Portugal’s Gambling Revenue Grows for 8th Consecutive Quarter

  • Portugal’s gaming and sports betting revenue continues to grow in Q4 2019
  • Players spend some $941.10 million on games of chance
  • Close to 163,900 people register to bet and gamble over the period

Portugal has posted another successful quarter in Q4 2019 with online gambling revenue climbing to a new high and reaching $72.3 million over the period. The national regulator, Serviço Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos do Turismo de Portugal (SRIJ), reported growth across all main online gambling segments consolidating the country’s position as a developing iGaming market.

Sports Betting Continues to Drive Market Growth

In terms of comparing results year-over-year, Portugal managed to pull 52.1% more in pure revenue in the three months leading up to December 31, 2019. Not only that, but Q4 2019 was also the eight quarter in which the country’s market had only grown without showing any signs of slowing down.

Part of the positive development was also occasioned by sports gambling, which reached $36.88 million, or another 55.0% uptick compared to the same period a year before. Portuguese gamblers put down some $204.63 million in total bets, pushing the results up 67.5% year-over-year.

Football and basketball were the main drivers of sports betting interest in the country with both segments posting some significant improvement. Football, for example, had soared up by 74.6% more wagers compared to Q4 2018. In the meantime, Portugal has also been revving up its efforts to clamp down on illegal gambling.

Casino Products Make Steady Expansion Efforts

iGaming products also contributed a fair bit, pushing the total number of wagers placed up 49.1.% year-over-year. Specifically, players spent$941.10 million on online gambling revenue in the last three months of the year, marking another significant progress or 47.9%.

Slots topped these developments with some 69.0% of all money placed on casino products going in the way of slots over the quarter. Interestingly French roulette was the second most played game, with some 13.6% of the wagers going its way.

This indicates a maturity among Portuguese gamblers who are well aware of the inherent advantages of the game as one of the best-paying versions of roulette. Third came poker, with a 9.4% share of the market.

Poker has been a rather popular pastime in Portugal especially now that PokerStars has been part of the available options since 2016. Not only that, but Portugal is also sharing liquidity with other countries to boost the overall prize pool available for poker tournaments, something that places such as the United States still lack.

The Scope of the Portuguese Market – 12 Operators Active

Presently, the country has 12 approved gaming and betting operators that are active and hold multiple skins. The total number of licenses issued is 20 and the majority of those – 11 – are allocated to games of chances, such as the ones offered at casinos.

In the quarter, some 390,400 people placed a wager online, marking another increase. Estimated 163,900 new registration were made in the country during the fourth quarter of 2019.

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.

Michigan Sports Betting Bill Passed into Law December 20

Online sports betting bill was officially passed into last Friday, December 20 after governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the bill. As a result three commercial and 23 native american casinos are now legally allowed to offer sports betting at their premises as well as online, pending licensure.

The New Law Legalizes iGaming, Internet Casinos and Fantasy Sports

Under the new law, Michigan will not only provide sports betting companies that will come to operate in the state in the future with licenses but also will legalize those who already have casino licenses including the tribes who have already been running their casinos.

Before betting begins, however, state regulators still have to provide strict requirements regarding offering sports betting in the state.

Michigan went a bumpy road before approving the sports betting legalization thus joining the group of the 20 states in the country offering legal sports betting.

Yet, it is important to note that the legislative commission in Michigan wouldn’t have come up with such a positive outcome for the gambling industry if the bill’s supporters haven’t changed a big part of the bills and arguments in it to. The package of regulations that was signed by governor Gretchen Whitmer includes Internet casino gambling, online poker and daily fantasy sports.

Rep. Brandt Iden, the bills’ the main sponsor who has been working on amending Michigan gambling laws for quite a long time stated that he was extremely happy that Michigan has finally modernized its gaming.

Gambling Profits to be Invested in Education

For her part, governor Whitmer said that her top priority when signing the legislation was to protect and ensure the investment of the future profits in the School Aid Fund, because according to her the students deserve leaders who treat their education as a priority.

She expressed her gratitude for the hard work and leadership of Sen. Hertel and Rep. Elizabeth Warren. She stressed one more time that the profits from gambling are going to be invested in education.

Whitmer was one of the supporters of legalizing sports betting claiming that iGaming activities needs to be regulated in the state.

