Congress Trains Guns On Online Gambling

The United States has always been a tough nut to crack for the online gambling industry. While iGaming is permitted in the United Kingdom, Australia, and many parts of Europe, it is banned by federal law in the US. The exceptions to this law are the states of Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware where it is allowed albeit in a limited form.

Online gambling operators see a faint ray of light thanks to the efforts of many states to ease the restrictions on online gambling by passing amendments to existing laws or bringing new laws into effect. However, it seems that Congress is seeking to take steps to override these laws, in what seems to be a major contravention of the tenets of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. What makes this particularly galling is that Congress seems to be moving in this anti-iGaming direction at the command of an important GOP donor.

The online gambling industry is up in arms on account of a Senate Appropriations Report that has recently been amended by U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) to bring an end to all forms of online gambling taking place in the country. The newly introduced language in the bill will permit the federal government to override the laws passed by individual states to make internet based gambling legal so that it can be regulated properly.

It is interesting to note that the bill in question has been supported by many Republican members of Congress. However, the Las Vegas casino big wig Sheldon Adelson is believed to be the inspiration for this amendment. The billionaire casino owner, who is known to be a major donor to the Republican Party, has been campaigning for many years to prevent online gambling from being legalized.

It is easy to understand why Adelson is eager to ban internet based gambling. After all, his company runs casinos in Las Vegas, Macau and even Singapore. What is surprising is why Congress wants to get into this fight. After all, states that offer online gambling stand to earn a lot of tax revenues from this business and they will also ensure that their residents will not fall prey to illegally run gambling sites.

Most Americans might not have access to legally run internet gambling operations, but this does not prevent them from going online to bet on sports or play casino or slot games. In fact, Americans enjoy playing all the latest games such as Tiki Island slots. The problem is that they have to visit illegally run sites, some of which have criminal connections, and many of them lose money this way.

Congress does have a history of sneaking anti-gambling language into completely unrelated bills. This is actually a major issue since it deprives American gamblers from protection against badly run black market operations. Examples from other countries show that the industry works very well when it is properly regulated. There is also the major issue of whether Congress has the right to tell adult Americans how they should spend their money!

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German Online Sports Betting Laws Slammed

German laws on online sports betting have drawn the flak now from the European Union’s Court of justice. Various stakeholders of online sports betting including the bookmakers have always been highly critical of the laws being enforced by the German authorities to regulate the online sports betting. One of the vociferous critics of the German online sports regulators has been the European Union’s licensed bookmakers. They have accused the German online sports betting regulators of bringing arbitrary changes without considering the legal standing of the regulations.

Genesis of the Feud

Right from July 2012, the European Union’s licensed bookmakers have been pointing at the illegalities and the draconian nature of the Interstate agreement formulated to regulate online sports betting in Germany. The 2012 laws instituted by German authorities had made it compulsory for the online sports betting companies to apply and get the appropriate license to carry out the online betting activities, legally. One of the criticisms of the EU’s licensed online bookmakers is that a level playing field has not been provided to them in carrying out their activities as the state continued to exercise its monopoly over the online betting activities.

European Union’s Mandate

European Union explicitly seeks the member countries to establish a system of licensing that is not just fair but is also transparent. European Union’s online sports betting companies have pointed out to lacunae in this regard in the German online sports betting laws. Now as a major fillip to the stand of EU’s online bookmakers, the Court of Justice has given a ruling which has found fault with the German regulators of online sports betting. In no uncertain terms, the Court of Justice has criticised the licensing authorities of Germany of not relinquishing their monopoly over online sports betting activities. It has been pointed out by the Court of Justice that as per the guidelines of the EU to its members, it is paramount for the state to facilitate activities to promote free trade. EU’s clause on free trade includes trade conducted through the internet like offering online casino games like Tiki Island slot.

Other Contentious Issue

In a virtual reprimand to German online sports betting regulators, the Court of Justice has pointed out that though the licensing regime for online sports betting was introduced way back in 2012, as of now not even a single license has been issued. The ruling has exposed the lacunae in German online sports betting laws and questions are being asked on the need for existence of such laws which are barely implemented. Interestingly the German online sports betting authorities had put out twenty licenses for auction to online sports betting companies to see how things transpire, but apparently there has been no progress made on this front. This univocally has established that German online sports betting authorities have to revisit their priorities and bring out newer laws which would be more meaningful and fulfil their intended purpose.

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The Betting Industry is Set for Another Boom!

