Czech Ministry of Finance Plans to Hike Taxes on Gambling

  • The Czech Ministry of Finance plans to rake up tax on certain gambling verticals
  • Lotteries, bingo, and live games will now be levied at 30% of GGR
  • Some fear that hiking taxes might bring back black markets

Amid booming gambling and poker industries in the Czech Republic, the country’s Ministry of Finance is now planning a tax hike.

Gambling Taxes to Go Up in the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic’s Ministry of Finances will introduce a comprehensive package of taxation that will affect several iGaming and gambling verticals, including lotteries, bingo, live games, and a few others less affected segments.

The country will introduce changes to specific gambling verticals, such as lotteries, moving taxation from 23% of their gross gaming revenue (GGR) to 30% of GGR. In comparison, the highest levied vertical remains gaming machines, which fetch a hefty 35% tax come what may. This comes at a time when the Czech Republic has started accepting foreign operators.

The affected segments will include bingo, lotteries, and live games. This will cut into the profitability of business, but the Ministry has argued that adding more to the public coffers takes precedence over private party enrichment.

The changes affect other industries that are historically linked, including tobacco and alcohol production. The ministry’s official statement read:

The proposed amendment to the gambling tax law divides the rate of gambling tax into three levels, according to the harmfulness of individual gambling in the same way as the government’s draft Gambling Tax Act of 2015.

The news was met with criticism from former Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek. According to Mr. Kalousek, the government was lumping terms together, not differentiating between gambling and addiction.

Another point Mr. Kalousek brought up was the fact that not all verticals should be taxed the same, particularly the less profitable ones. Taxing lotteries by 30%, Mr. Kalousek pointed out, would be unnecessary.

A Return to Black Market Times

With so many businesses potentially squeezed, some fear that the Czech Republic may start losing verticals that will then be offered by unregulated third-parties, hence boosting the black market. There have been some reports already that gambling isn’t as common.

Such concerns are not without merit, but at the same time they seem to be a little too stretched. Lawmakers and politicians have been quietly voicing a concern, but nothing too serious. Overall, the Czech Republic has been a very welcoming place for various gambling activities, including poker.

The market for the world’s most popular card game has been expanding significantly. In November 2018, Partypoker also joined the country’s only active poker operator, PokerStars.

The newly-arrived card room brand teamed up with the King’s Casino, a long-time partner of the brand and somewhat controversial because of his owner’s alleged refusal to honor wagers on account of “being too drunk”.

It wasn’t until 2017 that the Czech Republic introduced a regulated market with a number of respectable brands applying for a license, including Partypoker and William Hill. PokerStars was also among the first companies to hurry up and jump at the opportunity to expand into a new market.

Things have been moving along nicely since, but a new tax now threatens to upset some of the progress that has been made over the past few months.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

New UKGC Customer Identity Measures Arrive in May, 2019

  • Online casinos in the UK are adopting new verification measures
  • Young gamers to be protected as per the new regulations
  • The measures are coming into effect on May 7

The United Kingdom is finally pushing ahead with a new spate of verification measures designed to bolster customer protection.

The UK Gambling Commission Tightens Verifications Checks

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has approved a new set of measures designed to further enhance player protection in the United Kingdom. As a result, online casinos in England, Scotland and Wales will no longer be able to accept deposits until players have verified their identity. The UKGC has long stressed the importance of the process.

The new measures are coming into effect on May 7, as part of a broader sweep to improve the overall security across online casinos. Come May, casinos will have to run immediate checks and verify a player’s legal name, as well as address and date of birth before any deposits can be placed.

Similarly, anyone who wants to play at the free-play versions of the casino games will still have to confirm their identity in order to do so.

UK Casinos to Verify Identity in 72 Hours

Casinos will have to adapt quickly, with an influx of players looking to have their accounts verified immediately. This will add some strain on the KYC and Due Diligence teams hired by the casino to confirm the identity of individual players.

The move is welcomed by UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Jeremy Wright who is confident that the new measures will help protect younger gamers even further:

By extending strong age verification rules to free-to-play games we are creating a much safer online environment for children, helping to shut down a possible gateway to gambling-related harm.

To avoid confusion, operators will now have a serious task at their hands. They will need to act quickly and verify customers identities, but most importantly, they will have to stress the importance of users submitting documents.

The UK Gambling Commission Recommends New Measures

Many gamers are not in the habit of verifying their accounts until they have tried to deposit. This often causes confusion and negative feedback, but most importantly – it allows players to game unchecked for a long while.

With the latest measures, the UKGC is directly going to clamp down on irresponsible gambling. The UKGC also noted that the confusion that the verification process entailed had forced the commission to sort through a large number of complaints pertaining directly with this specific issue.

Helping Vulnerable Players Stay Safe

Not so long ago, the national exclusion scheme, GamStop, was proven a bit faulty by a BBC investigation. As a result, industry leaders and the regulator have stepped up their efforts to restrict players who exhibit addiction symptoms but are allowed to play.

Requesting a verification at the start would help casinos to quickly single out self-excluded players and stop them from playing or running into financial trouble.

Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur also expressed his confidence that the youngest gamers would be protected:

“These changes will protect children and the vulnerable from gambling-related harm, and reduce the risk of crime linked to gambling.”

With the UKGC continuing to step up its efforts on regulating the industry, the gambling market in the UK is changing significantly and many think it’s for the better, even if it’s a bit fiddlier.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Indiana’s SB 552 Clears the State’s Senate, Heads to the House

  • Senate Bill 552 clear Indiana’s Senate
  • House Speaker Brian Bosma skeptical of the bill
  • NCAA betting still debated

Indiana’s Senate has re-considered its stance on sports betting, pushing through a bill that can potentially lead to establishing a legal framework for sports betting on mainstream sports contests.

Senate Bill 552 and Indiana’s Sports Betting Future

Indiana is edging closer to a legalized sports betting industry with the Senate clearing SB 552, a document that would potentially establish a legal context in which wagers on sports contests can be placed.

By clearing the Senate with an overwhelming support of 38-11, the Senate will now have to rely on a vote in the House to see the bill sped along the legislative process. SB 552 has been vetted and approved by not only the Senate but also the Senate Public Policy Committee.

