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Gibraltar iGaming Industry to Suffer Post-Brexit

Gibraltar iGaming Industry to Suffer Post-Brexit

March 21, 2017 · Filed Under Online Gambling News 

Gibraltar has a booming economy that has managed to keep its economic growth in double figures, even throughout the economic crisis. The presence of online gaming companies played no small part in this. This small 6.7 square kilometre peninsula in the south of Spain plays host to 33 gaming companies, which make up 60% of all global internet sites in the industry. The sector currently employs over 3,200 people, a number which is continually rising, and generates an estimated 30 billion euros a year. This figure represents 25% of the outcrop’s GDP.

The Rock was the first place to open its doors to online gaming, and the bet certainly paid off. After Victor Chandler upped sticks from London, other companies followed suit, tempted by the advantages that Gibraltar has to offer. It boasts good communication links from within a strong financial environment, corporate tax is at only 10%, and profits from gaming carry just a 1% charge. They maintain their standards by only considering licensing blue chip companies with good financial standing and realistic business plans. It really is a haven for the gaming industry.

At least it was until the United Kingdom threw two very large spanners into the works. The first was a new consumption tax introduced 2014. It required all operators that provide services to UK residents to pay a 15% tax on the GGR (Gross Gaming Revenue). This prompted the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) to initiate a case based on the argument that they are a territory of the UK, not an integral part, and that their services were on loan, the same as to any other EU member state. This was overruled in January 2017 with Maciej Szpunar arguing that the UK and Gibraltar are part and parcel of the same package.

This ruling is particularly devastating for a Gibraltar that is now desperate to procure treaties and deals with other EU member states post-Brexit. There’s a simple reason that 96% of voters were Remainers: their economy does not work without access to the single market. It had long been speculated that Gibraltar would be subject to the same treatment as the rest of the UK, despite its geographical position and extremely strong employment links with neighbouring Spain. The ruling was originally limited to the world of gaming, but it’s likely to be applied to nearly all aspects of the economy.

The government of Gibraltar now needs to scramble to reach deals with the UK on several aspects to try to stop the mass exodus of companies that already threatens the peninsula’s economic stability. Ideally, the UK and Gibraltar would keep their access to the single market, allowing Gibraltar to continue enjoying its status as an online gaming hub. However, the Tory government has made their stance on immigration clear, and no freedom of movement means no single market access. This causes a myriad of companies to announce their plans to head to greener, European pastures.

iGaming companies themselves will surely need to start looking for solutions to avoid losing their licences in EU member states due to the recent updates to regulations of some member states.  A quick-fix would be to take the lead from companies already registered or based in Malta, and go about obtaining a licence from the Malta Gaming Authority. Moving the company would avoid the Brexit fallout, but Gibraltar will likely be left languishing behind. A sad turn of events for The Rock.

Author Bio: Jaismin Paul

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West Virginia Makes Move Towards Online Gambling with House Bill 3067

March 18, 2017 · Filed Under Gambler's Report, Online Gambling News 

West Virginia Introduces First Bill for Regulated Online Gambling

House Bill 3067 has recently been introduced into the state of West Virginia in an attempt to legalize online gambling activities. Mike Pushkin, Mike Bates, Shawn Fluharty, Joseph Canestraro and Sean Hornbuckle, are among the delegates to have sponsored the bill with hopes of “authorizing Internet gaming managed and licensed through existing authorized gaming facilities in West Virginia”. The bill is said to fall under the West Virginia Lottery Commission’s responsibilities regulations all relating to legalizing interactive gaming; providing legislative findings and establishing licensing requirements.

The bill will also allow gaming for states who are authorized for online gambling as well as prohibit strong or strict penalties for unlawful activities with up to $300,000 in fines and three years in prison for unlawful acts.

If the bill is approved, licensed facilities will be able to apply for an online license which will come with a tax rate of 14% towards all gross gaming revenues and a license fee of $50,000. Operators who are approved will be expected to set up their own policies and monitor its players.

