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Online Gambling Lawyer

Volume: 11 Issue: 10
(October 2012)


Austria’s Regional Court of Appeals upheld a ruling on 5 October ordering a Malta licensed online gambling operator, bet-at-home, to refund nearly €1m of losses to an Austrian gambler because the online casino does not have a licence to operate in Austria. / read more

The Hungarian Government has announced its intent to further tax and regulate the Hungarian online gambling market to recoup losses from a near complete ban on slot machines, following the passing of a gaming bill on 2 October. / read more

Tabcorp Holdings, Australia’s largest racecourse betting company, and the State of Victoria won an appeal in the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia on 12 October, to prohibit Sportsbet from operating its Betbox online betting kiosks in the State. / read more


There is strong potential in California for regulated online gaming with the state boasting a population of close to 37.7 million. In the case of online poker, there is already a huge, illegal market, worth $13 billion a year according to the California Online Poker Association. / read more

On 31 August 2012, the Remote Gambling Association ('RGA') published 'Technical issues: Good practice guidelines for the remote gambling industry'. In the press release accompanying the Technical Guidelines' publication, the RGA 'hoped that they [would] contribute to a higher degree of consistency in the approach taken by various regulators'. Matthias Spitz and Martin Jarrett of Melchers law firm, Germany, assess the Technical Guidelines and the context surrounding the harmonisation of technical standards across Europe. / read more

Progress towards the regulation of online gaming in the US may be slow, but two developments - the opinion of the Office of Legal Counsel on the scope of the Wire Act and a ruling in a New York District Court on the status of poker as a game of skill - have caught the attention of those hoping for a change in the regulatory landscape. Scott Greenberg and Michael J. Cohen of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, discuss the developments. / read more

On 19 July the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued a ruling that challenges some of the provisions of the Polish Gaming Act adopted in a rush in November 2009 (Case Nos. C-213/11, C-214/11 and C-217/1). Most of the Polish politicians of the opposition and the gaming industry representatives claimed that the ruling proved that the Gaming Act was improperly adopted and as a result Poland would be required to pay a multi-million settlement in damages to the slot machine operators who were banned from operations by the Gaming Act. On the other hand, the Ministry of Finance, the gaming market regulator, responded officially that the outcome of the ECJ's ruling was still to be approved by a Polish Court. / read more

Cyprus' Betting Act 2012 provides further clarity on the nature of legal gambling activities in Cyprus and the requirements for operators looking to gain a licence to provide gambling services to customers in Cyprus. Andreas Neocleous, Founder, Advocate and Chairman of the Board at Andreas Neocleous & Co LLC, discusses the new Betting Act in detail and the ban on betting exchanges contained with the Act, which has resulted in a formal complaint from Betfair. / read more

The Hungarian gambling market has seen a wave of regulatory change in the last year, changes which began at the end of 2011 and rippled to a second wave of unexpected regulatory changes in October 2012. Gábor Helembai, a Partner at Forgo, Damjanovic & Partners, discusses the changes to the Hungarian gambling market and the future of online gambling. / read more

A new Gambling and Lotteries Bill was drafted in July 2011 in Latvia. This new law, if passed in its current state, will have a substantial impact on the regulation of gambling within Latvia, and would introduce tighter controls over gambling advertising and the operation of gambling operators not licensed in Latvia. Jevgenija Andronova and Martins Petersons, Attorneys at Borenius, discuss the proposed new law. / read more

The most recent Opinion of Advocate General Mazák reiterated the grounds for justifying gaming monopolies and once more a Member State failed to justify its gambling monopoly. Nicholas Aquilina and Sarah Pichler, of Brandl and Talos Attorneys at Law, discuss Mazák’s recent Opinion on the Greek monopoly, and the recent referral to the CJEU by an Austrian administrative court concerning the compatibility of Austria's de facto monopoly - the fourth referral of questions relating to the Austrian Gambling Act, which may soon be the most tested piece of gambling legislation in the EU. / read more

In a surprise ruling, Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency has declared certain social games to be illegal. Chie Kasahara and Daniel Hounslow of Atsumi & Sakai, Tokyo, discuss how concerns about a specific system, based on toy vending machines, has led to increased regulation of Japan’s social gaming industry. / read more

The Russian social gaming market has flourished and is set to grow and grow, and further fuel the projected increase of mobile social gaming in Russia. Roman Zykov, a Sports and Gaming Lawyer, analyses the Russian market, the big players, and the gradual shift in attitudes towards gambling like social games, which lie outside of the Russian Gambling Law which prohibits all forms of online gambling. / read more

The European Commission’s Technical Standards Directive, which obliges all Member States to notify the Commission of all technical regulations and any amendments before they are enforced, was questioned in the Fortuna case and sheds light on the definition of technical regulations. Martin Lycka, Legal Advisor at Betfair, discusses the Commission’s requirements regarding the technical regulations and the outcome of the Fortuna case. / read more

About Online Gambling Lawyer

The monthly publication exploring legal issues affecting operators in online gambling and gaming, on a global basis. Topics covered included licensing, offshore operators, mobile gaming, gambling payments, fixture lists and database rights, online poker, social gaming and gambling, online liquidity, advertising, sports betting, in-play betting, eSports, fantasy sports (DFS), Bitcoin gambling, and gambling fraud, as well as in-depth discussion of legislation such as the Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive and the US Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA)... / read more

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