In June she lobbied for a 15-percent tax and 1-million license fee. However the bill she signed is for 50,000-dollar sport betting fee for a first-time application, $100,000 for obtaining license and $50,000 per year to be paid to the state. There will also be a tax of 8.4% on adjusted gross sports betting receipts as commercial casinos might have to pay an extra city tax of 1.25% to Detroit.

Now everybody is waiting to see how long it will take to Michigan to have the regulations up and running. According to Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr. the regulations will probably become operational until March Madness.

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.

Trade Group Calls for Liberalization of Austria Gambling Market

A trade group has called for the end of monopoly in Austria, specifically targeting Casinos Austria.

Does Austria Have a Gambling Monopoly?

Austria has called for an end of monopoly in the iGaming sector, and specifically Casinos Austria’s tight control over the industry. The appeal has been made by the leading gambling trade group in the country, The Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling (OVWG) .

The OVWG expressed concerns over Casinos Austria’s CFO Peter Sidlo and specifically his participation as a district councillor in Vienna from the Freedom Party of Austria (FPO). Not least of all, Mr. Sidlo is also a shareholder in Novomatic, one of the largest developers out there.

Both Sidlo and Novomatic have denied to have benefitted in any way from the councillor’s position and connections in politics.

An Investigation Proving Otherwise

The OVWG acted after the Economic and Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (WKStA) carried out raids as part of investigation looking into alleged links between politicians and the gambling business.

Responding to these developments, the trade group said that Austria needs to re-consider how gambling business operates in the country and that Casinos Austria need to lose clout by liberalizing the market and allowing more actors to join.

The OVWG further said:

“On the one hand, this concerns the multiple function of the Federal Minister of Finance as the supervisory authority, licensing body and co-owner. On the other hand, it is an unjustifiable fact that there is only one national online gambling license, which also raises significant concerns about its compliance with EU law.”

Not least of all, Mr. Sildo’s appointment has been perceived as an appointment designed to exploit his connections in politics.

The OVWG also cited Denmark as a great example of how an industry should operate, both in terms of transparency as well as player protection measures. Specifically, the trade group argued that Denmark didn’t limit the number of licenses, for example, but rather, the country introduced very high customer protection and licensing standards in the first place.

Operators Need to be Supervised by the State

The necessity for a more liberal system is to guarantee that competition strives to meet the standards set out by the government, the OVWG has specified.

However, in the absence of high licensing standards, and the power concentrated in the lottery and Casinos Austria, there is little opportunity for a meaningful change to follow.

Earlier, the European Court of Justice issued a ruling that Casinos Austria was at odds with European regulatory measures in the gambling industry. Specifically, the court said that there was a clear absence of a competitive procedure to justify how the company has obtained its license.

While ‘European meddling’ has been a common dismissal of Brussels trying to tell member states how to run their gaming industries, even countries traditionally thought of as protectionists have been liberalizing their markets, including France.

European Union commissioner for financial services, Michel Barnier has long been calling for harmonization of European directives, and gaming is specifically an area where Austria needs to become more liberal in.

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.

Denmark’s Q1 Online Gaming & Sports Betting Revenue Increases

  • Land based properties in Denmark lose 10 per cent revenue
  • Online revenue soars – mobile platforms lead the way
  • Sports betting verticals post 10 per cent increase

Denmark continues to be the safest gambling market in Europe. While upholding the best practices in the industry, Denmark has also been able to drive revenue for the iGaming sector while land-based properties have seen a dip in their revenue.

Online Gambling Revenue in Denmark Climbs Up

Denmark’s iGaming sector has posted good results in Q1, 2019. The market successfully consolidated its online presence, but this came at a cost for brick-and-mortar operators which are now struggling to catch up.

The results for the quarter ending on March 31 have revealed a shift towards online gambling. Danish operators have managed to hit over DKK1.6 billion ($910 million) in the three months since the beginning of the years, which is a 4.5-per-cent improvement year-over-year.

Once again, online operators focused exclusively on sports betting which continued to lead the way, generating 619 million in the first quarter online.

This accounted for almost 40 per cent of the total amount that online gambling generated in Q1. Sports betting also marked the highest year-over-year improvement, accounting for 10.4-per-cent improvement compared to Q1, 2018.

Denmark Shifts Towards Mobile Betting

Mobile platforms have certainly seen a spike in the total use for the purposes of gambling, as betting apps accounted for 53.3 per cent of the total wagers placed in Q1, 2019. Desktop betting remained strong as well, with the total accounting for 27.3 per cent. People who opted to place a wager in person accounted for 21.9 per cent of the total, a still decent turn-up.

