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Online Gambling Lawyer

Volume: 13 Issue: 2
(February 2014)


News

Two online poker bills were filed in California on 21 February, prior to the deadline for the state’s legislative session for this year; the first - AB2291 - is sponsored by Assemblyman Jones-Sawyer and supported by a tribal coalition including the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, and would allow for legalised i-poker by State card rooms and Californian tribes but forbids interstate compacts and participation in any future Federal regulatory framework, while the second, SB1366, is essentially a reiteration of Sen. Correa’s 2013 bill and would allow interstate compacts and the state’s participation in a Federal framework. / read more

The Lithuanian government submitted a draft law to amend the regulation of gambling to the European Commission in February, which would introduce the possibility of legalised online gambling in Lithuania. / read more

The Italian Senate approved on 29 January the ‘Delega Fiscale’ bill, Article 14 of which seeks to redefine the regulation of public gaming in Italy; it includes a provision enabling the government to ban TV/radio gambling advertising in accordance with European principles to protect minors from potentially addictive real money games, and another allowing for gaming taxation revision. / read more

A decision of 27 November 2013, which has just been published, involving a player’s legal action against bet-at-home, which was found liable to reimburse €1million of a player’s losses at online roulette because the casino operated in conflict with Austria’s monopoly on gambling, has seen the Austrian Supreme Court send back the case to the first instance court for further findings. / read more


Features

Despite three US states legalising internet gambling, credit card issuers are still reluctant to process payments that are connected to online gambling. This situation has led to a reliance on alternative payment options. Neil Erlick, Executive Vice President at Optimal Payments, an online payment solutions provider, and Behnam Dayanim, Partner at Paul Hastings LLP, discuss the reasons why credit card issuers continue to be cautious, and the alternative payment options available. / read more

The Office of Fair Trading published in September 2013 a report examining online games aimed at children. In the process it has developed principles designed to eliminate industry practices that are potentially misleading, commercially aggressive or otherwise unfair. The OFT has, following consultation, released its final version of these principles, putting the games industry on notice that unacceptable behaviour will not be tolerated. David Clifton, Director at Clifton Davies Consultancy Limited, explains what practices may be seen by the OFT as non-compliant with its principles. / read more

In recent years, the issue of match-fixing has been increasingly discussed internationally and in the EU. For example, in February 2013, Europol uncovered a criminal network involved in the fixing of 680 football matches. The network affected 13 European countries and Europol suspected 425 people of being involved in the scandal, which generated over EUR 8 million in gambling revenues. Sweden and the other Nordic countries have also had their fair share of suspected match-fixing activities in recent years. For example, the Swedish sports betting monopoly Svenska Spel, during five months in 2013, detected dubious gambling patterns in ten cases. Six of those were reported to the police but none have so far led to any results. By Mikael Rydkvist, an Associate at Setterwalls. / read more

The Spanish market is a battlefield, with the traditional bricks-and-mortar operators on one hand and the international gaming operators who recently entered the market on the other; these two sides take opposing views on a number of issues facing the market. Albert Agustinoy of DLA Piper Spain discusses this division, and describes how some operators have banded together within associations to address the issues facing the Spanish gaming market. / read more

On 27 January 2014, New Jersey Senators Ray Lesniak and Jim Whelan introduced Senate Bill No. 980 for the State of New Jersey. According to its synopsis, this draft bill ‘Authorizes permits for certain New Jersey casinos for interstate and foreign Internet wagering; requires Internet gaming payment processors be licensed as casino service industry enterprises.’ Those New Jersey operators would, under the bill, be allowed to accept gamers both internationally and from other States, providing interstate compacts are in place. David Gzesh of Gzesh Law discusses some of the provisions within the draft bill and considers some of the most pressing questions the bill raises. / read more

National authorities and courts tend to require ISPs to filter and block online content when it comes to copyright infringement or allegedly illegal gambling sites. Legal battles concerning the proportionality of such blocking measures are high on the agenda, given that ISPs are left to unofficially ‘police’ the internet. Recently the Advocate General issued his opinion in an Austrian case involving website blocking, as Arthur Stadler and Johanna Köfinger of Brandl & Talos Attorneys at Law, Vienna, report. / read more

On 20 November 2013 the European Commission (EC) issued a press release stating that Finnish gambling law complies with EU rules, closing its infringement proceedings into the compatibility of Finnish legislation with EU law in connection to sports betting. Antti Koivula, a Bachelor of Law at Tallinn Law School, sheds light on the proceedings, the relevant legislative changes in Finland and the remaining inconsistencies. / read more

Bingo is something of an anomaly in that it is the only form of gambling that is recognised in the UK Gambling Act 2005 (‘the Act’) and not given a specific statutory definition. The inclusion within that Act of a provision that ‘bingo’ means ‘any version of that game, irrespective of by what name it is described’ is not particularly illuminating. This lack of clarity causes problems for new and potential licensees who want to ensure that their prospective new products do not fall outside the definition of ‘bingo’ and into the definitions of lotteries or gaming, the provision of facilities for which may require changes to licences or be prohibited entirely. By Alice Himsworth, Associate at Olswang LLP. / 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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