Gambling changes occur faster than a dollar goes on the slots, so we condense the movements in a weekly column. We scour factual media outlets around the world to bring you the latest changes in the gaming industry which you can read about below. You can come back each week to see what is new, too. If you have noticed any changes where you live and think we should know about them send us an email at [email protected] or leave a comment below the article.
This week brings us interesting news with one American state trialling slot machines in hospitals to help cure Parkinson’s and other brain injuries. In the UK, the country’s gambling regulator is upholding its values by investigating a popular company for breaching responsible gambling policies. Meanwhile, in China, more than 200 people have been arrested for running a fake lottery gambling ring. You can find out more below.
Australia’s gambling giants commence merger hearing
After the confirmation of gambling ads banned during live sporting matches last week, anti-gambling advocates are calling for the complete prohibition of betting advertisements on TV and radio in Australia.
The hearing for the two Australian gambling giants, Tabcorp and Tatts, to merge began this week. The Australian Competition Tribunal will determine whether the deal should get the green light following the two-week hearing where critics and supporters of the tie-up will submit their supporting evidence.
America looks at loopholes in gambling laws
A hospital in the gambling capital of the world has installed two slot machines to help sufferers with Parkinson’s and other motor-neuron diseases. The machines installed in Nevada’s HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital may help since gambling stimulates the same area which can be damaged by a traumatic brain injury. The state’s Gaming Commission will also meet this week to determine whether they will close a loophole in Nevada’s gambling laws which may be an avenue for money launderers. While the law requires all gambling companies to file currency transaction reports whenever a gambling transaction over $10,000 is made, those which generate under $1 million in gross gaming revenue a year are exempt. This may see a number of small rural satellite sports books as an ideal way to launder money.
Two Connecticut tribes, Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribal nations, may build a casino on an off-reservation land according to the US Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). The issue holding them back is whether or not the tribes will be violating their gaming rights in the state by operating a satellite casino.
Since the Pennsylvanian House of Representatives have made legalising online gambling more difficult than it needs to be the Senate is reportedly drafting its own bill. The Senate CERD Committee is reportedly addressing the issue of legalising and regulating online gambling and daily fantasy sports, as well as authorising skill-based and hybrid slots. Tablet gaming at specified airports is also on the agenda.
The New Jersey Casino Control Commission (CCC) has given Caesars a lifeline in terms of its debt. The CCC has allowed the company to outsource casino operations in two of its three resorts located in Atlantic City. This will mean the daily operations of AC’s Caesars and Bally’s casinos will be run by a new management company, while the properties will still be owned by Caesars.
UK Gambling Commission investigating 888 Holdings
The UK Gambling Commission has announced it is investigating popular gambling company, 888, for violating social responsibility practices. A subsidiary of 888 Holdings is under investigation for having the proper procedures in place to help with problem gambling. If the business is found to have violated the rules, its UK license will be revoked.
Japan casino legislation is hot property
Casino gambling is a hot topic in Japan at the moment following the Japan Gaming Congress in Tokyo last week. Here it was revealed Yoshinobu Nisaka of the Wakayama Prefecture is interested in having one of the two planned casino resorts. But he is reportedly suggesting only foreigners should be allowed to gamble at the venues. He will also have to get in line as states and cities are trying to score a license.
Still, legislation on how the casinos will be operated is being drafted as it has an end-of-year deadline. Media outlets are reporting the law will require resorts to have four core facilities including a convention centre, travel agency, recreation facility and a hotel.
New gambling decrees in France
A new decree for gaming clubs in Paris – “clubs de jeux” – has been signed by the Minister of the Interior. It ends the ban on gaming within Paris from January 1, 2018. The ban was enacted in 1907 and then amended 20 years later to allow the Barriére Group to operate a casino in Enghien-les-Bains in Paris. Gaming clubs still remained illegal. The ban reprieve will be trialled for three years.
Another new decree will oversee casinos which operate on French merchant ships, effective from July 1. The decree says ships, including ferries, can operate up to 15 gaming machines, as can boats which travel via international waters that operate traditional table games too.
China uncovers illegal and fraudulent lottery ring
Over 200 people have been arrested in China for running a fraudulent online lottery ring. Chinese media outlets have revealed police raids were run in the Shaanxi province where 203 individuals were detained. Over 100 of those arrested will face criminal charges for contacting players on social network platforms – such as WeChat, which has been a platform for illegal proxy betting. The group promised players high odds if they purchased lottery tickets – which were indeed fake. A customer who lost RMB 45,000 ended up reporting the ring – reportedly been in operation since 2015 – to police.
Meanwhile, the biggest gambling destination in the world is reviewing its junket industry. Macau’s junkets who lure VIP players, including high rollers from mainland China where gambling is illegal, contribute more than 50 percent of total gaming revenue for casinos. The junkets have been caught up in many issues, though, including money laundering and the recent anti-gambling crackdown on the mainland has resulted in revenue drops. Now the industry is going to look at non-gambling amenities to attract millennials and sustain its future.
Malta hoping Gibraltar exits with Britain
As the gambling industry ponders over the impacts of Brexit in relation to whether Gibraltar will leave with Britain, Malta is secretly hoping it does. Media outlets in the country are reporting the Malta Gaming Authority will pick up any lost business from one of the biggest gambling jurisdictions in the world as a result.