Denmark Q3 iGaming Results Strong Despite Mild Dip

Casinos also did well, at least the properties operating online that is. Online casinos managed to amass DKK556 million in the period. Q1 brought nearly a million more in terms of revenue. Once again, online slots remained the most lucrative segment, which has accounted for over 60 per cent of the total revenue.

The improved results come at a time when Denmark has successfully continued to enrol problem gamblers in its national self-exclusion scheme. Denmark is the only country in the European Union which enforces consumer protection practices in full.

Sweden, a new entrant in online gambling as of January 1, 2019, has already had to issue fines to prominent gaming operators and threaten with suspension of license – Betway has been among the affected parties. William Hill, another UK-based betting agency has also acquired assets in Sweden.

Sweden and Denmark remain the most challenging markets in the world of iGaming where rules need to be followed to the T lest regulators decide to issue hefty payments. The fact that revenue continues to grow while regulations tighten is a positive sign for the future of sports betting and iGaming. Meanwhile, Denmark remains one of the safest places to gamble and place sports wagers.

The biggest takeaway of the quarter was that revenue at land-based properties, restaurants and other designated areas fell by 3.6 per cent over the period while the seven land-based casinos in Denmark posted 10-per-cent worse performance over the quarter year-over-year.

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.

Florida Governor and Seminole See Eye-to-Eye on Betting

  • Florida and Seminole Tribes on their way to new compct agreement
  • Sports betting expansion possible
  • Opposition against gambling expansion mounts

Florida is still tip-toeing around the idea of fully legalizing sports betting with talks beginning during last November’s election and Amendment 3. Voters finally have the power to authorize new gambling venues, but this would take significant effort.

Will Florida Get Sports Betting in 2019?

On April 26, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis met with gaming businesses representative to discuss the future of the sports betting and iGaming industries in the state. DeSantis had previously spoken to Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcus Osceola and Seminole Gaming CEO Jim Allen as well as the tribal gaming operator’s General Counsel, Jim Shore.

The talks mark a success in a bottle-neck that has had the Seminole tribal gaming facilities strangle any previous attempts to expand or include sports betting. Not only that, but the Tribes and the state may be coming closer to creating a new compact much like the one that expired back in 2010 that gives Seminole exclusivity on gambling verticals.

The meeting was described as cordial with the Tampa Bay Times reporting closely on the summit, citing lobbyist Nick Iarossi who said:

The governor spent over an hour intently listening and asking questions to better understand the pari-mutuels and issues related to the proposed compact.

Planning for the Future – 31 Years of Understanding

A new proposal may now be on the cards with a 31-year agreement being discussed. When the previous deal was struck, it took legislators 20 years to come up with a solution for everyone to agree.

The toughest nut to crack has always been the Seminole Tribe casinos that have insisted on exclusive rights. It’s similar today with Florida continuing to operate without a new compact while the tribes grow impatient and continue to contribute to the state’s coffers, estimated at $350 million.

This is money that Florida doesn’t want to lose, even though lawmakers already drafted a budget that excludes these contributions.

While there has bee divisions in the past and much traction, things seem to be finally smoothing out with talks about future expansion of iGaming and sports betting operations in the state.

The Seminole recently contested the issue of allowing certain facilities to operate player-banked games, thus allowing such venues to circumnavigate the tribes’ exclusivity rights over the segment.

Not Everyone Is Happy about Sports Betting

The naysayers have spoken. At the beginning of April, No Casinos in Florida, a non-for-profit group, sent a letter to Florida House Speaker Jose Oliva and to Senate President Bill Galvano, stating their opposition to legalizing sports betting and expanding it across Florida.

Interestingly, companies such as Walt Disney and Seminole have also spent copious amounts to make sure that casinos don’t arrive to the state. Yet an expansion t the present moment appears hypocritical.

Disney is also running sports betting shows through ESPN, a company that it owns. Florida’s gambling and sports betting are indeed contentious issues

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.

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!

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.

China Clamps Down on Misleading Gambling Websites

  • Chinese authorities look into online websites providing misleading and harmful information
  • Certain news agencies have been sanctioned over “vulgar” content
  • In 2018, multiple companies, including Playtech and Tencent were affected by crackdowns on gambling products

China continues to monitor the Internet, with the country’s security departments now going after illegal gambling with renewed strength. What is the latest round of measures targeting specifically?

