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Online Gambling Lawyer

Volume: 12 Issue: 10
(October 2013)


News

The Portuguese Government announced on 3 October that it will legalise online gambling, as a result of Portugal’s evaluation meeting with the Troika, in an effort to increase tax revenues and meet bailout requirements. / read more

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) published revised regulations for online gambling on 21 October, responding to comments received during the consultation period, prior to New Jersey’s start date for i-gaming on 26 November. / read more

Norway’s new coalition government announced on 9 October that it will launch an inquiry into whether it should offer online gambling licences to foreign operators; a decision is expected in around a year. / read more

This week the World Online Gambling Law Report interviewed Peter Howitt, Chief Executive of the Gibraltar Betting & Gaming Association (GBGA) and Founder of Ramparts Law about Gibraltar’s plans to combat the UK’s move to a point of consumption (PoC) regime for online gambling. Howitt explained that the UK Government is embarking on a dangerous regulatory experiment with the proposed PoC regime. / read more


Features

The remote gambling industry in the UK has now had time to chew over the UK Gambling Commission's Consultation and its sister document dealing with player deposit protection, issued together in September. Readers will no doubt recall that these are the industry consultations on the regulation that is to underpin the UK's forthcoming 'point of consumption' (PoC) regime, to be implemented from 2014. Jason Chess, Partner and Head of the Betting and Gaming group at Wiggin LLP, dissects the consultation, which welcomes responses until 4 December. / read more

A company or person who wishes to organise a lottery in Sweden is required to obtain a licence. Pursuant to the Swedish Lotteries Act, a licence may only be issued to a Swedish legal entity, being a non-profit organisation and working towards the advancement of socially beneficial objectives. The Swedish government may also grant special licences to organise gambling, such as those to the governmentally-owned Svenska Spel AB and Trav och Galopp AB, which is jointly owned by the Swedish government and the equestrian sports organisations. In other words, under the current Swedish gambling regime, private commercial entities may not obtain gambling licences. / read more

On 17 September 2013, a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued a split decision affirming the US District Court for the District of New Jersey's decision that the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act ('PASPA') is constitutional and prevents the implementation of New Jersey's Sports Wagering Law. Linda J. Shorey, Anthony R. Holtzman and Tad J. Macfarlan of K&L Gates, Harrisburg, assess the Third Circuit’s decision and the options available to New Jersey in seeking to overturn the decision. / read more

Gibraltar's online gaming industry is recognised as a world 'centre of excellence' for its successful regulation of online operators. Unfortunately, the UK has not seen fit to permit genuine recognition or passporting by Gibraltar licensed operators. In addition to the unnecessary compliance and licensing costs this may incur (on top of additional taxation), this element of the point of consumption regime (POCR) may also be mis-sold (by those so minded) as an implicit disavowal of Gibraltar's international regulatory regime by the very country that is responsible for it for EU related matters. The timing could not be worse given the political and economic pressures Gibraltar presently faces due to its sensitive relationship with Spain. / read more

The Office of Fair Trading's (OFT) investigation into online and app-based games and how these games target children, for example through aggressive commercial practices, has particular relevance for the social gaming/gambling industry, especially given the Gambling Commission's concerns about the impact of social games on young people. David Clifton, Director at Clifton Davies Consultancy Limited, discusses the principles to guide game developers proposed by the OFT following its investigation, and how these relate to social gaming/gambling. / read more

Whereas the private land-based casino of Berlin (Novomatic-owned, for many years the partner casino of PokerStars European Poker Tour) is celebrating its No. 1 ranking as the strongest casino of Germany in terms of revenue (gross profit in 2012: 84,4 million Euro; annual growth: 8.5%) the Bavarian state casinos are all facing huge problems. For years now, Bavarian liberal and green politicians as well as the Bavarian Supreme Audit Office have been requesting drastic consequences up to and including the closing of individual casinos. However, Bavaria is certainly not the only case. According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, most German casinos are experiencing a big crisis. "Since 2008, gross gaming revenues have nationwide declined by 42 per cent," the Chairman of the Federal Association of Private Casinos in Germany, Martin Reeckmann, explains. But why do certain state politicians stubbornly hang on to their casinos, even as modern game behaviour goes in a different direction? As reported by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the internet in particular provides ways to 'make big business with poker and casino games - many players migrate there.' / read more

Following industry pressure and a public consultation, the UK's Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) has amended its non-broadcast advertising code to introduce a targeted new exemption for online betting operators. / read more

In May, Australian Independent Senator Nick Xenophon introduced his Interactive Gambling Amendment (Virtual Credits) Bill 2013. This Bill sought to clarify the remit of the term ‘gambling service’ within Australia’s Interactive Gambling Act 2001 to include games where players pay for virtual currency with real money but cannot ‘cash-out.’ Senator Xenophon has since announced that he wishes to re-introduce the Bill. Jaan Murphy, a Research Assistant at the Australian Parliamentary Library, discusses the Bill’s scope and the likelihood of it now being passed. / read more

Targeting popular platforms such as Apple's iOS and Google's Android with a mobile gaming app means not only understanding the platform's legal requirements, but also considering the wider implications of gaming apps, such as geo-targeting and app advertising. Matt Pollins of Olswang explains why launching an app is not just about putting an online product on mobile. / 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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