Sports Betting Issue Still Plagues USA

The online betting on sports issue in the USA has been talked about and speculated upon by many analysts and legal eagles for is seems like forever. Making decisions about the overall legality of online sports betting  for the most part has been a red herring among the Washington politicians.

The backers of the Republican cause such as Sheldon Adelson wants the federal government to outright ban online gambling forever. The political divide over a number of the real problems facing the Trump administration and the priority of the online gambling issue is obviously not on the radar of most politicians. Specifically the latest problem with the Attorney General Jeff Sessions taking himself out of the picture and yet another administrator coming into the discussions.

There are arguments to be made that maybe Sheldon Adelson will get his wish for a ban on the online gambling industry. The Republicans may be trying a tactic that has worked before by slipping the needed legislation into an omnibus bill that covers a other issues related, such as sports betting. The trade off being the feds let the states have sports betting but prohibit online gambling. Assemblyman Adam C. Gray from California is one proponent of sports betting being legalized by the federal government. "Whether we like it or not, Californians are already betting on sports through illegal and often unscrupulous websites in foreign countries," Gray continued, "It is time to bring this multibillion dollar industry out of the shadows."

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 is being questioned as unconstitutional and outdated. The leagues that once supported this Act such as the MLB, the NHL and to a lesser degree the NFL have taken a less aggressive stance against gambling. The introduction of the latest trend Daily Fantasy Sports betting has created yet another issue that politicians all over America are dealing with legally.

 

 

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Online Gambling Braces For Brexit Impact

Brexit has been made official and now the various industries that have been a big part of the European Union’s e-commerce are facing some big questions regarding the future of their businesses. Of the many sectors the online gambling community is showing concerns whether leaving the European Union will have a negative effect on the bottom line.

It may not be the best thing for the E.U. but Britain may do very well in the gambling industry and legal industry. The United Kingdom has six of Europe's biggest gambling and regulatory bodies including the UK Gambling Commission and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority which licenses some of the largest operators in the online gambling industry today.  Without Britain’s centralized gambling regulations companies and nations are on a state by state basis. The concept of countries assisting each other in difficult times now becomes untenable and no longer legal. A me first before anyone else approach becomes common. It is a step away from which is an unsafe and insecure operating environment for the European Union. When  British Prime Minister Theresa May formally began the much huge UK exit from the European Union the repercussions are beginning to mount up.

Changes have occurred in the internet betting industry as a result of the Brexit already. Most of the changes are being prepared by lawyers who are most concerned about damage control for a lot of online gambling operations and the tearing up of trade agreements with a number of jurisdictions.

Quoting the Teresa May government UKGC CEO Sarah Harrison said, ‘Out of the EU doesn’t mean out of Europe’. Adding, “There will still be the need for regulators – whether Europe-based or international – to share information and talk to each other, to share best practice,”

Aside from having less access to the talent pool of developers and skilled creators of innovative gaming products it looks certain that British internet betting will thrive as it has in the past.

 

 

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Licensed Online Sports Betting Growing In Russia

Late last year the Russian government’s Ministry of Finance overhauled its taxation regime for licensed sports betting operators in the country cutting the rate from 5% to 3% to finally 1%. The lowering of the taxes for licensed online betting operators was a response to a number of appeals from firms in Russia which already contend with a variety of other taxes and regulatory costs.

In February of 2017 Russia’s Ministry of Finance targeted online gambling payment processing with new legislation designed to block payment transactions with unlicensed international online gambling firms.

Russian authorities estimate that $3 billion (€2.8 billion) is spent each year on illegal online gambling that involves international gambling operators. Back in June of this year Russian billionaire Alexander Mamut planned to join with GVC Holdings, the parent company of Bwin, to launch an online sports betting platform in the jurisdiction.

Kommersant, the Russian media outlet reported that Bwin.ru will partner with licensed Digital Betting LLC., and online technology company Rambler & Co to launch the offering.  Both enterprises are owned by Mr. Mamut. Mamut has said he will spend up to €10m ($11.2m/£8.6m) per year over the next three years to develop the new sports betting Bwin.ru brand. As of June 2017 there are about 10 bookmakers approved to offer online wagers to Russian punters. It has been suggested that Bwin's entry into the market may serve as a model for other firms considering entry into Russia’s gambling arena.