SB 552 is the brainchild of Senators Mark Messmer and Jon Ford who first introduced the bill in January, 2019. Speaking at the time of the vote on Tuesday, Sen. Messmer described the bill as a “once-in-a-generation-opportunity”.

House Blues for Indiana’s Sports Betting

Enjoy a strong support, SB 552 has definitely gathered much-needed momentum. However, the House could prove a challenging hurdle, particularly with Speaker Brian Bosma openly expressing his surprise at the news that the Senate had passed the bill.

Mr. Bosma described the bill as the “largest expansion” since 2007 and therefore something that must be examined carefully:

It’s difficult to find a place where a large expansion like that can pass. I’m surprised it had passed the Senate.

It’s indeed going to be an expansion and Mr. Bosma may be having second thoughts. Question is, is he going to oppose the bill to the point where he tilts the vote against it?

What’s Going to Happen to Indiana’s Sports Betting If SB 552 Passes?

The most debated side of the bill is the relocation of the two Gary casino licenses, which will be moving to Terre Haute. Similarly, Senators have said that the bill doesn’t constitute an expansion, because it simply re-positions the existing pawns on the board.

College sports betting is another issue that the state is rather against and the current language of the bill presupposes exclusion.

Indiana’s efforts to legalize sports betting, though, won’t end up with several relocations, as the state will seek to introduce mobile sports betting as well. In addition, various casinos, racing tracks and off-track betting facilities would be allowed to apply for a license.

No Love for Electronic Spots

Surprisingly, Indiana has it out for esports betting, or staking wagers on the outcome of video games. Indiana will also consider restricting individual sports wagers at the behest of users or at regulators discretion. This could help balance the landscape between businesses and customers.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

New Sports Betting Opportunities for Kansas Discussed

  • Kansans’ lawmakers continue to pursue the idea of legalizing sports betting
  • Mobile betting and the remit of the State Lottery discussed
  • Tax gains for the state not a pre-determined amount

Kansans will be going over proposed sports betting plans once again with Rep. Stephanie Clayton supporting the move.

Kansas Lawmakers to Look into Sports Betting Opportunities

Kansas has long been on pins and needles about adding sports betting to the state. After all, a lot of other states have pushed ahead with such a move already. Worst of all, Missouri is going to get its own sports betting rolled out before Kansas and that’s the sort of twist that makes the blood boil.

Virginia’s Sports Betting Bill Gets Senate Approval

Rep. Stephanie Clayton is quite determined to show Missouri that Kansas is just as capable of mastering its own sports betting plans:

I don’t like getting beaten by Missouri. It’s a Kansas trait. I think a lot of people share that.

There’s plenty of reasons for Kansas to want to be in the open when it comes to sports betting. First, the offshore industry is no small part of the daily expenditures of the state’s residents. Gambling is very much alive in Kansas, only the sportsbooks to sweep up all the cash are located offshore.

Kansas House Panel Meets to Discuss Sports Betting: What a Twister!

Kansas both loves and hates sports betting, but at least now a debate is on the way. The state’s House Panel met on Friday, February 8 to discuss the possibility of specific facilities being authorized to accept sports betting wagers, including:

  • Restaurants & bars
  • Dog racetracks
  • Lottery retailers

Quite a few topics were broached, which just only goes to show that lawmakers are very serious about pondering the question in its depth. For instance, some of the topics discussed included whether professional and college sports are entitled to a revenue from sportsbooks, i.e. the notorious royalty/integrity fees. Mobile betting was also examined.

A Matter of Chance – The Kansas Lottery

An interesting development though can be how any sports betting bill would co-exist with the Kansas State Lottery. The question of mobile apps came up with the attendees trying to determine whether each individual property should have its own app or if the entire network can be controlled by the state.

In fact, there were more unknowns that any concrete solutions with the Lottery question remaining open-ended.

Play Your Cards Well Now

Kansas is definitely not intent on taxing the industry too steeply. The rate is established at 6.75% and additional 0.25%that would go for royalty fees, as per a bill introduced earlier.

There’re no exact estimates as to how much the state stands to win from legalizing the industry, which is another reason for rather divided legal factions.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

The UK Gambling Commission Recommends New Measures

  • The UK Gambling Commission toughens identity measures and verification process
  • Measures intended at protecting children and vulnerable individuals
  • No free products available without registration & verification
  • Depositing funds will now require to verify a customer’s indentity

The UK Gambling Commission, the country’s regulator, has released a new set of rules and measures intended at better regulating the industry and protecting individuals from gambling harm.

The UK Gambling Commission’s Latest Security Measures

The UK Gambling Commission is the UK’s governing authority when it comes to iGaming, land-based gambling operations, sports betting, bingo parlours and poker cardrooms. The watchdog’s remit extends to issuing and enforcing regulations as well as investigating and issuing penalties to wrongdoers.

The Commission announced a new set of measures focusing on protecting consumers from various age groups by demanding from operators to identify individuals who register faster, ultimately for consumer’s best interest.

Making Gambling Safer for Everyone – Children Protected

In one of its latest surveys, the UK Gambling Commission revealed that the number of child gamblers quadrupled. The worrying trend has been reason enough for the country’s governing body to seek a way to bolster security measures when it comes to preventing underage gamblers from participating.

One such way, the UKGC believes, is by slashing the 72 hours grace period given to casinos to carry out verification checks confirming the identity of gamers. Up until now, customers were allowed to deposit funds and play, but not withdraw without proper verification. Here’s what UKGC Chief Executive Neil McArthur had to say:

These changes will protect children and the vulnerable from gambling-related harm, and reduce the risk of crime linked to gambling. They will also make gambling fairer by helping consumers collect their winnings without unnecessary delay.

Some industry leaders have applied the measure indiscriminately asking from players to verify their identity and address before they can proceed with gambling activity of any sort. Under the latest changes, the operators will have to conduct these mandatory checks before users can:

  • Deposit funds into an account
  • Gamble with the license with either their own money or a free bet or bonus

In other words, even the so-called free bets, free play and free spins are off limits for individuals who haven’t confirmed their identity. The Commission also requires all customers to be registered and confirm their identity before they can access even the free play version of any game.

