Welcome back to our weekly gambling column, or if you’ve just joined us keep reading to find out what’s happening around the online and offline world. Legislation changes are important to monitor because they could impact you. Keep up to date each week by visiting our site and if you have any news to share send an email to [email protected] or let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.
There isn’t too much positive news to report this week with Ireland declaring it has a money-laundering problem due to betting sites, and Australia threatening sporting codes by pulling gambling ads. Poland is also seeing more operators withdraw from the market due to its new national framework, effective as of April 1. But a study in the US has found Nevada the most gambling-friendly state. Read on to find out more.
Australia’s siren to siren gambling ad ban extended
Last week we reported Australia’s government is planning to ban gambling ads from the start of a sporting match to the end. This week it has been revealed the ban will extend to five minutes before and five minutes after the game starts and finishes. To deal with networks, the government is reportedly considering reduced license fees since removing the ads will impact free to air TV revenue.
On the land-based front, the Pacific Consortium has revised its offer to take over Australia’s wagering, lotteries and gaming company, the Tatts Group, with an all-cash bid. Many analysts said it is the beginning of a bidding war since the country’s other main gambling giant, Tabcorp, was set to acquire Tatts. While that hasn’t happened yet, Tatts is reportedly considering the Consortium’s offer.
American gambling-friendly states ranked
A report by WalletHub, a personal finance website, has ranked America’s states in terms of being gambling-friendly and Nevada has taken out first place. South Dakota, Montana, Mississippi, and West Virginia make up the top five. New Jersey has been ranked number 10 since Atlantic City is the only place casino gambling is legal. Hawaii and Utah were ranked as the least gambling-friendly states since both offer limited gambling options. But this could change in Hawaii if the proposed bill to legalise online gambling in the state is approved.
In Florida, the House and Senate are getting closer to agreeing on legislation which will satisfy both leaders. The agreement will see a casino for Miami-Dade County, the de-coupling of greyhounds and horse racing tracks from slot machines, and the addition of roulette and craps at Seminole Tribe venues.
Pennsylvania has been in the headlines a lot this year, since legalising online gambling in the state has been a hot topic. As it is currently being considered, one lawmaker caused a stir on Tuesday when he suggested the lottery should be in charge of iGaming instead of the state’s casinos. The state is also considering legalising sports betting with a bill passing the House Gaming Oversight committee by a 13 to 1 vote this week – though, as we’ve seen with online gambling it has a long way to go.
Ireland has a money-laundering problem
Ireland has declared money-laundering as a serious issue in the country and believes since there’s no regulatory body it’s only going to get worse. While betting companies are required to be licensed by the Revenue Commissioners, there’s no regulatory body to check up on the operators. Bookmakers are required to report any suspicious activity in association with EU anti-money laundering laws, but the Irish government has deemed this as inadequate.
More operators are exiting Poland
William Hill and Bet365 have already exited Poland after the country enforced a new nationwide gambling framework. Now, the entire iPoker network has reportedly exited the Polish market. This includes operators such as Titan Poker and bet-at-home.
Philippines locate online gambling physical operations
The Philippines have increased their presence on cracking down on illegal online gambling but now the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) wants to stop legal online gambling sites from operating in its certified Manila locations. There’s reportedly 100 online gambling operators working in the PEZA workspaces. PEZA has recommended owners avoid renewing contracts with their tenants once the leases expire. PEZA is doing this allegedly because it wants to distance itself from any future scandals.
UK levy targets bookmakers offering British racing
All bookmakers offering British racing will have to pay a 10 percent levy on all gross gambling profits that exceeds £500,000 a year. Previously, only betting companies based in the UK had to pay up, so now even the offshore sites such as William Hill and Ladbrokes – despite being owned by British companies are based offshore – will have to contribute. The European Commission has also approved the UK government’s reforms.
Sweden conducts gambling enquiry
Sweden is looking to regulate the online gambling market and a recent governmental enquiry has resulted in a proposal to increase industry competition. The enquiry has resulted in a request for a licensing system which would let gambling operators apply for licences to offer casino gaming. It also suggests Swedish casino operators should be allowed to offer online casino gaming – the country’s regulated firms, such as Svenska Spel, legally cannot do so at the time of writing.
South Korea to make lottery available online
The South Korean government wants to make online lottery tickets available by the end of 2018. Individuals can only buy them at retail outlets currently, but the Ministry of Strategy and Finance have given the green light for online sales provided a 5 percent cap is enforced and there is a limit on the number of tickets available to buy. Identification checks will be required before tickets can be purchased, while gambling operators will be able to offer the service on their websites.