As betting online has its share of advantages, including the player enjoying anonymity and the easy access to games, men and women have been happily responding to this new form of betting with their overwhelming support in different parts of the world. Governmental support by way of legislations to legalize betting activities in the territory provides a major fillip to the industry in the region. Now on the anvil is the Gaming Board of Zimbabwe’s set of directives to help the people of the country to take up the betting activities without any restrictions. The laws which are likely to come into force, soon, has the potential to boost the online gambling activities further in Zimbabwe.

Allied Factors Helping Online Betting Activities

While the ease of betting online is drawing people in hordes to this activity, other technological advancements and initiatives of the governments have been contributing to the spurt in the online betting activities. One of the essentials for anyone to enjoy the online betting activities is a strong communication system. Online betting activities necessarily require a very good telephone network to succeed. The last decade in particular has seen a revolution in the internet speed which has further facilitated the growth of online activities. High speed internet connection has helped players to enjoy games like Tiki Island slot thoroughly as they are now able to get the maximum graphics on their screen to get the best visual effects. If improved internet technology has given an impetus to online activities, governmental rules further supplement the growth of the online industry.

Evolution of Betting Activities

Earlier it required a player to visit a casino to play Tiki Island slot game and to take part in any other betting activity. Subsequently, players were able to bet online from the casino premises. Now as various governments in different parts of the world, have made online betting legal, players are able to bet without any restriction from their homes and offices. Introduction of smartphones with Android application now enable people to use their phones for various activities including betting, online.

Fall Out of Online Betting Act

The legislations introduced to make online betting does not merely help the bettors to have a great time; it has resulted in the economy of the country to look-up with growth of many allied sectors. One such industry is the online news services. When the reporting of news- online- is perfect, timely and unbiased, users logging into the site is higher. Such news websites also are required to carry content which are relevant to the users. Once such info and content are provided, benefits like revenue from advertisements are bound to follow. Thus the online news broadcasting is one avenue which is open for start-ups to make good money. With betting now becoming common in more spheres of life, online news portals are likely to have a very good scope for growth and development, particularly in countries like Zimbabwe.

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Russian Region Considers Law To Penalise Online Gamblers

Tatarstan, a republic located within the central region of Russia, intends to take its fight against online gambling to an altogether new level. There are already federal laws in Russia against most types of online gambling, but it seems that the republic considers these laws not strong enough. Legislators in Tatarstan are debating a bill that will levy heavy fines on people who break the laws on internet based gambling. The quantum of punishment will vary according to the severity of the offence and can go all the way up to $300.

The bill proposed by Tatarstan to bring a halt to online gambling will fine not just gamblers themselves but also people who enable their children or wards to do so. The bill, very clearly, aims to move some part of the responsibility of illegal online gambling to the gamblers themselves. It goes without saying that the Russian government continues to target websites that offer forbidden online services to its citizens by blocking access to these sites. These online services include certain categories of pornography and not just gambling. Therefore, Russians are banned from playing popular games like Double Bubble slots that people enjoy all over the world.

Hefty Fines For Enabling Gambling

The Tatarstan legislation proposes fines that range from 10,000 roubles (around $150) to 20,000 roubles for people caught gambling on online casinos. In case the user is found to be a minor then the parent or guardian will get a fine ranging from 5000 to 10000 roubles as punishment for enabling them to gamble. Landlords who permit gambling from their premises will face a stiff fine of 150,000 roubles.

The proposed law has quite a bit of support in the Tatarstan State Council because online gambling is considered to be a major problem here. Rafil Nugumanov, one of the lawmakers who supported the bill said that gambling has resulted in many problems in society since it was very addictive. There are many instances of people who sank into financial problems as a result of gambling on illegal sites. Nugumanov pointed out that existing federal laws were insufficient to keep gambling under control which is why it was necessary to tackle the problem at the level of individual users.

Not Everyone Supports The Law

A section of anti gambling activists does not feel that the proposed Tatarstan law will amount to anything. In fact, they say that the existing laws in Russia is more than sufficient to keep gambling under control, especially since it is implemented very thoroughly. Gambling watchdogs in Russia are very effective at identifying illegal sites and their mirror sites and they also shut these sites down very quickly without even requiring a court order to do so. While site owners can easily dispute these actions in court, there haven’t been many instances of the actions being overturned because the law is very strict and comprehensive.

Russia had previously passed a law in 2013 that restricted the basic rights of people termed as gambling addicts. These people were compelled to have a guardian to oversee their assets.

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NYX Expands Into Italy With Eurobet Deal

While the online gambling industry is expanding at a very fast pace all over the world, it has been particularly successful in Europe. This is mainly on account of the progressive laws concerning online gambling through different European jurisdictions. In fact, many countries here have recognized the importance played by the internet in helping the industry develop, and therefore they have passed laws that made online gambling and sports betting legal.

