Easter is upon us and the legislative bunny is doing the rounds. Our weekly gambling column relies on more informative resources, though, and tracks regulation changes from around the world. Keep up to date each week about reforms which could impact you as a bettor, player or industry participant. If you have your own information to share you can email us at [email protected] or leave a comment below.
This week the Australian gambling market takes a blow with a popular gambling provider exiting the market. In America, NFL players are being pulled up for being involved in an arm wrestle competition but it’s not because it could injure them. Meanwhile, in Japan, analysts have suggested the pachinko industry will be left out when it comes to regulating the gambling industry.
Popular gambling provider exits Australian gambling market
32Red Plc, the parent company of 32Red and Roxy Palace online casinos, emailed its Australian players to inform them it will be withdrawing its services by April 19. The email informed Aussies the company remains optimistic about returning in the future. The exit comes prematurely as the Interactive Gambling Amendment bill 2016, which will make offshore online gambling illegal, is yet to be approved by the lower house and enforced.
Meanwhile, Australia’s gambling giant Tabcorp has signed a deal with the Australian Hotels Association New South Wales, which will see a digital wagering service extended to pubs and clubs around the state. It is said to challenge its online rival, CrownBet, which recently paired up with ClubsNSW in a similar digital deal.
Also down under, TopBetta will run newly acquired Mad Bookie under its Northern Territory Gambling Commission license. The Sydney-based company has also been given the green light to integrate its subsidiary company The Global Tote into its Australian operations by the NTGC.
American NFL players in trouble for arm wrestling
NFL players who competed in the Pro Football Arm Wrestling Championship in a Las Vegas casino may be fined for violating the game’s policy. The league prohibits NFL players and officials from promotional appearances at gambling venues, with 30 players scheduled to compete at the event.
New Jersey lawyers and officials are arguing for the legalisation of sports betting in Washington. The US Supreme Court blocked NJ’s attempt to legalise sports betting at casinos and racetracks. The state is now petitioning for an appeal.
While Florida is in the midst of discussing gambling reforms, a passage has opened for greyhound activists who want to remove the requirement that racing operators have to run live races so other gambling options can be offered. Decoupling could then lead to banning greyhound racing, as GREY2K have been chasing for some time.
In Texas, a bill which excludes online fantasy sports sites from the anti-gambling legislation has proceeded to the full Texas House. It proposes the sites offer games of skill, instead of chance, which means they don’t count as gambling activities.
Russia wants to speed up payment blocking measures
Earlier this year Russia introduced a bill which prohibits financial institutions from processing international gambling transactions. Now a legislative committee is suggesting the Duma – the Russian Assembly – should approve the bill this Friday when it has its first reading, to speed the legislation process up. It will disrupt payment processing and offshore online gambling sites may withdraw their services.
Ukraine to legalise gambling
Ukraine is planning on legalising gambling again by 2018 to convince the International Monetary Fund (IMF) it is worthy of a financial assistance package worth $17.5 billion. Ukraine received a $1 billion instalment earlier this week, but the IMF has warned the country “must break the legacy of weak governance and stop-and-go reforms”.
Japan’s gambling legislation unlikely to target Pachinko industry
Despite multiple reports suggesting Japanese lawmakers are looking to reform the pachinko industry to line up with regulations surrounding the new casino industry, analysts at brokerage Union Gaming Securities Asia are saying otherwise.
Italy confirms progress for online poker shared liquidity
Head of Online Gaming at Agenzia delle dogane e dei Monopoli, – Italy’s gambling regulator – Daria Petralia, has revealed Europe’s online poker markets are getting closer to merging their player pools. The analysis will be presented in Brussels in May where the Italian regulator will propose a regulatory framework which outlines how the liquidity operations will be run in relation to Italy’s operators and those in Spain, France, Portugal and UK.
It has also been reported Italy’s online gambling market is the second largest in Europe, as reports reveal a 25% rise in operator revenue in 2016.
Kenyan betting company files court case against tax hike
A gambling operator which owns the Kenyan Pambazuka National Lottery has filed a court challenge against the proposed uniform 50 percent tax on all gambling revenue. Lottery operators and betting companies pay under 10 percent tax in Kenya and the increase will be detrimental. Unfortunately, the judge on the case has refused to consider it since the documents’ font is too small.
Colombian lawmakers to regulate gambling industry
Following the Iberoamerican Gaming Summit last week, lawmakers in Columbia have declared they will work with Latin American regulatory authorities to craft well-rounded gambling legislation. By collaborating, the lawmakers can set rules and regulations for the Internet gambling industry in the country.