Toughening Up on Identity and Criminal Activity

By introducing the new set of measures, the UKGC is hoping to effectively slash some of its own workload by creating very clear rules whereby operators and customers will be fully-informed what the depositing and withdrawing procedures are.

In the official press release, the UKGC wrote that 15% of all complaints regarding customers withdrawals were linked to operators requesting additional information from customers before they clear a transfer.

No such miscommunication will be possible once the new rules hit. The new measures will also help with keeping the national self-exclusion scheme, GamStop, in line. GamStop has been coming under additional scrutiny after BBC investigators confirmed that the system can be gamed rather easily, too.

Not least of all, operators must be readier to turn gamers from their betting shops, casinos and card rooms, after they’ve established that a person

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Slovakia President Vetoes Gambling Regulatory Bill

  • Slovakia’s President vetoes proposed regulatory gambling framework
  • Fears over transparency and integrity cited
  • Lawmakers need to look for a solution

Restrictive gambling laws in Slovakia may not soon the case, with new salvos of exchanges between lawmakers and President Andreja Kiska. President Kiska is now looking at a stiff opposition.

Slovakia’s Presidential Veto on Gambling Won’t Stick

Slovakia was one of the countries in 2018 to work towards a from-head-to-toe regulatory framework for its gambling industry. The government agreed to elaborate a framework that would allow everyone to benefit from the changes introduced therein, helping business, customers and the state’s coffer.

With a vote that passed on December 4, 2018, the proposed gambling regulation was sent to President Andreja Kiska for ratification. This is the first time since 2005 when Slovakia has decided to change its gambling laws.

The President refused to play his part, citing genuine concerns about the transparency and safety of the bill and the people it would affect.

President Kiska said that the bill failed to outline how it would protect customers and how the self-exclusion scheme would work. Funding to social causes was also muddled in the legalese, the President noted.

Lawmakers have designed the law to conform with active regulation in other European Union member states, including Romania, Denmark, and the recently-regulated Swedish market which became active on January 1, 2019. But the state will need to address this last hurdle before the market truly opens up.

Slovakia Is Close to Signing Gambling Act into Law

Based on the now vetoed bill, Slovakia will open up its market in July 1, when the first operators will be allowed to start developing their products. Application, though, would start as early as March with actual operations deferred by 2020 at the earliest.

The law is quite comprehensive, though, accounting for the location of gaming venues as well as the allowable number of games that can be found on the premises of such establishments. Casinos wouldn’t be able to operate within 200 meters of schools and hospitals as well.

All gambling machines and table games will have to be relocated to the venues allocated for the purpose.

A Few Final Touches

The rift between lawmakers and President Kiska doesn’t seem significant. By vetoing the bill, the President Kiska signals provisions that need and can be worked through. Funding from the industry is a fair remark.

In most states in the United States, any new bill seeks to outline how precisely any proceedings from gambling would be used to bolster the state’s coffers. Some states have even decided to use legalized poker and sports betting to support their pension funds.

A similar referendum was held in Switzerland in 2018, with Swiss voters deciding to adopt a series of measures safeguarding domestic companies contributing to the pension system of the country, bolstered largely by gambling proceedings.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Osaka Has Head Start in Japan’s IR Bidding

  • Three locations in Japan to bid for an Integrated Resort (IR) rights
  • Osaka Prefecture and the city of Osaka seem to have a head start
  • Dozens of companies undecided, Kyodo News reports

Despite the initial strong demand for hosting an Integrated Resort (IR) in Japan, only three local governments have expressed determined interest to host the future casino resort.

Japan’s Future Casino Resort is Down to Three Prefectures

After much deliberation in 2018, the Integrated Resort (IR) in Japan was finally approved by the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Admittedly, there was a lot of lobbying, though the support of the government seemed to be motivated by the future economic windfall for the country rather than anything else.

As soon as the news was announced, multiple prefectures started tentatively suggesting that they would be open to the idea of hosting the Integrated Resort (IR), which would in turn see three international brands open their casinos there.

After the Initial Excitement, Time for Some Impassionate Consideration

Now that the dust has settled and it has become clear that the IR wouldn’t be a reality until mid-2020s, the prefectures to openly express their determination to be part of the project have become fewer. Presently, only three entertain the idea of hosting the IR:

  • Osaka
  • Wakayama
  • Nagasaki

Overall, there are 47 prefectures and 20 major cities that are eligible for the development of the multi-billion project. According to Kyodo News Agency, after consideration, none other officials wanted to get involved with the IR project, citing public safety concerns.

It’s important to note that the Osaka Prefecture and the city of Osaka will bid together alongside the other two competitors. Nothing is carved in stone, though, as more companies are now entertaining the idea of developing the IR, although concerns abound.

Choosing a Partner and Building the Resort

As per the legislation that was adopted in 2018, in order for a prefecture to host the IR, it would need to choose a casino partner. Once they’ve chosen, lawmakers will have to submit their proposal to the national government for further evaluation.

Kyodo News also revealed other regions and cities that are reportedly considering to host an IR, including Nagoya (a city) along with Tokyo, Hokkaido, Chiba and Yokohama. Almost 20 other local governments have been cited as undecided on the matter.

Osaka has made the biggest progress so far with plans to start the application process by first identifying commercial partners that will help it successfully introduce the IR on its territory.

Meanwhile, casinos have not been twiddling their thumbs either. Hard Rock, a North American casino & hotel brand, has already revealed their model of a possible Integrated Resort (IR).

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Wynn Successful Sues Fund Manager over Owed Money

  • Wynn Macau successfully wins case for $4.3 million in Malaysia
  • The guilty party will have to pay out the owed money, plus interest
  • Meanwhile Wynn and Genting are getting closer to a court battle due to begin on January 29

Wynn Macau Ltd. has successfully concluded a court case against a fund manager who owed the company money. The guilty party had been paid in the form of a credit, which Wynn has now successfully recuperated in court.

