Online Betting Guide

Global gambling legislation news – Week ending March 17

Global Gambling Legislation

Governments from around the world are constantly monitoring the online and offline gambling industries to garner economic and social benefits. We look out for these changes and report any issues which could affect you as a punter in our weekly column. If you have noticed a gambling law change and want to tell us about it, send us an email at [email protected] or leave a comment below.

This week has been somewhat positive with New York including the regulation of online poker in the 2017-18 budget and Mississippi legalising daily fantasy sports. Germany has proposed a law which will enforce severe penalties for anyone found match-fixing, while a new regulatory body may form in the Philippines to monitor online gambling.

Australian gambling giant bypasses watchdog

Australian gambling conglomerate Tabcorp has chosen to ignore the concerns raised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over the Tatts $11 billion deal by taking it straight to the Australian Competition Tribunal.

Meanwhile, the Turnbull government is reportedly deliberating the removal of gambling ads during sporting events. According to media reports, the government is willing to enforce the ban provided the three Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) senators offer support on media ownership deregulation.

The NXT has also requested the government to establish a national self-exclusion register which would allow problem gamblers or their families to notify relevant authorities. They would then be banned from gambling.

American states show positive gambling movements

The Senate has released its proposed version of the 2017-2018 budget and it includes costs to account for the regulation of online poker. The budget is in excess of $160 billion for the financial year, with poker allocated tens of millions due to initial licensing fees.

Mississippi has legalised daily fantasy sports, making it the 12th state in the US to do so. Republican governor Phil Bryant signed the legislation which allows the Mississippi Gaming Commission to issue three-year licences to operators which have paid the $5000 fee.

But it isn’t all good news – there are plans to slow down the legalisation of online gambling in Pennsylvania. State Representative Thomas Murt, filed a bill which will prevent the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board from enacting “rules and regulations allowing any form of internet gambling.” The bill has some supporters but it’s not clear if it will pass.

Colombia follows other countries in domain blocking

Colombia in conjunction with its gambling regulator, Coljuegos, will block over 300 online gambling domains in a bid to get operators to apply for a local licence. Colombia recently regulated the market but many operators haven’t bothered with the license due to the 19 per cent value added tax applied to player deposits.

Germany combats match fixing

Germany’s lower house of Parliament has passed a law against match-fixing. The bill makes it illegal to conspire to fix sporting events. Anyone, including a coach, referee, or player caught engaging in the activity will face up to three years in prison. Serious cases will be subjected to a five-year prison sentence.

Japan considering banning locals from casinos

Lawmakers have until December 2017 to draw up the regulation policies surrounding legalising casinos. Japanese media outlets are now reporting a ban on locals entering casinos is being considered, as well as charging an entrance fee.

Philippines may form a new online gambling regulatory body

The iGaming industry is overseen by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), but during a Senate hearing this week a new regulatory body called the Philippine Online Gaming and Regulatory Authority (POGRA) was proposed. POGRA will oversee all online gambling activities using new technology if approved.

India unsure about floating casinos

While the Indian state of Goa announced the license renewal for one of its floating casino licence, five others will have to wait to see if the government will maintain their operating licences. The government has until March 31 to make a decision.

Samoans still unable to enter casinos

Samoans have called on the government to change the law and allow Samoan citizens to enter casinos. Under the current law, only international passport holders are allowed in the Samoan casinos. But they have been ignored, with prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi rejecting the requests. He advised locals to stick to bingo.

European wants to end bitcoin’s anonymity

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) have drafted a bill to include virtual currencies, such as bitcoin in the Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD). If the law is approved watchdogs from EU member countries will be required to identify bitcoin users by their bitcoin addresses.