Canada's Open Online Gambling Industry Under Threat

Canada has been growing quickly over the last 150 years and has become a very Liberal nation that will even include the legalization of cannabis for recreational use on October 17th 2018.

The attitude of Canada that the citizens deserve to have the freedom to choose a vise and voice their opinion on all matters is part of the new identity. While other nations are keeping refugees out Canada is allowing more in. Online gambling is an example of a pastime many people enjoy in Canada and the rules are lacking in clarity.

Not all jurisdictions or provinces and territories have the same online betting regulations with Ontario Quebec and British Columbia being the main government operators. The provincial casinos, PlayNow, Espacejeux, and PlayOLG, have been finding it difficult to compete when the legislation which states it is legal to bet online, provided the online casino or poker site does not have a physical presence in Canada.

The gambling industry in Canada made $17.3 billion CND.last year and it is expected to grow. The province of Quebec is trying to stop the competitive offshore gambling websites from cashing in with legislation to block at the ISP level.In 2016 the government in Quebec passed Bill 74 which  included a provision to force Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block international online casino operators. A consortium of ISPs, the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), formally filed complaint to the national body governing telecommunications, the CRTC, considered the only organisation who legally have jurisdiction in this case. The CRTC came back with a recommendation that the law was unconstitutional and that they alone, along with the Government of Canada, have jurisdiction A court decision on this is pending. If the case goes in favour of the Quebec ruling Canada could go from one of the most open societies in the world to one that restricts free speech and freedom on the internet.



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Calvin Ayre Making Good Things Happen Around The World

The gambling world especially poker has a number of legendary poker players which have gone down in history as those brave people who take chances.and for the most part people like risk takers because they're exciting and admired by those who don't  take chances. The online gambling industry was originally spurred on by the massive interest in texas holdem and the massive stakes that were being wagered in front of a world audience.

Entrepreneurs who saw the potential of online gambling quickly created an industry that was not fully understood by politicians and law legislators and therefore subject to legal scrutiny.

One of the boldest and successful entrepreneurs is Calvin Ayre. The son of a Canadian prairie farmer Calvin Ayre has managed to build an online gambling empire that he runs now from Antigua and Barbuda a tiny but luxurious little island in the Caribbean. The Calvin Ayre Foundation has been helping charitable causes in over 8 countries around the world. For over 10 years The Calvin Ayre Foundation has been diligently working with local organizations and communities to make a difference and ensure that we leave the world in a much better place than we found it. Antigua has gone through some disastrous storms lately and with the help of the Calvin Ayre Foundation it is slowly recovering.

Mr. Calvin Ayre has not stopped using his entrepreneurial skills yet and is now very involved in a large project involving  a $100m five-star resort on Antigua funded by profits from digital currencies. Ayre was appointed Antigua and Barbuda’s special economic envoy and was excited to announce the upmarket tourist resort on Antigua’s Valley Church beach project had commenced.

The Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, commented,  “We expect the resort’s novel and exciting concept to broaden Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism product and bring a new category of tourists to our islands.”


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Czech Government Claims Success Purging Illegal Online Gambling

The are many online gambling jurisdictions in Europe that have enacted measures to keep unlicensed operators from accessing their markets with some of them successful. The Czech Republic installed a new gambling regulatory platform on January 1, 2017 that resulted in most internationally licensed online operators leaving the Czech gambling market. The new regime with the heavy taxes of 23% on sports betting, up to 35% for slots, all of this on top of a 19% corporate tax has pushed offshore operators out of the competition. There are also restrictions on bonus offers which hinders attracting new participants. Some offshore firms have come back to the Czech gambling market despite the reduced profitability.

The Czech Ministry of Finance recently released the official statistics revealing that in 2017 gambling revenue was up only 1.1% from 2016 even though gambling spending rose 14.1%. Online gambling rose 56% year-on-year representing a little better than one-fifth of the overall market. Online fixed-odds sports betting also saw a healthy increase in activity.