Wynn Settles Legal Challenge in Malaysia

In a rare turn of events, Wynn Macau Ltd. managed to win a court case against an individual, identified as Paul Poh Yang Hong, who owed the company money in the form of a line of credit. Based on the active legislation in the country, gambling contracts are not legally binding, and this is precisely what made the case interesting.

However, Wynn specified that it wasn’t looking to collect gaming proceedings, but rather – honor a credit agreement, which proved to be the winning argument in court. The sum of the contract was substantial with the individual previously requesting HKD40 million credit from Wynn, which was granted.

Since then, the fund manager had still to honor HKD33 million in due payments, prompting Wynn Macau Ltd to launch a lawsuit in 2017. The news was also reported by Reuters, which fleshed out details of the case.

Judge S. Nantha Balan from the Kuala Lumpur court has ruled that Poh will have to pay the outstanding amount to Wynn Macau, plus interest.

The decision is not final as Poh can still appeal, although Wynn’s attorney Vincent Law believes that the case constituted an important victory for the gaming industry.

Malaysia and Wynn, Tied into a Legal Pickle

Interestingly enough Wynn’s U.S. subsidiary, Wynn Resorts Ltd. is tied up with Malaysia in another way. Last year, Wynn filed a complaint against Malaysia-based Genting Berhad over a property built at the northern end of the Las Vegas Strip.

Genting Denies Wynn Copyright Claims, Prepares for Court

According to the complaint, Genting was intentionally copying Wynn and Encore Towers’ design in a bid to syphon off customers from its own property. Genting has since dismissed the statement, issuing their official statement at the end of 2018.

Moving into 2019, none of the parties has seemed prepared to relent. Genting’s World Resorts Las Vegas is estimated at $4 billion, making a hiatus or cacellation of construction work not an option.

Meanwhile, Wynn continues to maintain that the claims made in its unlawful competition lawsuit dated December 21 very much apply. However, Genting has since said that the allegations were “baseless”.

Here’s what Genting SVP PR and Development Michael Levoff had to say, cited by Review Journal:

Genting (Resorts World’s parent company) remains confident that once all of the relevant facts are presented the company will defeat Wynn’s baseless claims.

The two parties are expected to meet in court in Nevada on January 29. In so many ways, Wynn continues to be legally bound to Malaysia, and not always in a good way.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Greyhound Racing Fund Gets £3m Extra from Bookmakers

  • Grehyound racing to get extra £3 million in voluntary funding in 2019
  • Minister of Sport Mims Davies assists funding
  • Better welfare options for retired dogs to be introduced

Greyhound racing received a substantial £3 million in extra funding, after bookmakers have agreed to invest more into the industry in a bid to revitalize it.

British Greyhounds Get Financial Help in 2019

Greyhound racing in the United Kingdom is about to get a very generous financial package to the tune of £3 million, following a newly-agreed partnership whereby sports bookies are shedding extra cash to prop up the industry. Given the popularity of the segment, that is good news indeed.

Based on the self-starter scheme, the British Greyhound Racing Fund (BGRF) will sit at the impressive £10 million in 2019.
Several flagship brands have agreed to throw extra financial help, including:

The expansion will focus on improving the entire industry across the board, including expenses for veterinary staff as well as expansion of the existing aid framework which is intended at injured race dogs.

Money will also go to the Greyhound Trust, which is an initiative helping retired dogs find a new home. Part of the funding will be allocated to improving the safety at the 21 racetracks in the United Kingdom that host greyhound races.

Additional improvements will be made to the kennels and trainers’ vehicles will be provided with air conditioning, the statement says.

Government and Bookmakers Work Together

The voluntary contributions have been made with the help of the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and in the presence of Gambling Minister Mims Davies. Before the latest £3-investment, there was a number of other bookmakers which offered to back the greyhound fund, including:

  • Ladbrokes Coral
  • Bet365
  • JenningsBet

Mims Davies expressed her appreciation of the progress that has been made in supporting the industry:

I am delighted to have reached an agreement with leading operators to ensure the welfare of our greyhounds is protected and improved through this fund.

The news was indeed well-met by all involved organizations. Expressing their appreciation further, members of the GBGB and the Managing Director, Mark Bird, spoke highly of the voluntary contributions:

“The Greyhound Board are extremely grateful for the conclusion of the mediation and the commitment of the major bookmakers to contribute additional funds from their on-line businesses.”

BGRF Chairman Joe Scanlon explained that the money that has been received by all major offline and online bookmakers will contribute to establishing better welfare options for racing dogs throughout the entire network. Mr. Scanlon used the opportunity to thank the Minister and her team for having agreed to assist the matter.

Having been approved and launched on January 1, 2019, the British Greyhound Racing Fund will enjoy £10 million in total funding.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

New York Will Try Again for Poker Legislation

New York may be looking at a future in which online poker is legalized. Having found a new backer for its cause, the state will now rely on Senator Joseph Addabbo to drive a stake through the heart of the opposition.

New York Takes a Step Closer to Legalized Online Poke

Senator Joseph Addabbo is the new face of hope for online poker in New York. The senator has introduced a new bill by the name of S.00018, a document outlining the future of the legalized industry. In the document, the senator has laid bare multiply provisions that address specific points:

  • Taxation & license application
  • Treatment of the so-called “bad actors” and their affiliates
  • Available licenses

One particular advantage of the S.00018 is that it cites the case of the United States v. DiCristina, which looks into violations of the Illegal Gambling Business Act (IGBA), clearing the defendant of any fault.

In other words, DiCristina’s case establishes the credibility of poker as a “game of skill”, which is exactly what Senate Bill 18 is stating. As a result, Senator Addabbo is going to save himself the trouble of arguing about the nature of the game.

The focus will remain on establishing the legal groundwork so that customers are protected, which is a topic that seems to be easier to garner support for.

Not Everyone Is a Winner

Even though the bill is good news, not everyone is likely to be a winner. The text of the bill specifies that parties that have been complicit with offering online poker services to New York citizens in the past may be classified as “bad actors“. The same applies to any party that has facilitated the activities of these so-called “bad actors”.

Put simply, a bad actor is a card room that has been offering services without proper licensing. The result could be a ban on these brands once (and if) licenses become available.

