Welcome to our weekly gambling column which takes a look at legal and regulatory changes around the world in the iGaming and land-based industries. Come back every week for regular updates, or if you want to know more about the gambling industry you can find everything on our homepage.
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This week we take a look at US poker players who were caught up in the Black Friday incident as they start to get their money back. Unfortunately, in Australia, poker and other gambling operators are continuing to exit the market due to the new reforms. Across the other side of the world, the UK’s gambling regulator is warning people against raffling off their house. Keep reading to find out more.
Australian casino gets slot machines
Reputable online casino operators are continuing to pull out of the Australian market with partypoker the latest to join the long list. The poker site which was promoted by professional poker, Jackie Glazier, announced its exit on August 31 via a blog post. Australian players have been advised that their funds are safe and should be withdrawn.
PokerStars announced it would be leaving the Australian market last week, and while it wont be offering real money cash games or tournaments, players will be able to dabble in free play games via the app called Poker Play. The app will also be available to US players.
A casino located in the Australian Capital Territory is set to receive 200 slot machines, after legislation passed parliament on Thursday. It is the only casino in Australia which doesn’t have poker machines. Gamblers will have to declare how much they will be putting through the slots before they start playing them. They are also limited to $5 per spin, which could be changed due to the Productivity Commission recommending $1 per spin. Additionally, 60 automated machines will be added to the casino.
American gambling regulator to address marijuana uncertainties
The Nevada Gaming Commission hopes to address the concerns surrounding the legality of marijuana in relation to casino operators. Last month, the state legalised recreational marijuana but using and selling the drug is still banned under Federal law. As a result, the Commission believes casino operators should adhere to federal law over state legislation. The regulator will address any uncertainties at a meeting this week.
The US Powerball surpassed the $USD700 million mark after Saturday’s draw failed to produce a winner and grew to become the second largest jackpot in US history. If no one is a winner, it will continue to grow. The US Powerball holds the record for largest jackpot in US history and even the world, when it grew to $1.6 billion in 2016.
Players impacted in the online poker Black Friday incident in 2011 will soon receive their first payout. Approximately 7400 players confirmed their account balances prior to the June 9 deadline. Former players at Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet, who never thought they’d see their money again, will receive a share of $33,500,000 in account pay outs.
Georgian Republicans have voted to oppose all new casino and horse racing bills put forward to the Senate. The Georgia branch of the US Republican party cited concerns over gambling and crime links.
Philippines to reduce PAGCOR to regulator-only
The group known as the One Patriotic Coalition of Marginalised Nationals (1-Pacman) has introduced legislation changing the role of the Philippines gambling regulator and operator. The bill suggests transferring the licensing role to Congress to make the Philippines Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) purely a regulator. PAGCOR would also receive a new name – the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Authority (PAGA) – and it would be responsible for complaints, disputes, and equipment monitoring among other requirements.
China prohibits international gambling investments
The Chinese government’s anti-gambling crackdown has extended to overseas investments. The government has told Chinese investors to avoid doing business with overseas gambling businesses, as well as international sex operations. The new regulations were released on Friday for Chinese firms looking to make deals overseas. Investors are also advised to avoid deals involving property, hotels, entertainment, sporting ventures, core military technology and film industries.
Meanwhile, Macau casinos have been forced to shut due to a devastating typhoon which has killed five people in the country. Another five were killed in Hong Kong and South China. Several casinos were forced to shut down when the city-wide blackout hit on Wednesday. Casino Ponte 16 was hit the hardest with severe flooding through its main gaming floor.
Indian police uncover illegal Delhi casino
India’s sixth floating casino could be shut down due to the incident where it became beached on a sandbank last month. M V Lucky 7 wasn’t even open for business before it became stuck while travelling to the Mandovi River to operate as the “Big Daddy Casino”. It has been stuck on the sandbank for a whole month and is now facing a blanket ban on future casino operations by the District Disaster Management Authority if it’s not towed away within the next few days.
Dehli police have uncovered an illegal casino operating in a farmhouse which has been used as a set for TV shows like Crime Patrol and Savdhaan India. The police raided the South Dehli mansion and arrested 25 men and five women. They seized thirteen luxury cars, gambling chips worth Rs 3.09 crore, hookahs, gambling tables and other contraband. The authorities revealed that 14 people were caught gambling, while the women were working in the casino and bar.
UK warns against house raffles
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has warned homeowners who are raffling off their house that they could be breaking the rules. House raffles, where people provide tickets into a draw to win a house, are on the rise. But the UKGC wants interested parties to seek legal advice first.
Birmingham-based bookmakers are cracking down on anti-social and criminal behaviour via a partnership between the UKGC, police and the local council. The bookies have banned five people who have violated the rules of the initiative, Betwatch, from their betting shops and have circulated names and images to other betting shops.
Meanwhile, the British Bookmakers Association (ABB) has slammed a report which has ignited fresh calls for a reduction in the maximum stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs). The ABB slammed the report published on the Centre for Social Justice, labelling it inaccurate and misleading. The UK government’s review into the gambling sector, including FOBTs, is expected in the coming months.
Austria could block gambling domains
Austria could be next in line to block gambling domains, after the government proposed plans to amend the Telecommunications Act 2003. The amendments give the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) power to block illegal websites. Although gambling websites have not been specifically included, the recently formed Austrian Association for Betting and Gaming (OVWG) has suggested that gambling domains could be blocked.
Colombia to get sports betting site by end of the year
Colombia will likely get the online sports betting site, Sportium, by the end of the year. Sportium is a joint venture between the UK bookmaker, Ladbrokes, and the Spanish gambling operator, Cirsa. While Colombia blocked more than 300 gambling domains in March, Sportium CEO Alberto Eljarrat revealed that the company’s online licence application from local regulator, Coljuegos, is progressing quickly.
Gluck Games team up with Lottoland
Casual real money games developer, Glück Games, which is based in Berlin, has teamed up with Lottoland to include lottery draws in its platform all around the world. The site just increased its scratch cards range and will now offer betting on the US Powerball, MegaMillions, Australian lotteries and more.
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