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.

West Virginia Almost Done with Online Gambling & Poker Bill

  • WV clears H 2934
  • Governor signature needed
  • The state’s Lottery to regulate online gambling

West Virginia is getting exceptionally close to signing online gambling into law. All that is needed is the signature of the state’s governor, following a successful passage through all levels of legislature.

West Virginia Can Soon Have Online Gambling

All scaremongering about the Wire Act and the Department of Justice’s high-handedness aside, West Virginia has been pushing towards full legalization of its online gambling industry. On February 12, Delegate Jason Barrett introduced House Bill 2934, which was expedited through the various stop-checks of the legal process in WV.

Minor patches were applied, but no large defiance came. The final approval was secured on March 9 when 78 delegates threw their unanimous support behind the bill with 18 people against and four choosing not to take sides.

WV’s H 2934 has been the quickest legislation to transition from a concept to proposition to now being what is one-signature away from becoming a law. Should the governor ratify the document, WV will be joining four states where online gambling is legally allowed, including Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

What Does WV Legal Gambling Bill Say?

The West Virginia Lottery Interactive Wagering Ac allows companies interested in providing online gambling services to do so for a period of five year because re-application/renewal is needed. The license comes at a cheap cost of $250,000 and tax rate of 15% of GGR.

Existing land-based casinos in the state can now – on condition the governor approves the bill – start building their online brands that will be affiliated or borrow the name directly. This includes the following properties:

  • Hollywood Casino
  • Mountaineer Racetrack and Casino
  • Delaware North’s Nitro and Wheeling
  • Justice Greenbrier Resort

All activities will be regulated by the Lottery with the state about to figure out a way to address how to leverage funding coming from the gambling industry to use on public causes. Another issue that remains to be addressed is exercising control over gambling addiction and trying to narrow down its potential impact.

WV is a fairly unpopulated state for the needs of expanding the online gambling industry at a larger scale across the United States. However, the state is also among the first to try and push ahead with legalization of its segment and hopefully fetch extra customers from across the state border, while Kentucky, especially Ohio, and Indiana are still dithering over a decision. Connecticut is also spearheading its own expansion.

WV’s success can serve as inspiration to other states that are debating whether to push ahead with kickstarting their own industries. It’s worth noting that WV had solid political backing and not the history of divide common in other places that have tried to legalize online gambling.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

Connecticut Pushing Ahead with Sports Betting Legislation

  • Joe Verrengia puts forth a new online sports bill
  • HB 7331 seeks to create a compact with tribes
  • Operators need to pay $100,000 non-refundable fee
  • Licenses issued for a two-year period

Connecticut is back in the center of events with a new sports betting proposal fired up for the state’s lawmakers to consider. Sponsored by the chairman of the Connecticut House Public Safety and Security Committee, Joe Verrengia, the new bill will seek to introduce wagering on both land-based and online betting activities.

Connecticut Takes a Shot at New Online Sports Betting Opportunities

Joe Verrengia, chairman of the Connecticut House Public Safety and Security Committee, has introduced a new bill, HB 7331, which will effectively seek to introduce sports betting to both land-based operators and licensed online businesses.

Control will be enforced by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. Mr. Verrengia has outlined very mild entry costs for any business that wants to start operations in Connecticut. Every operator will need to pay an initial non-refundable fee of $100,000 to start the process.

Shortly after the initial payment, a $500,000 two-year license would need to be paid for as well. Sports betting is not the only license that interested parties would be able to acquire, including a sports wagering vendor licenses going for $300,000 and sports wagering lottery sales agent licenses available for another $250,000.

In each case, an initial fee of $100,000 will have to be paid.

The Essence of Connecticut’s Bill

The new Connecticut bill proposes important changes and builds on previous proposals. As a result, Mr. Verrengia has worked on establishing important aspects of the legislation, such as the legal gambling age as well as the available tax rates and to whom the money would be going to:

  • Legal gambling age – 21
  • Tax rate – 9.89%
  • Money allocated to – Connecticut General Fund, Sports Wagering Account
  • Regulated by – the Department of Consumer Protection

There’s also a legal wrinkle that explains that at the end of each year, 0.5% will be donated directly to CT five Regional Behavioral Health Action Organizations, which will be addressing issues, such as gambling addiction. The other 0.5% will be deposited directly into the General Fund.

The Tribes Are Welcome to Join and Work Together

Enjoying the support of CT governor, HB 7331 is also offering private operators to partner up with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribal casinos available in the casino. This would necessitate to change the existing compact that the tribes have formed by themselves. Mr. Verrengia by themselves.

Integrity fees are also part of the offer, but Mr. Verrengia wants to see the Connecticut Commissioner of Economic and Community Development collaborate with main sporting bodies so any proceedings from sports betting can be used in a meaningful way. True, there are still hurdles, but the prospects seem promising altogether.

With the basic plan paid out, what follows is for Mr. Verrengia to push the bill successful through the House Public Safety and Security Committee which he presides himself. The next steps will be in the House, the Senate and finally in the governor’s office.