The Specifics of Online Poke in New York

The bill seems to have been well-written covering all potential questions that may arise from the idea of legalizing online poker. Apart from citing evidence that poker is indeed a game of skill, the bill gives the specifics of the industry itself:

  • Each individual license will cost $10 million
  • Only 11 licenses in total will be available
  • All operators will be taxed at 15% of their gross gaming revenue
  • The first two months of taxation will be included in the license fee

As outlined by the bill, the industry seems to be favourable to consumers and businesses both. However, Mr. Addabbo is facing a tough passage not in the Senate, but in the Assembly.

The Assembly has been the major pitfall sponsors have so far been unable to overcome. In 2018, Clyde Vanel and J. Gary Pretlow promised to back a bill, which foundered, because Mr. Pretlow decided not to seek the votes necessary for the bill to clear.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Wynn Wins Temporary Extension on Report Confidentiality

  • Steve Wynn’s report remains confidential for the time being
  • Ruling judge Elizabeth Gonzalez will announce further hearings on January 11
  • The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) will meet on January 10 to discuss the case

A Nevada’s judge has decided against the release of a report describing the misconduct of former Wynn CEO Steve Wynn.

Steve Wynn Wins in Court, Keeps Report Private

Steve Wynn, the defamed casino mogul, has won a court case against the Massachusetts gaming regulator and will prevent the information collated in a special report over his alleged sexual misconduct from leaking to the press, at least for the time being. Mr. Wynn’s case argued that it was “privileged information” and as such it was off limits for anyone but the court to see.

On Friday, Clark County District Court Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez in Nevada said that Mr. Wynn was entitled to discretion, ruling in his favor against the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC). The regulator had prepared a report looking into both Mr. Wynn and the company he used to chair.

Wynn Sues Genting Vegas for Copyright Infringement and More

The report focused on establishing how much Wynn executives knew about Mr. Wynn’s sexual harassment practices. The report also affected the company’s chances of procuring a license to operate an ambitious new project. The Encore Boston Harbor is worth $2.5 billion and it’s going live in June, that is if the MGC clears it for opening. This is in fact one of the key reason why Steve Wynn stepped down from his position.

Back to the report itself, Steve Wynn has repeatedly said that the information in the report must be kept private as per the attorney-client confidence agreement. The information contained in the document could also potentially leave Mr. Wynn vulnerable to unrelated lawsuits.

A Favorable Ruling – For Now

Upon examining the report, Ms. Gonzalez said that she would extend the ban on revealing the information of the report, leaving the defense and prosecutors to carry on with additional filings by January 25. Meanwhile, Ms. Gonzalez is expected to speak on January 11 and announce how the case will proceed in future.

At the same time, the MGC will also have a meeting on January 10 during which it will consider again the Wynn license. One of the dangers for the company is that the MGC may decided to revoke the company’s gaming license, costing it billions and inflicting a heavy blow to it.

Of course, such a decision will trigger multiple lawsuits which the state and MGC must be prepared to handle at the same time. However, if it turns out that Wynn executives knew about the ongoing harassment by Mr. Wynn, then it would seem like the watchdog would have a very serious reason not to OK a gambling license.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Caesars and Oneida Indian Nation Partner in New York

  • Caesars and Oneida Indian Nation team up for sports betting in New York
  • New York held a referendum on betting in 2013
  • Senator Joe Addabbo is the man to watch for in 2019

Caesars Entertainment has tied up a successful partnership with Oneida Indian Nation, a tribal operator. This is an important stepping stone for the future development of the sports betting industry, paving the way for co-existence between competitive casino brands and native operators.

Caesars Entertainment and Oneida Indian Nation Develop Sports Betting

Renowned casino operator Caesars Entertainment and Oneida Indian Nation will be working together to introduce sports betting in three casinos across New York. In anticipation of the move, the pair is hoping that the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) and lawmakers will vote in favor of legislation that will bring sports betting to the region. If all goes according to plan, Caesars will be present at three properties, including:

  • Turning Stone Resort Casino
  • Yellow Brick Road Casino
  • Point Place Casino

All casinos are located close to Syracuse, which is one of the most populous cities in the state, allowing themselves a quick access to potentially huge crowds of gamers eager to place legal wagers. Regulation in New York is still being discussed, but the partnership is a clear indication that top brands have enough reasons to believe in the favorable development of the situation.

We are eagerly awaiting the NIGC’s review of this innovative new partnership involving a licensing and branding arrangement – Christian Stuart, Caesars’ VP of Gaming

Christian Stuart has embraced the idea of rolling out the casino’s operations in New York and at the designated locations, predicting a strong growth and expansion of the market in the state.

New York’s attempts to pass a working sports betting bill have been bolstered by Senator John Bonacic who nevertheless failed to see the legislation through. Mr. Bonacic is now also no longer a senator, leaving Senator Joe Addabbo in his stead.

We are eagerly awaiting the National Indian Gaming Commission’s review of this innovative new partnership involving a licensing and branding arrangement. – Stuart

As head of the Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering, Mr. Addabbo, has also said that he would seek to continue the efforts for the legalization of the sports betting industry in the state. Several commercial casinos have partnered with various iGaming operators who also offer sports betting in anticipation of the potential legalization.

DOJ Could Consider Flip-Flopping on Its 2011 Decision

In 2019, lawmakers will have to come together and make a decision about the future of the state’s betting industry. Despite the strong commitment from operators and companies, and even legislators, there’s still a lot to be desired. New York’s sports bills have been shot one after another, leaving the state in limbo.

However, the state does have four commercial properties that have been offering sports betting since around 2013 when the state’s residents voted during a referendum to legalize the industry. A lot of work needs to be done to see the full-scale launch of sports betting, but all of this is possible in the months to come.

