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Online Gambling Lawyer

Volume: 14 Issue: 6
(June 2015)


News

Pennsylvania (‘PA’) Senator Kim Ward introduced on 9 June SB 900, a bill aimed at reforming gaming within the state, which includes legalising online casino and poker. SB 900 is the fifth i-gaming bill to be introduced this legislative session in the state, and is co-sponsored by Senators Scarnati, Tomlinson and Vogel, which has led to some commentators expressing hope that it may pass. / read more

Australia’s federal gambling law regulator, the Australian Communications Media Authority (‘ACMA’), referred complaints to the Australian Federal Police (‘AFP’) in late June concerning online in-play betting services being offered by William Hill and Ladbrokes, according to media reports. / read more

The Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė signed amendments to the country’s Gaming Law on 5 June, which amongst other things will legalise online gambling for the first time in Lithuania. The amended law will come into force on 1 January 2016. / read more


Features

The rise of in-play sports betting, prompted by the advent of the internet and later driven by the proliferation of smart devices, has significantly changed the sports betting industry. Different jurisdictions have responded in varying ways to in-play sports betting; it is legal in the UK, for instance, while in Australia the regulatory position is unique as in-play ‘Click to Call’ products offered by offshore bookmakers exploit a legal loophole in order to offer in-play betting. Jake List, Director at LevBet Limited, a derivatives trading platform for sports bets, discusses the regulatory and political climate for in-play sports betting, and considers what the future holds for this form of gambling. / read more

On 12 June 2015 Seym (the lower chamber of the Polish parliament) adopted an amendment to the Act on games of chance. The amendment, which will now be reviewed by the Senate, aims to remove or relax some of the restrictions applicable to gambling in Poland. First of all, the amendment removes the restriction that allows only Polish companies to apply for a Polish gaming licence. After the amendment comes into force, limited liability and joint stock companies whose registered offices are within the territory of an EU or EU Free Trade Area (‘EFTA’) Member State will be permitted to directly apply for a licence. To apply, a foreign company will have to either establish a branch in Poland or appoint a representative. To establish a branch, a foreign company will have to lease offices in Poland, register the branch at the National Court Register and appoint a person to manage the branch on its behalf. The representative may be either a Polish resident or an entity whose registered office is in Poland and the management board must include at least one person that speaks Polish. / read more

With the introduction of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (‘ADR’) Regulations 2015, the world of ADR in Britain is undergoing a period of significant change. The Gambling Commission, ADR bodies and gambling operators are all affected. Following the changes to the Regulations published on 18 June, the Gambling Commission’s timetable for implementation has been amended. The Commission intends to publish the list of approved ADR entities in July, and will expect gambling operators to nominate an approved ADR entity by August. Both ADR entities and gambling operators will need to fully reflect the new procedural and information requirements by 1 October as Helen O'Kane, Senior Specialist, Regulatory Framework at the Gambling Commission, explains. / read more

The saga surrounding the German sports betting licensing process continues. Following the decision of the Wiesbaden Administrative Court in September 2014 that put the licensing process on hold, there have been multiple court decisions, most of them highly critical of the German authorities charged with overseeing the licensing process. Marc Oliver Brock of Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek reviews these recent decisions and what they mean for the future of Germany’s licensing process going forward. / read more

The legal situation for online betting in Russia remains complex and unclear. While a law passed in 2006 heavily restricts gambling in Russia, it is nevertheless possible to run an offline betting company in the country. Recent amendments to Russian law could be interpreted as allowing for online betting too, or suggesting that online betting could be legalised in the future. In this article, Vladislav Arkhipov, Of Counsel at Dentons LLP, provides a practical overview of the relevant Russian legislation intended to show the varying interpretations, as well as a high-level overview of the current local legal risks associated with online gambling. / read more

There is a broad ban on gambling in Japan under Chapter 23 of the Criminal Code, though there are limited exceptions to this which allow gambling in specific circumstances for adults (generally those over 19 years old, or over 18 years old in relation to gambling on certain sports). Historically speaking, gambling in Japan has only been allowed where it would benefit society as a whole and/or where it would benefit the specific sport. For example, keirin (see below) was legalised largely to boost post-war Japan, and football betting was legalised in order to improve Japan’s competitiveness in the sport and to promote sport as an essential ‘life-habit.’ / read more

The Gambling (Gaming and Betting) Control Bill 2015 was introduced to the Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago in May, and seeks to regulate gambling, which is currently illegal except in certain circumstances in the country. The Bill, which addresses online gambling, has quickly moved through the parliamentary process. Bryan McCutcheon, Barrister-at-Law at J.D. Sellier + Co, discusses the Bill and what it could mean for offshore online gambling operators looking to offer gambling services into Trinidad and Tobago. / 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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