Additional detailed information found in the bill include that all operators are responsible for making certain players are permissible to play, meaning residing in the state; as verification must be enforced that players are 21 years or older and protocols must be in place for responsible and problem gambling.

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New Jersey State Senator Jim Whelan Resolution to Protect iGambling

March 5, 2017 · Filed Under Online Gambling News 

New Jersey State Senator Moves to Protect the State’s Online Gambling Industry through Resolution

Jim Whelan, New Jersey State Senator makes a move to protect the state’s online gambling industry through resolutions by calling on the US Administration and Congress to “oppose any actions that would prohibit states to conduct Internet gaming,” by introducing an approved resolution.

Whelan is and always have been a strong supporter of online gambling in the state and his SJR 102 bill is very similar to Assembly resolution AJR 137. Vincent Mazzeo, an Assembly man filed AJR 137 earlier this year which details state legislature for unified protection against federal interference.

Concerns, or worries are congregating that the Trump Administration’s new US Attorney General will review the Department of Justice 2011 opinion negatively and won’t apply the necessary coverage to online casinos and poker, and just sports betting.

Whelan’s resolution has been sitting with the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee. There are at least six co-sponsors included in the committee which Whelan has strongly supported and hopes there will be some kind of movement with progression soon. Included in the resolution it says there have been recent measures taken, and if pursued it will invalidate the state’s implementation of online gaming which has been regulated and authorized since 2013.

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MGM’s Confirmation of Plans for Online Gambling Site in New Jersey

March 2, 2017 · Filed Under Gambler's Report, Online Gambling News 

MGM Resorts’ Senior Vice President of Business Development, Tom Mikulich, Confirms Rumors of Interest in the Online Opportunities; Hopeful to Launch MGM Resorts Brand in the Near Future.

There has been rumors throughout the industry that MGM Resorts was planning on opening up an online gaming site in New Jersey. Well, with confirmation the rumors are true! MGM Resorts confirmed the plans without going into details or giving a date when the planned site was to launch.

MGM made the decision to open up an online site after gaining full ownership of Borgata back in August. MGM had joint ownership of Borgata for 13 years before finalizing full ownership. The new online venue will most likely be connected with Borgata-Bwin-GVC-PartyPoker license and network.

If MGM pulls off of the above mentioned licensed it will bring the total number of online sites operating under the Borgata license six. NJ.com reported that four of the sites are unique brands. The New Jersey news site also reported that they were unsure whether the rumors of PartyPoker being dropped was true or not and that it’s unclear if MGM’s online site will be powered by GVC or if MGM will find other alternatives to power the games.

“THERE IS NOT A SPECIFIC TIMELINE BUT IF IT COMES TO FRUITION, IT LIKELY WOULD BE FOR BOTH POKER AND CASINO GAMES.” – Tom Mikulich

If, and when MGM launches its online gambling product in the state it clarifies that the gaming giant is committed to online gambling and is making a clear statement.

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Pennsylvania Online Gambling Revenue Projections Future Looking Good

March 2, 2017 · Filed Under Online Gambling News 

Online Gambling in Pennsylvania Seeing Positive Results Thus Far in 2017 with Projected Annual Revenues at $230 Million

Recent reports released in the state of Pennsylvania claim that the state could receive more than $400 million in tax revenues within the next 5 years if they were to legalize online gambling, but not everyone is on board, mainly the naysayers that are against online gambling. The state would collect upfront $126 million in licensing fees from online gambling sites, and more than $45 million each year for the next 5 until 2022.

Projected revenues amount to $230 million just the first year and $364 million after. If the state proposed a tax rate at 20% they would collect $426 million the first five years. These figures are based on predictions and what New Jersey collected the first couple years after legalizing online activities.