The man at the helm, Mr. Addabbo, is now responsible for spearheading the activity.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

MLB Inks US, Japan Gambling Deal With MGM

MGM Resorts International has recently entered into a new partnership and endorsement of the Major League Baseball, a move that is expected to significantly improve its sportsbook game. The partnership deal between the two will encompass gambling rights between in both the United States and Japan and will see MGM Resorts International become the official sponsor of the NBA, the MLB, and WNBA as well as the NHL. With all these partnerships, MGM Resorts International now boasts of official sponsorships of three out of the five major sports leagues in the US. As it stands, the only pro sports league that has been left out is the National Football League but even they have given their individual teams the liberty to choose to get sponsorships.

However, of all the professional sports leagues in the United States, the Major League Baseball has been the most vocal when it comes to the issues of sports betting challenging the integrity of sporting activities. This is very understandable considering the fact the MLB has been the scene of two of the biggest gambling scandals in US history – they naturally have to be wary. As such, when inking the sponsorship with MGM, the league was very open about its plans to ensure the integrity of the sports, something that they hope to achieve by asking MGM to include additional integrity management measures into the sponsorship deal.

What the Deal Entails

As per the terms of the agreement, MGM Resorts International will be allowed to promote itself with the MLB network and the MLB teams. In addition to that, the gambling operator will also be allowed to set up shops at stadiums as well as MGM properties which promote baseball and demonstrate baseball technique. To facilitate most of these plans, the company has plans of launching small pop-up sites that will be offering pitching techniques, batting practice, baserunning practice as well as practice with other important fundamentals of the game.

MGM Resorts will also be running its commercials on the MLB network and the MLB’s At Batt app while branding itself as the MLB’s authorized gaming company. The gaming company will also be highly represented at major events in the league’s events including the All-Star Game and playoffs – this will also be the same for such events as the League of Championships, the Division Series, and the World Series.

One thing that is hard to dismiss is the fact that the new deal with the MLB effectively gives MGM Resorts International a near monopoly on league sponsorships in the United States. In fact, the company has reportedly been in talks with some NFL teams and we should, therefore, expect news of newer partnerships or sponsorships in the near future.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Gambling Addiction Clinic To Open in Northern England

Gambling addiction or problem gambling has been one of the most significant emerging issues in as far as gambling is concerned. With more and more gambling facilities and platforms being introduced and becoming even more accessible, regulators and various authorities have begun to look deeper into the issue of problem gambling which means that there is still hope for people with the problem. One of the most recent developments in this regard is the decision by the United Kingdom’s National Health Service to open a clinic that will be treating people who have gambling addictions in the north of England making it the very first clinic of its kind outside London.

This new clinic is set to be opened in before the summer of 2019 and was made possible by a $1.5 million grant from a charity which happens to be funded by GambleAware. This is particularly great for people outside London since, as it stands, gambling addicts must travel to south London to get treatment. The problem gambling clinic will be called the NHS Northern Gambling Clinic and it will be run with a partnership of the GamCare network and the NHS Foundation.

Among the services that the clinic will be providing will be mental health counseling as well as social services for the gambling addicts – researches have found that people with gambling disorders need help with a number of different problems including debt, bankruptcy, crime, drug use, suicide, and even job loss. In essence, the goal of the clinic is to not only help the gambling addicts break their addiction but also give them the necessary psychological treatment and counseling so that they are able to get back on their feet financially. All these will be complemented with group therapy sessions which will help the patients to open up about some of the issues that they face.

United Kingdom’s Gambling Statistics

Gamblers in the United Kingdom have so many options and a number of critics have pointed out that the availability of gambling products is part of the problem. Gamblers area able to wager online or at land-based facilities for almost all of their favorite sporting activities. The same goes for online casino and online poker games.

Research shows that almost two million in the United Kingdom are problem gamblers and nearly 400,00 of them are said to be gambling addicts. However, the government has been allegedly ignoring the issue of problem gambling because of the money that gambling brings into the coffers of the country. However, there have some moves by the British government to regulate the gambling industry further in the hopes that they would be able to deal with the issue.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

DOJ Could Consider Flip-Flopping on Its 2011 Decision

The Department of Justice (DOJ) could cancel a former decision it made back in 2011, regarding the remit of the Wire Act of 1961. According to the then Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), the Wire Act applied only to sports betting. However, this may not be the case if reports turn out to be true, with the OLC making a complete about-face on their former decision.

The Significance of 2011’s DOJ Wire Act Decision

Petitioned in 2009 by the states of Illinois and New York, the Department of Justice (DOJ) spent 3 years mulling the nature of the Wire Act of 1961, which the plaintiffs said, affected only sports betting. Three years after the states had filed their petition, the DOJ’s Office of Legal Council (OLC) reached a final decision in December, 2011.

The Wire Act, OLC’s opinion stated, doesn’t apply to other form of online gambling, including, but not limited to:

  • Poker
  • Card rooms
  • Lotteries

From the standpoint of Illinois and New York, that was the decision that the pair had hoped for, starting to develop their lotteries both in land-based venues, but also expanding online and across states.

Poker also benefited, albeit timidly. From 2011 through 2013, different legislations passed, making the game legal in several states, most notably:

  • New Jersey
  • Nevada
  • Delaware

These states were the pioneers of legalized poker. And it may all be coming to an end now, as reports have surfaced that The DOJ’s 2011 decision could be cancelled.

The Wire Act interpretation has been called “bizarre” by Senator Lindsey Graham, a close friend to casino mogul, Sheldon Adelson, who has been a sworn opponent of the online industry, seeing it as a strong competitor to his own casino business.

What Does a Cancellation of the OLC’s Opinion Mean for Online Poker?

There are certainly sufficient reasons for concern when it comes to pivotal changes in legislation. In the short term, there is little evidence to suggest that the industry will be disrupted. State laws in Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania are iron-clad and they would hardly suffer interference from the federal government.

Orrin Hatch and Chuck Schumer Deliver the Integrity Act

Lotteries are in immediate danger, experts opine, as they are based on systems that are intertwined and inherently dependent on one another. Should the state consider canceling the endorsement of online gambling products, the grid may start going off in individual states, sending ripples across the entire network.

Another danger is that if the legalization of online poker is targeted, along with that of online casinos, then the offshore industry will again re-double its efforts in pursuit of more ground from the United States, which is bad for customer protection.

Will the Opinion Pass?

