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Online Gambling Lawyer

Volume: 14 Issue: 5
(May 2015)


News

The Wiesbaden Administrative Court in two interim relief decisions - on 16 April and 5 May - strongly criticised the sports betting licensing process in Germany, with the court’s decisions closing the first instance proceedings in legal action brought by multiple operators whose applications for sports betting licences were rejected by the Hesse Ministry of Interior and Sports last year. / read more

The European Amusement and Gaming Federation and its Dutch member the VAN Kansspelen Branche-organisatie filed on 11 May a complaint to the European Commission (EC), alleging that the differential tax rate of 20% GGR for online operators, proposed under the draft Dutch Remote Gaming Bill, amounts to illegal state aid, as the tax rate for land-based operators will remain at 29% GGR. / read more

Great Britain’s Gambling Commission published a briefing note on the progress made towards the creation of a national self-exclusion scheme for online gambling on 8 May, which includes details on the development of the architecture and the estimated costs. / read more


Features

Over the last 12 months Pennsylvania (‘PA’) has shown a demonstrated interest in progressing legalised i-gaming, arguably with better cohesion than any other state. Pennsylvania could very well become a future model for what all US states looking to legalise i-gaming should do; an outlier that is leading legislative efforts from various levels of government, and modelling a regulatory regime based on introspective research of its jurisdiction’s needs and wants. Pennsylvania definitely looks poised to become the next state to legalise, perhaps in the next 12 to 16 months if efforts keep moving forward steadily. / read more

Following the changes introduced by new European rules on the VAT treatment of ‘electronically supplied services’ to private consumers, which apply to online gambling operators and came into force at the beginning of 2015, the European Commission’s VAT Committee has now published a working paper in which it considers the application of VAT specifically to online gambling activity (the ‘Working Paper’). The Working Paper in particular discusses questions concerning player bonuses and VAT. Dougie Todd and Martin Haines of BDO LLP provide an analysis of the Working Paper and the level of clarity it provides. / read more

In a consultation published in March 2015 (‘Consultation’)1, HM Treasury announced details of the UK Government’s plans to regulate binary options as financial products. The Consultation ended a period of prolonged uncertainty, which followed the Government’s letter to the British Gambling Commission (‘Commission’) last August in which the industry was formally notified of the Government’s intention to reclassify binary options as financial products. / read more

It seems that Romania is poised to finally get the online gambling ‘white’ market that many observers have been eagerly anticipating, with the draft law for amending the primary legislation awaiting approval by the Romanian President and notification sent to the European Commission of secondary legislation relating to organising and operating gambling activities in Romania. Ana-Maria Baciu and Oana Albu of Nestor Nestor Diculescu Kingston Petersen describe the online gaming transitory period that will begin following the likely approval of the primary legislation, as well as key elements of Romania’s new regime. / read more

Social media is rapidly developing as a tool for identifying the riskier customers in the online gambling sector. In this article, Paul Shepherd, Co-Founder, and Tayler Waldock, Executive Assistant, at big data analytics company Hello Soda, share their opinion on why it is essential that these kinds of 21st century identification techniques come to the fore as the boundaries between social gaming and online gambling blur. Paul and Tayler argue that as we follow the digital footprints in the sand, the one thing that is becoming more and more certain is the means by which we piece together valuable information in the quest for ever more robust Know Your Customer (‘KYC’) processes. / read more

In February 2015, the South Australian Government (‘SA Government’) released a State Tax Review Discussion Paper outlining potential tax reforms for the State. One aim of the review is to create a more consistent tax regime between online and land based gambling operators. Currently, both overseas and interstate-based online gambling operators do not pay taxes in South Australia, despite offering services to South Australian customers. The proposal is focussed on interstate rather than overseas operators, which is the purview of the Federal Government. It is important to note, despite the proposal being aimed at online ‘gambling’ operators, due to federal legislative prohibitions against online casinos and gaming, the proposed tax would currently only affect online wagering operators. / read more

Several aspects of Ireland’s new regulatory regime for the betting sector enter into force on 1 August, following the coming into operation of the country’s Betting (Amendment) Act 2015 in April. Given the short timeframe before the regime takes effect, operators hoping to provide betting services to customers in Ireland after 1 August 2015 must act speedily to ensure compliance with the new regime. Rob Corbet, Partner and Head of Technology and Innovation at Arthur Cox in Ireland, discusses key actions that operators must take now to ensure they adhere to the requirements of the new regime, and describes some of the remaining concerns. / read more

There has been much doom and gloom in the online gambling industry about the post-point of consumption (‘PoC’) tax environment in the UK. Yet marketing and technology is constantly changing online gambling and the industry may need to change its approach to marketing to make the most of the opportunities created by the new tax environment. Mark McGuinness, resident i-gaming Futurologist for Isle of Man-based Mainstream Marketing & Communications, a digital marketing agency, explains. / 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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