Carmen Thompson

Carmen is our residential reporter always on the move and hunting down the latest scoops and rumours to explore. Nothing gets past her keen nose, especially when it comes to some serious Jelly Bean poker tournaments.

MGA and Spelinspektionen Work on iGaming Regulation

Sweden and Malta are going to collaborate in order to introduce a better control over the iGaming industry, the countries’ national regulators have said.

  • The MGA and Spelinspektionen sign a MoU
  • The regulators will exchange vital information
  • Sweden warns operators to comply with bonus policies

Sweden and Malta Collaborate on iGaming

The Spelinspektionen and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining the terms of a new cooperation.

The partnership will see the national watchdog focuses on exchanging key information across vital areas, allowing them to better enforce regulatory policies as well as uphold industry standards.

The move makes perfect sense since many companies offering iGaming products on the newly-regulated Swedish market also hold Maltese gaming licenses or have their technical hubs operating from the country.

Spelinspektionen Director Camilla Rosenberg commented on the new partnership and the opportunities to achieve better collaboration in the sector:

This is the beginning of a broad and long-term cooperation, and our plan is to initiate corresponding collaborations with more gambling authorities in Europe.

MGA Chief Executive Heathcliff Farrugia was no less enthusiastic about the new opportunity. According to him, the MGA was in a constant process of adding new and trustworthy process to help it carry out its regulatory mandate in full.

The MGA Suspends Bet Service Group License

Mr. Farrugia also noted that the nature of iGaming is increasingly cross-border, which means that regulators will have to find new ways to collaborate and exchange data quickly in order to effectively and efficiently provide guidance and apply penalties where necessary.

“This MoU, signed with the Swedish Gambling Authority, is an important step towards achieving both our respective regulatory goals in vital areas of mutual interest,” Mr. Farrugia explained.

Spelinspektionen and Bonus Rules

With the Swedish national dog looking to expand its efficiency, the Spelinspektionen has been cautioning companies over the use of bonuses. Sweden is taking a very sparing approach about promotional offers available at casinos.

As far as current law goes, iGaming operators may only offer a bonus to their customers the first time they sign-up, with no subsequent offers being permitted. However, the Spelinspektionen has established breach of that provision, prompting it to issue a warning against operators.

There has been also a pushback that the law concerning bonuses was ambiguous, giving some websites teeth to try and color around the lines.

What Will Closer Cooperation Between Malta and Sweden Mean?

Having the MGA and the Spelinspektionen work closely together is an important deterrent against future violation of existing iGaming provisions. If the two regulators work as one, their effectiveness increases while letting operators know that they are under more scrutiny.

Collaboration between regulators is important and it can bring online casino companies in line. In Australia, the country’s watchdog threatened companies operating without a proper Australian license that they would be reported to their respective regulators.

It worked and most of the big brands left along with what was over 30 illegal operators. More regulation is not always a bad thing, especially if done right.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

William Hill Promises Stronger Profits by 2023

William Hill is not giving up on pursuing double-profits by 2023 despite a most recent slump in the operator’s financial results. Not all is as it looks and William Hill is seemingly well on track to achieve the targets it has set out for itself.

Despite Losses, William Hill to Double Profits by 2023

William Hill is challenged on multiple fronts. The operator registered net loss to the tune of £721 million and had to settle some regulatory proceedings in 2018. However, William Hill is on point with achieving double profit results by 2023.

Looking at the current performance results, the operator is not far from the mark, as the losses it reported for 2018 were strictly a write-off occasioned by the reduction of FOBTs maximum stake. While UK’s model took some adjustment, William Hill has been becoming a bit of a digital pioneer in the United States, reporting excellent results on digital and mobile.

William Hill to Add Markets with Mr. Green Acquisition

The operator has already been posting solid returns in terms of revenue, managing to generate 2% higher revenue year-over-year in 2018. An expansion with the acquisition of Mr. Green has also signaled the company’s readiness to bring its profits up to $300 million by 2023.

As a reference, the US arm of the sportsbook generated solid EBITDA $48 million last year. William Hill is growing in a highly-contentious legal context. With a round of new controls introduced back at home, the United Kingdom may no longer be the gambling haven of the past years.

Operators Focusing on the United States Again

Operators are now re-aligning their offer to the United States. William Hill Chief Executive Phillip Bowcock addressed the burgeoning potential of the United States as a potential market:

This is a major new market opportunity that William Hill is very well placed to pursue as we are the US’s leading sports betting company. We aim to maintain our market leadership and intend to enter every state that regulates sports betting.

Mr. Bowcock shed more light on the difficulties that William Hill was presently facing, explaining that thee were a mix of legal and technical challenges. Deploying a large network across multiple in the United States has been an ambitious undertaking and one that would certainly take time.

Beyond this, there has also been the changing regulatory context in the United States with the reversal of the Department of Justice’s Wire Act Opinion of 2011, making the use of cross-state serves punishable by law.

