The Department of Justice has run afoul of the USA’s most powerful gambling lobby group.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) has revealed that over $10 billion will be wagered in the NCAA basketball tournament. The problem however is that only 3 per cent of the total bets legal with only a handful of state condoning sports betting.
Betting on the National Collegiate Athletic Association has long been a bane of contention for universities across the United States, with the tournament featuring close to 70 of the best college team’s in the country.
But it does not look like going away with AGA revealing 24 million Americans took part in NCAA tournament pools in 2017, with much, much more going to offshore bookmakers. Tournament pools are estimated to account for $2.6 billion of bets placed, according to a survey by the Mellman Group.
The survey found that one-quarter of American adults took part in at least one form of the following bets:
- Paid-entry pool
- Bracket pools
- Survivor pools
- Pick ‘em pools
- Squares or grid pools
- Cash-based fantasy sports pools
In the survey, 1,501 respondents participated in distributed questionnaires. About 63 per cent of the respondents say they took part in pools because it was fun to do so, especially as it related to watching sports and following favorite teams and players.
It must however be pointed out that pools betting is illegal in many US with AGA making it clear that NCAA tournament bracket pools and sports pools where real money exchanges hands is largely illegal in 37 states. To underscore this fact, a big NFL survivor pool in New York was locked up in December last year and federal agents confiscated large cache of cash and business documents. Based in Washington DC, AGA represents the casino industry as a lobby group.
“Our current sports betting laws are so out of touch with reality that we’re turning tens of millions of Americans into criminals for the simple act of enjoying college basketball,” Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the AGA, said in a release.
Sports betting is legal in Nevada and four other states but the US Supreme Court is currently looking into making it a legal activity.
NCAA BETTING TIPS: DAILY NCAA PREDICTIONS
Another day, another US sports betting bill, but West Virginia’s proposed legislation has riled up the major sporting leagues.
The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the Major League Baseball (MLB) have slammed WV’s bills, which would legalise betting on sports in the state’s five casinos should the Supreme Court repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) 1992.
Although there are two floating around parliament, with one in the House of Delegates and the other in the Senate, the NBA and MLB argue the lack of an integrity fee doesn’t do enough to protect sports.
The idea for an integrity fee first came about when the state of Indiana included it in its bill, addressing the likelihood sports betting legalisation. Local media revealed that the NBA and MLB pressured the state to add a one percent tax on all bets, which would flow into sporting leagues.
NBA General Council, Dan Spillane, confirmed the reports in a written testimony addressed at the Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, held in New York to discuss the potential of legalising sports betting in the state. Spillane revealed that the NBA was not opposed to sanctioning sportsbooks on a state-by-state basis, on the condition specific provisions are included, like the integrity fee.
Both the NBA and the MLB have taken issue with the lack of integrity fee included in the two WV bills, arguing the legislation falls short of their goal to protect their respective leagues.
“Any sports betting legislation must include clear, robust, enforceable protections to mitigate any possible risks to our game,” the MLB said in a statement.
“We appreciate the legislature’s work on the subject of legalized sports betting; however, we do not believe the bill currently under consideration will achieve the critical goals of protecting consumers and the integrity of our league,” the NBA added in a statement of its own.
The two leagues are calling upon the state’s legislature to review the bills and make necessary amendments to meet their contractual expectations. They added that they would be happy to work with lawmakers and the appropriate regulatory bodies, including the West Virginia Lottery, to “improve the current language”.
In other words, add in the integrity fee.
The American Gaming Association (AGA), a pioneer in lobbying the general public to get on board with sports betting due to the hundreds of billions of dollars wagered illegally, disapproves of the fee.
AGA President and CEO, Geoff Freeman, said that it’s happy the NBA has come on board with legalising sports betting in America but eliminating the illegal market and protecting consumers “does not include transferring money from bettors to multi-billion dollar sports leagues.”
The AGA argues that it’s not viable since a Nevada sportsbook only makes 3.5 to 5 percent in revenue, and a one percent integrity fee on all money wagered by Americans would amount to 20-29 percent of total revenue.
It also believes that the taxed money would detract from the amount taxable by state governments, which “fund vital community services.”
Those in favour of legalising sports betting in WV argue it would deliver revenue to the state, suggesting those first to do so will benefit the most.
More than 20 states are reportedly preparing for the US Supreme Court to lift a federal ban on sports betting this year. The remaining states would join the likes of Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana with these states amending laws before the enactment of PASPA.
EACH week the team at BettingPlanet takes a look at the latest happenings around the world in terms of gambling legislation changes. From the legalisation of sports betting to a ban on payment methods, these are the issues which can take place worldwide, and we review each country’s news for any changes which may affect you as a punter.