Of course, the predictions were criticized by Sheldon Adelson’s anti-online gambling action group. Adelson’s The Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling groups spokesman, John Ashbrook said,

“These predictions are about as reliable as Warren Beatty’s best picture envelope. It’s not surprising that online gaming consultants would exaggerate numbers to help their business.”

Other comments being said include “There’s no voodoo involved in these projections (which are) based on New Jersey’s experience and adjusted for Pennsylvania’s casino industry and demographics.”

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Oulala’s CEO Bollier Makes Prediction on Millenial Generation’s Impact of iGaming

February 20, 2017 · Filed Under Gambler's Report, Online Gambling News 

Oulala’s Valery Bollier Wins ICE VOX Prophet Competition with Prediction on Adaptation to a Millennial Audience in Gaming Industry

Oulala.com co-founder and CEO Valery Bollier has made bold predictions declaring that the iGaming sector need to adapt to a millennial generation. In a groundbreaking presentation, Bollier presented comparisons to Kodak and Fuji from the late ’90s as it relates to how the industry is currently ignoring marketing to millenials.

Now Bollier is asking the question: will iGaming follow the Kodak or the Fuji example? According to Bollier, the industry is in need of a wake up call when it comes to the millenial generation and how they interact socially with skill gaming. Its predicted that by 2020 50% of the work force will be represented by the milliennial generation which is more or less 50% of the gambling market.

Bollier is asking that operators listen to the needs and likes of this new generation in order to be effectively prepared for the ‘social revolution”.

”IGaming operators need to find the courage to fully reorganize their offer, their business model and their structure in order to grow within the next decade. Let us embrace the Fuji way and start from a blank page. Let us offer customers games that will be created by taking their real expectations into account. We should become the natural extension of the video game industry and offer the same type of quality games, but monetized! Otherwise, other companies will definitely colonize this growing vacant space!” – Valery Bollier

Currently the effective changes can be seen through Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) that are currently leading a social revolution in the iGaming sector.

Bollier made the following predictions:

  • Within the next 10 years, pure players, especially in sports betting and in casinos, will suffer severely and most minor ones will have disappeared.
  • Games that are played against the house will become niche markets.
  • Skill games will become a bigger market than luck games.
  • The dominant networks will survive but they will suffer severely from a loss of income. They will need to use their financial reserve to buy young companies that have gained traction. This will be done at a high cost for them because they did not invest at the ideal time
  • Some new operators, arriving either from the video gaming industry, or from start-ups will penetrate our sector violently. They will invent the new kind of games that we have not been willing to invent and they will assume dominant positions.”

Bollier concluded with the prediction that DFS is about to become a growth driver for the iGaming sector:

”Want to know why? Because DFS is simply a real skill game, a structurally social game, a game that is not played against the house (DFS is a market place), and because it allows you to be customer-centred and create loyalty. And as you all know, loyalty means more profitability!”

”Radical changes are always brutal and, yes, the new paradigm should be seen as a threat, but only for those who are staying where they are because for the others, the next 10 years will be a stimulating period where multiple opportunities will arise.”

Bollier is setting up a Millennials Club as well as looking into eSports, Virtual Reality, monetized video games with more to be revealed.

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Despite June 2016 Law Changes Czech Republic Online Gambling Remains

January 29, 2017 · Filed Under Online Gambling Laws, Online Gambling News 

Despite the New Laws in Czech Online Gambling Operators Remain in the Market

Despite the introduction of the brand-new regulations that were designed to clamp down on illegal operators offering gambling services in the Czech Republic, several online gambling operators are still active in the market.

Operators, as of January 1st who are still wanting to offer their gambling services in the country must obtain a license. If operators do not comply with this new law they will be prosecuted to the fullest by authorities and the national regulator.

So far there are about 25 unlicensed operators offering their services in the country and none of them have been prosecuted according to David Ondracka, Director of the Transparency International. The Transparency International is an organization that is not affiliated with the government.

Ondracka also said that the Transparency International organization has informed the Finance Ministry about their concerns about the illegal operators, and intends to carry out all investigations concerning illegal operations in the market.

