WANT to know what new changes are happening in different gambling industries around the world? Each week we take a look at news stories affecting players, casinos, sportbooks, and other interested parties and compile it into an easy-to-read column. Stay updated by visiting our site each week where you can find out what has been happening in your country and around the world.
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This week has seen plenty of political movements with Brazil’s President avoiding impeachment and looking to the gambling industry as a source of revenue. Meanwhile, the Malaysian government has announced it will crack down on illegal gambling and the Philippines has introduced new anti-money laundering policies. Keep reading the find out more.
Australian casino fights poker machine allegations
Australia is still reeling from the explosive allegations made by three former employees against Crown Resorts casino. This week, Crown Resorts hit back at allegations it tampered with poker machines, among other claims released by Independent lawmaker, Andrew Wilkie. In a letter, Crown Resorts chairman, John Alexander, wrote that Wilkie should have followed the standard procedure when it comes to investigating complaints, instead of using parliamentary privilege. It’s not clear whether a parliamentary inquiry will take place since the Turnbull government is reluctant to grant one.
As a result of the intense scrutiny of James Packer’s Crown Resorts company, CrownBet (partly owned by Crown Resorts) has been forced to pull its CrownLotto service. Australian states want to stamp out online lottery betting and due to the additional attention from gambling regulators, the betting site pulled its own product which rivalled Lottoland.
This week, the highest paid employee of the Western Australian government was revealed to be Racing and Wagering chief executive Richard Burt. According to the West Australian, he collected a salary of almost $800,000 in 2016, following a $70,000 pay rise.
US state to revisit outdated gambling laws
New Jersey is set to receive a new governor in the coming weeks, with the November 7 election determining who will replace current Governor, Chris Christie. Christie has been a strong advocate for expanding gambling services, including legalising sports betting in the US, and his replacement could undermine his efforts. However, the gubernatorial race is down to a former US ambassador to Germany, Phil Murphy, and lieutenant governor in Christie’s administration, Kim Guadagno, and both have agreed that Atlantic City should no longer hold the monopoly on gambling.
Louisiana lawmakers are urging the state government to review gambling laws which are nearly three decades old and due to the instability of the state’s finances, Louisiana could soon see its riverboat casinos moving on land. Republican state senator, Ronnie Johns, said the laws are outdated during Monday’s legislative session, and pointed out neighbouring states could be stealing potential customers. Republican State Senator, Ronnie Johns, said while no new casino licenses will be granted, updating the framework will allow gambling facilities to compete with Mississippi and the new native American facilities in Oklahoma.
Millennials and skill-based games seems to go hand in hand, at least according to casions in Las Vegas. The latest casino to add the games is Planet Hollywood, installing three ‘TriStation’ units that feature six different skill-based games, targeted at the younger generation. The machines have been introduced under the Nevada Control Board’s New Innovations Beta (NIB) program, which allows casinos to try out new games with real gamblers.
UK betting company ends publication of odds
Ladbrokes Coral has ended the practice of publishing odds of the day in UK newspapers, as prices fluctuated significantly to those published. The bookmaker previously allowed odds for the day to be printed at 8:30 am on race days, but Ladbrokes Coral has since labelled the practice “commercially nonsensical”. The company said the practice left the UK bookmaker in the opposite position in the market than intended, and as of Monday, the betting company will no longer honour markets displayed in newspapers.
Online gambling sites have been forced to remove any advertising which may appeal to children this week, after the UK Gambling Commission and Advertising Standards Authority signed a letter supporting the reforms. The letter in question was sent to more than 450 operators, advising that they remove all colours, graphics and cartoon images which may appeal to children to avoid prosecution. The Committee of Advertising Practice and the Remote Gambling Association also signed the letter, which addresses the prevalence of gambling among children.
Meanwhile, professional poker player, Phil Ivey, has lost his last court appeal against Crockford’s Casino in London. The casino refused to pay Ivey his winnings after it discovered he had used edge sorting to gain an advantage. Ivey sued the casino, but three courts found him guilty each time. This week, the UK Supreme Court, and Ivey’s last chance, ruled against the poker star.
Brazilian President open to gambling expansion
The Brazilian President has announced he is open to signing any gambling bills that come his way. It was not clear whether his promise was noteworthy earlier this week, as he was facing a potential trial on alleged corruption charges. However, on Wednesday lawmakers voted against sending him to face the charges, which would have resulted in a six-month suspension from office. Surviving the vote could mean the beginning of a regulated gambling industry, with two bills making their way through the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.
Kenyan sports betting company to stay
The CEO of the Kenyan sports betting company has announced that Sportpesa is not going anywhere, despite stating the opposite when the 35 percent uniform tax rate on gambling operators was signed into law. In an interview with Daily Nation, Ronald Karauri said it didn’t make sense for the company to exit the Kenyan market anymore but he hopes that the government will still change its mind. He also said that the government is misinformed if it believes higher taxation rates lead to stronger regulation of the gambling industry.
Malaysia tackles illegal gambling
The Malaysian government wants to crackdown on illegal gambling by amending legislation or crafting a new law. The Home Ministry is working with both the police and the Attorney-General to work out the best way to approach the issue. But the Deputy Prime Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, has revealed that the government hasn’t decided whether it will amend the current law or craft a new law specifically targeting online gambling. While online gambling is considered to be illegal in the country, the vague language means offshore online casino operators can accept Malaysian players.
Philippines’ casinos to record customer’s identity
Under new anti-money laundering policies, Filipino casinos will only be allowed to accept players if they show identification. They will also be required to record all patrons and their gambling activity. The new rules appear to keep proxy betting, where gamblers make bets via communication apps like WhatsApp with operators placing their bets at the casino, legal. The new policies mean the threshold for transaction reporting can be as high as PHP5 million.
Japanese casinos back on track
While it was initially thought the snap election proposed by current Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe would derail the timeframe for casinos, it may have done the opposite. Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party appears to have captured two-thirds of the seats in the House of Representative. The results confirm strong support for Abe’s political agenda, including the implementation of land-based casinos, which could get the timeline back on track. However, some delays are expected due to the public opposition of the casinos and problem gambling issues.