While respected sources have confirmed that an opinion has bene drafted and prepared, there’s no evidence yet to suggest that it will be delivered before Christmas or at all. While the legislation would certainly be disruptive, its short-term implications are not entirely clear.

One thing is for certain, though. With the offense on sports betting from senators Hatch and Schumer, and the now reportedly renewed efforts to curb the expansion of the online gambling industry, the challenges ahead businesses are substantial.

No short-term implications may indeed follow, but investors, card rooms and iGaming companies will have to tread carefully.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

MRG and Bethard Ready to Grow in Swedish Market

A total of 21 companies have obtained a Swedish license in anticipation of the full regulation of the iGaming industry. Swedish brands MRG and Bethard have become the latest companies to procure the desired benchmark and join the fraternity of companies ready to launch their operations as early as January 1, 2019.

MRG and Bethard Obtain iGaming Licenses

The Swedish iGaming company MRG has just procured licenses to kickstart online casinos in its home country, with Mr. Green and Evoke Gaming rolling-out the full offer, acting as subsidiaries for the company.

As a result, a number of websites will become operational as early as January, including Mr. Green, Redbet, Vinnarum, Bertil and MamaMiaBingo, with the company clearly diversifying its efforts as early on as it can.

In the official press release, MRG CEO Per Norman expressed his satisfaction with the recent developments, noting that his company was looking forward to provide Swedish gamers with a product that is truly superior.

We are especially happy about the strong emphasis on responsible gaming in the Swedish regulation since Green Gaming has been part of our strategy since the start of the company 10 years ago. – MRG CEO Per Norman

MRG also operates in 13 separate markets, offering highly-polished iGaming products through its subsidiaries. Bethard alone, owns 16 flagship brands and licensed websites, considerably boosting the positions of the company in the sector.

In their own official statement, Bethard cited the company’s founder and executive Erik Skarp who also welcomed the newly-presented opportunity, cheering at the prospect of bringing the company’s products to Sweden.

Sweden is, for many reasons, a very dear market to us and I am personally looking forward to show what we can do in terms of responsible gaming on our home market. Bethard founder Erik Skarp

According to Mr. Skarp, the goal of Bethard is to “be a truly responsible gaming company” and to consolidate its footprint across new and existing markets. With the latest additions of casinos, Sweden now faces 21 licensed companies awaiting to enter the market at the turn of the year.

More Operators Arrive in Sweden

While the MRG’s licensing deals are important, they are far from the only companies to break into the Swedish market. Svenska Spel will be re-emerging in the freshly-regulated market on January 1, hoping to get a head-start on the many other that will follow.

Meanwhile, Bethard has reaffirmed its intentions to stay vigilant of new marketing prospects, including in Germany, where the company has been gaining ground.

Bethard is also planning a move on the Irish market, although the company openly suggests that the newly-proposed Irish tax is a reason for concern. However, the Irish government is likely to go back on the proposed sports betting tax hike, which would boost the amount collected to 2%.

Sweden will have a lot of hard work to do, with the country guaranteeing the safety of consumers and keeping nefarious third-parties at bay. The country’s re-branded Lotteriinspektionen regulator will take care of enacting all new measures.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Slovakia Is Close to Signing Gambling Act into Law

Slovakia is edging closer to becoming the next open market for iGaming products in the European Union (EU), following similar moves from Sweden and Poland. While lawmakers have been dragging their feet on the issue, a number of proponents of legalized gambling have been throwing their full support behind a legal framework.

Slovakia to Become a Free iGaming Country

A while back, the Slovakian Ministry of Finance drafted a piece of legislation referred to as the Gambling Act. Following months of debate, the bill has finally cleared parliament, garnering the support it needed all along.

In July, 2018, the bill was submitted to the European Commission, which regulates and approves gambling laws on the territory of the EU. Following a three-month standstill period, the bill now only awaits President Andrej Kiska’s signature to become a law.

The Gambling Act is an important turning point in the history of Slovakian iGaming, transforming the industry from a no man’s land into a regulated market where consumer protection is the guiding principle. Similar changes have been recently passed in other Member States, including Romania and the Czech Republic along with Denmark, which has been posting ever stronger results after the collapse of the Danske Spil monopoly.

On the Road to Regulation and Licensing

The bill will grant iGaming companies in the country a grace period until March 1, 2019 during which all interested businesses will have to obtain their online casino licenses. The first casinos will officially launch on July 1, 2019.

Now that the market is finally opening up, the bill will also reform sports betting and offer fixed-odds betting licenses, allowing companies to apply for a permit starting on July 1, although any business that wants to offer these segments will have to wait until July, 2020 before they can roll out their products.

As most new markets, Slovakia is not hesitant about taxing any operator lightly. A 23% gross revenue tax has been voted for all online casinos, including fixed-odds sports betting and peer-to-peer online games, such as most skill-based titles.

The bulk of the proceedings will be used to create a new regulator, which will be able to oversee the industry and make sure that no consumer protection laws are being violated. While this is good news, Slovakia will most likely go the same path that Denmark and others have walked at first.

In Denmark, Danske Spil used to hold onto most operations for a long while after the country had legalized sports. This monopoly is finally starting to crack year in and year out, but Danske Spil remains a favored son nevertheless.

Slovakia will also support its state-owned gaming operator, TIPOS, while competition is intensifying. If other markets are any indication, however, TIPOS is likely to soon start losing positions to far more competitive and accommodating products brought around by the vibrant competition that the newly-regulated market intends to create.

The legislation also specifies that gambling venues will have to be shut down at least 12 days a year, which is another precautionary measure against gambling addiction. Slovakia has much to figure out and a reliable law is the right way to go about it.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Offshore Gambling in Australia To Drop Significantly

The online gambling market in Australia has undergone some significant changes over the course of the past few years, as lawmakers aim to cut down on offshore gambling. Now, it has been reported that offshore gambling activity is expected to drop by over half in the coming year.

Online Gambling Reform

In 2017, Australia authorities enforced reforms that gave the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) more power to take action against unlicensed online casino operators. This meant that offshore gambling sites would face maximum penalties of $8 million per day if they continue to offer services to Australian players.

