent Chair of the sector working party, Bruce Robertson, said gambling rates are not increasing in New Zealand, despite claims made by University of Auckland Professor, Peter Adams. Robertson said the claims are not supported by facts and added that the country has one of the lowest rates of problem gambling in the world, which includes New Zealand casino players. He added that the amount spent on gambling in NZ has not ‘increased incrementally’ as claimed, instead it has declined by 16 percent from a peak in 2004.
US state elects new Governor who supports casino expansion
Pennsylvania Lottery officials are warning players to be vigilant when it comes to scams, as several are doing the rounds via phone, email and social media. Scammers are posing as official lottery employees, and phone scams mention the lottery game MegaMillions, while Facebook scams feature US Powerball games. Lottery officials have explained that they do not reach out to people for personal information, as the scammers have been asking people to buy a prepaid debit card and requesting financial information to “pay for the taxes or fees”. Look out for phoney badge numbers, fake websites, made-up phone numbers, poorly worded emails, and prizes in foreign currencies.
OJ Simpson, who is currently on parole after being released from prison in October, is causing quite a stir in Las Vegas. As a result, the former NFL player, who was accused and acquitted of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown, has moved into a Las Vegas suburban home. Simpson went to jail after he was found guilty of robbing Palace Station casino resort. The casino is owned by Station Casinos, the same company which owns a casino he has been spotted at since his release. Locals are urging the American casino company to ban him, while tourists have taken the time to get photographs with the parolee.
While New Jersey’s Governor, Chris Christie, has been replaced by Democrat, Phil Murphy, a casino expansion in the state is still on the agenda. The former Goldman Sachs executive and US Ambassador to Germany defeated Lieutenant Governor, Kim Guadagno on Tuesday. The win means Atlantic City’s monopoly on gambling could come to an end.
Voters in the state of New Hampshire took to the polls on Tuesday to determine whether their communities should allow keno in pubs and clubs. Ten municipalities voted on the addition, with revenue funding kindergarten programs, and as of Wednesday morning seven are for the proposal, while three are against.
UK casino company breaches consumer regulations
Ladbrokes Coral-owned Gala Interactive, has been one of the first companies to be penalised following the new regulatory changes in the UK. The UK Gambling Commission fined Gala £2.3 million for breaching consumer protection regulations after it found the casino operator failed to identify high rollers gambling stolen money. Two high stakes online casino players gambled £1.3 million of stolen money over 14 months on Gala’s online games. An investigation by the UKGC found that Gala failed to notice the gamblers showed problem gambling behaviour, and have been fined as a result. Gala also said during a previous case they would work on identifying problem gamblers quickly, which also contributed to the hefty penalty.
Increasing the current point of consumption (POC) tax rate on gambling companies, is reportedly on the UK government’s agenda. However, CEO of Sky Betting & Gaming, Richard Flint, is urging the government to scrap any plants to increase the tax from the current 15 percent rate, stating that it could hinder investment plans. Companies based in the UK pay the POC tax, along with offshore online casinos accepting UK players. However, British companies also have to pay VAT on marketing expenditure, and Flint said if the tax is increased remaining in the country could become unsustainable.
Ghana’s Gaming Commission needs more equipment
The Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery, has announced that the government is considering consulting international gambling regulators to help improve its own Gaming Commission. The country’s regulator has significantly reduced the rate of illegal gambling facilities in the country, but says it needs more equipment and training to continue. As a result, Dery pledged more support including a vehicle for the staff at the Kasoa office in order to support regulated sports betting companies in Ghana.
Netherland’s regulator warns operators about advertisements
The Dutch gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit, has slammed six licensed gambling operators for allowing their ads to appear on video gaming sites children access. Under the current law in the Netherlands, casinos and gambling operators cannot advertise to minors. If they are caught doing so, their operations will be blocked and they will face a hefty fine. Among the operators which have since removed the ads is the Dutch state lottery operator, Staatsloterij.
Spain’s online gambling industry grows
Online gambling is continuing to grow in Spain, with the third quarter results for the year revealing a 37 per cent increase in gross gaming revenues. According to the Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling statistics report, €3300 million was gambled during the third quarter and revenue grew to €140 million. Sports betting accounted for 54.8 percent of gross gaming revenue, while slots earned the most revenue in the casino sector.
Locals can finally enter Vietnamese casinos
Vietnamese locals have finally received the green light to enter land-based casinos after the government announced a three-year pilot program at the start of the year. Locals have been unable to enter a venue due to a lack of clarity surrounding regulatory requirements. A circular has now been issued stating Vietnamese locals who can prove that they earn at least VND10 million a month, for a period of at least a year, can enter land-based casinos from December. The casinos involved in the pilot program have not been revealed, but they will have to monitor who enters the casino via electronic cards or books.
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