IT’S a new week and plenty of new gambling changes have taken place all around the world, which could impact you as a player, operator or every day person. Our weekly column covers new laws, news updates, and industry changes occuring right around the globe.
If you think we have missed an important news story, send us an email at [email protected] or leave a comment at the bottom of the page.
This week, Australians may no longer be able to bet on the outcome of Australian lotteries due to licensing changes. In Kenya, new policies have been proposed to push sports betting winners into saving their money. Meanwhile, US gambling experts have written a paper featuring recommendations for the Japanese casino industry. Scroll down to find out more.
Australian online lottery betting to be banned
The Australian lottery betting site, Lottoland, has agreed to a ban on accepting bets on Australian lotteries. The online bookmaker has been fending off attacks from the official lottery operator, Tatts, for some time now. The Northern Territory Attorney General, Natasha Fyles, recently advised the NT regulator, which licenses Lottoland, to change its licensing requirements to ban all betting sites from accepting bets on Australian lotteries. The online lottery site still accepts bets on international lotteries.
The second verdict on the Tabcorp-Tatts tie-up is set to be handed down by the end of the week. The Australian Competition Tribunal was required to review the decision to approve the merger between Australia’s two gambling companies after the Federal Court approved an appeal by the Australian Competition Consumer Commission.
UK gambling regulator releases plan to improve industry
The UK Gambling Commission has released plans for a three-year strategy for the gambling industry and it features five main points. These points address consumer protections, including responsible gambling practices, as well as strategies to raise industry standards, optimise lottery returns, and improve the overall operations of the UKGC. The strategy aims to deliver a fairer and safer gambling environment, in line with the new regulations that have recently been enforced.
This week, it was revealed that the founder and boss of UK betting site Bet365, Denise Coates, made £217 million in 2016. The company made a profit of £525 million, after a record £47 billion in bets were placed last year. Coates, who purchased the domain for £19,000 off eBay and started the online betting company in a Portakabin 17 years ago, is considered to be the highest paying boss in Britain. Anti-gambling campaigners have pointed out that her pay packet has come at the expense of those who have a gambling addiction.
Work commences on NFL stadium in Vegas
The details of the gambling package Pennsylvania passed last month have been revealed, and the 939-page document that Governor Tom Wolf signed into law is attracting attention due to one condition. The stipulation, which failed to receive any attention due to the legalisation of online gambling in the US state, says: “A Category 4 slot machine license may not be located in a sixth-class county which is contiguous to a county that hosts a Category 2 licensed facility.” Since Mount Airy Casino Resort in the Pocono Mountains is a Category 2 casino, the three counties surrounding the venue will not be able to have slot machines.
Following the tragic Las Vegas Massacre last month, Boyd Gaming has changed its Do Not Disturb policies at all 10 of its casinos. From now on, security personnel will enter rooms after 48 hours, irrespective if the Do Not Disturb sign is still hanging. The change in policy is due to the lone gunman who killed more than 50 at the Route 91 festival, had been in his bedroom for three days, without any staff checking on him. If they had, they would’ve discovered the 23 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
Construction has commenced at the future home ground of the Las Vegas Raiders. A ceremony to celebrate the National Football League (NFL) Las Vegas stadium took place on Monday night, with NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, Nevada Governor, Brian Sandoval, and team owner Mark Davis all present. The ceremony, which was held at the Interstate 15 and Russell Road site, began by remembering the victims of the Las Vegas Massacre.
Indian state introduces laws to stamp out illegal gambling
The Telangana legislative council passed the Telangana Gaming (Amendment) Bill 2017 this week, after it passed the lower house on November 13. The bill bans both online gambling and games of skill, such as rummy, in Telangana. Home Minister, Naini Narshimha Reddy, said online gambling operations in the Indian state have continued to operate despite a zero tolerance policy. He said that the strong measures included in the bill, such as preventing access to gambling sites via VPNs, could curb illegal gambling.
International gambling operators increasing in Sweden
Offshore online casinos and gambling sites are increasing in Sweden, according to new figures released by the Lotteriinspektionen gaming regulatory body. The figures reveal that the Swedish gambling market is worth SEK 16.5 billion as of September 2017, which is a 3 percent increase than what it was worth at the same time last year. While Swedish licensed gambling operators held a SEK 12.5 billion share of the total market, international operators’ share reportedly climbed 11 percent to more than SEK 4 billion.
Kenyan winnings spent, not saved
Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has suggested betting companies offer winners the chance to invest their winnings instead of spending them. According to the Director of Regulatory Policy and Strategy at the CMA, Luke Ombara, nearly all the winnings won via betting on sports in Kenya are spent. Ombara said winners should invest in capital markets as a way to save their winnings. As a result, the CMA has proposed a new policy which rewards betting firms with lower taxes if they pay winners by purchasing bonds or shares in companies. It has been submitted to the National Treasury and could be successful given the recent uniform 35 percent tax hike on gambling companies.
French lottery launches esports betting site
The announcement of the shared online poker liquidity deal has paid off for France, with the country’s regulator revealing an 11 percent revenue increase during July, August and September of this year. Overall poker revenue rose 11 percent to €58 million, including profits in both cash games and tournaments. It has been six years since online poker revenue showed year-over-year gains, suggesting French poker players are preparing for the shared poker pool with Italy, Spain and Portugal.
The country is also moving into esports betting with France’s national lottery, Francaise Des Jeux, teaming up with Sportradar to launch a social esports betting site. The site, parionsesport.fr, is the first national esports betting platform backed by the national lottery and it aims to target millennials. However, since French law does not allow real money wagering on events which aren’t classified as traditional sports, the online site has had to adopt a free betting system where players bet with credits.
Japan receives casino industry recommendations
American gambling experts have advised Japanese lawmakers, who are responsible for drawing up the framework for the country’s new Integrated Resorts, to manage problem gambling and drinking, as well as keep crime out. The International Gaming Institute of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas has issued conclusions and recommendations on how casinos could work in the country, while still supporting Prime Ministers Shinzo Abe’s plans to boost tourism.
International casino operators have been monitoring the progress of the Integrated Resorts Implementation bill, with Caesars Entertainment the latest to go all in on not one, but two, casinos in Japan. The casino conglomerate has unveiled plans for two resorts located in Osaka and Tomakomai and has allotted around $5-10 billion to build each facility.