“SandpaperGate” Rocks Australian Cricket Integrity

Revelations have come out regarding the game of cricket ball tampering scandal in Australia. The match fixing effort has been exposed with Australian cricket coach Darren Lehmann stepping down as part of the fallout from “SandpaperGate,” in which the national team cheated by tampering with the ball in an attempt to gain an edge over South Africa in a test match.

The very emotional vice captain David Warner issued an unreserved apology for his actions in Australia’s ball-tampering scandal. He said the decision he made is one he, “will regret as long as I live”. The cricketer said he took full responsibility at the Sydney Cricket Ground for the first time after being removed as the Australian cricket team’s vice-captain.

Lehmann’s decision to resign has shocked the cricket world, mostly because he was cleared of any wrongdoing following an investigation by Cricket Australia. It was revealed during the probe that the players acted on their own and he was unaware of the plan. Lehmann’s reason for stepping down wasn’t that he ordered captain Steve Smith and batsmen Cameron Bancroft to tamper with the ball, but that he was feeling responsible.  “After viewing Steve and Cameron’s hurting, it’s only fair that I make this decision. I’m ultimately responsible for the culture of the team.”

Warner was identified by Cricket Australia as being also responsible for the events that unfolded during the third Test in Cape Town. Steve Smith received a one match fine, one match suspension (ICC), a one year suspension from international cricket and a two year suspension from serving as Australia team captain from Cricket Australia.  Cameron Bancroft received a one match fine from the (ICC) and a two year suspension from serving as Australia team captain from Cricket Australia.  David Warner got a one match fine a one match suspension from the (ICC) Also a one year suspension from international cricket, and he will not be considered for any future captaincy from Cricket Australia.


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Former PokerStars Exec Joins E-Sports Start Up Luckbox

eSports which is also called electronic sports, esports, competitive video gaming, professional video gaming, or pro gaming are a form of competition using video games. The activity is the new kid on the gambling scene with huge events being presented online and off. As soon as gaming became competitive, participants and audiences have wanted to place bets on it. The technology has improved and online betting on esports has grown in popularity.

The maturation of eSports betting has seen the rise of web locations that specialize in the activity. Owned by Real Time Games Holdings Limited headquartered on the Isle of Man Luckbox is claiming it will be fully regulated and compliant with the highest-level gaming jurisdictions ensuring visitors can play in a safe and secure environment. Participants can play using traditional currency, crypto currency and in-game items or skins. Consumers can convert their funds to Luckbox’s own crypto token called LUCK to take advantage of enhanced bonuses and features. Luckbox takes a modern approach to data science, artificial intelligence and decision theory.

The innovative eSports betting site is operated by a team with great experience in iGaming, eSports and crypto currency is happy to welcome Quentin Martin, appointed to the role of Chief Operating Officer. Quentin will head a major position in scaling up Luckbox operations as the enterprise concludes its Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and prepares for launch later this year. Quentin has a massive amount of experience in the gambling sector, formerly as Head of Social Poker at PokerStars.

Quentin commented on his position, “As a scale-up COO, my role is incredibly flexible and tough to define – essentially, everything that isn’t product, marketing, or finance falls under my purview, one of which I’m honoured to undertake. I’m here to enhance the organisation and to make sure we stay on track operationally. The job description could most accurately be described as ‘get things done’!”


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UKGC Takes Tough Action On Sky Bet Violations

The times are changing for the online gambling industry in the United Kingdom and that means the regulators are getting tough on violations of the laws. A recent revelation that online gambling company Sky Bet has been judged to have allowed hundreds of self-excluded gamblers to continue gambling, while apparently sending promotional texts, emails and push notifications to about 50,000 more punters is a serious violation of the rules.

Sky Bet has received a £1 million ($1.4 million) fine from the UK Gambling Commission for the transgression. Sky Bet chief executive officer Richard Flint apologized to the BBC recently for the mistakes that led to thousands of self-excluded gamblers receiving promotional material urging them to make wagers.