Mr. Bowcock didn’t mention PASPA while reporting on the company’s latest results and future goals, which means that William Hill’s building and expansion strategy may not be contingent on the good graces of the DOJ. There has been some doubt aboutthe British top brands,

This is a good course of action as too much reliance on government regulation can easily send the value of an entire business plummeting as we have seen in recent months.

Kat Orlov

Newcomer Kat is our newcomer poker aficionado whos skill not only lives on the table but flourishes on the site as through her many sources she never fails to be the first to hear of any important or exciting poker news around the world.

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.

West Virginia’s House Judiciary Okays Sports Betting Bill

  • West Virginia House Judiciary Committee votes in favor of H 2934
  • The tax rate changes from 10% to 15%
  • WV is serious about expanding online sports betting through independent contractors

The West Virginia House Judiciary Committee has decided not to put a stop to an advancing sports betting bill. As per the new agreement, businesses that want to start running activities in the state will have to pay a slightly steeper tax rate, too.

H 2934 Gets the Go-Ahead in West Virginia

House Bill 2934 is the most advanced hope for sports betting in West Virginia. The bill outlines the tax rate and binding licensing conditions and now the WV House Judiciary Committee has agreed to push the legislation forward.

Originally set at 10%, the new proposed tax law will see operators pay 15% as a result of the renegotiation in the Committee.

However, the Committee didn’t alter any of the other pillars of the bill, including the proposed license fee nor their period.

Licenses will still cost $250,000 (far less than Pennsylvania where they can reach $10 million) and a renewal fee would need to be paid every five years to the amount of $100,000.

A Controlled Expansion of Sports Betting in WV

So far, WV doesn’t plan on pushing with multiple properties state-wide. Legislators want to establish a vibrant industry and make sure that tax revenue is gathered. With this in mind, only four brands would be allowed to operate in the state, including:

  • Hollywood Casino
  • Mountaineer Racetrack
  • Casino and Delaware
  • Greenbrier Resort

The bill will indeed focus on land-based operations and try to concentrate power in the hands of the aforementioned, but this doesn’t preclude the existence of other operations.

For example, there will be special licenses for companies that want to pursue online gaming independent of the land-based properties. This will come with a fair priced license and renewal fee at $100,000 each.

The renewal fee will have to be paid every year as opposed to what land-based properties are paying. An interesting addition to the bill is that everyone who wants to be employed in the sector will need to acquire an occupational license priced at $100.

In the United Kingdom, for example, regulators are not hesitating to go after individual people as well as company licenses if they suspect that customers have been mislead on purpose.

The introduction of a license would give business accountability and thus bolster player security. H 2934 is not the only bill presently trying to alter the spots betting climate in the state for the better.

H 2178 was another initiative put forth by Rep. Shawn Fluharty and Joe Canestraro in January. In its outline, the bill tries to change the 1931 Code of West Virginia to allow online gaming and casinos in the state.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

Robinson Introduces Bill to Shut Online Lottery Ticket Sale in Florida

  • Rep. Will Robinson introduces bill to cancel all online lottery tickets
  • Mr. Robinson cites security concerns
  • Florida is likely to accept the bill

Florida has a no-go policy on casinos and gambling in general. Advertised as a family holiday destination, this is not surprising. Now, State Rep. Will Robinson wants to make sure that lottery tickets can only be sold at retail shops as opposed to online websites.

The Wire Act, Florida and the Lotteries

Florida is indeed a little gung-ho when it comes to its gaming laws, and the current legislative development originating in the Department of Justice (DOJ) isn’t going to make the climate any milder.

While New Jersey and Pennsylvania are contesting the DOJ and the ham-fisted approach to the online gambling industry in the United States, Florida seems a little more accommodating.

DOJ Could Consider Flip-Flopping on Its 2011 Decision

State Rep. Will Robinson wants to make sure that no ticket is ever sold online and his newly introduced House Bill 629 might just hit the mark. Mr. Robinson is a man with a plan, and he intends to uproot the “illegal sort of fraudulent online vendors that sell tickets” – more or less:

These fraudulent websites are, in my view, illegally advertising when they are not related to the lottery system at all.

Mr. Robinson is not wasting any time either. His bill will appear before the Gaming Control Subcommittee on Wednesday.

Why Is Florida Against Online Lottery Ticket Sales?

The argument is not without merit. In 2018, Aura Dominguez Canto from Panama bought a ticket from TheLotter.com, an Israeli-based online ticket website.

TheLotter.com had bought the ticket from a local retailer, and then re-sold it to Ms. Canto who eventually won the $30 million pot.

Despite an initial opposition to pay out the winnings, Ms. Canto’s jackpot was honored. Though this alone cannot be the basis for calling websites illegal, it certainly goes to indicate that online vendors can lead to some confusion.

In light of this, Mr. Robinson has set out to ensure that online tickets would no longer be valid, should his Bill manage to clear the upcoming legal hurdles.

New Hampshire Is Not Quite Happy

Florida has its reasons to not like online gambling, not least of all because the state is cosy with the tribal operators which have contributed billions to the economy.