This week, the Australian bookmaker industry is facing the pressure of regulatory changes, while America is gearing up for a record-breaking amount of wagers on the Super Bowl despite a sports betting ban. There are a few notable regulative changes around the rest of the world too, including in Argentina, Portugal, Philippines and Greece. Keep reading to find out more.
Australia bookmaker cans deal
An Australian gambling regulator is wrapping up its eight-month investigation into Tennis Australia, and whether the independent body is doing enough to prevent match-fixing. If the Victorian Commission of Gambling and Liquor Regulation find that former gaming minister, Tony Robinson’s complaints are correct, Tennis Australia will lose its right to claim cuts from bets made on Australian tennis, as well as sponsorship agreements. Robinson complained that a board member of the tennis body is also a director of Crown Resorts, which used to own online betting site, CrownBet, before announcing the sale of its stake earlier this year. He pointed to the sport’s code of conduct, which said those who are associated with tennis cannot accept wagers. A decision will be handed down soon, with insiders suggesting it will result in tightening security protocols.
CrownBet has officially announced it is dumping a deal with New South Wales clubs, penned at the beginning of 2017. The 10-year commercial agreement, which would have seen CrownBet cash-out machines rolled out in participating clubs in NSW, dissolved due to “ongoing regulatory uncertainty”, according to ClubsNSW chief executive, Anthony Ball. The partnership would have generated a commission for club owners for every punter who signed up via the CrownBet app. But with the ongoing regulatory changes, including a ban on sign up inducements and extending lines of credit, there’s a lot of pressure on Australian bookmakers. Ball revealed that the deal did not have clear regulatory direction, ending the lucrative partnership.
US to wager 97 percent of Super Bowl bets illegally
In the lead-up to the Super Bowl LII, the American Gaming Association has pointed out that US bettors will wager $USD4.76 billion on the match, with 97 percent done illegally. The AGA is awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court, with New Jersey seeking to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act 1992, enabling states to legalise sports betting. The independent gambling body argued that $150 billion is wagered illegally every year, and wants SCOTUS to rule in favour of NJ. At the same time, NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, has maintained the NFL’s stance when it comes to regulating sports betting, stating the integrity of the game needs protecting. The NBA has come around, however, stating it will support a PASPA repeal if one percent of every bet goes to sporting leagues.
After a world investigation into whether loot boxes in video games count as a form of gambling, Washington DC has joined the likes of the UK, Australia and Belgium in determining its status. Washington State Senator, Kevin Ranker (D), wants the Gambling Commission to review whether in-game purchases count as gambling and should be prohibited. Last year’s release of Star Wars Battlefront 2 put loot boxes in the public eye since players (many under the age of 18) can purchase them to improve their gameplay. The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) said they didn’t meet the definition of gambling, Belgian’s regulator said the opposite and state regulators in Australia split in their opinion.
A new task force has been set up in Nevada after an investigation by the Review-Journal revealed some US casinos have failed to update their emergency response plans. Several Las Vegas casinos have neglected to revise plans from as far back as 2008, prompting the Nevada Division of Emergency Management to create a team to ensure all response plans are updated. The investigation followed the October 1 massacre at the Route 91 festival at Mandalay Bay Hotel, where 58 people died with more than 500 people injured. There’s no evidence to suggest Mandalay’s Emergency Response Plan, which remained unreviewed since 2012, contributed to the tragic incident.
UK gambling regulator opens new regulations to public comment
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has opened the floor for interested parties to comment on new compliance protocols. The UK gaming regulator has updated its compliance terms for licensed gambling operators, including changes to marketing and advertising, unfair terms attached to bonuses, and complaints and disputes. Consumers, gambling businesses, stakeholders and the general public can have their say up until April 22, with changes proposed to reduce consumer harm and respond to the declining attitude towards gambling advertising in the country.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr Frank Atherton, based in Wales, is calling on the UK government to improve its gambling advertising restrictions while supporting a mandatory levy on operators, as suggested by think-tank ResPublica. He said after working for four years in Canada, he was shocked with the amount gambling had expanded in the country when he returned. He acknowledged the benefits, including licensed gambling generating revenue for the government, but noted the harmful impacts on the minority who cannot gamble responsibly. He added that the stigma around getting help needs to be removed so more people get treatment.
Meanwhile, Wales will see new laws in 2018, including the Wales Act 2017 reducing stakes on fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 to £10, similarly to plans in Britain to reduce the maximum stake to £2. However, the rules do not apply to premises which feature a dog or horse racing track too.