The hefty fine comes not long after Flint urged the gambling industry to pay attention to its “image problem.” The executive wants the industry to promote safer gambling through the advancement of self-help tools and increased intervention.

Flint told an audience at the International Casino Exhibition in February that, “The industry must first recognise it has an issue,” adding, “And I don’t just mean a PR or reputational issue. I mean a genuine, evidence-based subject that it must play its part in addressing.” Sky Bet reported the failure to the gambling regulator itself and fully cooperated with the entire investigation mitigating a much larger fine.

Flint spoke to the BBC this week stating, “In this case, we didn’t make it sufficiently difficult for people to open up duplicate accounts, and for that, we’ve apologised, it’s not good enough. We could and should have done more,” adding, “It is embarrassing for us.”

“We at that time didn’t have appropriate processes in place to check that there wasn’t already an existing account that was a duplicate and was self-excluded,”

Gambling Commission programme director, Richard Watson said, “Protecting consumers from gambling-related harm is a priority for us and where we see operators failing in their responsibility to keep their customers safe we will take tough action.”




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UEFA and ESSA Team Up to Fight Corruption in Sports

The battle against corruption and cheating in the sports world is constant and serious, match fixing and deceit ruins sports for everyone. Playing a fair game is the goal of every competitor but there are forces driven mostly by greed that sometimes keeps that from happening.

There are organizations that are making a concerted effort to stamp out fraudulent behaviour in sports one of the most effective is ESSA (Sports Betting Integrity) which is widely recognised to have contributed to the licensed betting sector’s continuing success in deterring betting related match-fixing within its markets.

Khalid Ali, secretary general of ESSA, said this in 2017,  “The past year has proved to be one of our most challenging and yet productive to date.

“The effectiveness of the association’s alert system, bolstered by an expanding membership, continues to be publicly recognised by key stakeholders.

“New information sharing agreements have also been put in place so that we can react more readily to changing trends and challenges to both our members’ businesses and our partners around the world.

“There is a growing focus on betting integrity in existing and potential new markets and ESSA has sought to reflect this in its responses to policy consultations and in its wider engagement.”

Now, the organization has teamed up with the Union of European Football Associations UEFA in an all out effort to eradicate match-fixing from football around Europe. The two parties have signed an information-sharing agreement, with ESSA and its membership of 25 sports betting operators to support UEFA’s efforts.

UEFA’s Managing Director of Integrity, Emilio Garcia commented on the arrangement,  “We are delighted that ESSA will be teaming up with UEFA in our mission to eradicate the manipulation of matches from football, and the exchange of information between trusted partners is a key milestone in this fight”, “Match-fixing is a disease that threatens football’s soul, and the game must be safeguarded from those who seek to profit from it by criminal means.”





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Australia Not Finished With Gambling Law Changes

The government of Australia is not finished with the changes its wants for the online gambling industry with the recent announcement that it will introduce legislation to prohibit betting on lotteries and Keno games.

The Communications Minister Mitch Fifield made a statement after The Australian revealed the government was about to stop so-called “synthetic lotteries” which they say pose a threat to newsagents and other small businesses.

Senator Fifield said the administration had, “formed the view that permitting betting on these services... undermines the long-standing community acceptance of official lottery and keno products.”

“Traditional lotteries and keno games are popular and long-standing recreational gambling products that form an important income stream for thousands of small businesses across Australia, including newsagents, pharmacies, pubs and community clubs,” he said.

“They also generate significant taxation revenue for state and territory governments, helping to fund schools, hospitals, public transport and roads.”

He warned that online gambling agencies which allowed betting on lottery outcomes had generated “considerable community concern.”

“The Government has listened carefully to a range of groups that have views on the undesirability of permitting betting on these products,” he added.

“Many Australians enjoy lotteries and keno as a recreational activity, and the Turnbull Government is committed to ensuring that gambling takes place under a robust legislative framework with strong consumer protections and within the boundaries of community standards.”

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has led the grass roots campaign to have the laws changed. Senator Hanson commented on the amendments, “These might appear to be small wins for One Nation, but I can assure people that it’s these small things that affect so many people who have previously felt ignored,”

Senator Hanson maintains that the new amendments will protect 20,000 news agency jobs while the banning of bets on Keno outcomes would give additional support to 250,000 people working in pubs and other venues.



