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Online Gambling Lawyer

Volume: 15 Issue: 9
(September 2016)


News

The GB Gambling Commission (‘GC’) published a position paper on 1 September 2016, updating its position on in-play betting, ‘to reflect changes in the market, technological advances and [its] experience in regulating the industry to date;’ the paper looks inter alia at the use of bot software within in-play betting and sports betting integrity issues. / read more

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (‘ASA’) upheld on 24 August 2016 a complaint against an email advert sent by Ladbrokes, which featured imagery and text relating to the film Iron Man 3 - featuring the Marvel comic book superhero Iron Man - with the ASA finding that the ad breached CAP Code rules 16.3 and 16.3.12 as the ASA considered that the Iron Man character’s ‘comic book nature, and the availability of various related toys, meant [the ad] was likely to have particular appeal to children and young people.’ / read more

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (‘CRTC’) issued on 1 September 2016 a letter to attorneys general in Canada in which it gave a preliminary view on a matter relating to Quebec’s Bill 74, which became law on 18 May 2016 and which requires ISPs to block access to unauthorised gambling websites; the CRTC’s view is that blocking by Canadian ISPs of end users’ access to websites is unlawful without CRTC approval under the Canadian Telecommunications Act (‘CTA’). / read more

The Hessian Ministry of the Interior and Sport (‘HMIS’) announced on 15 September 2016 that Hesse will offer sports betting operators a temporary period of ‘formal tolerance,’ whereby such operators will not be prosecuted under the German Interstate Treaty on Gambling (‘Treaty’). The application process for operators to take advantage of such period will run until 18 September 2016; no end date for the ‘formal tolerance’ period has been announced. / read more

Singaporean lottery operators Singapore Pools (‘SP’) and Singapore Turf Club (‘STC’) are preparing to launch remote gambling in Singapore potentially as early as late October 2016, according to a report by The Straits Times, published on 15 September 2016. / read more

Two men appeared at Birmingham Magistrates' Court on 16 September 2016 charged with alleged offences under the Gambling Act 2005, in what is likely the first criminal prosecution case to be brought in relation to video game gambling. The case has been brought against Dylan Rigby and Craig Douglas following a GB Gambling Commission (‘GC’) investigation into the defendants’ involvement with the YouTube channel FutGalaxy, on which users could inter alia bet virtual items on the results of matches played in the EA Sports video game series FIFA. / read more

The Times newspaper reported on 7 October 2016 that the UK Government is considering plans to ban all gambling product advertisements on TV before the 9pm watershed, according to anonymous Government sources which suggested that the ban would be included in a Government review of fixed-odds betting terminals, which could begin this autumn. / read more


Features

‘Skins betting’ is a hot topic - it generates huge revenues, operates entirely on unregulated websites and attracts and accepts players who are under 18. Recently it has also been shaken to its core as Valve, whose ‘Steam’ platform is used by the operators of skins betting websites, has expressly stated that skins betting websites are not permitted to use Steam. Tom Edmonds of Harris Hagan takes a look at skins betting from a gambling law perspective, and discusses recent developments and the likely future of this sector. / read more

The Massachusetts Legislature has declined to authorise the State Lottery Commission (‘Commission’) to offer certain products online by the end of its formal legislative session, effectively ending the prospects for an online lottery for 2016. Created in 1971, the Massachusetts State Lottery (‘Lottery’) is one of the most successful state-run lotteries in the US with sales of $5,231 billion for the fiscal year ending 30 June 20161. This translates to approximately a $986.9 million profit for the State after player payouts that exceed 70% and agent fees2. By law, these profits are sent to the Commonwealth’s cities and towns as a form of State Aid. / read more

The UK Government’s planned changes to extend the scope of Remote Gaming Duty (‘RGD’) will see free spins, matched deposits and other freeplays become liable to the tax. Gavin West, Director at Ampla Consulting, a company specialising in advising on VAT and other indirect taxes to the betting and gaming industry, considers the effect of the proposed revised legislation on operators and questions the Government’s rationale behind the changes. / read more

Tony Rein and Sarah Kaylinger of Thomson Geer look at two recent - and ongoing - developments in the regulation of online gambling in Australia: the ban on in-play betting in the Northern Territory (‘NT’) and the ban on gambling on computer gaming events, known as ‘eSports,’ in South Australia (‘SA’). / read more

On 11 August 2016, the British Gambling Commission released a discussion paper on virtual currencies, eSports and social gaming, which is open for consultation until 30 September 2016. David Schollenberger, Partner and Head of the Gaming and Leisure team at Healys LLP, discusses the paper and the issues raised by the Commission. / read more

From the earliest days of online gambling and gaming, Israeli companies have played a central role in the industry. Some of the world’s largest online casinos (the most notable examples being 888 and Playtech) were founded by Israelis and nearly every major online gambling and gaming business maintains links with Israeli enterprises in areas such as R&D, IT, sales and marketing, game design, etc. / read more

In August 2016 the Italian Government published the Decree implementing the Stability Law 2016, which inter alia contains further clarity on the law around gambling advertising. Gianluca Cambareri, Giuseppe Santarelli and Lisa Tamburro of Tonucci & Partners explain that this legislative activity is a continuation of the reform of gambling advertising that has been ongoing for several years in Italy, and analyse the latest Decree in the context of the evolution of gambling advertising regulation. / 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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