Take Italy, for instance, where the legalization of online gambling in 2010 has enabled the industry to expand along the desired lines. Online gaming companies are eager to enter this market on account of its immense potential for business. Gamblers enjoy all the latest games such as Tiki Island slots and a wide variety of casino games without having to visit a land based casino. Since the market is well regulated, punters from Italy can gamble on well-managed sites without fear of falling victim to online scammers.

Las Vegas headquartered NYX Gaming Group Limited has just announced its intention to extend its reach in the Italian market. This has been brought about by a brand new deal with leading sports book operator Eurobet.it. Its expansion into the Italian market involves a deal to launch the digital casino content on the Game360 platform in collaboration with the well known Italian sports book operator. This tie up is in keeping with the industry’s trend for big mergers.

NYX Gaming already has a presence in 8 countries and it provides state of the art technology and content to a number of the best gambling operators in business today. The NYX portfolio includes more than 650 slots, lotteries, scratch cards, bingo, table games, and poker games. The company also has an impressively large distribution network; its products are used by more than 170 different customers.

The Eurobet Italia deal comes close on the heels of an agreement with another Italian company known as Sisal Group. Sisal is one of the top gaming companies in Italy and it is also the biggest provider of convenience payment services in the country. The company has immense experience in the gambling sector and has a head start over other companies thanks to its existence as a government licensee over the past 65 years.

It goes without saying that the tie up has been greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm from the parties concerned. Game360 general manager Andrea Guzzon said that the company’s portfolio could be of great help to Eurobet which is aiming to provide its Italian customers with the best and largest selection of slot games for desktop and mobile. It will also enable NYX to get the widest possible reach for its games in the extremely busy Italian market.

Eurobet’s head of gaming, Alfredo Melloni, echoed his sentiments, saying that the company was always eager to get new suppliers since this enabled it to expand its customer base. Eurobet customers would be very pleased to have access to casino games of all types in a secure gaming environment.

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The Unfortunate Record of Decreasing Swiss Casinos Revenue

Swiss casinos are in trouble with the revenues going down. It has happened for the consecutive eighth year that the casinos in Switzerland have faced such low revenues. According to the recent reports, the casino revenue saw a drop of 4% in the year 2015 as compared to the previous year. The updated value for 2015 is 681 million Francs.

History of the Back Fall

In the year 2007, the news declared that almost all the Swiss casino businesses witnessed a fall of around 300 million Francs. They lost the ground in the form of business revenue to illegal gambling clubs, foreign internet casinos and other gambling halls. While talking about the full hit of decrease in revenue in 2007, it has almost decreased to 33%. In fact, there has been decrease of 40% fewer payments to the Swiss OASI pension systems.

About the Recent Law

The Swiss casino operation is in a hope of a new gambling law that could fix the revenue issue effectively. The new law is expected to pass in this year and it is likely to cure the ill condition of the competitiveness of the Swiss market casino owners online. It is important that the issues be addressed immediately in the state where the online casinos like EU Casino, Royal Vegas and others are already famous. In fact, slots like Tiki Island have also become a heartthrob among many. Double Bubble slot is a 5-reel slot 3 visible symbol on each reel. You can expect to get a regular payout x22 once the bubble line has equaled the winnings set of symbols.

The Casino Demands

The casino association is expecting an official ban on the illegal online gambling. In addition, the Swiss casino operators are much worried about the offshore gaming websites, which are not taking effective measures for the protection of the players. They are not showing much concern about safeguarding punters from the addiction of gambling and are not even in the support of Swiss cantons. Keeping all these factors in mind, the Swiss casino owners are insisting for a basic framework that could create a protective gaming environment and captivating business conditions for all the operators.

The Law in Action

If the desired law comes into action, it will improve the condition of Swiss gambling market. The new law will allow the third parties to conduct their personal poker tournaments outside the casinos and it will restrict the tournament sponsors from developing their own corresponding gambling industry. In addition to this, the Swiss casinos are also concerned about the increasing popularity of the online poker bars in the nation that offer evening play with no regulations.

However, besides all this, it is yet to be seen that how well the new law will suffice the expectation of the Swiss casino operators. For sure, it will soothe their aching nerves and will provide them a ray of hope at least for some time. For now, all await the introduction of the new law eagerly!

