EU Wants Common Platform For The Regulation of Gambling Online

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Friday 3 May 2013 1:07 pm

It is no secret that the European Union finds the online gambling industry to be problematic . But the problems actually don’t lie with the industry, it is in the way EU countries just do their own thing with regards to trading regulations. The EU is committed to a policy of free trade within the Union, but there are all kinds of issues that come into play, so individual countries tend to make their own laws regarding the industry.

One of the chief concerns of many EU partner countries is the problem of match fixing. So, they attempt to put an end to corruption in sports by stopping activities such as online sports betting, and it is this that affects industry players. While the European Union themselves battle with the case of creating a unified, or rather, common, platform for operators in the Internet gambling biz.
The real problem seems to be that the gambling sector is vulnerable, so protection, as well as stamping out corruption is the EU’s main points of focus.

There has also been a great deal of deliberation surrounding inconsistencies in the rules that apply to online gambling ops within EU member nations. We have seen evidence of this in Belgium, Germany, France, and other member states. These states seem determined not to come to the party in terms of this industry.

Their actions have been seen in the light of a monopolistic approach, and this

goes against the basic mandate of the European Union – that fairness and free e-commerce is an integral part of the structure.

The European Commission has requested industry input, and responded with an action plan, however, this has made very little difference to the way in which certain countries respond. Despite the fact that Michel Barnier – the EC Commissioner for internal trade has called for member states to fulfil their obligations, they simply go their own way.

Apparently there are five areas in which increased cooperation is required, but Mr. Barnier has also mentioned that the EC is “not proposing EU-wide legislation on online gaming”. However, they are still proposing that a common protection principle be adhered to, as well as requesting that all member states follow an across-the-board set of actions.

It is obvious that both the EU and member states have concerns such as underage gambling, cheating in sports, and money laundering, but these issues should not be used as an excuse for monopolistic gambling practices to take place. Age verification technology and other tools to protect the vulnerable have become highly sophisticated – operators in regulated jurisdictions are visibly making use of these. However the new EC action plan wants advertisers to be more responsible too.

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Northern Ireland – New Gambling Laws Will Not Affect Online Industry

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Monday 4 February 2013 2:43 am

While Northern Ireland is considered to be part of the United Kingdom, this area is a self-governing territory, which implements its own distinct laws. Heaven knows the IRA fought long and hard enough to gain this distinction.

In terms of online gambling legislation and regulation, there was once the idea that an independent licensing authority should be created. However, the idea was soon rejected, due to logistical difficulties. Now Nelson McCausand – Minister of Social Development – Northern Ireland, has announced that new gambling legislation is to be formulated shortly. Apparently the new laws are not expected to affect online gamblers in any drastic way.

The need for new laws has become essential, because as times have changes, the old laws cannot hope to cover all the facets of every gambling portfolio, that is available to the public today. Basically these new laws are for consumer protection, and are focussed at players, and the money they spend being protected.

The EU marketplace as a whole has seen online gambling, as well as games such as poker, surge in popularity. In particular in terms of the game of poker, live events have become just as popular as playing online. Therefore the new Northern Irish laws will be designed to comply with the provisions of the EU, and unlike various EU countries, which have been recently seen taking the law into their own hands, the Northern Irish have no desire to take the EU Commission head on.

The other crucial aspect according to Minister McCausand, is that the original Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements laws were promulgate in 1985, and only dealt with the activities of bingo clubs, gaming machines, and so on. The times, they are a changing, and therefore so too must the laws. Gambling is so much more than mere bingo today, and is available across a wide variety of channels.

He is also keen that their laws should fit with the laws of the EU, and has in fact made it clear that they wish to have strict adherence with EU provisions.

There is also the matter of the Problem Gambling Review, when in 2009, problem gambling numbers were… well… a problem. At the time the review was conducted it revealed that at least 2% of the Northern Irish population, were actually gamblers with problems. This was a highly damaging review, and at the time, although poker was not mentioned per se, online poker operators had something to say. Operators such as Betfair, Paddy Power and Ladbrokes, are highly reputed brands in this industry, and obviously had something strong to say regarding the results of this review.

However, new laws will increase player protection, as well as address specific loopholes that seem to be present in the current gambling system. As EU law is not anti-online gambling, we don’t see any difficulty with new Northern Ireland law. They have absolutely committed themselves to strictly comply with the EU. Regulations and standards in the UK are being extensively studied to ensure a similar model for this independently governed territory.