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UKGC Sets New Course For Online Gambling Operators

The largest regulated digital gambling market has been operational in the United Kingdom since the Gambling Commission was established under the Gambling Act 2005 becoming fully functional in 2007. The UK Gambling Commission has been upgrading its regulations recently with an announcement that its new plans are aimed at making online gambling in the UK safer and to make sure that local customers are well-protected.

Neil McArthur, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the UKGC, said that the local regulatory authorities were constantly looking for ways to boost the efficiency, fairness and safety of the market for its customers.

McArthur detailed the proposals which the UK Gambling Commission has installed are aimed at protecting under-aged individuals reduce the risk of gambling-related harm and to use the existing measures imposed on operators to prevent harm associated with gambling.

The UKGC has proposed a number of changes in order to increase regulations for the online gambling market to be ensured.

The regulator’s changes will further protect children by prohibiting gambling operators from offering free-to-play demo games until the operator is able to confirm the age of the player.  According to the regulatory body the speed and efficiency of the processed used for age confirmation, should be made better. It was also recommended that gambling operators should make sure that they had set limits on customers’ spending until the co-called “affordability checks” were carried out to determine a player’s gambling spend wasn’t more they could actually afford. The UKGC also revealed it would be reviewing the characteristics of gambling products in order to find out if particular features of these products are associated with more social harm. The Commission is also considering whether gambling on credit should be permitted in the U.K. Along with other changes the online gambling industry is yielding to laws they must abide by. 

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Kahnawake Gambling Commision A Select Regulator

The online gambling industry runs on rules and regulations and to keep the business fair there are regulators. One of the most popular licensing regulators of online betting is the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. The regulator is located in the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake within Canada near Montreal in the province of Quebec.

When licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission online betting companies must be hosted at Mohawk Internet Technologies a data centre located within the territory and managed by Continent 8 Technologies. The territory is attractive for those seeking a license to operate due to the non-existence of any tax and a very reasonable licensing fee. The vast array of bandwidth that is available to businesses is a great advantage and there is also no restriction on where the operator takes wagers. Even in the most lucrative locations are available from the Commission. Security is also a major advantage for those in this jurisdiction.

As to the duration of licenses the Initial license is for six months. After this the Commission can issue one for a maximum of two years. Licenses must be renewed every four years with an unlimited number of renewals permitted.

In July of 1999 the Commission enacted its Regulations concerning Interactive Gaming. As a result it has effectively and successfully regulated interactive gaming longer than almost any other jurisdiction in the world.

The Commission’s primary function is to provide for the protection of players who choose to participate in the online gaming offered by the Commission’s permit holders.  The Commission uses a variety of means to ensure that. Interactive gaming is conducted responsibly, fairly and honestly and operators of interactive games treat players fairly; that they pay winners promptly and that all information related to player accounts is held in the strictest confidence.


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Major Stake in Vermantia Acquired By Arena Racing Company

Vermantia was established in 2007 and headquartered in Athens Greece with a regional office in Italy and a presence in the UK & Romania, the company operates across 31 countries, reaching 23 operators internationally. The firm’s majority stake has been acquired by Arena Racing Company also called ARC Racing and Leisure Group which is a UK private company created in 2012 by the merger of Arena Leisure and Northern Racing.

Filippos Antonopoulos, the founder and chief executive officer of Vermantia, will remain as a shareholder and also retain his executive role, confirmed that the deal is on although details have not been revealed. The deal ensures ARC expands its international distribution capacity through Vermantia’s global reach. ARC will accelerate Vermantia’s focus on a global content hub in Athens, by enlarging its market-leading broadcast infrastructure, expanding its technology team, and continue to design innovative solutions.  

Vermantia’s Antonopoulos, commented, “We are excited to have done this deal with the ARC team and look forward to leverage the great chemistry between our teams towards a strong expansion of our business.” “ARC’s investment and partnership creates a unique offering in global racing. It also recognizes the work done by our team over the years, in creating a strong brand name in content technologies, and exporting innovation to an increasingly global gaming industry.”