Since the entry of Bwin.ru there is another company willing to offer sports betting services in the area with Marathon launching its platform in Russia. A licensed operator, the new Marathonbet.ru platform will advance its presence in Russia. Consumers of the new products offered are required to resister at one of Marathon’s retail outlets although only the firm currently only has sites in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Kommersant media says that the regulated online gambling market is currently worth only €15.7m in total annual revenue.

 

 

 

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Artificial Intelligence Fueling Online Gambling Trends

The words artificial intelligence can mean nothing to the average punter but for operators it can be a game changer. The use of AI in the internet gambling industry is definitely putting a different spin on the experience for the online gambling participant. The advancements in the tech sector with more powerful and integrated computer networks has given the online gambler a safer and more enjoyable time while playing.

The trends are being made mainstream with the innovative approach that online gambling operators and developers are using with the help of artificial intelligence. A recent internet gambling conference speaker Dr. Freija van Duijne, president of the Dutch Future Society, spoke about these emerging trends impacting the online gambling industry and provided insights into how the futurists use trend insights to stay ahead of the techno curve.

Developers such as BtoBets and one of its platforms the intelligent B Neuron is an advanced Sportsbook and Gaming platform on the market that offers an array of tools using AI to navigate involvement with online betting.  Kostandina Zafirovska Chief Executive Officer of BtoBet said in an interview with CalvinAyre.com’s Becky Liggero explaining the role of artificial intelligence in providing a personalized gaming experience.

“It is very easy because working long years in technology, working with different industries, these technology trends are massively adapted and well integrated in the big systems, especially in the finance industry. So it is easy to reflect that experience into gaming,” Zafirovska continued, “Having artificial intelligence incorporated in the gaming platform with the combination of augmented reality, virtual reality, and recommendation engine, really tailors different offers for the players and saves a lot of money for operators in a way that we like to give some new experience, and new expectations to be brought in the market for the players and to change a bit and drive a different gaming experience. More exciting and more personalized.”

 

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Ireland's Online Industries Thriving

Watching the evolution of the online gambling world has been an enjoyable experience for anyone that got involved in the industry at its beginning. There are so many aspects of online gambling that a business person can become part of with so many required skills to run the many enterprises.

The positive affect that internet betting operators bring to an economy is desired by governments looking for clean high paying employment opportunities for their citizens. There are many examples of this with notable ones being Malta and Ireland.

Ireland has had its fair share of economic problems and was particularly hard hit when the European economies failed not that long ago. Ireland however has weathered that period of dire need and reformed itself and its economy to become a model for success. Ireland has turned its attention to attracting the digital industries becoming a central core for web activity.

The digital economy has found a home in Ireland with the gaming industry doing particularly well.  Irish national and gamedevelopers.ie associate Jamie McCormick recently revealed that the industry is estimated to have grown to just over €243m in 2016 with the 5 % growth is expected to continue.

Online gambling industry in Ireland has been estimated to be worth possibly €1.1bn annually, with online gaming contributing some €220m with no real hard facts to back this suggestion up.  Much of the wagering economy can thank the passing of the Betting (Amendment) Act in 2015, online gambling in Ireland is legally legitimate as all remote operators regardless of where and whether they are online or not  doing business in Ireland are subject to Irish licensing and taxation. One study suggested that, now that online gambling  is properly regulated, it could be worth €7.5 billion to the economy by 2020. In the case of the Irish economy the saying the “luck of the Irish” fits.

 

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Swiss Banks Offering Bitcoin Financial Services

Bitcoin brings the world of finance into a different perspective with the coin now topping the two thousand traditional dollar mark. The use of Bitcoin to keep the identities of holders of the virtual currency private is gaining traction in many parts of the world especially for the participants of online gambling.

