GAMBLING industries are constantly changing to keep up with new laws, new devices and new ideas. Each week we take a look at some of the news stories which occur around the world which could impact you as a player/punter, operator, or as an every day person. We compile the stories into short, easy to read paragraphs so you can catch up quickly on the go or at home.
If something happened near you 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 US state has finally legalised online casino gambling and poker, after legislation did the rounds for several months. On the other side of the world, the triennial review on the UK gambling industry has finally been released, and things aren’t looking good for online casino gambling operators in the country. In India, a conference has opened up the floor for a discussion on sports betting. Find out more below.
Lottery company increases advertising during Australian racing event
Tensions remain for online lottery betting site, Lottoland, despite the Australian company proposing a revenue-sharing model with local newsagents this week. Lottoland is reportedly planning on an extravagant advertising campaign during the biggest racing event in Australia, the Melbourne Cup. The advertising campaign could hurt Lottoland, which has been targeted by independent newsagents and lottery giant, Tatts, and is facing a potential state-wide ban in several Australian states.
The Australian government has set up a Black Economy Taskforce to deal with corruption and other issues in the country, including illegal bookmakers. Recently, senior members have warned punters to steer clear of illegal bookmakers in the Philippines and Vietnam as they believe they’re connected to a sophisticated money-laundering system. As a result, Aussie punters should stick to reputable online bookmakers, like Sportsbet.
US state legalises online casino gambling
Pennsylvania has become the fourth US state to legalise online gambling and poker this week, after Governor Tom Wolf signed a gambling expansion bill into law. The bill had been circulating for some time, but the Senate and the House of Representatives finally compromised and it passed through both houses. Along with online casino games being legalised in the US state, video terminals at truck stops, online lottery sales and daily fantasy sports sites have all been legalised.
The trial for the New Jersey sports betting case is drawing closer, and former CEO of Liverpool Football Club, Rick Parry, has called for the regulation of sports betting in the US. Parry believes prohibition doesn’t work and the country should legalise the activity and regulate it, similarly to the UK. Parry added that it was better for the country if sporting associations and the gambling industry worked together, as it could tackle issues like match fixing.
Since November 1, lottery players in the state of Ohio have been able to pay for lottery tickets by using credit card payments. The lottery vending facilities have had credit card readers added, allowing players to purchase tickets up to $USD100. The Ohio Lottery states that the new addition is due to changing trends, as less people carry cash on them these days.
Canadian casino fights money laundering allegations
Operator of the River Rock Casino Resort in Vancouver has fought back at allegations it engaged in poor money laundering practices. Several media reports have claimed that the Canadian casino allowed millions of dollars in chips to be purchased with $CAD20 notes, among other similar allegations. The casino’s parent company, Great Canadian Gaming Corp, released a statement stating that the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) reviewed its operations and found nothing wrong. It also stated that the company was not under investigation, despite media reports claiming otherwise.
UK government releases gambling industry review
The government’s long-awaited triennial review into the UK gambling industry has been released this week, triggering a battle between anti-gambling campaigners and bookmakers. In the review, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport recommends betting shop operators reduce the maximum bet on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTS) from £100 to £50, £30, £20 or £2. The machines make up a significant percentage of revenue for the bookmakers, like William Hill. While betting sites have slammed a reduction, anti-gambling crusaders claim the machines cause problem gambling issues. A 12 week consultation will now take place so all parties can present their case and the government can determine the final maximum bet limit.
The online sector didn’t fare well either, with the review recommending that UK online casino operators face stricter licensing regulations and more scrutiny from the UK Gambling Commission. The government will reportedly work with the UKGC to introduce tighter restrictions to tackle problem gambling rates in the country and to accelerate the implementation of the multi-operator self-exclusion system.
Indian conference discusses sports betting
Campaigners for the legalisation of sports wagering in India have taken a hit this week, as the Law Commission Chairman, Justice Balbir Singh Chauhan, said there will be severe consequences if the poor become addicted to gambling. While speaking at the All India Gaming Summit 2017, Justice Chauhan, said one-fourth of the country’s population is living in poverty and have very low income. He said if they become addicted to gambling, if the activity is legalised, then there will be serious consequences for the country. The Law Commission is currently considering legalising sports betting to combat match fixing in cricket, but Director General of Police of Uttar Pradesh, Vikram Singh, said the country failed to convict the thousands that have been arrested, with a rate of just 2 percent. However, Member of Parliament and senior advocate of Supreme Court KTS Tulsi said legalising sports betting would create jobs and stamp out the black market.
Brazil casino gets shut down
A casino in Brazil was raided on Monday after it had been operating real money slots over the week, despite a long-standing ban on casino gambling in the country. Winfil had previously opened under the assumption a recent court ruling had lifted the ban, however reverted its 460 slots to free play mode after being investigated. But an injunction which stopped authorities from seizing the slots resulted in the casino switching the machines back to real money mode. Despite the injunction, Brazilian authorities raided the land-based casino in the city of Porto Alegre.
Meanwhile, the country’s Chamber of Deputies is gearing up to vote on a gambling expansion bill next month, which would lift the ban. The bill could also see online gambling regulated in the country, with President Michel Temer, stating he supports a gambling expansion.
Illegal gambling ring uncovered at Taiwan air force base
An air force base in southern Taiwan is being investigated by military officials due to an alleged illegal gambling ring, which had links to Chinese websites. A non-commissioned officer reportedly started the unauthorised gambling ring earlier in the year at the 439th Combined Wing at Pingtung Air Base. They are now being investigation for using the mobile app Line to conduct illegal wagering on motor sports in China with military personnel.
Macau casinos report record revenue hike
A huge jump in gambling revenue in Macau is being attributed to a national holiday. Gambling revenue increased 22 percent in October, which beat expectations due to an increase in casino traffic where several VIP gamblers made huge bets. Monthly gambling revenue reported 26.6 billion patacas, which has resulted in 15 months of gains. According to MGM China and Wynn Macau, accommodation had been fully booked during the October 1 to 8 holiday period.
Philippines police to monitor their own in casinos
The Philippines National Police (PNP) has announced plans to place members of the force in casinos to ensure other cops aren’t engaging in illegal activities. The announcement follows an incident reportedly involving the kidnap and murder of a junket operator working in Philippines casinos and a police superintendent. The operator, who worked in Manila’s casinos, was murdered by a gang, which allegedly included former and current PNP officers.
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