Antigua Could Claim Upwards of $176 Million From USA In Online Gambling Debacle

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Friday 21 December 2012 12:05 am

According to the Associated Press – Harold Lovell – Finance Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, has said that they are going to pursue their long-standing dispute over online gambling with the USA. This small Island State with a population of less than 90 000, has unsuccessfully pursued this dispute since UIGEA was enacted in late 2006.

They have accused their giant northern neighbour of "hobbling its fragile economy" when they banned US punters from taking online bets and wagers with online operators. There were a great many online gambling websites which licensed their offshore operations in the Island State. Antigua says they are looking for a fair settlement according to a World Trade Organisation ruling which told them they have a valid claim.

Negotiations came to a standstill when the USA simply ignored to acknowledge their claim. The WTO dispute mechanism was then used to attempt to get the issue back onto the bargaining table. The Island State – like many other countries world-wide – are in a delicate fiscal position and feel that the matter "pushed their backs up against a wall".

At the next WTO meeting on the 17th December, this matter will be brought up on behalf of Antigua Barbuda. All things considered $176 Million is not a great deal of money, but the USA is also in a pretty cash-strapped state. At one time Antigua even requested that the WTO impose $3 billion in sanctions on the USA to force them to comply with the ruling granting them compensation. The WTO only enforced sanctions of $21 million per year.

These retaliatory sanctions against have come to be known as the David vs. Goliath trade battle. But being a small country they say it is not their intention to have a fight. However, they do believe they have the rights to protect their sovereignty as well as rely on the might of the WTO to back up their claim.

This ex-British colony once housed a thriving online casino industry, where numerous licensees employed around 3000 people and generated an income of approximately $1 billion.

Lovell says they are determined to pursue punitive action and insist that having failed through all other avenues, sanctions are the only recourse they have left. Barring a last minute settlement being made, the intention is to announce which industries will be targeted for sanction action. The US Tread Representative office has not responded as yet.

The USA is now also considering making online gambling legal, but it is taking years for the Federal Government to come to any decision. In the meantime individual states have taken the legal situation into their own hands and the State of Nevada was the first to make intrastate online gambling legal. It is believed that other states will follow suit, but what is really needed is Federal regulation and legislation.

At this juncture it is interesting to note that approximately half of the gamblers in the world are based in the USA.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (11 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +11 (from 11 votes)

Tax-cuts Of the UK Online Gambling Industry – Is This Really On The CARDS?

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Friday 14 December 2012 6:50 pm

We have been reading in the news that the large online gambling concerns, which offer offshore services to UK residents, may be in for beneficial tax-cut to lure these industry players back into the country. While we think this is a very fine idea, whether it ever comes to fruition or not, still remains to be seen.

Recently there have been massive protests against the fact that industry giants such as Amazon, Google and Starbucks have been involved in corporation tax avoidance. Apparently the government has also been aware of this and has failed to crack down on defaulters. In the meantime, an across the board tax of 15% applies to all gambling concerns, and this has seen an exodus of big brand names such as Ladbrokes, William Hill and other interactive divisions of brands, taking to the hills to license their products offshore.

While this has provided big business for Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Alderney, Malta and other independent members of the ex-British Empire. It does not do a lot for Her Majesty’s Customs and Excise coffers. Not when we bear in mind that the majority of the customers who follow these big name brands are actually situated in the UK.

Luring interactive gambling industry giants, and even the smaller concerns, does not only mean licensing fees will be filling up UK tax coffers. The industry is a mostly high-tech concern, and therefore highly paid people are employed in jobs, office space is required for hardware, software designers, financial, administrative, and all kinds of other highly paid people, and all of these people pay tax. An active industry also stimulates the economy too.

As an example perhaps we should look at Tombola Bingo. This is one of the very few interactive online bingo concerns that keepsoffices in the UK. Although they too are licensed in Gibraltar, they have offices based, and employ people in the Sutherland area. Despite the strict tax regime, which is even tougher for the bingo business in Britain, this business has continued to grow, and has on more than one occasion actually doubled in size.