Argentina makes no money off gaming tax
A lot of governments around the world regulate gambling to generate revenue, but it appears it didn’t work in Argentina. In 2016, Argentinian voters approved a two percent federal tax on all bets placed online with credit and debit cards, effective as of January 1, 2017. While the government estimated making ARS1 billion a year, players have been depositing with alternative payment methods at offshore online gambling sites. Individual states, which have the power to regulate online gambling, have also been reluctant in agreeing with the federal tax, urging players to choose web wallets or other payment options. This has left the government’s plans in shambles and could cause a crackdown on offshore sites.
Portugal to join shared poker liquidity soon
While French poker players can currently verse the Spanish thanks to a shared liquidity agreement between France, Spain, Portugal and Italy, the Portuguese are patiently waiting to join the rooms. The President of ARJEL, Charles Coppolani, told local media that Portugal is close to joining in on the project, which will see Portuguese poker players able to verse French and Spanish players. Portugal’s gambling industry is still very young (established in 2015), and it took a year from when online gambling was legalised to the approval of licenses. While Italy has been reluctant to join due to regulatory issues, the country’s government confirmed it would still be entering the agreement earlier this week.
Greece slaps GVC with large tax bill
Greece has slapped GVC Holdings with a €186.77 million fine for one of its subsidiaries operating with a Greek license. The tax, which can still be appealed, reportedly comes from Sportingbet trading in 2010 and 2011, two years before GVC took over the brand. GVC, which is currently attempting to acquire Ladbrokes, may take the bill to court while paying monthly repayments of €7.8 million into an account, as agreed to by the Greek Audit Center for Large Enterprises. If GVC beats the Greek taxman, it will be able to retrieve the funds from the account.
Philippines remains strong on anti-gambling stance
The Philippines is continuing its fight against illegal gambling, warning government officials they will be prosecuted if found engaging in any form of wagering. This week, Philippine National Police Director General, Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, unveiled a sign which warns government employees they will be arrested if caught gambling. A ceremony took place at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Parañaque City as part of a national campaign requiring police to display appropriate signage to keep officials away from casinos and gambling venues. President Rodrigo Duterte has thrown his support behind the campaign, calling for a stricter implementation of the ban.
The 2018 Super Bowl will take place this weekend, with illegal sports betting at the forefront as America awaits the outcome of the Supreme Court sports betting case.
The Philadelphia Eagles will take on the New England Patriots on February 2, with Nevada sportsbooks expecting a record-breaking amount of wagers to be made, totalling more than $USD138.5 million.
But according to the American Gaming Association (AGA), that amount is just a small percentage of what will be wagered by the whole of America, with US bettors set to spend $4.76 billion on the NFL sports betting markets.
The AGA added offshore bookmakers would take 97 percent of the bets.
Under current law, Nevada is one of the four states where bookmakers can accept sports bets from residents. The rest of the US failed to change states laws before the enactment of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) 1992.
The state of New Jersey has been attempting to allow sports betting at its racetracks and casinos, not without several legal challenges mounted by the major sporting leagues.
Last year, the Supreme Court heard the arguments to overturn PASPA and allow individual states to legalise sports betting, with a decision set to be handed down before June 2018.
Unfortunately, it won’t be in time for the Super Bowl LII.
“Thanks to the failed federal ban on sports betting, Americans are sending billions of their hard-earned dollars to corner bookies, shady offshore operators, and other criminal enterprises,” AGA President Geoff Freeman said in a press release.
“The big question we’re asking: Is 2018 finally the year when governments, sporting bodies, and the gaming industry work together to put the illegal sports betting market out of business?”
While several sporting leagues have become more open to the idea of legalising sports betting, with the NBA supporting the legislative change provided one percent of every bet goes to the sporting industry, the NFL has maintained its stance against sportsbooks.
NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, recently expressed his concern about the ban being potentially lifted, given all signs are pointing to a favourable outcome.
Goodell spoke to ESPN Radio this week, stating that he is predominantly concerned with the potential threat to the integrity of pro football.
“You want to be certain that there are no outside influences on our game and that fans don’t even have any issue with that, they understand, whether there’s a perception or not, that there’s no influence in our game,” he said.
“And that’s something that we stand firmly behind on the integrity of our game.”
But the AGA says that sports betting will happen regardless, and it’s better to regulate to have the appropriate bodies in place to deal with external factors which could threaten the integrity of sports.
“As President-elect Donald Trump has acknowledged, illegal sports betting is a thriving industry,” Freeman said.
“The 24-year-old federal ban – which is breathing life into a $150 billion illegal sports betting market — threatens the integrity of games, presents fundamental questions about states’ sovereignty to define their own laws and combat crime within their borders, and prevents fans from engaging with the sports they enjoy in a safe, legal way.”
The AGA is urging the Supreme Court to consider NJ’s arguments, stating it will allow every US state to “address the serious problems associated with illegal sports betting.”