China Goes After Harmful Gambling Advertisement

China is going back after illegal gambling, this time targeting specific misleading sources of information, incentivizing individuals to gamble by providing misleading advertisement and more. Officially, China is looking to clamp down on “harmful” websites related to online gambling.

The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has announced that the next six months will be specifically dedicated to unearthing such sources of harmful information and closing them down, with Beijing’s security services looking to apprehend and mete out punishments to individuals who have been running them.

Australian Gambling Ban Could Encompass Streaming

Beijing is also expanding its reach in dictating what Chinese citizen can see online and what’s better left outside their browsing sessions. Gambling is not the only “harmful” content on the list of the cyber police. Materials that involve fraud, violence, abuse, rumors, threats, and even superstition will also come under the regulatory control of the government.

The cyberspace has long been a sensitive topic for China with the CAC now looking to regulate individual websites and mobile apps and check whether they have been complying in full with the necessary round of regulations.

The police will expand its search for misleading information on online streaming platforms, messaging services, and even look into school students exchanging notes during classes. The intrusive nature of China’s authorities is technically the norm in the country.

Commemorating Tiananmen with Extension of the Police State

The six-month monitoring period expands well after the crushing of the Tiananmen protest’s 30th anniversary, when Chinese dissidents challenged the government over issues of personal freedoms. Needless to say, Chinese censors have been actively looking to uproot any mention of the so-called June 4th accident, which never occurred in Chinese living memory.

The clamp down on misleading information has been quite pronounced. Apart from hunting down websites incentivizing individuals to gamble and place sports wagers, China has just rocked two of its largest online internet agencies (and companies) Baidu and Sohu with bans on their news portals.

The temporary ban affected the news portals for a period of one week, with the government citing an inability to keep the websites free of vulgar content as the sole reason for the decision. China has been actively seeking to limit the gambling industry as well, although Macau has remained largely beyond the restrictive reach of the country.

Well-established companies, such as Tencent and Playtech have been affected by the government’s previous attempts to narrow the scope of the industry. In the case of Tencent, the company was ordered to phase out some of its most lucrative video poker games, biting seriously into the revenues of the company.

Nevertheless, Tencent kept silent on the matter, saying that the company was re-ordering its portfolio and priorities.

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!

The Legal Status of Loot Boxes in Gaming

The most intense criticism of loot boxes came in late 2017 after being stoked by the Star Wars Battlefront 2’s subsequently-revised progression system. For a while after that, it seemed that the conversation had cooled a little with industry working conditions and net neutrality regulations taking the center stage for a while. This was, however, short-lived s regulators from around the worlds began to crack down on the practice citing concerns that the loot boxes were promoting gambling both illegally and to underage people.

This turned the issue from being a mere consumer criticism to a full-fledged legal question. In Belgium, for instance, the government is of the opinion that loot boxes are a form of gambling and should thus be regulated in the same that all other forms of gambling are. Other countries have taken similar stands as well and in 2019 we should expect even more twists in as far this particular issue is concerned.

As it is, much of the legal battle involving loot boxes revolves around concepts of transferability, real money value as well as publisher profits. Transferability refers to the whether or not items offered by the loot boxes are tradeable which would make them commodities in real money transactions. It has been argued that the game publishers are profiting indirectly off the aftermarket value items that are found in the loot boxes offered in their games – this is simply because increased value of potential rewards increases the demand.

The Crackdown on Loot Boxes

The crackdown on various loot box mechanics began in the Netherlands in early 2018 after the country’s gaming authority found 4 out of 10 games it investigated to be in need of a gambling license if they were to continue operating within its borders. This was followed by a number of media reports which named Dota 2, Rocket League, FIFA 18 and PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds as these first wave offenders. Other countries also began to look into loot boxes at about the same time – these included the United Kingdom, the United States, China, South Korea, and Australia.

What Is in Store for Loot Boxes in 2019?

Well, one thing is for sure – even though several governments are regulators are seriously investigating loot boxes, the law is more often than not very sluggish when it comes to catching up with changing realities of the information age. That said, this sluggishness is certainly bound to leave loot boxes in the legal grey area in many parts of the world which might be a problem in the future in case some of the loot boxes do indeed promote gambling.

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.