With attractive tax cuts scheduled – which seems to be what Chancellor George Brown is planning, Britain’s biggest gambling companies could move back to the land of their birth. Despite the fact that this is a highly controversial move, if we think about it in pure numbers terms. It is far more economically beneficial to have twenty online gambling companies paying licensing fees, salaries, overheads etc, as well as 5% or 10% tax. Than it is to have NO online gambling companies paying any of the above expenses we listed.

Bearing in mind that there are hundreds – if not thousands – of online gambling concerns offering services to the residents of the UK; the more attractive the government makes it for them, the better it is for everyone in the long term.

According to The Mail on Sunday – "the Treasury is considering slashing the gambling levy by a third to recoup some of the £2.1 billion in revenues that has been lost over the last seven years."

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (11 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +11 (from 11 votes)

eCOGRA Appointed To Key Danish Gambling Compliance Role

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling News | Friday 7 December 2012 6:05 am

The independent online gambling testing and compliance organisation eCOGRA, which is already performing technical standards reviews for operators licenced by the Danish Gambling Authority, has been further empowered by the Authority as an ‘Approved Enterprise’.

eCOGRA is the first company to be so appointed by the Danish Gambling Authority.

The role of an Approved Enterprise in the Danish market is to complete a report as required by the Danish Gambling Authority in respect of Danish licence holders within 14 months of the commencement of licensed online gambling operations.

Such a report includes an extensive review of license holders’ operational activities, embracing financial and statistical data to ensure that the licensee has provided gambling services in accordance with Danish gambling legislation.

eCOGRA chief executive Andrew Beveridge said this week that in order to be appointed as an Approved Enterprise, eCOGRA was required to demonstrate to the Danish Gambling Authority that its employees possess the appropriate skills, qualifications and experience for the role.

"The majority of eCOGRA’s employees are professionally qualified auditors with Big 4 audit firm backgrounds, and are highly experienced in auditing and reviewing financial information and remote gambling operator systems; we were therefore confident that we would meet the high standards of the Danish regulator," Beveridge said.

"eCOGRA now has ten years of diverse compliance, testing and consulting experience in the industry, during which its staff has successfully performed over 500 online gambling compliance reviews in the areas of player protection and responsible operator behaviour, in most cases for large and well-established internet gambling operator and software supplier companies."

"I therefore believe that we are well suited to perform the role of an Approved Enterprise in the growing Danish market."

"This appointment is extremely important to us, as our clients require us to provide them the full suite of services required by the various licensing jurisdictions, including the review of technical and information security requirements, and legal and financial compliance."

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (8 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +8 (from 8 votes)

Net Entertainment releases Disco Spins video slot

Posted by Gambling News | Casino News | Thursday 6 December 2012 6:09 am

Net Entertainment, the world’s leading provider of high-quality casino games, announces the release of its latest video slot, Disco Spins™.

Disco Spins Video Slot Game

Disco Spins™, which has 5 reels, 3 rows and 20 fixed bet lines, is set inside a night club with the reels and background acting as a dance floor that lights up with strobe lights.

The Wild symbols appear on the reels when the colour of the Disco Dancer symbol matches the colour of the dance floor tile they appear on. As many as eight Wild symbols can appear at the same time offering players an amazing opportunity for big wins. This Wild symbols feature is integral to the game play and makes it an incredibly enjoyable gaming experience.

Net Entertainment’s newest offering operates two different Free Spins modes, a regular Free Spins and a Disco Spins version. If 3 Scatter symbols appear anywhere on the reels in the main game, the players have the opportunity to choose between the two modes.

"We are delighted with the Disco Spins™ slots game and it’s the perfect addition to our portfolio," comments Per Eriksson, President and CEO of Net Entertainment. "Having two alternative Free Spins modes gives the offering a new twist and it allows us to continue driving the online casino market through better games."

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (10 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +10 (from 10 votes)