EVERY week we take a look at what has been happening around the world in relation to online and offline gambling. Whether it’s a new gambling bill or change in the industry, we have it covered. Keep up to date with the changes by coming back each week to find out what has been happening in your country and around the world.
If you think we may have missed an important story, send any information via email to [email protected], or leave a comment at the bottom of the page.
This week the US sports betting case has had a major setback due to the four major sports leagues supporting the ban. In Kenya, the fight to scrap the tax hike continues. Meanwhile, Japan is facing more delays due to the snap election. Keep reading to find out more.
Australian Crown Casino fights tampering allegations
There is a lot happening in Australia right now with the explosive allegations against the land-based casino Crown Resorts. An Australian MP has released a video of three former employees claiming the casino forced them to pull wires out of poker machines so the buttons wouldn’t work. There’s also claims that the casino used certain tricks to get around the AUSTRAC security checks initiated by individuals making transactions of $10,000 or more. The government is now calling for an inquiry into whether the claims are true, as well as whether the state regulator covered up the misconduct. Crown Casino has denied the allegations.
This week, the report on the Participation of Australians in Online Poker was released following a Senate Committee inquiry. The report looks at whether online poker should be regulated in Australia, after the Interactive Gambling Amendment Act 2016 forced online poker tournament and cash game operators to exit the market. The Committee recommends legalising online poker once the government implements the National Consumer Protection Framework and conducts research into problem gambling among poker players.
UK casino industry increases its transparency levels
The UK online casino industry is undergoing a transformation as operators are being forced to be more transparent when it comes to sign up offers and other inducements. Included in the reforms is the removal of predatory terms like “free spins”, which have wagering requirements attached, voiding the definition. You will now find UK-licensed online casinos are offering extra spins, which have wagering requirements attached, or fair spins, which are wager free.
Video game loot boxes have been in the media this week after a lawmaker pointed out their similarities to gambling. UK parliamentarian for the constituency of Cambridge, Daniel Zeichner, submitted two questions regarding the nature of loot boxes, yielding a response from Parliamentary Under-Secretary of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Tracey Crouch. While the response didn’t directly answer the question, Crouch said that the UK Gambling Commission is constantly reviewing the ever-changing world of video games and their potential to mirror gambling.
US sports betting case faces setback
The American Gaming Association thought it only had the country’s tribes to worry about when it comes to the legalised sports betting industry fight. But the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the four major sports leagues have argued that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) 1992 is constitutional. While many believed the NFL, MLB, NBA, and the NHL were coming around to the idea of legalising sports betting, it appears they’re still against a regulated industry. In the brief, prepared by attorney, Paul Clement, the major leagues question the New Jersey argument that the federal law is compelling individual states to comply and declare their support for the ban.
The online gambling bill in New Hampshire was thought to be buried, but it is expected to be dug up in time for the October 25 legislative session. While lawmakers tossed the bill aside in August, it appears it has made a comeback and if successful will add the phrase: “gambling done over an internet connection on a website on the internet”, into current legislation. Since it removes online gambling from the list of offences in the state, it in effect legalises online gambling in New Hampshire.
New Jersey has expanded its online gambling industry this week, after it announced it would be teaming up with Delaware and Nevada in a shared online poker pool deal. Once the regulatory approvals have been confirmed, players from each state will be able to verse each other for bigger prizes and more variety. All state regulators have to approve a poker operator’s application, which means PokerStars will likely lose out as it is banned under the bad actor clause in Nevada.
Kenya still fighting uniform tax hike
A Kenyan lottery operator is fighting the uniform tax hike set for the country’s gambling industry, despite being signed into law months ago. Local media outlets have reported that the Pambazuka National Lottery (PNL) is suing the National Assembly, Kenya’s Betting Control and Licensing Board, the Kenya Revenue Authority Commissioner-General and the Attorney General, on the grounds that the tax hike is unconstitutional. The government was originally considering a 50 percent uniform tax hike for all gambling operators, including Kenyan sports betting sites, before scrapping it due to backlash. The Kenyan president then introduced the 35 percent tax, which passed parliament.
Less gambling ads on Belgian TV
Belgians are set to see less gambling ads on their television and other media platforms with new reforms proposed by Justice Minister Koen Geens. The new reforms include a ban on gambling advertising during live sporting events broadcast before 8pm, as well as advertising screen banners. There will also be a blanket ban on advertising sports betting, and other gambling services, during youth programs, and 15 minutes before and after they air. The reforms have the full support of the Belgium Gambling Commission, which overseas the country’s gambling industry.