Casino Gambling May Finally Be Headed to Virginia

Three cities in Virginia have will be joining forces in a bid to bring casino gambling to the state, the main reason being that they hope the industry will assist in securing revenue amid the state’s current financial struggles. Two of the cities – Portsmouth and Bristol – have already made it clear that they are all in with the plans to persuade the government of Virginia to legalize casino gambling and Danville, the third city, is on track to join them. Members of Danville’s City Council are currently gearing to pass similar resolutions as the other two cities within the next few days.

As it stands, casino gambling is still an illegal activity in the state of Virginia and to make the situation even worse than it already is, the state’s Legislature has consistently thrown any attempts to introduce online gambling in the state under the bus. Even though this has gone on for decades, in 2018, lawmakers have high hopes that the stance of the state may finally be softening following the legalization of the historical horse race betting.

Two Virginia lawmakers, with support from Bristol, have begun work on a bill that is expected to allow the residents of the city to vote on the potential construction of a casino in a referendum – this bill will be introduced during the 2019 legislative session of Virginia’s General Assembly. According to Randy Eads, the Bristol City Manager, the city is in dire need of an opportunity to improve its financial situation especially because its debt load “is getting ready to increase dramatically over the next several years”. He believes that the gambling revenue will be very useful in alleviating these financial issues not just for Bristol but for other cities in the state as well.

The Bristol City Manager is also confident that the casino effort will face very little opposition after it passed all of the hurdles in the state’s legislature. However, this claim might be too optimistic especially considering the fact that a Bristol family organization has already launched an effort that opposes the establishment of a casino resort in the city. The family argues that any gambling activity in the state would only lead to “addiction, poverty, higher crime, prostitution, sex trafficking, drugs, diminished poverty values, etc.”

Proposed Developments

While the other cities have been making tremendous strides towards the push for the legalization of sports betting and online gambling, Bristol has been more proactive in pursuing the agenda. Developers in the city have even gone as far as pitching a $150-million plan for a casino resort in the city which they believe will come with new jobs and revenue for the region and the state. Members of the city council have also expressed confidence that, if the project materializes, it could result in a much-needed economic boost in the region.

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!

Irish Authorities to Intensify Crackdown on Illegal Gambling

Ireland’s long-awaited crackdown on illegal gambling operations has been one of the most discussed topics in the global gaming industry this year. With so much more said than done, the country’s local authorities have decided to expand the crackdown on unlawful gambling activities and unlawful casinos in Dublin despite the fact that a gambling control bill meant to control that very thing has seen hardly any progress for over half a decade now.

Initially revealed in October, the Revenue Commissioners decided to expand its crackdown on some Dublin-based illegal casinos. In fact, according to the country’s finance minister, the process of removal of the illegal gambling machines from various premised had already begun. Apparently, gambling machines that did not have the required operating licenses had spread in Ireland’s capital city and this was becoming even more clear this year and this is what prompted the now intensified crackdown – these illegal terminals violated existing laws that banned the above-mentioned terminals. The casinos offering such terminals had violated a directive of the Dublin City Council as well as some rules that had been imposed by the Revenue Commissioners.

The city council directive mentioned above was established back in 1988 and it stated that gambling licenses cannot be provided in Dublin. This move forced the local casino operators to file applications for amusement licenses, which as per the regulations of the city, are subjected to much lower regulators control.

Is Gambling Addiction in Ireland Getting Out of Hand?

As media reports emerged that a few premises in Dublin that have been offering illegal gambling services have been served with enforcement letters by the Revenue Commissioners but there is something that seems to be even more concerning. According to Irish experts from the Limerick-based Saoirse Addiction Treatment Centre, there has been an increase in gambling addiction in the country – it is one of the biggest problems in the country’s gambling sector.

Industry experts believe that there has been an increasing popularity of online gambling among the younger generation and when this is combined with the rather obvious lack of adequate regulation it becomes an even more serious problem. Problem gambling specialists have often pointed out that there are literally infinite opportunities to gamble on the online space and the fact that problem gambling can go on for long makes it very dangerous.

In 2015, the National Advisory Committee on Drugs and Alcohol (NACDA) commissioned a report that revealed that close 65 percent of adults gambled that year. Keeping this mind, the Revenue Commissioners have in the past few years had to intensify their efforts towards casino industry crackdowns regarding mostly the unlicensed gaming machines.

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.