The Czech government is cashing in with its new structure setting new fecords for profit due to the tax reforms and licencing fees attached to online gambling operations.

A forecast regarding revenue generated by gambling was presented by Finance Minister Alena Schiller which revealed that the state’s 2018 gambling take would likely fall to a level which is then expected to stabilize over the next couple of years. The Finance Minister maintains that the effort the government has made to rid the Czech gambling market of unlicensed online gambling operators has been ninety percent successful. The illegal offshore online betting aspect is only part of the Czech government’s problem with the authorities also closing about two hundred illegal terrestrial  gaming venues, seizing around 1,500 electronic gambling machines while doing so.




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Sports Betting Now Legal In Rhode Island USA

The times are changing rapidly in the USA with regards to gambling the many jurisdictions in the country are jumping onto the sports betting bandwagon. It is a gamble that political leaders in the various states will make now that it is federally legal to offer sports betting to adult citizens.

The risk factors are high for the political leaders when sorting out the process of legislating and implementing a sports betting offering and regulatory platform acceptable to both operators and government.

Examples of the difficulty of this process starts with Pennsylvania being one of the first states to consider legal sports betting in its domain. Politicians in the Keystone State took the leap of faith that the Supreme Court would overturn the old law and passed a law in 2017. The gamble has not really paid off because Instead of following the lines of Delaware and New Jersey, or replicating taxes in the same manner as Nevada, the politicians tripled the state fees, ending up with a total of 36% on all winnings. With a $10 million fee to obtain a sports betting license, partners and sports betting companies have remained distant assessing the potential after costs.

The model presented by other jurisdictions such as New Jersey and Delaware which legalized sports betting with just about 10% in fees on all winnings,

Now Rhode Island has become the third state in the US to legalize sports betting but high fees might kill revenue opportunities with the fee structure proposed. Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo opened the opportunity for sports betting within the Ocean state. Its projected that the approval will bring in additional revenue. Rhode Island is imposing a 51% in tax on all winnings. A sure win for the government but maybe not with the highest in the nation.



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Australia Rules Synthetic Lotteries Illegal

The lottery betting war is on in the great Down Under with the parliament approving laws prohibiting competitors of the national lottery Tats from offering lottery betting to Australians. Gibraltar based Lottoland offers the service allowing punters to bet on the outcome of a lottery instead of buying a ticket for an official lottery draw.  The government and Labor united against the so called synthetic lotteries after concerns they are enticing bettors away from traditional lotteries which is a source of revenue for newsagents, pubs and clubs.

The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill (Lottery Betting) 2018 focuses on a, ‘fair and balanced’ operating environment for traditional lottery and keno game providers maintaining needed income streams locally. Senator Mitch Fifield, The Minister for Communications, maintains that the government is committed to ensuring gambling takes place under "a robust legislative framework" with strong consumer protections.  

The pirate or synthetic lottery offering in this case is Lottoland which is saying its staying in Australia. Lottoland Australia CEO Luke Brill stated emphatically the company was “here to stay.” Brill also said that Lottoland was “well advanced” in developing ways to serve its seven hundred thousand Australian customers without violating the regulations. The company already seems prepared with a loophole of some sort.

Chief executive of the Australian Lottery and Newsagents Association Adam Joy, was more optimistic saying this about the new rules, “This will protect Australia from synthetic lotteries and will bring important new consumer protections by closing the loophole that lotto betting sites have been operating out of,”

Although the bill did pass easily in the Senate, senator David Leyonhjelm condemned the laws as a “shameful, protectionist measure” that would “lock out a new and innovative business”.

The statement sounds very much like the one CEO Luke Brill used “It is a great pity that the Senate did not give due consideration of the unintended consequences the new laws will have,” he continued, “not just on our customers, but on competition and innovation.”



