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Online Gambling Lawyer

Volume: 15 Issue: 4
(April 2016)


News

The Draft Act on the Pursuit of the Business of Betting Undertakings in the Province of Salzburg was notified to the European Commission on 1 April 2016; the Draft Act seeks to regulate online gambling and revise the supervisory powers granted to the gambling authorities in the Austrian State. / read more

A group of Michigan senators introduced draft bill SB 889, the Lawful Internet Gaming Act, on 14 April 2016; the bill seeks to regulate online poker and casino games in the State. / read more

The EU Parliament approved the General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’) on 14 April 2016, which will replace the current EU Data Protection Directive, placing a greater focus on the need for businesses to protect personal data. / read more

The French Senate in the week beginning 2 May 2016 approved the addition of provisions to the country’s draft Digital Bill that will amend online gambling legislation in France to allow the pooling of liquidity for online poker. / read more

California’s Assembly Governmental Organization Committee passed on 27 April 2016 SB 2863, an online poker bill put forward by Assemblyman Adam Gray. / read more


Features

Andrew Tottenham, Managing Director at consultancy Tottenham & Co, analyses here the prospects for fantasy sports betting as an emerging facet of the British gambling market. Andrew puts forward the view that while fantasy sports will likely acquire its own share of the market as a niche product, it will not be a disruptive force as some have predicted. / read more

Currently several restrictions apply in regard to organising online gaming in Slovenia. The Slovenian Gaming Act provides that only companies established in Slovenia can organise internet gaming. These companies also have to operate ground-based casinos or other brick-and-mortar gaming operations. For certain types of games private ownership of companies is limited. The result is that the majority of the gaming market is dominated by Government-owned companies. Since no foreign companies have licences (concessions) for online gaming, most games of chance found on the internet are part of the ‘black market’ and are not taxed. / read more

The current regulatory situation for online gambling in Colombia results in the State not receiving its share of revenues from the online sector, and so on 13 April 2016, Coljuegos, the Colombian agency in charge of gambling, published a draft administrative regulation on online gambling (the ‘Draft’) that seeks to regulate the industry. This Draft contains additional requirements for operators, but, in the views of Carlos Buitrago and Luis Fernández of Gher & Asociados Abogados, the Draft will have the effect of excluding Colombian entrepreneurs from the market and instead opening the Colombian market to foreign operators. Carlos and Luis explain here the background to online gambling in Colombia and the details of the Draft. / read more

Since the end of restrictions on domain name extensions in 2012, a wide variety of domain name extensions have become available as excellent alternatives to the existing generic extensions (e.g. .com) and country level domains, which are now crowded with existing brands and cyber squatters. Many of these new extensions are marketed at specific industry sectors, and in some cases are restricted to specific types of holders. Recently, the .bet and .poker extensions have been opened for public registration. / read more

The state of Nagaland, in India, has become the first state in the country to pass legislation for the issuance of online gaming licences for ‘games of skill.’ The legislation involved, the Nagaland Prohibition of Gambling and Promotion and Regulation of Online Games of Skill Act 2016 (the ‘Act’), actually seeks to prohibit gambling while regulating and licensing skill-based games, such as poker and virtual sports. Additionally there is potential under the Act for licensees to offer their games in other Indian states, under certain conditions. However, grey areas remain within the Act, and there are requirements, such as relating to the ‘gambling activity’ of licence applicants, which may trouble potential licence applicants, as Mithun Verghis and Gowree Gokhale of Nishith Desai Associates explain. / read more

Virtual sports have become extremely popular in recent times due to the growing fascination with fantasy sports video games. Along with the growth of such games comes the spread of virtual sports betting, which has become an increasingly important part of the betting operator’s portfolio, both online and in betting shops. / read more

New draft legislation seems set to change the rules around taxation for online wagering companies operating in Russia. Under a new draft law, changes are proposed around how the winnings paid out to Russian residents are taxed, as well as to the tax rates that apply to entities that accept online wagers. Additionally, information has appeared in Russian media regarding a separate proposal - currently not officially published - that would require gambling operators to enter into partnerships with and contribute funds to a Russian organisation that organises a sporting event, such as a sports federation. Anton Braginets of Dentons discusses both proposals, which are likely to significantly impact affected operators. / read more

On 31 October 2015 and 6 April 2016, a number of changes to the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (‘LCCP’) and the Remote Technical Standards (‘RTS’) came into force for British-licensed remote gambling operators. / read more

Line Corporation (‘Line’), a provider of mobile messenger apps and online games, announced on 6 April that it is discussing the interpretation of the Japanese Payment Services Act (‘the Act’), which regulates advanced payments and inter-bank financial settlements and funds transfer businesses, with the Kanto Financial Bureau in relation to its popular online game ‘Line Pop’ (‘the Game’). According to some news reports, the Kanto Financial Bureau commenced an investigation into Line in January on suspicion of a breach of the Act in relation to its use of virtual currencies in the Game. Chie Kasahara, Attorney at Law at Atsumi & Sakai, provides an overview of the investigation and the legal landscape for virtual currencies that gaming operators must consider when deciding whether their in-game currency constitutes a prepaid payment instrument within the meaning of the Act. / 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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