The coin has been up and down in value over the last year or so with recent values almost at the three thousand dollar level. The current situation is favourable for bitcoin users with bitcoin friendly jurisdictions creating trading platforms for the crypto currency. In recent weeks one boutique financial services bank in Zurich Switzerland has been authorized to hold bitcoin.  

The Falcon Private Bank has partnered with virtual money broker Bitcoin Suisse launching a blockchain asset management service. The service has been approved by the state regulator Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), according to Falcon. The service allows customers to exchange and hold bitcoins utilizing the Falcon Bank option by using real cash holdings.

Arthur Vayloyan, Falcon’s global head of products and services commented, “We are proud to be the first-mover in the Swiss private banking area to provide blockchain asset management for our clients,” adding, “Falcon is convinced that the time is right to enter this nascent market and it is our firm belief that this new product will fulfil our clients’ future needs.”

The Falcon Private Bank is not the only financial institution involved with bitcoin trading with online bank Swissquote announcing a partnership with Bitstamp to offer bitcoin trading with both the euro and U.S. dollar on its platform. Bitstamp will provide a full capacity program for all of Swissquote’s requirements. The two firms are planning  the expansion of the partnership “as Bitstamp brings Swissquote’s range of services to its customers.”

Bitstamp CEO Nejc Kodrič said, “The strong potential shown by digital currencies in their relatively short history has led to traditional financial markets looking for ways to get involved,”

 

 

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California Adds Its Voice For Legal Sports Betting

The old saying that the squeaky wheel gets the grease comes to mind when mentioning the smoldering issue of legal sports betting in the USA. The contention remains that the situation for US jurisdictions and the ability to offer wagering on sporting events legally is unfair and it needs an adjustment from the federal government authorities.

There have been attempts in court to alter the standing law that prohibits sports betting in all the states except four, Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana. The newest delegation to call for a removal of the ban on sports betting in America is California which is echoing the efforts of New Jersey to have the rules changed. New Jersey has been battling in court over the issue for some time now and the US Supreme Court will hear an appeal to legalise sports betting.

Assembly member Adam C. Gray, chair of California’s Assembly Governmental Organisation Committee, has tabled a constitutional amendment to authorise sports wagering in California, if the federal government agrees. Gray said in a statement, the ACA 18 amendment in California now adds its voice with Connecticut and Mississippi which have also introduced bills allowing their jurisdictions to offer sports betting legally.

Gray commented,  “Whether we like it or not, Californians are already betting on sports through illegal and often unscrupulous websites in foreign countries.It is time to bring this multibillion dollar industry out of the shadows.

“We need to crack down on illegal and unregulated online gaming and replace it with a safe and responsible option, which includes safeguards against compulsive and underage gambling, money laundering, and fraud.”  “All other gaming activities in California are subject to regulations that ensure the safety of consumers; sports wagering should be treated no differently.”

If the Supreme Court rules in favour of New Jersey’s online sports betting proposition, other states will be able to gain revenue from this proven lucrative source.

 

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Harm Reduction Aim of FOBT Stake Reduction Demands

Gamblers in the U.K. are being looked after by the government which has been attempting to limit the stake on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals that are claiming a massive amount of revenue from punters. Back in January this year the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) issued a press release “demanding an urgent inquiry into a new report” by the All-Party Parliamentary Group that was given the task of assessing the potential harm that Fixed Odds Betting Terminals cause.

The ABB called the report “deeply flawed,” claiming the report was funded by “commercial rivals of Britain’s bookmakers” that stand to “directly benefit if [the report’s] recommendations are ever implemented.” The Association of British Bookmakers contends there isn’t clear evidence that stake reduction results in a decrease in problem gambling. The GambleAware organization also revealed a “stake-only reduction strategy” was “not the most effective option for minimizing gambling-related harm.”

The All-Party Parliamentary Group chairperson, Carolyn Harris said she supported a responsible gambling industry, “but there is nothing responsible about how FOBTs are currently being operated.” The report revealed that the UK Gambling Commission is not taking a more “active role” in curbing FOBT abuse, and advised the UKGC to “look into accusations of any malpractice by bookmakers or gambling premises more widely.”