Meanwhile, New Hampshire is preparing to take things to court, challenging the DOJ’s newly-revised Opinion on the Wire Act.

Back in Florida, Mr. Robinson remains adamant against the sale of lottery tickets online. Since the state doesn’t offer the activity officially, all websites that extend lottery tickets are in fact illegal. As the senator himself noted, Florida is nowhere near switching to online sales.

He also further noted the risk that carrying out transactions over the Internet posed with many such vendors using the lottery’s logo to lure in financial details from customers.

Sophia Rojas

Growing up around law firms, Sophia keeps our team of reporters atop any legislative developments to follow up with a welcomed dose of positive news as our house trivia nut!

UKGC to Further Step up Security Measures with ADRs

  • UKGC plans to seek industry experts’ opinions to introduce ADRs
  • The Commission is seeking to step up the overall customer protection in the country

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is tightening the control over online gambling companies. All of the recently proposed changes are sensible and for the better. Still, the UK’s governing gaming body wants to hear other opinions.

The UKGC to Consult Businesses and Experts about Planned Changes

No big change in the UK gambling climate is ever random or ill-considered. It requires a lot of coordination between business, regulators and politicians. True, the UKGC is not in the habit of always making its intents known beforehand, but it’s not trying to suffocate business either.

However, the UKGC is committed to protecting customers and that often means a rather more gung-ho approach towards bookmakers, lotteries, casinos and card rooms. So, who’s the UKGC reaching out to? Pretty much anyone with a skin in the game, including:

  • Consumers
  • Businesses
  • Industry experts

The Commission will discuss several proposed measures related to alternative dispute resolution (ADR), interaction, as well as new rules as to who can deposit & play and under what circumstances. The legal deadline to vet a customer is also going to be reduced as per the UKGC’s latest rules.

It’s Time to Add a Middleman

The Commission is actively seeking to brush up on the existing measures when it comes to handling complaints as well as introduce an ADR provider who will be able to sort through any disagreement between business and physical parties in the gambling segment.

The UKGC also wants to see operators offer other helpful tools, such as gambling blocking software, which would allow customers to completely opt out of certain gaming practices.

In the official statement the Commission released, UKGC Executive Director Paul Hope had the following to say:

We would like as many people as possible to have their say on these two consultations and the call for evidence. The proposed changes are intended to accelerate progress in protecting consumers and preventing them from experiencing gambling related harm.

The Commission recently announced another set of measures intended at tightening the security measures in the United Kingdom when it comes to gambling.

The Commission has been overhauling the existing regulation not least of all because the national self-exclusion scheme had been found to lack in certain ways, allowing customers to still bet after they had excluded themselves.

The UK Gambling Commission Recommends New Measures

“Making gambling fairer and safer is at the heart of how we regulate and better customer interaction, higher ADR standards and facilitating readily available blocking software are all part of this,” Mr. Hope added.

Toughening Legal Context This Year

The industry will undergo some significant changes this year. The Remote Gambling Duty (RGD) will go up to 21%, which is the break-line between lucrative businesses and struggling minnows.

The Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) will also take a tumble down, to £2 per maximum bet in a bid to discourage people from burning life-ruining amounts of money. The measure has been welcomed by the government.

While the RGD will be changed in November, FOBTs will be re-adjusted in April.

Kat Orlov

Newcomer Kat is our newcomer poker aficionado whos skill not only lives on the table but flourishes on the site as through her many sources she never fails to be the first to hear of any important or exciting poker news around the world.

Brazil Gets a New Casino Bill, Approval Awaited

  • New bill introduced in a bid to legalize gambling
  • The combined legal and illegal market in Brazil hits R$50bn annually
  • A total of 32 casino properties could open in Brazil should the bill be voted and approved

Brazil is getting closer to a fully regulated sports betting industry that would potentially cater to millions of sports betting enthusiast in one of the largest untapped markets in the world. Now, a new bill targeting casinos is on the cards.

Land-Based Casinos a Reality in Brazil

Brazil is almost done regulating and establishing its sports betting industry, and now that this is sorted, casinos are next on the line. Brazilian Chamber of Deputies Member Paulo Azi has submitted a new bill titled PL530/2019.

The purpose of the document is to see the casino industry in the country fully legalized, albeit with a few wrinkles that would need to be observed. The bill suggests the expansion of Integrated Resorts (IR), similar to what Japan is currently planning on building.

On the territory of integrated resorts, businesses would be allowed to run casino gaming, which would account for 10% of the available space. As is customary for such projects, more properties will be introduced, including shopping centers, theme parks, spas, and more.

Reading the Bill Up Close

Presently, the bill envisages such resorts to be built based on the population of individual states. As per PL530/2019:

  • States with population <15 million – A maximum of one IR
  • States with population 15 -25 million – A maximum of two IRs
  • State with population >25 million – A maximum of three IRs

In total, the Bill would allow 32 such properties to open, offering plenty of wiggle room for potential investors to make up their minds. Each IR would be granted a license for 30 years of operation and obtaining such a license would be allocated through a tender process.

