Gambling legislation is rapidly changing all around the world to keep up with technological advancements. Our column provides up to date news on the latest movements across the globe, sourced from factual and informative outlets. If you want to add something to the column, you can leave a comment below, or if you want to sent us an email with feedback you can send it to [email protected]
This week the Indian media reported the government is considering legalising sports betting, as well as other gambling activities, due to the huge monetary revenue available. In Europe, France is showing an interest in eSports, while Germany has revised its anti-money laundering laws to include all gambling activities. Meanwhile, in Australia, James Packer’s Crown venues are still suffering from the arrests in China.
Australia’s Crown casino licenses could be reviewed
Crown Resorts could have its Sydney, Melbourne and Perth licences reviewed if staff detained in China are convicted. The arrests of 18 Crown employees and associates, who are said to be locked up in traumatic conditions. could spark an investigation into James Packer’s venues.
The newly appointed NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, has also blocked Crown Resorts from transforming its Barangaroo venue into a regular casino. The attempt to move away from the VIP business model is a result of a decline in high roller revenue.
Australian Online Poker Alliance fights on
The Australian Online Poker Alliance is continuing to fight to save online poker in the country, with poker enthusiast, Joseph Del Duca visiting Canberra to bring awareness to the cause. Many MPs weren’t aware of the peer to peer nature of online poker which may give the game a fighting chance.
American states consider legalising online gambling
A joint hearing on regulating iGaming in Pennsylvania has revealed land-based casinos benefit from online gambling too. While critics raised a number of concerns, including less tax revenue generated, as well as exposure to minors, lawmakers argued the unregulated market provides zero tax or protection.
While the Pennsylvanian hearing took four hours, a similar hearing in Michigan lasted just 70 minutes. The bill, which will legalise and regulate online gambling, was approved by a hearing committee and will now proceed to state senate floor. While concerns over taxing gaming tribes were raised, it was noted many gaming compacts with tribes have already been violated.
In Texas, a long-standing ban on gambling could be lifted due to a new bill introduced by Representative Joe Deshotel. The bill would see nine casino gaming licenses on offer, with an 18% tax rate set for gross gaming revenues. A voter referendum is needed in order for this to occur however.
Germany revises anti-money laundering laws
The German Federal Government Cabinet has passed a draft revision on the combat of Money Laundering (AML) and Terrorism Financing (CTF) (“Geldwäschegesetz – GwG”) legislation. The draft now includes the whole gambling sector, including sports betting providers – not just casino and online gambling providers as it does currently.
But Germany isn’t in the good books with the European Commission, which has slammed the planned changes to the German State Treaty on Gambling. The commission says it is continuing to breach European law and the incompatibilities have been addressed in a document. This has surfaced just eight days prior to Germany’s sixteen federal states plan to sign the new treaty.
Fiji denies appeal for casino to keep its license
An appeal filed by One Hundred Sands to save its casino license has been denied by the Fiji Court of Appeal. The operators were given a license in March 2012 but their Denarau hotel project, which was set to be complete by 2014, still remains stagnant, incurring a penalty. This hasn’t been paid and as a result the Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, revoked the casino licence, which resulted in the company’s appeal.
France dabbles in eSports
Lottery and online gambling provider, Française des Jeux, has teamed up with Webedia to organise eSports tournaments. The three tournaments include The FDJ Masters League, with a €20,000 prize pool on offer; The FDJ Open Series, open to professionals and amateurs; and The FDJ Gaming Tour, which will take place all over France.
The largest horse race betting operator in Europe, Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU), has also expressed its interest in eSports.
India could legalise sports betting
India’s top law panel is “seriously” considering legalising sports betting, as well as other gambling activities. Rummy and horse betting are both legal since they are considered skill-based games, but luck-based gambling is banned. Sources have said a draft gambling act is “under serious consideration” by The Law Commission since the government is missing out on a huge amount of gambling revenue.
UK to stop cut-price lottery tickets
The UK government has revealed plans to close a loophole which allows gambling websites to offer reduced price bets on the EuroMillions. Currently, people can wager on the outcome of the draw, and its cheaper than buying a ticket. The government said it will consult stakeholders in order to close the loophole.