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Online Gambling Lawyer

Volume: 16 Issue: 2
(February 2017)


News

Birmingham Magistrates Court sentenced Dylan Rigby and Craig Douglas on 6 February 2017 to pay fines and costs after the pair pleaded guilty to being directors of an unlicensed gambling website, FutGalaxy.com, which allowed users, including children, to gamble using virtual currency; the case has been described by the British Gambling Commission’s (‘GC’) Chief Executive, Sarah Harrison, as a “landmark case,” thought to be the first criminal prosecution brought in relation to a video games-related gambling product. / read more

The Danish Ministry of Taxation announced on 27 January 2017 that a number of Parliamentary political parties had reached agreement on the liberalisation of a number of types of gambling - online bingo, horseracing betting, pigeon race betting and dog race betting - which are currently subject to Danske Spil A/S’ monopoly. Although no legislative proposal been put forward as yet, it is currently intended that such games will no longer be subject to the monopoly as of 1 January 2018, in an attempt to, respectively, decrease the illegal market for online bingo and increase interest in horseracing betting. / read more


Features

Since November 2016, the British Gambling Commission (‘GC’) has taken something of a new direction in terms of its regulatory priorities, with a sharp focus on the consumer now the order of the day. Since this change was announced at the GC’s ‘Raising Standards’ conference in November 2016, it has released a consultation paper, ‘Changes to our enforcement strategy: putting the consumer first,’ outlining proposed changes to its enforcement policy. David Clifton of Clifton Davies Consultancy Ltd. discusses here the GC’s enforcement direction and in particular what has been put forward in the consultation paper. / read more

After some delay, the final draft of Portugal’s Regulation for the technical requirements of the online gambling technical system with shared liquidity (‘Regulation’) was submitted to the European Commission at the start of the year. Hopes are high that this Regulation - which allows online operators to offer services between Portuguese players and players in other jurisdictions where such gambling and shared liquidity is legal - will revive the Portuguese online poker market. João Alfredo Afonso, Partner at Morais Leitão, Galvão Teles, Soares da Silva, discusses the requirements set out under this Regulation and the most recent developments. / read more

Last year, the European Commission (‘EC’) published a proposed Regulation on geoblocking aimed at ending unjustified geoblocking practices in the EU (‘Draft Regulation’). The Draft Regulation has been welcomed by Digital Single Market proponents. However, the Draft Regulation expressly excludes remote gambling activities from its scope: in line with the principle of subsidiarity, EU Member States will remain free to carry on imposing ‘justified’ geographically-based restrictions on remote gambling offers that they consider to be illegal. In this context, Dr Malcolm Falzon and Dr Emma Grech of Camilleri Preziosi Advocates re-evaluate the current realities of geoblocking and the manner in which this phenomenon continues to affect the online gambling industry in Europe. / read more

In January 2017 the British Gambling Commission (‘GC’) announced the results of its investigation into the activities of TGP Europe Limited (‘TGP’) and Fesuge Limited (‘Fesuge’), in connection to bonus offer practice. The investigation provides some valuable lessons for operators, and the GC has outlined a number of questions around operator terms and conditions for operators to consider in light of the investigation. Anna Mathias of Woods Whur details the investigation, the context behind it and resulting considerations for operators. / read more

Baidu - China’s premier online search engine - last year found itself in the firing line as a result of online operators using Baidu to host and advertise illegal gambling services. Professor Mark Griffiths of Nottingham Trent University assesses the Baidu situation and the response of the Chinese authorities, and questions whether curtailing gaming advertisements truly mitigates participation in gambling. / read more

Although only three US states are currently able to offer regulated i-gaming, there have been attempts to legalise forms of online gambling in a number of other states over the past few years. One such state is Pennsylvania, where an expansion of gambling is anticipated in the state budget but has yet to materialise. A number of bills have been introduced in Pennsylvania’s current legislative session in regard to legalised i-gaming; here, Anthony R. Holtzman, Partner at K&L Gates, reviews one such bill announced by Democrat Jay Costa, the Minority Leader of the Pennsylvania Senate, at the start of this year. / read more

The development of the Spanish online gambling sector has seen many initially challenging issues addressed. However, despite the evolution of the sector, certain legal questions remain. Recently, players have complained about operators voiding bets and even closing down player accounts, which has resulted in the regulator advising players to file court procedures against the operators. Albert Agustinoy, Partner at Cuatrecasas, analyses this particular legal issue - a cause of concern in Spain - and how this issue relates to Spanish civil law. / read more

On 5 December 2016 the UK Government published draft legislation as part of the Finance Bill 2017 (‘Bill’) in respect of taxing freeplays for Remote Gaming Duty (‘RGD’) purposes. 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 legislation and the extent to which issues raised during the consultation on this matter have been addressed. / 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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