In terms of tax, the law is rather accommodating towards the casinos with only 10% of their Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) being paid as tax. The proceedings will be divvied up between Brazil’s General Tourism Fund and the National Public Security Fund.

Curbing Illegal Gambling

Mr. Azi has explained that the rise of gambling in Brazil was undeniable. The industry is already relevant to the country, but laws have so far failed to establi a working framework. Based on his statement, the combined illegal and legal gambling markets in the country account for R$50 billion each year.

He believes that stopping illegal gambling would lead to boosting the overall finances of the government. Furthermore, a legalization of the industry would mean new job opportunities in cities hosting the Integrated Resorts, Mr. Azi explained.

Should Mr. Azi’s plan garner governmental support, it will become the second important development for the gambling industry in the country. In December, the outgoing President Michel Temer signed PL846/2018 opening up the way for sports betting in the country.

Sophia Rojas

Growing up around law firms, Sophia keeps our team of reporters atop any legislative developments to follow up with a welcomed dose of positive news as our house trivia nut!

Missouri’s New Bill to Introduce Betting on River Casinos

  • Missouri’s Senator Denny Hoskins introduces a new Senate Bill to legalize sports betting
  • As per the bill, licenses would be issued at $10,000
  • Renewal fees are at $5,000
  • Taxation is pinned at 12%

Missouri is working hard to get its own sports betting legislation up to speed. With a freshly introduced bill by Senator Denny Hoskins, the goal of introducing a ground-breaking framework is not too far from a reality.

Missouri Works on Spots Betting with SB 44

Missouri is yet another state that could potentially get its sports betting industry up to speed very quickly. Now that Senator Denny Hoskins has introduced SB 44, chances are that the legislation will clear all legal hurdles ahead of it.

The Bill proposes to bring sports betting to licensed holiday boats, drawing the idea from the famous river casinos all over the United States that are exempt from some of the toughest legal hurdles that face sports betting. The bill has quite the favorable conditions, too:

  • Initial licensing at $10,000
  • Renewal fee of $5,000 paid yearly
  • 12% in taxes along with a 2.5% administrative fee

Insofar as taxation goes, Missouri’s rates are fair but a little bit steeper than the most common rate of 10%. Overseas, the tax hits 21% in places such as the United Kingdom, but the country has a well-developed online betting industry.

New Sports Betting Opportunities for Kansas Discussed

In other words, it’s understandable why states that are only looking to start their operations normally settle on a rather low tax rate. The license fees are all rather on the low-end, too, although it must be noted that they apply only for river boats whereas places like Pennsylvania issued $10 million license packages, but they had land-based properties in mind.

Divvying Up the Funds

The Gaming Commission Fund will receive the 2.5% tax on betting receipts and 80% of that would automatically be allocated to the Veterans’ Commission Capital Improvement Trust Fund.

The Bill also expects from newly set-up operators to volunteer 0.5% of their gross amount wagered to support various facilities around the state that have to do with sports.

The voluntary tax would be required at least once a quarter with the Entertainment Facilities Infrastructure Fund taking control over the managing of these funds.

Overseeing the Industry as Intended

The Missouri Gaming Commission will be tasked with establishing control over the entire industry, both in regulating whether agencies are complaint with the provisions of the bill and ensuring that customers are safe.

Under SB 44, every citizen of Missouri would be able to opt for self-exclusion, which would allow for a state-wide protection.
Meanwhile, any operator that wants to run its gambling-related activities will have to comply with a number of criteria, including overseeing proper background checks on customers, doing due diligence and wealth assessment analysis to confirm source of wealth as well as the identity & age of customers.

Missouri currently has a list of bills that are on the wait list, including:

  • HB119
  • SB327
  • SB222
  • SB195

Things are finally looking up for Missouri and while the exact time frame is unknown, the state should be getting its own sports betting bill very soon.

Kat Orlov

Newcomer Kat is our newcomer poker aficionado whos skill not only lives on the table but flourishes on the site as through her many sources she never fails to be the first to hear of any important or exciting poker news around the world.

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.

Virginia SB 1126 Clears Senate, Sports Betting Odds Better

Virginia’s SB 1126 is the state’s most famed sports betting bill, and it has just cleared the Senate. What this means is that land-based properties will be allowed to apply for licenses and offer the first sports betting opportunities in the state.

The Senate Bill Clears the Last Legal Hurdle

When Dem. Sen. Louise Lucas introduced his bill, he might have suspected how successful SB 1126 would be. Well, all speculation aside, Mr. Lucas has done very well indeed, with the Virginia Senate just clearing the document.

The Bill will also be voted on in the House of Representative later today and the Committee on Rules will try to prepare an action plan regarding the implementation of the document.