Macau ramps up security at casinos
Macau’s casino industry isn’t taking any chances when it comes to the security of its patrons. Macau authorities are reportedly ramping up security processes, including plans for crisis training and mock attacks. Authorities and casino operators will also work together to ensure appropriate measures are in place before police arrive, with six operators already agreeing to the new policies. The Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau has also revealed metal detectors will be installed at casino entrances. Director of Judiciary Police in the autonomous region, Chau Wai Kuong, said while Macau is a low-risk region, the Cotai District should remain cautious.
It has been reported that the opening of MGM Cotai has been pushed back several months, however, it is still set to open in 2018. The casino said the opening remained on track despite the devastating Typhoon Hato in August but it appears the timeline has since changed. The casino is set to cater to the mass market, instead of VIP gamblers only.
Japan election causes more casino delays
The snap election, initiated by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has been successful in delaying casino plans. Japan’s Wakayama prefecture was set to announced its “Master Plan” for an integrated resort soon, however it has been delayed until March due to the election. The region is determined on becoming a destination for an integrated resort, which will feature a casino, however it’s likely Tokyo, Osaka or Yokohama will be the destination to receive the first license. The casino licenses are also dependant on the Integrated Resorts Implementation Bill, which has also been delayed due to the election.
North Korea legalises horse racing wagering
It’s not often we report on North Korea and its gambling industry – or lack thereof – but this week the government introduced horse racing as a means to foreign currency . Originally, if you were caught gambling in the country you would be sentenced to three year’s hard labour, but North Koreans and foreigners can now have a punt on the races. The country reportedly held a number of staged races earlier this week at the Mirim Horse Riding Club, where people from the age of 12 and up could bet via “a raffle-type system”, according to local media outlets.
California’s Pechanga tribe aren’t sold on the benefits that a regulated American sports betting industry could bring.
In fact, the chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians, Marc Marcarro, has revealed that the projected benefits, discussed at the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) last week, have been oversold.
Marcarro spoke at the G2E, where the American Gaming Association (AGA) who is behind the push to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), also discussed the topic.
While AGA has previously reported that the illegal sports betting industry is worth more than $USD150 billion per year, Marcarro stated that the figure is derived from reports performed around 20 years ago.
“We’re all looking at the same limited amount of data, and there doesn’t seem to be a lot there,” he said.
“We need some new studies, we need some analytics, we need something quantifiable.”
Meanwhile, a recent report by Eilers and Krejcik Gaming found that a regulated sports betting industry could be worth more than $6 billion a year, with just over 30 states likely to amend legislation if PASPA is repealed. The report also found that if all 50 states legalised sports betting, it would be worth between $7 and almost $16 billion.
The report also found that the illegal betting industry is likely worth around $50 to $60 billion, a number significantly less than the AGA’s findings.
California is among several other states which have already amended legislation authorising sports betting, should the Supreme Court approve the repeal spearheaded by the state of New Jersey.
But the Pechangas have reportedly gotten in the way of the state attempting to legalise and regulate online poker since they believe one of the biggest online poker sites in the world, PokerStars, should be banned from any future markets. The tribe believes the company should be banned from operating in the state due to its “bad actor” status, which means it continued to accept Americans after the enactment of the Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
Marcarro said he wants more research done before tribes make a decision about whether to support any regulatory changes.
He added that his experience with the online poker regulation process has pushed him to question everything when it comes to a gambling expansion.
Marcarro also revealed that he doesn’t believe regulating the sports wagering industry would be beneficial to tribal casinos, which legally operate in America and act as a primary source of revenue for the tribes.
“There were wild estimates out there about the world of liquidity of these things, and by last year [online poker estimates] were down by 75 percent,” he said.
He added that he wouldn’t be surprised if the sports betting operators reported a similar decline in numbers after the initial regulation changes.
He addressed suggestions that sportsbooks attract people to American casinos, stating that the claim remains “anecdotal” and still needs to be proven by proper research.
Convincing American tribes to get on board has been the toughest feat thus far for the American Sports Betting Coalition (ASBC), which is an organisation created by the AGA that is responsible for fighting for the repeal to allow individual states to legalise sports betting.
The National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA), the independent regulatory body responsible for the country’s tribes, announced it would be supporting the ASBC a few months ago. However, the NIGA then released a statement clarifying that it had joined the group to learn more about the issue and provide a voice for American tribes.
WANT to know all the changes regarding online casino gambling and land-based gaming? Our weekly column covers a range of topics and reports all the latest news in a condensed article so you can get caught up quickly.
If you have a news story of your own, or any information you think could make a story, send an email to [email protected] or leave a comment at the bottom of the page.