“Over the past year, we’ve moved decisively to disrupt the provision of illegal offshore gambling to Australians,” says Nerida O’Loughlin, Chair of ACMA. “If you provide prohibited or unlicensed gambling services to customers in Australia, you are breaching Australian law and we will take enforcement action.”

Since then, the ACMA has investigated nearly 140 websites. It was found that 58 weren’t offering their services to Australians after all, but the figure increased to 83 after the reform was introduced. As such, ACMA’s compliance action is certainly working in helping Australian authorities do away with unlicensed online gambling.

As a result of the reforms, ACMA anticipates that online gambling activity will drop by 50 over the course of the next year. In 2017, $450 million was spent at offshore casino websites, and it is expected that the number will drop to $200 million by the end of this year.

The reform has been an effective method of culling unlicensed gambling operators. It is quite an interesting stance, considering most countries are moving towards online gambling regulation while Australia is trying to get further and further away from it.

Australia’s Gambling Problem

For years, the Australian government has been working hard to reduce problem gambling rates across the country. In 2016, it was found that Australians lost more money to gambling than in any other developed country. Australians lost $990 per person – much more than players in Singapore, the runner-up, who lost $650 per person.

It seems that authorities in the country are targeting offshore gambling because it provides players with yet another outlet for spending money on casino games and sports betting. As such, Australian lawmakers refuse to license online casino websites and want to stop any online operators from doing so.

There’s no telling if these reforms to stop offshore gambling will actually reduce problem gambling rates in Australia. However, it is still an effective campaign that has reduced the number of offshore casino sites in the country. Only time will tell if this will be a good thing for Australians, stopping problem gambling from becoming an even bigger problem.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

IGT and NetEnt to Provide Online Casino Games in PA

Things are developing very quickly in Pennsylvania’s online gambling market. The state has only just started awarding licenses to local casinos, who are already teaming up with some of the biggest names in online gaming. This week, Penn National Gaming has signed deals with two leading online games providers, which are sure to put its new digital casino ahead of the competition when it goes live in a few months.

NetEnt Working with Penn National Gaming

Penn National Gaming was one of the first casinos to receive a license to operate online gambling activities in Pennsylvania, and things are off to a great start. This week, the company has signed a deal with NetEnt, one of the leading online casino games providers in Europe, to provide games at HollywoodCasino.com.  

It certainly goes to show that NetEnt’s hard work always pays off. Back in September, the games developer applied for a supplier license in Pennsylvania. The company had the foresight to anticipate that local PA casinos would be eager to partner with experienced online games providers, and made the right decision to file an application.

It was a wise move for NetEnt to throw its hat in the ring early. Even though NetEnt and the other online games developers that are now working with Pennsylvania casinos are already licensed in gaming hubs like Malta and Isle of Man, they have to go through the same process in every state where they hope to offer casino games. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will have to vet these companies to ensure that they are reputable games providers and will be able to provide safe gaming experiences to players across the state.

IGT Enters the Pennsylvania Online Casino Market

The next international games developer to enter the Pennsylvania online casino market is IGT. This week, the company also signed a deal with Penn National Gaming to provide games on HollywoodCasino.com.

The great thing about this partnership is that it will provide fans of land-based casino games with access to their favourite titles online. IGT is known for manufacturing some of the most popular brick-and-mortar slots games like Cleopatra, Wheel of Fortune and Siberian Storm, and players will be thrilled that they can now play these games without having to leave home.

While NetEnt is very popular in the European online gambling market, the company’s games won’t be well-known yet among Pennsylvania players. As such, Penn National Gaming has made a very smart move by getting two developers on board who are from two different backgrounds. Surely, while players are first drawn in to Hollywood Casino by the games they already know and love, they will want to stay to experience the new and innovative titles from NetEnt’s online gaming collection.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.

Sportsbetting Continues American Expansion

When it comes to sportsbetting expansion across America, things are moving quickly along. We’re seeing more and more states considering the option of legalizing sportsbetting, with Illinois and DC holding hearings on the topic – while a casino in New Mexico has just gone ahead and started taking wagers.

Gambling Hearings in Illinois and DC

At the House of Representatives in Illinois, lawmakers held a hearing on a potential gambling expansion which would include sportsbetting, online casino games and daily fantasy sports. Local casino operator expressed their support of expanding the gambling market within the state while representatives from sports leagues suggested that they should receive a portion of all wagers.

Some stakeholders expressed concerns that they would lose out on revenue due to increased competition. However, states like New Jersey and Delaware that have introduced online gambling have only seen revenue increase across the board, particularly in land-based gaming venues. This has resulted in more money being in paid in taxes and more jobs being created – both of which are huge benefits to the economy.

In the end, it seemed as though nothing will be done anytime soon. Even though the state Senate approved a bill in 2017, lawmakers haven’t done very much to move things forward. Now, even after this hearing, the fate of online gambling in Illinois is still unknown.

In DC, lawmakers came together to discuss amending the state’s gambling laws to include sportsbetting as a legalized activity. Things were certainly more positive here, as the Council has agreed to ensure that the law is approved before the end of the year. The only issue is deciding whether sportsbetting activities will be run by the DC Lottery or several different licensees.

New Mexico is Already Accepting Wagers

While some states are still humming and hawing over whether or not they should allow sportsbetting among their residents, New Mexico has simply powered on ahead. The Pueblo of Santa Ana tribe has started accepting wagers at the Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel.

The venue has not mentioned any plans of launching online betting operations or allowing off-site wagers. Currently, punters can place their bets using four windows and two automated kiosks at the Santa Ana Star. There is one specific restriction, and that is the prohibition of betting on college teams.

This is an interesting one, as the move has been made without official state approval. Instead, the tribe has insisted that sportsbetting is included in the tribal-state gaming compact as a Class III gaming activity. So, any venues that want to launch sports betting in New Mexico will likely have to be tribal casinos and take a similar route. Other gaming companies will have to wait until the state’s lawmakers approve betting across New Mexico.

Grant Mahon

Grant is the self-professed casino madman and reporter that brought this eclectic team of dedicated and talented writers together from around the world to proudly build an humble empire of authentic casino news.