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Surprisingly, Costa Rica Not Investigating 5Dimes

Subsequent to the speculations about 5Dimes casino sportsbook, which among other games offers Tiki Island slot, being investigated for money laundering activities, official release from Costa Rica officials clarifies that there is no such probe being carried out. The accusations were in fact regarding 5Dimes indulging in illegal money transactions vis-a-vis the US players. 5Dimes casino is located in Costa Rica and offers online casino games not only for the Costa Ricans, but also for players from the US.

Media Trials

Since March, with local media posting articles suggesting that the popular casino site 5Dimes, which has attracted players from far and near to play games like Tiki Island slot games, is under the scanner of US money laundering authorities for some of the banking transactions there has been some apprehension among the Costa Ricans about the future of the casino. Now to set the issue straight, The Costa Rican officials have univocally stated that there is no ground at all for Costa Rica to carry out any investigation against 5Dimes on the grounds of illegal betting. Since betting as such is not a crime in Costa Rica, the authorities have concluded that the question of money laundering does not arise.

Genesis of Speculation

The entire episode about the money laundering started in March when the Costa Rican media highlighted the news of the manager of 5Dimes being questioned regarding the transactions involving Banco de Costa and offshore entities in Dubai and Malta. And around the same time, there were reports about US Homeland Security pointing an accusing finger at 5Dimes for prompting residents in US to make use of the Amazon gift cards for playing the online casino games.

Strong Rebuttal

However, the Deputy prosecutor of Costa Rica’s Office of Money Laundering, Alvaro Montoya, has denied to La Nacion, Costa Rica’s popular media that such an investigation is in progress. Alvaro Montoya has stated without ambiguity that as online betting including sports betting is not a banned activity in Costa Rica there is locus standi for any investigation in the issue. Alvaro Montoya has been quoted as stating that in regions where the activity of online betting is prohibited, such investigations could be carried out. In defence of the sportsbook companies like 5Dimes which offer popular entertainment with games like Tiki Island slot, Alvaro Montoya has pointed out that from 2012; these sportsbooks have been paying taxes on the basis of their payrolls.

Investigations Not on Mere Speculations

Alvaro Montoya has further said that any investigation against any online betting site could be carried out only if there is some substantial evidence of wrong doing, like questionable source of funding for the online betting sites. Alvaro Montoya has however not denied the news about The US probe on 5Dimes. He has also made it clear that the reaction of Costa Rican authorities in the affair would have been different if there were allegations that the online betting activities in Costa Rica is being funded by money earned from drug peddling.

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Tatarstan Lawmakers Consider Penalizing Users Of Illegal Online Casinos

Lawmakers in the Republic of Tatarstan, a region in central Russia, are considering a law that will fine people who use online gambling websites and even those people whose underage children or wards have been found to gamble online. While many jurisdictions in the world have banned online gambling, it is not often that one comes across a law that fines people for participating in this activity.

There exist Russian federal laws that ban gambling and certain other types of online activity including specific categories of pornography however the Tatarstan government intends to amend certain sections of the law. The law proposes a considerably large fine ranging from 10,000 roubles to 20,000 roubles for any person caught gambling on an online casino. This amount is the equivalent of $150 to $300. There will also be a fine of anything from 5,000 to 10,000 roubles (equal to $75 to $150) for people who permit underage people to gamble using the internet.

Surprisingly, this also includes parents or guardians of young people who are involved in gambling using the internet. There would also be a punishment for landlords in whose premises gambling activities were conducted. The fine in this instance would be a stiff 150,000 roubles, the equivalent of $2270.

Rafil Nugumanov, a member of Tatarstan’s State Council, spoke to Izvestia daily that the reason he decided to be one of the sponsors of the bill because he had witnessed the plight of people who had become addicted to gambling. He pointed out that many people continued to sink further into gambling debt even though they were aware that these sites were being accessed illegally. The lawmakers maintained that their efforts to curb the spread of these sites were coming to naught since there wasn’t any pressure on users to put a stop to their activities. The lawmakers expect their harsh but multi-pronged approach to give the desired results.

There isn’t unanimous support for the proposed amendments to the anti-gambling law. Kirill Grinchenko, a member of the ruling United Russia party affiliated Media Guards project said that the proposed Tatarstan law wouldn’t be of much use since the Russian government was already battling online gambling very actively. He pointed out that the government electronic media watchdog was very quick to respond to leads and complaints about online gambling sites that violated the country’s laws and that it blocked access to these sites almost immediately. In fact, mirror sites would also be blocked without delay, preventing Russians from accessing sites offering their favourite Tiki Island slots and other games.

