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Online Gambling Lawyer

Volume: 13 Issue: 6
(June 2014)


News

The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) sent formal letters on 18 June to the UK Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the UK Gambling Commission (GC), as required by Pre-Action Protocol, confirming its intention to challenge through judicial review the UK Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014, as well as the revised Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) and associated guidance and policies issued by the GC, alleging that the new UK licensing regime is unlawful and poses a threat to consumers. / read more

Malta has objected to the definition of illegal sports betting put forward by the Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions, which, according to an agreement by the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on 23 May, should be ratified by the end of 2014, subject to amendments. The definition reads: ‘any sports betting activity whose type or operator is not allowed under the applicable law of the jurisdiction where the consumer is located.’ / read more

The CJEU ruled on 12 June that the existence of two regulatory frameworks is not a violation of EU market freedoms, provided that the more restrictive legislation satisfies ‘the conditions of proportionality,’ following a request from Germany’s Federal Court during the lawsuit between Digibet and Westlotto. / read more


Features

With the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 (the ‘Act’) currently expected to come into force on 1 September 2014, the UK Gambling Commission (‘GC’) has recently published guidance to operators (via FAQs) on its plans for implementation of the Act. The GC has clarified that, as part of the licensing application process, applicants will be asked to disclose any markets from which they derive more than 3% of their total revenue from players (or 10% for operators with a total revenue of less than £5m). / read more

The US Department of Justice’s December 2011 opinion that the Wire Act only applies to sports betting set the regulation of the US gaming market in motion, ushering in the gradual state-led regulation of online gambling that exists today. Yet two virtually identical bills, both introduced on 26 March, one in the US Senate - the ‘Restoration of America’s Wire Act’ - and the other in the House of Representatives, would, if passed, undo the December 2011 opinion and require existing online gaming operations in New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware to be shut down. Christopher L. Soriano of Duane Morris LLP analyses what is being referred to as the Wire Act ‘fix,’ as well as its potential impact on state lotteries. / read more

The International Social Games Association (ISGA) formed in 2013, developed a set of Best Practice Principles for the industry, which was published last autumn. The ISGA has since turned its attention to what it sees as a ‘research gap’ with regard to discussion around social games, and has worked with Australian consulting firm Harvest Research to create a new perspective on the social games sector. Luc Delany, CEO of the ISGA, provides an overview of the report’s findings and conclusions. / read more

The fanfare generated by Federbet surrounding its recent announcement that 110 football matches had been fixed last season - and the organisation was very clear in its determination that these had all been fixed - was quite rightly quickly expunged as the real details (or lack of details) backing these claims became apparent. It turned into what one trade media body referred to as the worst PR campaign ever as the whole basis of Federbet’s claims started to unravel with accompanying criticism from all sides, to the extent that potential legal action was even threatened against the organisation. / read more

Proposed amendments to Canada’s Proceeds of Crime (Money Laundering) and Terrorist Financing Act, which would expand the Act to cover online casinos, were introduced on 28 March. Danielle Bush and Laura Etherington of Miller Thomson LLP discuss the implications for online casinos. / read more

On 12 June the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) issued its preliminary ruling in case C-156/13, Digibet and Albers, in which it was called upon to examine the consistency of German gaming legislation given the co-existence of the Schleswig-Holstein licensing system and the German Interstate Treaty on Gambling. The CJEU ruled that a temporarily and geographically limited co-existence of the liberal regulation in Schleswig-Holstein and the restrictive Interstate Treaty on Gambling is, in principle, not contrary to the principle of consistency if it does not significantly impede the regulatory objectives. Due to the limited scope of the preliminary questions, the CJEU did not rule on whether or not the German Interstate Treaty is per se in compliance with EU law. This is subject to a further case pending before the CJEU. Nicholas Aquilina and Johanna Köfinger of Brandl & Talos Attorneys at Law discuss the background to the case and the CJEU’s decision. / read more

On 10 June 2011 a National Policy on Match-Fixing in Sport was endorsed by all Australian sports ministers in an effort to combat match-fixing and associated undesirable sports betting activities in Australia. A National Operational Sports Betting Model was then agreed to by the various State and Territory sports ministers on 30 September 2011 (the ‘Model’). In New South Wales (‘NSW’), the Racing Administration Amendment (Sports Betting National Operational Model) Act 2014 (the ‘NSW Sports Act’), which purports to implement the Model in NSW, received assent on 5 June 2014. Tony Rein, Partner at Thomson Geer, analyses the key changes brought by the new Act. / read more

From 1 January 2015, new EU VAT rules will come into effect; the current VAT treatment of supplies to B2C customers will change and the suppliers of these services will be required to account for VAT in the country where the customer is located, if the supply is VATable there. Although this may not affect all online gambling suppliers as remote gaming and betting will be exempt in many EU Member States, the changes are still important as there may be differences in how certain Member States apply these rules, amongst other considerations. Dougie Todd, VAT Director at BDO LLP, outlines how the new VAT rules apply to remote gaming and betting operators. / 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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