Online and offline gambling is a controversial subject all around the world. Lawmakers are constantly trying to keep up with new technological advancements which can affect not only gambling operators but players too. We take a look at legislative responses in our weekly column and provide up to date information on gambling industries around the globe. Email us at [email protected] for more information or to share a story we should know. You can also leave a comment below.
Online gambling is still struggling to be understood by lawmakers but land-based gaming has made an impact this week. New Hampshire, in the US, has legalised land-based casinos, while the Philippines will see a $500 million casino erected in Cebu. Unfortunately, in Vietnam locals are still waiting for the green light to enter one.
Australia could impose a POC tax
Australia is bracing for the House of Representatives to discuss the amendments made to the Interactive Gambling Amendment bill 2016. It is now being reported a nationwide point-of-consumption (POC) tax is also being considered. The tax was proposed by Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison to alleviate concerns about tax revenue imbalances between the states and territories. If enforced, the Northern Territory as a licensing jurisdiction which offers low licensing fees, could be crippled.
American states make a step forward for online and offline gambling
Massachusetts has joined the growing number of states which are looking to legalise online gambling. The state has set up a Commission to survey its potential, with results revealing economic benefits. Many Commission members even noted the benefits of being one of the first states to legalise online gambling, along side Delaware, Nevada, and New Jersey.
Pennsylvania has also been pushing for the legalisation of Internet gambling but it has taken a back seat as legislation to permit slot machines in licensed liquor establishments, off-track betting venues, and truck stops has been proposed. The legislation is yet to be introduced to the Senate but it is said it will combat the illegal video game operations in the state.
Meanwhile in New Hampshire, a bill to permit land-based casino gambling has passed the Senate and will see two casinos opened in the state with over 5000 slots and 240 table games split between them.
Sweden to strip Svenska Spel from online gambling monopoly
A government-sponsored report has recommended Sweden pull back the state-owned online gambling monopoly from Svenska Spel and accept license applications from international operators. Land-based casino and lottery operations are still recommended to be run by Svenska Spel. The report also recommends Swedish-licensed online operators pay a tax of 18% of their gross gaming revenue.
China upped the ante with its gambling crackdown
Following a conference on online gambling in China on Wednesday, the country’s Public Security Minister, Guo Shengkun, revealed any person or company involved in illegal gambling activities will be “severely punished”. He also announced offshore online gambling operators will be targeted, along with ‘underground banks’ which facilitate illegal gambling.
Vietnamese locals waiting to gamble at casinos
Vietnam casinos have not yet granted access to Vietnam locals despite the legislation permitting entry in a three-year pilot in January. Citizens were meant to have access from Wednesday but due to a lack of guidance casino operators have turned them away. Laws require the citizen to have a minimum monthly income of VND10 million, be at least 21 years of age and have the “full capacity for civil acts of individuals”.
Poland’s new gambling laws forcing big operators out
Poland passed new gambling laws amending the Polish Gambling Act back in December which did regulate the industry, but only state-owned products can be offered. The new laws will be enforced on April 1, which has seen a number of international operators, including William Hill and Bet365 withdrawing from the market this week.
Philippines to tighten anti-money laundering laws
A new casino resort for the central island of Cebu has been sanctioned by the Philippines gaming regulator PAGCOR. The $500 million project will be the country’s first land-based casino outside the Manila capital. But new laws are reportedly being considered to tighten anti-money laundering regulations for land-based casinos. Senate lawmakers are looking to approve a bill which amends the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001 in the coming months.
India’s floating casinos get a six-month extension
The new government of the only state in India to allow gambling has given Goa’s floating casinos a six-month extension to relocate from the Mandavi river to a new permanent location. But they also face increased fees due to a new annual state budget.
Japanese casino bidding war intensifies
While legislation is being drawn up by lawmakers to outline the requirements of the legal land-based casinos in Japan, the international operator bidding war is heating up. Macau casino operator Galaxy Entertainment Group is teaming up with associates in Monte Carlo to pursue a position in the future gambling powerhouse.
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