Martin Cruddace, ARC Chief Executive, commented, “ARC has established itself, along with its media partner At The Races, as the number one UK and international horse and greyhound content rights holder and distributor on the international market. The acquisition of Vermantia fits perfectly with our existing rights portfolio of traditional trusted BAGS greyhound content and premium international content.

“ARC and its international partners all have integrated technologies, from broadcasting to self-service terminals, and it is clear that technology advancements mean that rights’ holders now have the opportunity to work together on both sale and delivery, making the old business model which relied on a middleman, outdated.”


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Ladbrokes Loses Appeal To Recoup Taxes

The long court case lasting for ten years has finally been resolved much to the chagrin of the U.K.’s Ladbrokes gambling operator. The dispute over a tax scheme created in 2008 by Ladbrokes and its partner for accounting Deloitte and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs service was about a loophole exploited by a number of corporations.

Ladbrokes initially accepted the fact brought out by HMRC it had tried to avoid taxes and paid the £71m. The company attempted to recoup the funds by applying to the Court of Appeal which has been thrown out by the Upper Tribunal of the Tax and Chancery Chamber which dismissed each of Ladbrokes’ three arguments.

Back in December of 2015, HMRC won a judgment against Ladbrokes worth £54 million after the bookmaker admitted to setting up a deal between two of its divisions that led to a share price drop in one of the operations allowing the loser to claim a tax loss. HMRC launched legal action against the 100 companies that took advantage of the loophole, including Ladbrokes, a tax loop hole which has since been closed.

A Ladbrokes spokesperson told media outlet City A.M. "We note the court ruling. This was a case regarding taxes already paid and accounted for, so while the case may have been given against us, it has no bearing on our numbers."

An HMRC spokesperson also commented on the case, “We are pleased that the Court of Appeal supports HMRC’s view that Ladbrokes were attempting to avoid corporation tax. Avoidance schemes like this just don’t work and HMRC will always take firm action against them. HMRC wins nine out ten avoidance cases we take to court.”

 HMRC compliance director Jennie Granger said when the judgement came down,
“Ladbrokes would have been better off just paying the tax but instead they pursued this lengthy legal dispute with HMRC.” Adding, “The bookie gambled and lost when the odds of success could not have been lower.”






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Japan Gaming Congress Tokyo May 10-11 2018

Japan is one place many people would love to visit mainly because of its unique culture and scenery. The opportunity is being presented by Clarion Gaming with their 2018 edition of the Japan Gaming Congress. Gambling operators and other professionals in the betting industry from all over the planet will converge on Tokyo in May.  

The third edition of the Congress will run the 10th and 11th of May and will be located at the Conrad, Tokyo Hilton hotel. The Japan Gaming Congress will involve a two-day educational forum that will offer clear practical insight and understanding into the current casino legislation in Japan. Operators will be looking at entering the estimated $40bn market in the region and will experience valued insight into the process of licensing. The potential complex nature of IR Casinos will be simplified somewhat while providing a window of understanding for those who attend.

Sponsors that have been confirmed by Clarion Gaming for this year’s event include Galaxy Entertainment, Melco Resorts Entertainment, MGM Resorts, SJM Holdings Macau, Transact, JCM Global, Hard Rock, Caesars Entertainment, Clairvest, Konami and others.

Event Director at Clarion Gaming, Rory Credland, stated, “The current state of play in Japan could potentially see a gaming Bill pass in June thereby enabling a number of licenses to be issued and in the process create one of the most significant jurisdictions in world gaming.” Credland continued to add, “JgC will provide a platform for delegates to meet with the prefectures and decision makers behind the bill, and gain some real up to the minute insight as to what the legislation will look like, bearing in mind a preview has not been released.”

Topics included in the agenda this year are a government and regulatory update, understanding the customer profile, global perspective, opportunities for local communities and businesses and the economic impact of the changes in gambling laws in Japan.

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