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US Lottery Directors Up-In-Arms regarding Online Gambling Law

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling News | Sunday 13 January 2013 4:19 am

We always think it is the kettle calling the pot black when one gambling concern takes umbrage against another for fear they will lose their business. A prime example in the USA is Gambling Billionaire Magnate, Sheldon Adelson. He is the man who made his money with the Las Vegas Sands Corporation; he is also still their Chairman and CEO. In his opinion online gambling is morally wrong, but apparently it is not morally wrong to set down 5000 slots machines, 300 blackjack tables, 150 roulette wheels, and high stakes private Baccarat rooms on his casino floors. Go figure?

Anyway the latest in a long line of green monsters with regard the online US online gambling saga, is Lottery Directors. Another bunch of hypocrites from seven states who plan to storm in on Washington to speak against a bill which might potentially allow federal legislation and regulation for this much maligned industry. It appears that the bill is to restrict the expansion of lotteries online, as well as other gambling, but will promulgate online poker. Again with this bill, we see what appears to be a morally superior stance, calling the pot black so to speak, then, sneaking in the back door.

For goodness sake, why does the Federal Government not allow all online gambling activities across the board, a law such as this would stop all this envy and dissention right in its tracks. But then the Church and other groups who believe themselves to be on "higher" moral ground, would also have something to say.

Nevertheless, these lottery official hail from Kentucky, Idaho, New Hampshire, Georgia, Washington state, Missouri, and Iowa are signed-up. They will be flying in to lobby against the Federal bill devised by Senators Harry Reid, of Nevada, and Jon Kyl of Arizona.

David Gale who is the Exec Director of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, says the Bill will restrict most other online gambling activities which leaves them out in the cold. More and more states are looking to expand their lottery operations online, but not only that, they also want to be able to offer various other casino-type gambling games. What was mentioned were slots and keno-type games. Basically random number games.

They say that the purpose of the lobbying trip was to spread the message that gaming rights are a state-specific right, and that each and every state has the right to determine what games should or should not be on offer. However, this has also never really been disputed at Federal level, we only have to look at the fact that Nevada has made online poker legal.

Apparently these lottery leaders want their individual states not only to have the power to determine the games they offer their residents, but also how these gambling games are delivered. In other words – they are concerned that a Federal bill would interfere with their power.

According to Reid and Kyl, their online gambling bill does not deserve any of this ire, it is simply in draft form at present, and they will continue to work transparently with all stakeholders.

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Republicans Punt Prohibition For Online Gambling

Posted by Gambling News | Gambling Industry News,Gambling News | Monday 17 September 2012 7:30 am

Historically it is a fact that prohibition does not work, in particular prohibition does not work in countries where politics dictate that people supposedly have the freedom of speech, freedom to information, freedom of association, and so on. The USA is a country where its citizens supposedly have these freedoms. In fact they call it "the land of the brave and the home of the free" in their very National Anthem.

Millions of Americans however, still gamble online. They do this at offshore sites and billions of dollars go into the coffers of what could be called unscrupulous websites, although some are quite above board – they are still offshore sites. The Government collects no tax revenue because the industry is not regulated, and the American Citizens who gamble at these sites, do so at even greater risk. In other words, they have very little to fall back on in the form of consumer protection.

Now that state-wide momentum is growing to legalize "intrastate" online gambling, the Presidential elections are also just around the corner, and this is where we get to the prohibition factor. Now that momentum is building in the fight "FOR" online gambling, we get statements in the news from the Republican party that online poker will be banned. This despite the fact that a recent court ruling from a NYC judge had the game declared one of skill.

Unfortunately, progress dictates two steps forward, and occasional steps back, this is the way of the world, and also the human condition. What is even more unfortunate is the fact that because prohibition does not work – millions of Americans will continue to play poker and/or gamble online. And by the same token, this money, which could be generating tax revenue, will still pour out of the country.

It is a well-known fact that the USA is cash-strapped. Every state is short of funding, and instead of looking at innovative ways to stimulate the economy, the Republicans seem to be determined to stand on moral high ground and send the United States even deeper into debt.

Online gambling is a proven money-spinner, and with mobile gambling taking off in popularity like the proverbial rocket-ship; this industry is going to grow from a multi-billion dollar industry; to a multi-multi-billion dollar industry. One of the most dynamic things about the online gambling business, is it has proven to be recession-proof. Not many businesses can boast of that.

While Republicans want to make the Internet ”Family-Friendly”, perhaps they do not realise that the Internet is a Global phenomenon, not just an American convenience that they can manipulate as they see fit. It is up to parents to ensure that their internet access is family friendly, not up to the US Government to decide what family friendly is. The government needs to stick to the bigger issues at hand such reducing the Chinese debt, we hardly think online gambling needs to be banned in the light of this.

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