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Online Gambling Lawyer

Volume: 14 Issue: 1
(January 2015)


News

The gambling industry is facing the possibility that automatic filters, to be implemented by some major UK ISPs to block access by default to ‘adult content’ websites, could apply to gambling sites. So far Sky and TalkTalk have stated this month that they will apply such filters; Sky will do so in late January/early February and TalkTalk will do so in February. / read more

The Czech government is looking to introduce a tax on online operators accepting bets from local customers as part of the overhaul of its regulatory regime for the gambling industry, in response to infringement action taken against it by the EC in November 2013. The rate being proposed is 30% of gross gaming revenue and will apply indiscriminately to operators whether licensed or otherwise. / read more

The CJEU ruled on 22 January in Case C-463/13 that EU law does not preclude Italy from awarding gambling and betting licences whose period of validity is shorter than that of licences awarded previously. Stanley International Betting and subsidiary Stanleybet challenged the 2012 tender, claiming that shorter and more restrictive licences blocked them from participating in Italy’s gambling market. / read more


Features

Australia’s recently formed Illegal Offshore Wagering Working Group will analyse the impact of illegal offshore betting on Australian racing and sports. Jamie Nettleton and Jessica Azzi of Addisons discuss how the Working Group will likely consider amendments to the Australian Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (‘IGA’) for instance in regards to imposing legal obligations on financial institutions to block transactions relating to operators in breach of the IGA. Further, Jamie and Jessica look at whether the Working Group will consider amendments in regards to regulating in-play betting. / read more

James Duckworth and Ewen Macgregor of Bond Dickinson report on developments in the UK gambling sector; James discusses the Committee of Advertising Practice (‘CAP’) review of the impact of gambling advertising, part of the wider review taking place at the request of the UK government, and Ewen analyses proposed changes for online operators holding customer funds. / read more

After a long-winded licensing and litigation process, the single casino concession in Liechtenstein will be re-tendered, following a decision of the Liechtenstein State Court. Admiral AG launched a complaint against the awarding of the licence stating in essence that evaluation criteria and the weighting by the authority lacked transparency and were therefore incompatible with the national Gambling Act, the Liechtenstein Constitution and EU/EEA laws. The Liechtenstein State Court sent a request for preliminary ruling to the EFTA Court in particular regarding the transparency of tender proceedings and the compliance with EEA and EU law. After the EFTA Court and Liechtenstein State Court rulings as well as Wolfgang Egger’s change of partner, the casino concession now needs to be re-tendered. Arthur Stadler and Tamino Chochola, of Brandl & Talos attorneys at law in Vienna, analyse the EFTA court ruling in light of its relevance for the licensing of online gambling services. / read more

A Native American tribe’s attempt to launch an internet bingo website has faced setbacks following a recent court order temporarily restraining the site’s operation. In its decision, the Court made a number of important findings regarding the classification of online gaming services by such tribes. Heidi McNeil Staudenmaier and Anthony J. Carucci, of US law firm Snell & Wilmer offer a blow-by-blow account of the interlocutory legal proceedings and the next steps. / read more

The 2012 UK budget saw the Government announce that UK gambling taxes would be reformed so that remote gambling was taxed on a ‘place of consumption basis’ (‘PoC’). This means that operators will pay tax on the gross gambling profits generated from UK customers, regardless of operator location. In practice, this means that operators, including those based in the Isle of Man (‘IOM’), accepting business from customers located inside the UK, are now liable for a remote gaming duty of 15%. For IOM operators with UK-based customers, the change meant that the operator could end up paying duty in both the UK and the IOM. While the IOM duty (payable on a reducing scale from 1.5% to 0.1% of gross gaming yield or retained profit) may appear insignificant compared to the UK’s hefty 15%, any relief from double duty would be welcomed by operators who now face reduced margins with the UK tax changes. / read more

The European Commission (the ‘EC’) released recommendations regarding consumer protection in the online gambling industry in July 2014 - a measure that is very distinct from its powers to regulate competition in the European market through the commencement of infringement proceedings against Member States. In this article, two leading experts in gaming law - Dr Wulf Hambach (founding partner at German law firm Hambach & Hambach) and Dr Alan Littler (a prominent gaming lawyer at Dutch firm Kalff Katz & Franssen Attorneys) - team up to discuss their views on the impact that this new measure can have, in particular at a national level, as well as some of the resistance coming out of Germany. / read more

A slew of tech innovations, including the Apple iPhone 6 and Apple Watch, and the Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition, which works by connecting the Galaxy Note phone to a ‘virtual reality’ headset, allowing the use of the device for gaming and watching movies, could transform the user experience. Mark McGuinness, who has more than 15 years experience in digital marketing director roles for both private and public i-gaming operators, analyses the impact such innovations could have for the online gambling sector, particularly in terms of gambling advertising and big data. / read more

In the world of gaming, we are experiencing a broadening of the horizons due to - or thanks to - social gaming. However this area is still confusing, especially in the areas of overlap between traditional gambling games and social games. Indeed, if we consider the elements of both, it is evident how often these elements fit together. Both types of game are played ‘online.’ Both can have a ‘bonus.’ We believe that prizes alone do not create the structural difference, but there are many who view the prize as the real difference between the two types. In the traditional game the prize is money and can be ‘cashed out,’ while in social games prizes are assets and these assets could be converted into cash. That’s why, in our opinion, the border between social and gambling is becoming thinner. / 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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