This week, a brand new betting site, Neds, launched in Australia, offering incredible features. In the US, professional poker player Dan Bilzerian was caught up in the horrific shooting which took place at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Chinese officials have banned its citizens from visiting a brand new casino in South Korea due to the US-North Korea conflict. Keep reading to find out more:
Australia gets Neds.com.au – a new betting site
A brand new bookmaker launched in Australia this week, known as Neds. The online betting site features a good range of Australian horse racing markets, as well as International options and greyhound odds too. You will also find a variety of sports, with a strong focus on American sports betting including National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) markets – if you’re an international reader you may be able to sign up, so read the terms and conditions to find out.
The New South Wales state government is considering its own ban on Lottoland – the Gilbratar-based lottery site which has caused controversy since it was introduced. The online lottery betting site is licensed in the Northern Territory, but other states and territories are questioning its operations as it has caused a dip in government tax revenue.
Professional poker player caught up in Las Vegas massacre
On Monday, the world woke up to the horrifying scenes of a massacre in Las Vegas. A lone gunman, identified as Stephen Paddock, fired an automatic weapon into the crowds who were enjoying the Route 91 festival at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, killing 59 people and injuring more than 500. Professional poker player, Dan Bilzerian was among the festival crowd when Paddock started shooting and took to his Instagram to live stream the events. He was visibly puffed as he exclaimed that a woman got shot in front of him and he said he was going to get a gun to get the guy. Several more videos accompanied his first recount, which were later slammed by war hero, Dakota Meyer.
Despite the terrifying incident which resulted in a lock down of the Las Vegas strip, the Global Gaming Expo (G2E), along with other scheduled events, went ahead. Along with new product launches including a Magic Johnson slot, the American Gaming Association discussed legalising sports betting in the US. The AGA CEO, Geoff Freeman, said that it will no longer be playing defence when it comes to repealing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). Freeman announced the Strategic plan 2020 which includes an increase in lobbying efforts to allow individual states to legalise sports betting.
On the topic of US sports betting, a new report has revealed that it could be legalised in 32 states within five years if New Jersey wins its Supreme Court appeal against PASPA. The Eilers and Krejcik Gaming report found that a regulated industry would be worth more than $6 billion. It added that it could be worth between $7.1 billion and $15.8 billion if all 50 states legalise sports betting. While significant, it is a lot less than the $50 billion estimated by the AGA.
Japanese problem gambling rates exaggerated
A problem gambling study has exacerbated incidence rates in Japan, which could be detrimental to the casino industry. According to Ministry of Health researchers, over three million Japanese citizens have a gambling problem. But on closer inspection it appears the criteria used in the study has inflated this number. The study states that 3.6 percent of the 4685 respondents were suspected of having a gambling addiction at least once in their life. However, many of the people classified as addicts hadn’t gambled for years and only 0.8 percent of people indicated a real problem, which brings the numbers down to 700,000 Japanese with a problem.
Canadian casino opens to the public
The British Columbia government has launched an investigation into money laundering activities occurring in land-based casinos. However, former director of casino investigations at the BC Gaming Policy & Enforcement Branch, Ed Rampone, believes more needs to be done to stamp out criminal activity. Rampone told CBC, Canada’s politicians had not done enough to combat money laundering.
Casino resort Parq Vancouver in Canada has officially opened. The $CAD640 million gambling facility is spread out across 30,000 square feet and features 600 real money slots, 75 gaming tables, a dedicated poker room and 11 VIP rooms. The casino has been designed to let natural light in, a unique feature for a land-based gambling venue to have.
UK gambling industry faces reforms
The UK gambling industry is facing the threat of advertising restrictions, maximum stake reductions on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) and more due to the impending government triennial review. Multiple reports have been released on problem gambling rates and more recently a report on betting shop staff’s inability to pick up on problem gambling behaviour. Now even gambling companies are calling for new reforms, with The Rank Group CEO, Henry Birch calling for a review due to outdated legislation.
GambleAware has named one of the reports we mentioned above as a ‘wake up call’ for the UK gambling industry. The UK charity performed the report on staff being unable to identify problem gambling behaviour, and also found punters believe the current promotion of responsible gambling is vague. GambleAware highlighted that staff are not confident in talking to customers about responsible gambling and wants operators to do more to tackle this issue.
Peru regulator wants a gambling crackdown
Peru’s online gambling regulator, Casino Games and Slot Machines or de Juegos de Casino y Máquinas Tragamonedas (DGJCMT) wants the country’s lawmakers to restrict online gambling operations to companies which have a physical presence for tax purposes. A draft bill regulating online sports betting and casino gambling, which operate in a grey market in Peru, is reportedly in the works with input from the Financial Intelligence Unit. The regulator has reportedly said legislation has been in the works before, so it’s not clear if this is fake news.
