It has been a month since we started this gambling column, dedicated to legislative movements all around the world. We have seen some impressive changes as well as disappointing pullbacks in some countries which are yet to understand how to legalise and regulate gambling. Leave your thoughts on the world’s changing gambling landscape at the bottom of the page, or shoot us an email at [email protected]
This week the Czech Republic and Switzerland both passed legislation to block unauthorised offshore online gambling sites – which we saw Russia do last week. Down Under, the Australian National Rugby League has prohibited bookies from offering certain markets to crackdown on match fixing. But it’s not all bad news, Japan has introduced a problem gambling bill which will hopefully speed up lifting the casino ban.
Australian government contradicts anti-gambling stance
An Australian MP told federal parliament gambling is a “social curse”, despite holding shares in one of the world’s biggest pokies manufacturers. Liberal MP Sarah Henderson has been advised by anti-pokies campaigners to sell her shares in Aristocrat Leisure since it is “a matter of personal morality”.
The NRL has moved to prohibit bookmakers from offering specific markets, including under 20s and other exotics. A spokesperson has denied it was due to the West Tigers centre Tim Simona match fixing scandal, who has until Friday to defend the allegations he bet on opposing players. The woman who leaked the information on social media has allegedly received death threats.
American Assemblyman supports legalising online poker
In an interview on the FIOS1 News network, Assemblyman and head of the New York’s Racing and Wagering Committee, J.Gary Pretlow, suggested he would support the legalisation of online poker in the state. Pretlow said he wants to ensure all games will be as fair as possible if it is legalised.
A gambling bill which would limit Idaho’s tribal gambling sector was defeated by a House committee. The legislation sought to close a loophole which allows Native American casinos to offer electronic gambling machines, to coincide with the state-wide ban. Critics of the bill said it was an attack on tribes since the machines are their most profitable source of revenue.
Meanwhile in Mississippi, the Governor wants lottery legalised in the state in order to generate millions of dollars in annual revenue that could be used for the state budget.
The eSports Integrity Coalition has also signed an Information Sharing Memorandum of Understanding with the Nevada Gaming Control Board to combat potential cheating as eSports becomes more and more popular in the state.
Czech Republic encourages offshore sites to apply for gaming license
The country enforced new gambling regulations on January 1 which requires all gambling operators to hold a Czech license. But many offshore operators continued to offer their services to Czech residents without acquiring a license. The government is now requiring internet service providers (ISPs) to block all online gambling sites listed by the Ministry of Finance.
UK Supreme Court to hear Phil Ivey’s $10 million lawsuits
Phil Ivey has won the right to appeal to the European nation’s Supreme Court over 7.8 million British pounds won while playing baccarat. The winnings took place at London’s exclusive Crockfords casino, but Ivey was accused of cheating. He lost his case in October 2014 and then an appeal last November.
Switzerland blocks online gambling sites
Switzerland has followed the Czech Republic passing a law which requires ISPs to block unlawful online gambling websites. The upper house already approved the bill, and on Wednesday, the Swiss legislature’s lower house passed it too, despite opposition from the Swiss People’s Party and the Greens. The country will now see the domain-blocking plan enforced.
It could be come illegal to gamble in public in Kenya
Kenyan lawmakers have proposed an amendment bill to the Betting, Lotteries and Gaming Act, to make street gambling illegal. If passed, offenders will face a Sh3,000 fine, three months in jail, or both. Landlords will also be punished for knowingly allowing the use of unauthorised gaming machines with a Sh5,000 penalty, six months in jail, or both.
Philippines arrests 15 Chinese nationals caught up in online gambling
Philippines media has reported at least 15 Chinese nationals and one Filipino resident have been arrested for allegedly operating an unlicensed online gambling operation. This follows the arrests of 13 people since new legislation clarifying illegal gambling was enforced last month.
Japan attempts to speed up casino legislation
A new problem gambling bill has been proposed in Japan with hopes it will speed up the legalisation of casinos in the country. The bill outlines policies to combat the effects of problem gambling and requires a program to be implemented which will be reviewed every five years.