The new regulations also entail stricter and tighter licensing processes along with the new tax rates of 23% on all gross revenues for lotteries and sports betting, and 35% for all RNG games. There will also be a standard corporate tax rate of 19%.

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Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr’s SD618 Online Gambling Bill

January 23, 2017 · Filed Under Gambler's Report, Online Gambling Laws, Online Gambling News 

More Details Revealed for New Online Gambling Bill in Massachusetts

There have been some more detailed information that has emerged regarding Senator Bruce Tarr’s online gambling bill SD618 that was just filed with the Massachusetts Senate. The new details reveal threats to the state lottery by nixing all online gambling in the state.

The following statement is included in the condition of the bill;

“Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, a gaming license pursuant to Chapter 23K of the general laws may also be licensed… to conduct gaming operations via the internet, provided that such operations do not include or reflect gaming mechanisms operated by the state lottery program of those simulating or resembling slot machines, so-called, provided that such license obtains an Internet Gaming License pursuant to this section.”

Another key detail involves the licenses. Just like in New Jersey, licenses will be available for land casino operators who are holding a state license. Some examples of the operators who qualify in the state include Wynn, Penn National and MGM.

It’s been mandated for the conclusions to be delivered to Legislature by the end of July at the latest. The task force is made up from the Massachusetts Special Commission on Online Gaming, Fantasy Sports Gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports.

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Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to Put a Stop to All Online Gambling

December 23, 2016 · Filed Under Gambler's Report, Online Gambling News 

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte Threatens the Online Gambling Market Once Again

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte to Put a Stop to All Online GamblingRodrigo Duterte, Philippines President made headlines once again for his attempt to ban online gambling. Duterte announced on Thursday his intentions on shutting down all online gambling, not just some in the country. Duterte has been going back and forth with his intentions for months now.

According to media reports, Duterte said at the Budget Signing Ceremony that “I am ordering the closure of all online gaming. The Philippines does not benefit from online gaming.”

Amongst the supporters, politicians and other online gambling supporters, have tried to point out, more than once, that online activities contribute to the economy with employment, taxation and other fees especially with licensing fees. Local churches, schools and other state sectors would benefit from online activity revenues as well.

Duterte has already made threats, or promises rather with the online market. He has contradicted himself numerous times with his decisions regarding Pagcor. Back in August Duterte agreed to allow “some” forms of online gambling to take place, but retracted this approval just as quick as he approved.

Maybe someday there will be another opportunity for online gambling activities to be offered in the country legally, but as for now it’s definitely a no go!

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Legislators Advance Bill A4255 in New Jersey

December 12, 2016 · Filed Under Online Gambling Laws, Online Gambling News 

Will Online Gambling Be Approved at New Jersey Racetracks asLegislators Move to Advance Bill A4255?

Legislators Advance Bill A4255 in New JerseyThe latest idea or plan may have racetracks in the state of New Jersey offering online gambling in between races. The idea has many supporters backing the notion, but opponents aren’t in favor of this decision ever since the proposal to open two casinos were rejected last month.

The latest bill introduced was submitted by two members of the Assembly. Details of the bill are for two major racetracks in the state; Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford and Monmouth Park in Oceanport. Under the terms of the bill these two casinos would be allowed to partner with Atlantic City casinos to open online gambling activity to visitors of the tracks.

With the state’s constitution saying that the only place that allows for casinos is Atlantic City, changing this would require passage to be approved by voters, otherwise known as the referendum.

The new measures, A4255 says that visitors to racetracks in the state aren’t prohibited from playing games on their laptops, tablets or mobile phones, therefore the proposed bill would make “internet gaming cafes” legal at the said racetracks. If this is found to be true then a voted approval wouldn’t be needed to proceed.

“The racetrack, in effect, would be leasing the casinos some floor space at the race track. It would be in a designated area,” Dennis Drazin, who represents Monmouth Park

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