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Online Gambling Lawyer

Volume: 15 Issue: 5
(May 2016)


News

California’s Assembly Governmental Organization Committee passed on 27 April 2016 SB 2863, an online poker bill put forward by Assemblyman Adam Gray. “After nearly a decade of trying to push an online poker bill in the California legislature, AB 2863 appears to advance the ball much further than before,” said Heidi McNeil Staudenmaier, Partner at Snell & Wilmer LLP. “There are still details to be negotiated, but this Bill has more substance on dealing with the contentious issues than has been seen previously.” / read more

Great Britain’s Gambling Commission launched a supplementary consultation on 9 May 2016 on placing digital adverts responsibly. The Commission is consulting on the proposed wording of the new licence condition, which will require licensed operators to ensure that they do not allow digital adverts to appear on websites that feature copyright infringing material. / read more

On 5 May 2016, the Gambling Commission of Great Britain (‘Commission’) released The Prevention of Crime Associated with Gambling, a document announcing new and amended Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (‘LCCP’). Among the new and amended LCCP is the requirement for every Commission-licensed operator (except for those holding non-remote lottery, gaming machine terminal and gambling software licences) to conduct risk assessments on anti-money laundering (‘AML’). The LCCP changes will require implementation in autumn 2016. / read more

The Polish Ministry of Finance made public on 25 May 2016 a Bill to amend the Polish Gaming Act, which inter alia would allow online casino and online poker but the operation of such games would be subject to a state monopoly operated by Totalizator Sportowy, which presently organises Poland’s national lottery. / read more

Australia’s Northern Territory (‘NT’) passed on 26 May 2016 the Racing and Betting Amendment Bill 2016 (‘Bill’), which legalises exchange wagering in the territory, allowing the NT Racing Commission (‘NTRC’) to issue betting exchange operator licences. / read more

On 18 May 2016, Bill 74 became law in Québec, allowing Loto-Québec, a government agency and the only operator authorised to provide online gambling services in the province, to create a blacklist of illegal gambling websites. All internet services providers (‘ISPs’) will be required to block access to the blacklisted websites within 30 days of publication of the list (the list is expected to be delivered in June) or face a fine for non-compliance, ranging from $2,000 to $100,000. / read more


Features

Australia’s regulatory regime relating to online gambling is complex, ineffective and outdated. As such, it is ill-prepared to regulate gambling services utilising new and emerging technologies, particularly when provided online. This was recognised in the Report relating to the Review of Illegal Offshore Wagering conducted by the Hon. Barry O’Farrell, which was released at the end of April 2016 (‘Report’). Accordingly, the Report and the Government’s response, issued on the same day by the Hon. Alan Tudge (‘Response’), recommended significant changes to the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (‘IGA’), Australia’s federal legislation that regulates online gambling. These recommendations focused on the initial objective of the O’Farrell Review, namely, the measures that should be taken in respect of illegal offshore wagering, and proposed the inclusion of additional prohibitions in the IGA. / read more

The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission (‘GSC’) has announced a number of proposed secondary legislative changes. The most headline-grabbing proposal is arguably that which would see operators able to accept virtual currencies for the opening of player accounts. Miles Benham, Managing Director at MannBenham Advocates, takes a look at the proposals. / read more

Recent action by the UK Advertising Standards Authority (‘ASA’) against William Hill over the promotion of ‘risk-free’ bets has highlighted the risks involved for operators advertising ‘risk-free’ bets and similar promotions such as ‘free bets’ and ‘free bonus.’ The ASA’s enforcement on this matter, alongside its decision in a similar matter involving Sky Vegas, add to the regulatory landscape around gambling advertising in the UK. Here, Anna Soilleux and Emily Dorotheou of Olswang LLP consider the William Hill and Sky Vegas claims, and provide some practical tips for operators on what to do and what not to do when it comes to gambling promotions. / read more

A recent decision by the Court of Appeal of Amsterdam has overturned a January 2014 District Court ruling, finding that poker is a game of chance under the Dutch Betting and Gaming Act 1964. This seems somewhat controversial, particularly given previous case law on the matter. Frank Tolboom, of Kalff Katz & Franssen Attorneys at Law, analyses the decision and relevant case law, and considers the implications for the Dutch market. / read more

The Hungarian Government has introduced new obligations relating to responsible gambling. These include controversial rules requiring the registration of gambling addicts by the Hungarian Tax Authority. Márton Domokos of CMS Cameron McKenna LLP details these new obligations and the practical implications for operators. / read more

Against the background of a wave of US State action on the legality of Daily Fantasy Sports (‘DFS’), Virginia became the first State to enact legislation to formally recognise DFS and to provide requirements for its regulation: its Fantasy Contests Act (the ‘Act’). Andrew Moore, Shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP, details the Act and the conditions for compliance, as well as the Act’s potential impact on smaller DFS operators. / read more

After numerous Austrian courts referred preliminary questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) questioning the compliance of the Austrian Gambling Act with overriding EU law and after several amendments (unsuccessfully) tried to rectify the shortfalls identified by the CJEU, the Austrian Supreme Court has now held in unfair competition proceedings that the Gambling Act is in breach of the EU freedom to provide services. Further, the Supreme Court has referred the Gambling Act to the Constitutional Court to be repealed, at least in part. Thomas Talos and Nicholas Aquilina of Brandl & Talos Attorneys at Law in Vienna examine the Supreme Court’s decision. / 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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