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E-Sports Market Exploding After US Supreme Court Ruling

Bryce Blum, attorney and founder of Electronic Sports and Gaming Law said, "In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision, the volume of sports betting in the US is poised to explode -- and esports betting will inevitably follow suit,"

The rules have changed for esports fans who like to bet. New state-by-state regulations are going to make it simpler. Mainly because the professional esports industry is already on the game. DraftKings esports betting enterprise co-founder and CRO Matthew Kalish says his company's esports business grew 60 percent between 2016 and 2017. Unfortunately the esports betting industry has had some bad situations develop with alleged match fixing and such. The legalization of sports betting will bring on yet another set of regulations to control  the esport betting world.

"Increased esports betting comes with significant risks -- threats to competitive integrity, underage betting and addiction chief among them,"  "While all of these negative externalities are more prevalent in an unregulated marketplace, they still exist in legal markets, and the esports industry is relatively unprepared for the increased risks that come along with increased betting."

Nineteen states have legalized fantasy sports sites like DraftKings and FanDuel to operate, though each one has its own set of regulations. The Supreme Court rule change will encourage more states to update or create a custom set of regulations. Kalish says DraftKings has gone to a lot of trouble recently preparing for that possibility. Publishers of the egame world have invested a large amount to be ahead of the esports rush for supremacy.

Esports are expected to generate $1 billion in revenue this year, according to Superdata Research with the esports industry becoming easier to navigate each day, adding guaranteed player salaries and benefits in games such as Overwatch and the classic League of Legends.


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Massive Money Laundering Issue Revealed In B.C.Casinos

The use of online casinos and terrestrial betting venues are at risk from the unscrupulous crime organizations who seek to launder their ill gotten gains. The problem is being addressed by governments and regulatory bodies that are well aware that this is a difficult task.

The recent revelation was made by the Canadian province of British Columbia’s Lottery Corporation that they are aware of the rampant use of the government run casinos as a money laundering facility. The BC Attorney General David Eby released a 250-page report called ‘Dirt Money’ prepared by independent investigator Peter German in response to revelations of money laundering activity by Chinese high roller gamblers at the province’s privately managed although government controlled casinos.

German was critical of the former British Columbian government saying the government had ignored the growing problem for years and had failed to reduce the massive scale of the illegal activity in its casinos,. German said it was “not of one entity or person, but of the system.” Adding, “nobody said no.”

It has been suggested that an independent gambling regulator is necessary to remedy the problem of having one branch of the government overseeing gambling activity while another branch enforces the regulations. The issue of global money laundering has not been isolated to only Chinese funds but also many other organized crime groups who use ‘the Vancouver model’ to wash the dirty money.

Measures have apparently been implemented in British Columbia with new anti money laundering rules which has stemmed the deposits of cash all over the globe. Betting limits are under review a measure that will help cure the criminal activity. It was noted that Canada’s provincial gambling monopolies are effectively subject to less regulatory scrutiny than the internationally licensed online gambling operators.




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Greentube & Kindred's Unibet Launch Slots In Romania

There are small gambling companies and then there are the world dominators such as the  mega betting enterprise Novomatic. The foundation for Novomatic’s worldwide success can be found in its dual strategy: as a producer of high-tech gaming equipment and operator of electronic casinos, regular casinos and sports betting outlets, as well as a technology and service partner in the lottery segment, Novomatic is an omni solution provider covering every aspect of gambling.The firm employs 30,000 people around the world with subsidiaries in fifty countries.  

The Novomatic Interactive division, Greentube is a worldwide pioneer, and the leading developer of online gaming solutions, specialized in Casino gaming. Greentube´s multi-channel strategy combines online, mobile plus land based gaming offering its customers a comprehensive cross-linked gaming portfolio.


The online gambling choices in Romania just got a little better with the Greetube  launch of a portfolio of slot games on The diverse selection of market-leading games, all seamlessly integrated via the Greentube NRGS platform, is now available for Unibet players in the jurisdiction.