At present, gambling, both land based and online, is forbidden throughout Russia except in its special economic zones. The gambling watchdog does not require a court order to block any offending sites. However, it does provide owners of the site the opportunity to contest the decision. Russia has long had a draconian approach to gambling and it had introduced a law in 2013 to place gambling addicts under the government’s guardianship so that they wouldn’t be able to waste their money on gambling.

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Is Big Brother Comping You? Let’s Find Out

As part of a marketing technique, it is very common for companies to offer gifts and freebies to clients. Now with competition getting intense amongst the companies, companies have started offering many client-specific offers to customers. Advancement in technology has greatly helped the companies in this effort. With computer professionals now devising apps to suit different needs, it is not insurmountable for companies to think of targeting the specific interest of the customers.

A Win-win Scenario

Users are inundated with offers of all kinds today that they sometimes even forget to redeem or use the offers. And sometimes the offers mean very little to them and irrelevant too. Now to help users to better utilise their freebies and gifts, apps could be downloaded on their mobile phones which would remind them about the offers in their kitty. Such apps not only benefit users but help the companies in taking their schemes to a logical end. With availability of software to keep track of the pattern of buying by clients it is also easy now for companies to have a profile of the customers in its database. With complete history of the buying pattern readily available with the company, it is now easy for companies to offer specific programs for the individual customers.

Specifically Targeted Rewards

As rewards which are specifically used by the customers are offered by marketing firms, these rewards have now assumed more meaning as well as utility. Instead of giving customers something which has no use to them technology has helped firms to offer what is liked by the user. This in turn lets the user to take up the offer, without fail. Since the very purpose of these rewards is to satisfy and retain the clients, offering such personalised gifts are a sure bet in succeeding in their intention. Online casino sites also now follow this method of offering as gifts, what is preferred by clients. Popular sites like casino.com who have tried out this strategy opine that the entire exercise is highly strenuous as their clientele consists of people from different strata of society.

Compensations Offered by Online Casinos

Online casino websites make use of the info given by the players at the time of registration to build the customer profile and plan their rewards based on this input. Casinos also track the games that players play in order to understand the preference of players. Whenever online casinos offer bonus games, players are offered the casino games they usually play. Other unique app that is now widely appreciated is the app which indicates the geographical details of the user. This enables the user to be offered games which are popular in a region, as and when the player visits the region. Success of the online casinos which offered rewards to players based on their personal preferences now has made as many as fifty four online casinos in different parts of US to now adopt such practices.

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State Government Lists Out Online Gambling Games Targeted Towards Children

Amidst growing concerns that the ease with which online gambling is available to people predisposed towards addiction, the state of South Australia has released a list of online games that are clearly targeted towards a very vulnerable section of the population, namely children. The purpose of this government list is to help parents prevent their kids from eventually gambling on the internet on popular games such as Tiki Island slots. The government had made a promise ahead of the 2014 elections that it would collate such a list that enable parents to make educated decisions about the games that they can permit they kids to play. This is of particular importance considering that most parents are absolutely unaware about the threat that these games pose.

These highly attractive electronic games have attracted the government’s attention because of their ability to encourage young players to start gambling. They look innocuous enough but experts feel that they will work as a gateway to gambling since they will make it normal for them to attend online casinos. A worrying study by the Adelaide University indicated that teenagers who enjoyed playing gambling-style games on their phones were much more likely to eventually start gambling for real. Another study revealed that around 50% of problems gamblers had actually started gambling when they were still teenagers.

The list has 64 titles as of now, and it includes games such as Big Fish Casino, Megapolis, Coin Dozer, and Bingo Blitz. The titles are classified under yellow or red, depending on how compelling they are at attracting underage people to start gambling. What is most worrying is that many of the titles on the list can be downloaded absolutely for free. Many games start off by giving free credits but they eventually expect kids to pay money to continue playing.

The games placed in the red category of the list contain lots of flashing lights and noises, and exactly like casino games, they encourage young players to risk something in order to have a chance of winning a reward. It is fair to say that parents have to be the most concerned about these games on account of their simulation of casino style gambling. Games which permit players to win bonuses by various actions or entirely by chance are placed in the yellow category.

Parents are advised to monitor their children’s online activities because online gambling can be a very addictive activity. The list is very easy to use and parents can search for a specific game to see if it is found here. They can also search for games that are not recommended for children of their child’s age group. According to the state’s Attorney-General John Rau, the rating system developed by the state will be of immense use to concerned parents. He also said that he was collaborating with Justice Minister Michael Keenan to create new classifications for these games. In fact, the government was working on a new system that would be expected to be ready by end June this year.

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