Online and offline gambling laws change all around the world to keep up with technology advancements, solve budget issues and address economic and social problems. Our weekly column monitors the legislative changes as well as industry movements and summarises them so you can be caught up with all the global gambling news. Come back every week to see what has happened around the world and join the conversation by leaving a comment below. If you want to send us a story or feedback email [email protected]
This week has left even the gambling industry impacted by the horrible bombing in Manchester as casinos in Vegas are on high terror alert. Meanwhile, another American state is one step closer to making gambling legal online. Across the ocean, Japan has angered small rural towns over where a new casino will go, while Ireland is considering a new tax model. Scroll down for more.
Australian gambling tycoon to be paid millions
Australia is still waiting to find out if the Interactive Gambling Amendment bill 2016 will pass the House and in turn be enforced. The bill was approved with secondary amendments by the Senate earlier this year and returned to the House of Representatives for concurrence. While it is on the list to be discussed by the House, it has not been made a priority. In the meantime, a study has been released stating more Australians are gambling online and blowing thousands.
Australian gambling conglomerate, Tabcorp, is in its second week of a 14-day hearing over its merger with Tatts. This week CrownBet presented its argument that punters will have to pay more on worse odds if the deal goes ahead. But Racing and Wagering Western Australia believes prize pools in horse racing will be limited if the deal does not go ahead. A decision will be made by the Australian Competition Tribunal in June.
When it comes to land-based casinos in the country, Crown Resorts major shareholder, James Packer, is likely to get $AUD1.1 billion over three years as he sells his stake in Melco Entertainment. This comes as the billionaire was cleared by regulators to re-join the Crown Resorts board, as announced at the start of the year.
American gambling state on high alert over terrorist threat
A Pennsylvanian bill which will allow online gambling in the state has passed a full Senate vote this week. It will make its way to the House of Representatives for a debate. The bill includes a huge 54 percent tax rate on online casino revenue so even if it does pass operators may not be interested.
The legalisation of sports betting in New Jersey is unlikely as the White House’s Acting Solicitor General, Jeffrey Wall, advised the US Supreme Court to throw out the case. The appeal wants sports betting to be made legal at race tracks and casinos in NJ but since the court usually adheres to the recommendations from the Solicitor General, the case is unlikely to be heard.
Fans who visit the Raiders at their new home stadium in Las Vegas in 2020 may be able to bet on their smartphones and tablets while watching the game. While the conditional lease bans the team from gambling – as per the strong anti-gambling stance the NFL has – mobile betting may still be allowed for spectators. The NFL can still change the lease to prohibit betting on mobile apps though.
In the same state, operators and patrons of Las Vegas casinos have been told to be on high alert as a propaganda video targets the Strip. The video is being described as a legitimate Islamic State group propaganda threat and is being taken seriously. Due to the horrible terrorist bombing at the Manchester Arena earlier this week, the Southern Nevada Counter-Terrorism Centre will be increasing its police presence over the long weekend too.
Japan casinos likely to be in three main cities
Japanese President, Shinzo Abe, initially stated a lift on the casino ban in Japan was to generate revenue for smaller towns and cities in the country. But it is likely the two to three casinos will be constructed in Japan’s biggest cities. Tokyo, Osaka, and Yokohama are likely candidates for an integrated casino resort following legislative changes last year.
Former Philippines regulator employee sues Wynn Macau
A former executive of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) is suing Wynn Resorts for unlawfully disclosing personal data which he claimed ruined his career. Rogelio Yusi Bangsil said Wynn – despite the strict laws regarding personal data transfers – shared the data with a US law firm. The firm was reportedly investigating alleged misconduct, including bribes, involving PAGCOR executives and Japanese gambling tycoon, Kazuo Okada.
Indian gambling venues taxed under luxury services
A new tax for gambling and race clubs in India has been announced. The Goods and Services Tax Council on Friday revealed gambling venues will be considered as luxury services and taxed 28 percent. Entry fees for casinos, where legal, will also be taxed the highest GST rate from July 1.
Singaporean tries to redefine bookmakers in court case
A Singaporean resident is appealing his jail term by re-defining the meaning of a bookmaker. Peh Hai Yam was sentenced to jail for over three years for providing baccarat ‘insurance’ to players at Genting’s Resorts World Sentosa casino in 2015. He has appealed his sentence for the illegal scheme stating the prohibition on bookmaking in Singapore’s Betting Act applies only to taking horseracing and sporting bets. The High Court rejected the appeal saying the Act covers these types of wagers too.
Ireland mulling over punters tax
Ireland is requesting feedback from online betting operators about the amendments imposed in mid-2015. Among the questions to operators is whether taxing punters as well is a good idea. This comes as the industry calls for a regulator as there is no authority to ensure money laundering and other criminal behaviour is not occurring at online bookmakers.
Online gambling operator withdraws from Czech Republic
The Czech Republic’s new licensing regime is being blamed for why online gambling operator GVG Holdings is withdrawing its services from the country. GVC did apply for a license but has since withdrawn as it believes the laws are “incompatible with the principles of the European Union.” Czech customers have now been limited to withdrawing funds. PokerStars remains in the online gambling market, as does Playtech, but the high tax rates – between 23 to 35 percent – mean other operators are hesitant to acquire a license under new laws.