Greentube CFO/CGO, Michael Bauer, commented, “The expansion of our partnership with Unibet into Romania marks another milestone of our long-lasting cooperation. The combination of Novomatic  titles that have a strong land-based market share, together with our latest online releases, will give Unibet access to a large player base that has a great affinity with these games.”

Unibet Product Manager, David Craeghs, also commented, “We are thrilled to be able to go live with Greentube content for the Romanian market as we believe that it is key to offer relevant content to our players. With the vast Greentube portfolio to choose from, this should not be a problem and we are sure the players will easily recognise everything we have to offer and will hopefully enjoy playing the games.”


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Gambling Firms Crownbet & Sportsbet Go To Court In Australia

In the global online gambling industry there are certain to be legal disputes brought to the courts regarding fair play and rival concerns. A legal battle is brewing in Australia where Australian online sports betting operator Sportsbet is taking on rival Crownbet n the courts over Crownbets attempt to rebrand as Sportingbet.

The clear cut case is one that plays out as a David and Goliath scene where the big firm feels entitled and attempts to squash the little one.

The situation became interesting when Crownbet, which was recently acquired by online gambling giant The Stars Group announced it planned to rebrand its expanded operations utilizing the currently dormant Sportingbet brand. Crownbet took ownership of the Sportingbet brand after aquiring The Australian division of the UK bookmaker William Hill.

Operator  Paddy Power Betfair which operates Sportsbet, has filed a lawsuit alleging that Crownbet was infringing on the Sportsbet trademark by trying to trademark the Sportingbet name.

Crownbet recently filed an application to trademark Sportingbet and then applied to register the name Sportingbet Pty Ltd with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Sportsbet formally requested that Crownbet stop its Sportingbet rebranding efforts but Crownbet’s solicitors rejected Sportsbet’s demands outright.

William Hill Australia took the Sportingbet brand off the table in 2015 after purchasing the firm earlier. Sportsbet’s attorneys are sure to reveal that when the brand was retired, Ralph Topping,  then the CEO of William Hill, justified the decision based on his understanding that consumers were likely to confuse Sportingbet with Sportsbet.

Justice Barry Beach has been asked for temporary and permanent injunctions against Crownbet using the Sportingbet mark, plus damages and costs. A federal court hearing has been scheduled for July 25. Sportsbet attempted to buy the William Hill Australia property with rival Crownbet taking it instead.


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Malta Gets Up to Speed With New Gaming Regulations

Malta may once again have the deserved reputation as being one of the best jurisdictions to be regulated by. The last few years have been hard on the online gambling industry with Italian influence corrupting the already fragile business of regulating online gambling.

Now after a long wait the European Commission has finally approved Malta’s new gambling laws. The government proposed the regulations last spring and now will be able to implement the revised rules this July 1st.

This a total makeover for the Maltese regulatory system after fourteen years there are significant alterations in the very fabric of the system.

The alterations are mostly to the licensing process which is enough in itself to create some confusion for operators. But operators ar actually in luck with these new regulations with it making things simpler for operators. Replacing the multi-tiered system operators now have just two categories to choose from. One for the business-to-business (B2B) market, and the other for operators that focus on the business-to-customer (B2C) arena. To be determined by the applicant’s operations before the license is granted.

The former executive chairman, of the he Malta Gaming Authority, Joseph Cuschieri, initiated the proposed changes. Not only is there a simplified licensing system, Malta’s new Gaming Act gives the MGA extensive regulatory powers and more enforcement functions. The body will now be more effective in countering money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illicit financial activity sometimes associated with the gambling industry.

The Times of Malta quoted Henrik Tajernstrom of Kindred, “It is something that we had been acting very actively with the MGA to secure. It means that we do not have to have a dozen licenses but can have just one umbrella license. This saves a lot of administration for both the operators and the regulator.”


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