Online gambling officially banned in Uruguay
Online gambling and poker tournament sites have been officially banned in Uruguay after President Tabaré Vázquez reportedly signed the country’s new gambling bill into law. Online roulette, blackjack and other casino games are ‘absolutely prohibited’ under the new legislation. Only state-owned La Banca de Quinielas can provide gambling services to Uruguayans, and only a selection of sports betting markets at that.
Chinese banned from South Korean casino
Beijing officials have banned Chinese citizens from a brand new multi-billion-dollar casino resort, expected to open completely by 2019. According to the South China Morning Post, the political tension between China and South Korea over the North Korea and US conflict is the reason behind the prohibition. The casino would have made a large amount of revenue from Chinese tourists, but due to the ban it will now have to rely on the local market.
Cricket associations silent over sports betting issue
Several cricket associations have reportedly chosen to remain silent in response to a letter from the Law Commission of India requesting their view on legalising sports betting. The letter was sent two months ago following a recommendation from the Justice R M Lodha Committee. While some cricket associations are reportedly planning on meeting to discuss the issue, only the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) has replied. The SCA expressed its concern over the proposal, stating it would have an adverse impact on society and ruin the integrity of the sport.
A new survey has revealed that 55 percent of Americans support a legalised sports betting industry, while 33 percent oppose it.
As the sports betting case heats up in the US, a Washington Post and the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Lowell survey has revealed that the majority of American respondents are supportive of sports betting in the country.
The survey reportedly marks the first time the majority of respondents have supported the idea of wagering on professional sporting events.
“A majority of Americans now favour sports betting, but this is especially true among respondents younger than 50,” co-director of the UMass Lowell Centre for Public Opinion, Professor Joshua Dyck, said.
“This suggests that support may actually continue to increase in years to come.
“I would not be surprised if we see a push to legalise sports betting in more states, especially in states with the ballot initiative.”
A similar poll conducted by American-research company, Gallup, in 1993 revealed that 56 percent of respondents were against sports betting, while 41 percent were for it following the inception of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).
The survey also revealed that sports betting continues irrespective of the legislation, with 26 percent of men and 15 percent of women recording that they have bet on a sports betting event, such as a basketball game or a football match, in the last five years.
Director of Media Relations at the American Gaming Association (AGA), Steve Doty, said that the survey “confirms what we’ve already known and that is the fact that a majority of Americans want to be able to legally wager on sports.”
“We’ve seen this with recent polling from GQR [Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research] and we’re seeing overall a growing demand for sports betting,” he added.
He urged the federal government to reconsider the “25-year old failing ban on sports betting” and give sports fans what they want, which according to Doty is a “legal, regulated environment to bet on sports.”
While the AGA estimates the illegal wagering industry to be worth $150 billion, another report estimates it to be worth about a third of that.
The new report from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming estimates that more than 30 states will legalise sports betting in some way by 2023 if PASPA is repealed.
The Eilers & Krejcik Gaming report also points out the benefits of regulating sports betting, including the ability to eliminate the current black market just by legalising land-based betting only.
The country has been debating the federal ban for years, but the US could finally see a change for sports gambling by 2018.
The New Jersey case has opened the floodgates for the industry, with the Supreme Court set to hear arguments for and against the PASPA repeal in the coming months.
The shift hasn’t only occurred among the general public but in professional leagues, such as the National Football League and the National Basketball League, which have both been against gambling since the introduction of PASPA.
“We’re in the process of talking to our owners and figuring out where we want to be in the event that there is, in fact, a significant change coming,” Major League Baseball Commissioner, Rob Manfred, said a few months ago.
EACH week we travel around the world to find out what is happening in terms of online and offline gambling news. From mergers to legislation changes, we cover important stories which could impact you and aim to update you in an easy and convenient manner.
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There’s plenty of changes happening this week with the American Gaming Association attempting to convince tribes to join the fight against the sports betting ban. In Japan, a regulatory framework for new casinos could be delayed due to a snap election. Meanwhile, the Philippines may see an Australian-backed casino reopen soon. Find out more below.
Australian gambling merger derailed
A merger between two of Australia’s biggest gambling companies has ben derailed after the Federal Court upheld an appeal by an Australian watchdog. Tabcorp and Tatts agreed to merge over a year ago but the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission noted several issues with the $11.3 billion agreement. While Tabcorp bypassed the standard regulatory approval process and went straight to the Australian Competition Tribunal, the ACCC launched an appeal following the approval of the deal. The case has now been sent back to the Tribunal for review.
The Australian state of Victoria is attempting to alleviate problem gambling issues with new reforms. Under the new legislation, gambling advertising will be banned in public places, such as billboards and public transport stations, while cash out limits at poker machine venues have been capped at $500.