Virginia is an interesting beast when it comes to gaming, as it’s willing to accept spots betting as long as certain conditions are met. We previously explained that SB 1126 expects casinos applying for licenses to meet specific criteria, such as:

  • A minimum unemployment rate of 4%
  • A poverty rate of 20%
  • Population decline of 7% between 1990 and 2016

To top it all off, the casino will have to take it to a vote whether a casino can be built or operate, leading to multiple mini-referendum state-wide.

Tribal casinos on the other hand will be admitted in cities that have at least 200,000 people living in them with 24% of all estate tax exempted from property tax. This is quite a few hoops to jump through for the state and would be operators.

Virginia’s Sports Betting Bill Gets Senate Approval

Still, given the wide endorsement of the segment in its current form, it’s very unlikely that any future business owner would remonstrate against the proposed measures.

Speaking of the legal end of things, the taxes that will be collected from the casino sector also seem to be rather mild compared to other places.

Virginia will seek only 10% of the companies’ gross revenue, with the money being divvied up between various funds, including:

  • The Virginia Public School Construction Grants Program and Fund
  • The Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund
  • The General State Fund

Later, there will be another fund, i.e. the State Local Casino Gaming Proceeds Fund, which will help local authorities develop their regions. This outlines the betting climate in Virginia.

Meanwhile, there are two more bills to keep an eye on, including SB 1238 and SB 1356, but at this point they both seem very unlikely to pass given the momentum SB 1126 has gathered already.

Nevertheless, lawmakers are trying to push from all directions towards the ultimate goal – legalizing sports betting, which should be good news for sports aficionados and companies eyeing expansion.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

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.

UKGC Cautions Operators about NDAs and License Compliance

  • The UKGC cautions that NDAs don’t rule out reporting issues pertaining to licensing
  • Operators shouldn’t bar customers from revealing information that can identify issues with licensing
  • People who suffer from gaming addiction should be able to impart information with health specialists
  • A failure to self-report an issue by an operator would be considered an aggravating factor in ensuing legislation

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) continues to work on improving the overall gaming climate in the country. Recently, the UKGC cautioned that negotiating NDAs mustn’t prevent customers from reporting license violations.

UKGC Reminds That License Obligations Take Precedence over NDAs

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) reminded that settlements between customers and operators shouldn’t come at the expense of reporting license violations, strong-arming participants with non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).

In a similar vein, the UKGC believes that even if an NDA presupposes that a customer shouldn’t disclose certain information, the Commission still believes that customers who suspect license violations must be able to report any breaches of the Gambling Act.

Jeremy Wright Mulls Credit Card Ban for Gambling Use

The UKGC also cited another problem with NDAs whereby individuals who are known gambling addicts might be forced to withhold essential information for their treatment.

Here’s how the official statement of the Commission read: “Some of these agreements may have had the effect of preventing those consumers from reporting regulatory concerns to us, by either excluding disclosure to any third party or, in some cases, explicitly preventing customers from contacting the Gambling Commission.”

The Commission listed several scenarios in which NDAs could be disruptive, including:

  • Preventing regulators oр law enforcement agencies to conduct investigations
  • Limiting the UKGC’s ability to identify breaches in the license conditions
  • Stopping customers from making complaints to the Commission
  • Limiting the scope of gambling treatment for vulnerable individuals

Understandably, the UKGC is aware of the business value of such NDAs, but they should never impede, prevent or deter a person from reporting a pertinent issue to the regulatory body. The Commission was very specific in the do’s and don’ts:

If a customer in the course of negotiating a settlement agreement states that they intend to report a matter to the Commission, we expect licensees will normally be able to inform the customer that they have already self-reported an incident.

The Commission also explained that it was up to the operators to self-report the incident. A failure to do so would be considered an aggravating factor in any ensuing regulatory action pursued by the Commission.

UKGC’s Continuous Efforts to Curb Harm

Given the steady number of people addicted to gambling, the UK has been transforming its offer significantly via a number of social responsibility and regulatory measures. In light of the growing regulatory climate, operators announced that they would introduce a voluntary water-shed ban on all live sports betting contests.

The UKGC and the Government negotiated a reduction of the FOBTs rates that will come into effect in April, with bookmakers in Ireland taking their cue and opting to comply before a law is even passed.

Meanwhile, the gaming revenue is going to go up to 21%, an on-the-border tax that some businesses fear could render their operations non-profitable.

George Hansen

Taking a liking to the occasional bout of slots, George used to moonlight as a roulette dealer, giving him a unique perspective into the casino world. From there he continued his journalist education and has been with us ever since a star-aligned graduation brought him and our team together.

New York Gaming Commission to Meet on January 28

  • New York Gaming Commission to meet on Monday, January 28
  • Senator Addabbo and Ansemblyman Gary Pretlow firmly support legalizing sports betting in the state

New York is closer to sports betting than ever before. The Empire State’s Gaming Commission is going to hold a meeting on Monday, January 28, in which it will discuss the possibility of legalizing the segment throughout the state.

Is Sports Betting in New York a Possibility

New York has been one of the states looking to introduce sports betting, with the market already ripe for the offer. However, there has been somewhat cumbersome opposition, with bills failing either because of lack of support or too strong opposition, or just no interested lawmaker in sight.

