We’re in the fourth month of the year and we’ve already seen some big changes around the world in the gambling industry. Some countries have made huge advancements in terms of land-based gambling and online, while others have taken a few steps back. We keep an eye on these movements and keep you up to date in our weekly column. If you have some information to share email us at [email protected] or leave a comment below.
This week online gambling operators are getting their affairs in order to leave the Australian Internet gambling market, while a Slovakian city has moved to ban land-based gambling. Gibraltar-based operators are waiting to find out if the territory is one entity with Britain to know where it stands, while Parisians rally in the streets against gambling changes in the horse racing industry.
Gambling operators start withdrawing from Australia
As the impending Interactive Gambling Amendment bill 2016 with secondary amendments awaits the approval of the lower house, global gambling operators are gearing up to withdraw from the Australian market. Top online casino operator, 32Red has stopped accepting sign ups from Aussie players and removed AUD from the list of available currencies. Current members still have access and can play in AUD.
PokerStars is taking advantage of the delayed bill, which won’t be discussed until the next sitting in May, by offering Aussie players the chance to participate in the $55 million SCOOP tournament. It will likely be a last hoorah for the online poker site.
NFL allows team to move to America’s gambling capital
On Monday the National Football League (NFL) announced the Oakland Raiders would relocate to Las Vegas. A $1.9 billion stadium has also been announced for the team.
Meanwhile, the American Gaming Association (AGA) has attacked the NFL’s stance on the legalisation of sports betting. The AGA released a national survey on Wednesday revealing only 17 percent of NFL fans oppose sports betting, leaving a large majority in favour of legalising the pastime.
Despite plans for New York to include online poker in this year’s state budget, it appears it probably won’t make the cut. While the Senate included online poker in its version of the state budget, it hasn’t appeared in the Assembly version. It doesn’t mean online poker is dead since standalone bills can be introduced.
In Illinois, a gambling bill which would allow six new land-based casinos across the state, including one in Chicago, is making progress. A state senator has said even if it’s not included in the budget it could get the go ahead. The legislation would also see slot machines installed at Chicago airports and at race tracks around the state.
The state of Florida was on the way to legalising gambling, but the House has voted for a bill which will “freeze” gambling instead. The Senate introduced a bill to allow slot machines at race tracks, along with the condition the Seminole Tribe could offer craps and roulette at its land-based casinos. Lawmakers now have a month to reach an agreement on the legislation.
Slovakian city bans land-based gambling
Bratislava has reportedly passed a law which will ban gambling from the capital city from the first day of May. Slovakia’s largest city passed the measure on March 30 which will make it illegal for gambling venues and slot parlours to operate. However, current license holders will be allowed to operate until it expires. This includes the Banco Casino, located inside the Crowne Plaza hotel in the city, which won’t expire until 2021.
Britain is prepared to go to war over Gibraltar
As Brexit negotiations gear up, Spain and Britain are fighting for the right to own the small territory known as Gibraltar. Spain said it will shut its borders to the Overseas Territory if it is deemed as one entity with Britain. While gambling operators, including 32Red, want to remain part of the EU, the UK’s Prime Minister, Theresa May, has announced she is willing to go to war with Spain over the territory.
French rally against horse betting law changes
Thoroughbred and trotting employees took to the streets of Paris to protest against the potential changes planned for the horse racing industry in France. Plans to install betting machines all around the company have employees up in arms as many believe it will result in job cuts. They were also rallying about a decline in revenue which they blame on elected officials.
Kenya to raise gambling tax to 50 percent
The proposed Kenyan budget has stunned betting and gambling operators with a plan set to increase the gambling tax to 50 percent. Currently, gambling operators pay 12 percent, betting operators pay 7.5 percent, lotteries pay 5 percent, and competitions pay 15 percent.
Germany could see online poker legalised in country
B2B gaming services provider GVC CEO, Kenny Alexander, has revealed his optimism over the legalisation of online poker in Germany. This is despite the fact the recent amendments to the German State Treaty on Gambling do not comply with the European Union treaties. This means the new laws are illegal and operators can legally ignore them.
Portugal could enter European poker market
The Portuguese gambling authority, Serviços de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ), has had its iGaming framework submission approved by the European Commission. The document makes it possible for Portugal to agree on shared liquidity with other European poker markets.
Japanese commence stage two of casino legalisation
On Tuesday, Japanese lawmakers commenced work on part two of the legislation outlining the legalisation, construction and the operating rules of the planned casino resorts. The new bill will outline responsible gambling practices and the criteria gambling operators will need to meet. It will also determine the locations of the two casinos and what operators will win the ownership rights.
Norway calls for payment blocking measures
The Norwegian Gaming Authority is once again calling on third-party payment processors to block gambling transactions between Norwegians and unlicensed gambling sites. The proposal has been given to major financial intuitions to hone in on the grey area of the gambling market.