Now in July of 2017 the issue has become a campaign called ‘Cut the stake. Reduce FOBT Harm’ and is receiving media attention. John White, Chief Executive Officer of the British Amusement Catering Trade Association commented on the campaign in the U.K. “Bacta is an associate member of the All Party Parliamentary Group, alongside supporting organisations representing bingo, pub, adult gaming centres, coastal amusements, councils and the Royal Society for Public Health – all of which share concerns about the social implications of FOBTs. It’s essential that this issue remains firmly on the radar and that government recognises there is deeply held cross party support for a significant reduction in the FOBT stake.” Both bacta and the pub industry have called for a maximum stake of £2 and a maximum prize of £150.

 

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Uruguay Struggles To Control Online Sports Betting

The Autoridad de Ficalization y Control Social del Juego is the authority that handles the gambling industry in South America’s second smallest nation Uruguay. Bordering Argentina and Brazil Uruguay’s three and a half million citizens are considered well off for South American standards.

Gambling is legal in the country with 20 brick and mortar casinos and a few horse racing tracks with the national lottery a state monopoly. Online gambling has not been really addressed by the government there but it has been suggested that changes are coming with new legislation. Some sectors are already moving got online gambling platforms such as horse racing and lottery with a local casino also moving on with Bally Technologies.  It is obvious that even though there is no evidence of clear laws authorities are not actively prohibiting companies from setting up online betting opportunities.
 

The clandestine approach may be a thing of the past as online sports betting operator Sportingbet has been called on the mat after a politician objected to the team’s logo appearing on the kit of Club Nacional de Football during a recent Copa Libertadores game against a Brazilian team. The sport betting industry is considered a taboo subject in Uruguay with online betting considered a violation of the country’s gambling laws. The wagering market is relatively small in this nation and online gambling operators have shied away from the jurisdiction even though some have signed up sports teams for sponsorship.

National Party deputy Jorge Gandini reportedly was on a local radio show and ranted on about the appearance of the Sportingbet logo on Nacional’s jerseys and this violation of the current  gambling laws. Gandini said that access to sites such as Sportingbet “is prohibited … according to a principle of legality established since 1895,” in Uruguay.

The urging of the politicians to adjust the laws to curb the illegal offerings is undone by the fact that Uruguay has “no mechanisms that work to control illegal gaming.”

 

 

 

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Slovakia Clamps Down On Unlicensed Online Gambling

The internet has provided gamblers in eastern European nations with the opportunity to punt on at massive number of international casinos and sports betting web locations. The competition is fierce in the industry to attract both operators and consumers of online gambling products to the domains.

The governments of countries such as Slovakia have established a regulatory platform that for the most part has down little to attract operators to their regime because of the high rate of taxation at 27% VAT on gambling revenue. The new Slovakian regulatory scheme invited operators last year to acquire a licence to offer online betting services in the Slovakian jurisdiction. Fines of up to €500,000 were threatened if so called illegal online gambling sites persisted to provide gambling products without a proper license. These fines are easy to impose but hard to collect as other regulated online gambling jurisdictions in the European Union have already found.

The government of Slovakia has published the first blacklist of online gambling sites considered in violation of the new rules.  The country’s finance ministry released the first 10 names on the not welcome list. The domains include international online gambling operators 888 Holdings, Bet-at-Home, Bwin, William Hill, Bet365,and 1xbet. The Curacao-licensed Eatsleepbet.com, the Malta-licensed LVbet.com and Kajot-casino.com are also on the blocking list.

The list of banned operators has not been implemented as yet with the ministry says it is seeking court order to facilitate the blocking process soon. Internet service providers are under the gun to impose the governments order to block and have expressed their dislike for the extra costs and responsibility they have been subjected too. Financial service providers have also been approached by the authorities to stop processing funds that are related to the prohibited web domains.

Warning notices were sent to 17 online gambling operators, 10 are now on the banned list. Two operators withdrew from Slovakia voluntarily, and five others have been given 10 days to leave the jurisdiction or pay the price of admission.

 

 

 

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