Monthly Archives: December 2013

Good Start For Internet And Online Gambling In New Jersey

Good Start For Internet And Online Gambling In New JerseyRecently the State of New Jersey allowed playing of online gambling within the State. The first week of online gambling in New Jersey has been reported to be successful and casino regulators are relieved with this positive development.

It has been reported that during the week 37,277 accounts had been set up, enabling people to win or lose money on card games, table games and slots, all from computers or smartphones.

That, of course, was the whole point of New Jersey’s law making it the third state to legalize Internet gambling, after Nevada and Delaware. It is designed to bring new money to Atlantic City, whose 12 casinos have been struggling with increasing competition from casinos in neighboring states.

Six casinos, the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, the Tropicana Casino and Resort, Bally’s Atlantic City and Caesars Atlantic City, offer online gambling. The Golden Nugget Atlantic City is expected to join them within a week.

One of the biggest problems many users experienced at the start of the test period was being rejected by Geolocation filtering technology designed to verify that they are within New Jersey’s borders, a key requirement of the law. The Geolocation technology, which uses data including the identification of a computer’s Wi-Fi network and the location of reception towers near a cellphone, is working as it should, according to regulators and technology providers.

Anna Sainsbury, CEO of GeoComply, said adjustments to the technology used by most of the New Jersey casinos offering Internet gambling have reduced the “false negative” rate to about 10 percent. That means only one in 10 users will wrongly get an error message saying they are not in New Jersey, even though they are. That is 25 percent below the level of false negatives Nevada experienced when it launched online gambling earlier this year, she said.

Sainsbury said the technology is now accurate “to within a few meters”, and most users along the state’s borders should be able to log on and gamble. Before the launch, several technology providers said they deliberately set their electronic fences back an unspecified distance from the border to guard against someone in New York or Pennsylvania being able to gamble in New Jersey.

The biggest problem now facing would-be online gamblers is funding their accounts. Credit card companies are uneven in their approval rates of transactions into gambling accounts, with MasterCard approving nearly eight times the amount Visa was during the first week, regulators said. Direct bank transfers were the most successful means to fund accounts in the early going, they said.

The UK Gaming (Licensing And Advertising) Bill Passes The Third Reading In The House Of Commons

The UK Gaming (Licensing And Advertising) Bill Passes The Third Reading In The House Of CommonsOnline gaming and gambling is witnessing a regulatory overhaul world over. While some countries like Singapore plans to ban online gaming and enact laws against online gaming by remote companies yet other countries like United Kingdom are working in the direction of allowing such activities.

The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill of United Kingdom 2013 (PDF) is one such attempt on the part of UK to streamline online and remote gambling in UK. It is accompanied with the Pre Legislative Scrutiny Of The Draft Gambling (Licensing And Advertising) Bill Sixth Report of Session 2012–13 Volume I (PDF) and Pre Legislative Scrutiny Of The Draft Gambling (Licensing And Advertising) Bill Sixth Report of Session 2012–13 Volume II (PDF). UK MPs have debated remaining stages of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill 2013- Third Reading Dated 26 November 2013 (PDF).

The Bill was introduced into the House of Commons on 9 May 2013. The Bill makes provision about the licensing and advertising of gambling. Under the Gambling Act 2005 of UK, it became possible, for the first time, to offer “remote gambling” from equipment based in Great Britain. The Act defines remote gambling as gambling where customers participate through the use of “remote communication” such as the Internet, telephone, television, or radio.

The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill would amend the 2005 Act so that all remote gambling operators would be required to obtain a licence from the Gambling Commission to enable them to transact with British customers and advertise in Britain.

The Bill requires all offshore online gambling operators with customers in the UK to hold licences and pay taxes. Online Casinos has reported that Helen Grant, the U.K’s Culture Minister, commented, “The Bill is a prudential measure which will provide greater protection for consumers based in Great Britain,” she said. “It will tighten current legislation to ensure that all remote gambling, whether provided in Britain or overseas, is a licensed activity subject to the Gambling Commission’s standard and controls.”

As the legislation proceeds to the House of Lords it is very likely the bill will be passed and become law. The law is expected to come into effect by the spring of 2014. . The Minister also said she thinks this legislation will be a benefit to gambling customers in the UK due to a strict new set of guidelines and licensing requirements for online gambling firms from offshore.

According to Poker Update an aspect of the Bill that has gained widespread coverage is the point of consumption tax that would be introduced should the Bill be enacted into law. That tax would be put onto offshore online gaming companies who have UK-based customers who use their product within the UK’s borders.

The current point of consumption tax on Gross Gaming Revenues in the UK stands at 15 percent and would be the tax imposed on companies which are affected by this bill. The tax has attracted criticism from some sections of the online gaming industry, especially from Gibraltar, which is the base of a number of gaming companies due to its low taxes and low business costs.

Such companies and industries may be adversely affected by the bill, especially if it means paying more taxes and other costs associated with being licenced to operate in the UK. While that could end up being the case, the bill does somewhat legitimize online poker and gaming and shows that the UK government recognises that many of its people engage in it.

Singapore Plans To Ban Online Gaming And Enact Laws Against Online Gaming By Remote Companies

Singapore Plans To Ban Online Gaming And Enact Laws Against Online Gaming By Remote CompaniesOnline gaming and gambling industry is witnessing a transformation stage these days. Traditionally various nations have adopted a zero tolerance towards online games and gambling and the laws of most of the nations prohibit online gambling.

However, online gaming and gambling is a potential source of revenue and many small nations are primarily depending upon the revenue generated through online gaming and gambling for their continued growth. So much are the stakes involved that Antigua successfully brought an action against the United States at WTO for banning the Antigua’s online gambling activities in US.

However, online gambling is still frowned in many jurisdictions. For instance, Singapore is contemplating banning of online games by local as well as distance online game service providers. According to Poker Update, this declaration came during the Third Singapore Symposium on Casino Regulation and Crime on Thursday. This was made clear by the Second Minister for Home Affairs S Iswaran as he informed that the Singaporean government was concerned about the potential negative effects they believed online gaming had on those who engaged in the activity. “The nature and design of the games, especially poker and casino-type games, lend themselves to repetitive play and addictive behaviour,” he said.

While he did not give particular examples of that occurring in Singapore, the minister did point out that online gaming had been rising in popularity in the Southeast Asian city-state in recent years. It is believed that the online gaming market in Singapore was worth as much as SG$376 million (around US$299.6 million).

The increasing prevalence of online gaming in the country led Iswaran to state that the government has aimed to put forward laws against online gaming by remote companies. “As an extension of our current laws, the government intends to restrict remote gambling by making it illegal unless there are specific exemptions,” he said. “We will introduce new laws to give our enforcement agencies the powers to act against facilitators, intermediaries and providers of remote gambling services.

“We will introduce measures to block access to gambling websites, block payments to remote gambling operators, and prohibit advertisements promoting remote gambling.” It is unclear when exactly the Singaporean government will move forward with the aforementioned restrictions, laws and measures. However, the intention to introduce them is not such a major surprise.

The country’s government resisted allowing casinos and gaming areas to be established in Singapore until the last decade. It currently implements strict rules on Singapore’s two casinos and Singaporean citizens who wish to frequent them. That history of tight control on gaming is what makes the latest aims toward banning online gaming unsurprising.