Now, this is about to change, as the New York State Gaming Commission is about to convene on Monday, January 28, and discuss the future opportunities for the state and its would-be industry.

The state’s trepidation is quite understandable as in 2013, New York fought and won a case whereby the state is eligible to introduce sports betting legally, should the federal ban on the activity is repealed. Put simply, New York made it possible to expand commercial casino gambling.

In May 2018, PASPA was defeated by the State of New Jersey, opening the gates ahead of a vibrant market and ample business opportunity. Even that decision, however, some people in New York have come to think, has been too restrictive.

Brushing Up the Existing Legislation

For example, as per the current laws, individuals can only place wagers within the physical premises of a casino, something that many find restrictive. The gathering momentum in favor of a more liberal sports betting industry is palpable.

Lawmakers, including Senator Joseph Addabbo, have seen sports betting as a lucrative and important segment, with the Senator’s commitment having been well-documented.

New York Will Try Again for Poker Legislation

Sen. Addabbo filed a bill at the beginning of January in a bid to push multiple activities in the legal sweet spot, including online poker, online gaming, and understandably – sports betting.

Based on his draft, sports betting activities will be taxed with 8.5%, which is a rather accommodating rate for any new business to kick start their activities. Another interesting involvement has been by Gary Pretlow, member of the NY Assembly, who’s also been looking for new opportunities to advance the state’s gaming industry.

In related news, Madison Square Garden (MSG) might be the first venue to push across the board, adding new segments and betting opportunities, including online, should the industry be legalized in full. While the exact details of the sports betting future in New York are not entirely known, there’s at least some proof to suggest that integrity fees won’t be part of the offer, sources suggest.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

Virginia’s Sports Betting Bill Gets Senate Approval

  • Sen. Louise Lucas’ bill gets Senate Committee approval
  • Casinos to pay 10% tax on gross revenue
  • More tax will be paid to the State Local Casino Gaming Proceeds Fund to be established at a later point
  • Casinos will have to pass a city-wide referendum before they can open in their chosen locations

Virginia is gearing up for sports betting. The Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology has passed a sports betting bill introduced by Democrat Sen. Louise Lucas. This is a continuation of the efforts that were announced in December.

Senator Louise Lucas’s Bill Gets the Go-Ahead

Democrat Sen. Louise Lucas proposed a plan for the legalization of the sports betting industry in Virginia, which has got approved by the Senate Committee on General Laws and Technology.

This is big, and it enables Virginia to start edging closer to the ultimate goal, which is to introduce its own sports betting facilities across the state. There’re a few wrinkles to settle first, though. From Connecticut, to Kansas, to Kentucky, states have been on the move, pushing ahead with their own efforts to see their industries through – and now Virginia is all good to go, well – almost.

According to SB1126 (a bill unifying two previous bills, i.e. SB1503 and SB1706) legalizing the industry would be used as a way to curb unemployment and bolster the state’s coffers. The document states that in order to qualify, a city will need to meet a mix of social & economic criteria:

  • Unemployment rate of 4%
  • Poverty rate of 20%
  • Population decline of 7% between 1990-2016

The bill is also pre-emptively targeting the issue of tribal gaming, allowing tribes to operate in any city with population of 200,000 or above. The cities will also have to have already exempted 24% of all real estate from the local property tax.

All Games Coming to Virginia’s New Regulatory Climate

The bill offers details about the industry in full. Spanning 22 pages, all games will be part of the gaming climate, including slots, table games, and most importantly – sports betting. However, the measure to introduce casino will not rest solely with lawmakers.

A city-wide referendum would have to be held before a casino can open. Once a property has been set up, it will have to pay 10% tax on its Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR). The revenue will the be divvied up by several state funds, including:

  • State General Fund – the reminder of non-allocated funds
  • Virginia Public School Construction Grants Program and Fund – 50%
  • Problem Gambling Treatment and Support Fund – 1%
  • State Local Casino Gaming Proceeds Fund – to come later

The last hurdle ahead of the bill is to clear the Senate Finance Committee. Given the solid support among lawmakers, SB1126 is on its way to completely change the game for gaming in Virginia.

All things considered, Virginia is truly surging towards good times for its betting industry, which is only now spreading its wings.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.

Alberta Plans to Launch Online Gaming in the State in 2020

  • Alberta’s Gaming & Liquor Commission looks to launch online gambling
  • Discreet call for proposal has been made
  • Estimated CAD$385m are lost to third-parties outside the country

Alberta’s Gaming Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) has begun looking for companies to create a reliable online gambling system that can be used state-wide.

Alberta Is Looking into Online Gaming Expansion

Canada isn’t exactly lax when it comes to gambling regulations. The country has long established a monopoly on the market through the use of individual state watch dogs.

In light of the expanding sports betting and gaming operations down south, some of that seems to have rubbed off the Canadian province of Alberta. It’s hardly all good news for Canada when it comes to the U.S. opting out of the federal ban known as PASPA.

The Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC) is actively looking into ways to find reliable suppliers that will be able to discreetly develop a new online gaming system to go wide state-wide.

Under the request for proposals, the AGLC has already been enjoying significant interest from established companies, which are still not announced to the public.

Why the Sudden Change?

Canadians have a proclivity for gambling which has often been quenched at offshore sportsbooks and gaming operators.

With the industry growing and the AGLC estimating as much as CAD$385 million going to unregulated markets, the watchdog sees reason in bringing the market closer to home.

Instead of focusing on land-based infrastructure, which would be difficult to outpace the offshore gaming industry, the regulator wants to push ahead with plans to directly introduce online gaming on the territory of the state.

Despite years of mulling over the issue, this has been the first marked step towards legalizing the industry in full, as reported by CBC Canada. Interviewing the AGLC representative Chara Goodings, CBC has fleshed out some of the details around Alberta’s burgeoning iGaming industry.

The report published in CBC also cites Canadian Gaming Association representative Paul Burns who reaffirmed Ms. Goodings position of revenue potentially slipping away from the country:

Offerings coming from licences through provincial gaming corporations are the clearly legal route in Canada. Where the grey area has come in Canada law is the offshore sites.

Alberta is not new to gaming entirely. GameHost, a popular supplier of land-based gaming slots & table games, is also located in the state, giving a unique opportunity to seek a potential expansion of its activities in light of the new legislation.

The company to take over online iGaming in Alberta will be chosen by this summer and the official launch will come in 2020.

George Hansen

Taking a liking to the occasional bout of slots, George used to moonlight as a roulette dealer, giving him a unique perspective into the casino world. From there he continued his journalist education and has been with us ever since a star-aligned graduation brought him and our team together.

Massachusetts Receives Two New Sports Betting Bills

  • Massachusetts adds 2 more sports betting bills
  • Governor Charlie Baker’s plan seems the most detailed
  • There are at least five bills up for debate in Massachusetts by now

Massachusetts is on the offensive with plans to legalize sports betting. Additional two bills were disclosed just hours ago, bringing the total number of proposed drafts to at least five.

Baker and Rush Join the Massachusetts’ Sports Betting Show

There’s been a lot of endorsement for sports betting across the United States. In places, such as Kentucky, Michigan, and New York, lawmakers and local power brokers have been deliberating the introduction of their own sports betting bill.

All of this in the face of a looming Department of Justice (DoJ) ban on the federal level.

New York has had a string of draft bills which ended up floundering in the end. It all happened in a rapid succession, although Senator Joe Addabbo is now pushing with renewed efforts in the Empire State.

Rosenstein Announces DoJ Opinion Will Take Effect

Meanwhile, Massachusetts’ own lawmakers have not been sitting idly. Governor Charlie Baker and Senator Michael Rush now have the spotlight, having introduced two separate bills.

A Look at the New Legislation

Baker’s bill seems to be ambitious enough, proposing a liberalized market, which will see retail and online sports betting open doors in the state. According to Baker’s proposal, operators would need to set up independent sportsbooks and not lump their activities together with existing casinos.

Licensing would again be left up with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission, Baker suggests. The tax rates would be quite accommodating, although they would vary based on the type of certification operators are applying for, i.e. online or offline:

  • 10% on gross betting revenue for land-based venues
  • 12.5% on GBR for online operators
  • A application fee of $100,000 will need to be paid along with $500,000 for procuring a license

Baker has also provided estimates for the development of the market upon successful passing of the bill. According to the bill, the state will generate $35 million in revenue for the 2020 fiscal year.

Rushing for Royalty Fees Again

Senator Rush is meanwhile revisiting a familiar concept in his SD.1110 bill. Rush wants sportsbooks to pay royalty fees to domestic sports leagues, a move that has been dismissed by the American Gaming Association (AGA), observers, journalists, and businesses.
Even the sports bodies themselves decided not to press the issue, faced with impenetrable opposition.

Rush’s bill is also quite skeletal although seemingly favourable. An application fee of $100,00 is the only sum that sportsbooks would need to pay to the state, on top of $10,000 every year for renewing their license.

However, Rush’s bill fails to specify anything regarding tax and what properties would be given a chance to run these activities, i.e. casinos vs. dedicated sportsbooks. Meanwhile, there are three more bills up for discussion:

  • Senator Brendan Crighton’s SD 903
  • Senator James Welch’s SD 882
  • Senator Bruce Tarr’s SD 908
  • Sen. Crighton’s bill comes close to Baker’s own plans. As to Se. Tarr, he intends to not legalize the industry so much as to set up a commission which can examine the industry. Meanwhile, Sen. Welch’s entertain the idea of legalize sports betting in the state, but offers little details.

Aran Malik

“Magic Malik”—as we like to call him—is not only a tech whiz but a wizard when it comes to getting obscure news hot off the press so we know exactly what’s happening and can explore and report it back to our growing and loyal readerbase.