American casino ripped off following hurricane
The New Jersey sports betting case is heating up in the US, with the American Gaming Association set to convince American tribes, which run land-based casinos in the US, to join the fight against the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act 1992 which bans sports betting in nearly all US states. An AGA representative will speak at a conference on Thursday alongside the National Indian American Association chairman, Ernie Stevens Jnr.
Florida is in the process of cleaning up, following the devastating Hurricane Irma. While the land-based gambling industry came out relatively unscathed, the Mardi Gras Casino had its gaming floor ripped out due to the Category 4 storm. While the casino is closed indefinitely, the nearby Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino in Hallandale Beach is allowing players to use Mardi Gras loyalty coupons to play the slots. While Mardi Gras casino has labelled the casino operator as an opportunist, Gulfstream said it is helping players out and would expect any casino to do the same.
Scientific Games has announced it is acquiring NYX Gaming in a move which could properly prepare the company for a legalised sports betting industry in the US. The Las Vegas-based company announced the $USD631 million deal, which will see the integration of NYX’s sportsbook among other products. Given the New Jersey sports betting case is set to be determined in early 2018, the company could be one of the first to supply sports betting services to the country.
Problem gambling rates are down in Germany
Germany is facing a huge hurdle in its efforts to legalise online gambling, with several of the 16 individual states hesitating when it comes to implementing the proposed Interstate Treaty. Saxony-Anhalt Finance Minister, André Schröder, warned that the treaty, which was introduced in 2012 to create a secure online gambling environment, requires all 16 individual states to adopt the legislation by January 1, 2018, or it will fail. The Minister is urging states to act quickly, with international gambling operators already looking to enter the German market.
A study in Germany has shown that problem gambling is declining in the country. The Drug and Addiction Report 2017, released on Monday, recorded a decline in the rate of problem gamblers. The survey questioned 11,500 respondents and found 0.42 percent were problem gamblers, while 0.37 percent were classed as severe pathological gamblers. These figures are significantly lower than the 0.69 percent and 0.82 percent figures recorded, respectively, in 2013.
Macau could face revenue decline
A Macau court has determined that information regarding junket operators and individual casino operators cannot be concealed from interested parties. The Macau’s Court of Second Instance overturned the decision of the city’s Administrative Court. While a list of junket operators in Macau is made public, who they are working with is not. An unnamed attorney sued the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) after the regulator refused to hand over the list of casinos which used junket operators, claiming the list was classified.
Macau is doing incredibly well in terms of gaming revenue and has even managed to bounce back after the typhoon last month. But Beijing is escalating its anti-corruption campaign yet again, which could have detrimental impacts on the gaming industry. The autonomous region has experienced revenue growth in recent months, following a hit due to China’s anti-gambling crackdown over the past two years. But the recent restrictions, including caps on ATM limits when using UnionPay, is set to cause a revenue decline, according to analysts.
Casino regulation could be delayed in Japan
All Japanese lawmakers have been talking about is casino regulation, but according to local media reports a snap election could derail the process until later next year. Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, is reportedly considering an October election to strengthen power in the Diet, but analysts have said the move will delay the Integrated Resorts Implementation Bill debates until 2018.
Meanwhile, Genting Singapore Plc has announced it has opened an office in Tokyo, Japan. The casino operator has previously expressed interest in investing in an Integrated Resort once the appropriate legislation has been implemented. Given reports of a snap election, the casino operator may have jumped the gun here.
Barbuda looks to gambling to save island
Hurricane Irma didn’t just impact Florida, it devastated several Caribbean islands including Barbuda. At the time of writing, all 1700 residents are living on the sister island of Antigua as the Category 5 storm damaged around 95 percent of the island’s structures. Now the country wants to re-regulate online gambling to help rebuild the country. Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the US, Ronald Sanders, said that when America cracked down on Internet gambling without consulting the island, it cost the two islands $21 million in revenue a year. If the US paid it back, the island could rebuild.
Philippines casino back on track after attack
Casino traffic has increased at Resorts World Manila, after a deadly attack which left 38 dead three months ago. A lone gunman stormed the casino in the Philippines and set fire to gaming tables, resulting in the deaths of 37 people. The man was then shot by police. The casino was shut down for almost a month and then reopened to the general public. According to local media, the casino is recording traffic of 26,000 people a day – 2000 less than before the attack but an improvement in recent months.
A Philippines casino which is owned by an Australian company is set to reopen soon, according to an Australian Security Exchange media announcement. The Casablanca Casino in Angeles City was shut down last year after Frontier Capital Management failed to pay requisite cash. The Philippines and Amusement Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) has given the company several chances to get the money so venue can reopen.