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Online Gambling Lawyer

Volume: 14 Issue: 11
(November 2015)


On 10 November DraftKings and FanDuel, the two largest daily fantasy sports (‘DFS’) operators in the US, were served cease and desist letters by the New York (‘NY’) Attorney General (‘AG’) ordering them to stop offering paid contests in the state. Both operators challenged the orders before the court to prevent the AG from closing their operations, however a decision from Judge Mendez rendered on 16 November denied their injunctions and as a result both operators must now comply with the AG’s order. / read more

On 9 November the State Government of New South Wales (‘NSW’) announced a ban on the advertising of live odds during sports fixtures of four hours or less, to come into force from 1 March 2016. The Australian state seeks to curb the increasing marketing efforts by gambling operators amidst concerns over the risk these campaigns pose in encouraging and facilitating compulsive gambling. / read more

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (‘CMA’) published on 11 November an invitation for comment on the proposed merger between Paddy Power and Betfair. This all-stock merger was announced in August and would create the world’s biggest online gambling operator. / read more


The recently enacted amendment to the Act on games of chance (‘Gaming Act’) removed some deficiencies, which the European Commission determined to be contrary to EU law when it conducted a formal infringement procedure against Poland (infringement No. 2013/4218). One of them was the infamous establishment requirement, which limited the scope of the potential Polish gaming licensees to companies registered in Poland. After the amendment to the Gaming Act entered into force (which happened after a relatively short period of 14 days from publication) on 3 September, EU and European Free Trade Association (‘EFTA’) based companies may directly apply for an online betting licence in Poland. Before that day, operators were unable to obtain a Polish gaming licence but many of them continued to provide their services without a licence. This was commonly justified by the fact that the restrictions that prohibited them from obtaining a licence (as well as some other provisions of the Gaming Act) were in breach of EU law. / read more

The GB Gambling Commission announced in October that it is reviewing its regulations governing peer-to-peer (‘P2P’) online poker - where players play against each other as opposed to playing the operator. David Clifton, Director at Clifton Davies Consultancy Limited, discusses the first stage of the Commission’s review, which seeks information from licence holders about collusion and cheating, including the use of bots and third party software. / read more

Currently, Switzerland’s regulatory regime in the gaming sector restricts the organisation or operation of online games of chance for money. This has resulted in substantial gambling revenues leaving the country. To regain the associated tax incomes and support the local casino industry, the Swiss Federal Council (‘Council’) released on 21 October a revised draft regulation to legalise online gambling. Dr Andreas Glarner and Dr Luka Müller-Studer, Legal Partners at MME, provide detailed analysis of the draft law. / read more

The incoming European General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’) and the landmark Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) decision in the Schrems case will directly impact online gambling operators and their suppliers, as these companies extensively process personal data. Diane Mullenex and Annabelle Richard of Pinsent Masons discuss the developments and how substantial adaptations in the online gambling market will be required, especially in the commercial relationships between operators and suppliers. / read more

Despite being a popular form of entertainment in India, sports betting is currently deemed illegal. However, this practice is widespread, raising serious concerns about the integrity of sport. Recent match-fixing incidents in cricket strongly suggest a new regulatory approach is necessary to prevent criminal organisations from tainting sport in this region of the world. Aditya Shamlal and Vishnupriya Sainath of Gamechanger Law Advisors propose a controlled sports betting market and stronger criminal regulation to deter the activities of illegal organisations and dubious practices that may be compromising the integrity of competitions. / read more

On 8 October, the minutes of the Financial Conduct Authority (‘FCA’) Board held on 29 and 30 July 2015 were published. The FCA Board noted “some specific concerns…around the providers of Contracts for Difference [sic] and asked for further information in relation to the work being done to understand this sector.” Further, the Board noted “the consideration of issues around the regulatory perimeter, in particular ongoing work looking at the promotion and appropriateness tests for purchase of Contracts for Difference [sic].” / read more

Following the recent filing of a class action lawsuit in the US by Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garçon against daily fantasy sports company FanDuel for the use of the names, likenesses, images and performance statistics of professional National Football League (‘NFL’) players, Albert Agustinoy and Jorge Monclús of Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira, discuss the likely outcome of the case, alongside case law in Europe that may predict the outcome of similar legal conflicts that could arise as the daily fantasy sports market takes off in Europe. / read more

In a review published in summer this year, the Malta Gaming Authority (‘MGA’) referred to the ‘overhaul’ of Maltese gambling regulation that the MGA embarked on in 2014. Such an overhaul may be needed, as earlier this year the gambling framework in Malta came under the spotlight as a result of an investigation by Italian police into alleged Mafia involvement in a Malta-licensed operator, BetuniQ. Bas Jongmans of Gaming Legal Group discusses the problems facing the regulation of online gambling in Malta, what we know of reforms so far and what the MGA should do next. / 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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