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Number of Korean Teen Gambling Addicts Rises Significantly

Category : Events & Reports

Problem gambling and gambling addiction among teenagers is on the rise in South Korea, recently released data by the Korea Center on Gambling Problems (KCGP) showed.
Local news outlet Korea Bizwire reported that the number of teenagers who were treated for gambling addiction in 2018 jumped sixfold to 1,027 from 168 in 2015.
That figure was released as part of the latest gambling addiction report by the KCGP submitted to the National Assembly. According to the report, people in their 30s who received gambling addiction treatment last year represented the largest group with 4,563 recorded people. However, teenagers accounted for the steepest increase of people affected by gambling addiction among all age groups.
There were 1,027 teenagers who received treatment for gambling addiction last year. As mentioned earlier, that number represented a massive increase from three years prior. In 2015, the KCGP assisted 168 in their battle against their excessive gambling habits.
South Korea has a thriving casino industry with more than 20 properties around the country, including luxury integrated resorts that feature Las Vegas-style gambling. However, of the nation’s casinos only one allows Korean nationals to gamble at its floor.
Horse racing is the other legal gambling activity in the country. People aged under 18, the legal gambling age in the nation, are not allowed to gamble at Korea’s casinos as well as to place money on horse races.
Korean Teenagers Hooked on Online Sports Betting
Online gambling is illegal in South Korea, just as it is in most of East Asia. However, the nation’s Center on Gambling Problems has established that digital sports betting has been among the most popular gambling products among Korean teenagers.
Despite the illegal status of online gambling in Korea and other countries in the region, circumventing the existing restrictions and accessing an online casino or sports betting website could be an easy task, particularly for tech-savvy teenagers.
According to KCGP’s recent report on gambling addiction in the country, 95% of the teenagers treated last year had fallen victim to excessive gambling via illegal gambling websites.
It was also revealed that the number of teenagers who actually quit gambling after receiving a treatment declined last year. Only 23% of all treated teenagers stopped wagering money after their treatment. The figure reported was the lowest among all age groups.
In comparison, 48% of all treated teenage gambling addicts quit gambling in 2016, and 30% ended their dangerous habit in 2017.
The recently released report was KCGP’s latest on teenage problem gamblers. Last fall, the center revealed the results of a survey conducted with high school students living on South Korea’s Jeju Island. It showed that nearly 12% of the island’s high school students were at high risk of becoming gambling addicts.
One of the surveyed teenagers told KCGP researchers that he had lost more than KRW10 million while engaging in sports betting and other online gambling activities. He further revealed that he had stolen money from friends and family to fuel his dangerous habit.
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Turkish Dealings Could Hamper GVC’s US Betting Hopes

Category : Events & Reports

GVC Holdings’ Turkish operations could have hampered the company’s takeover of UK bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral in 2017, and could now prove to be a major obstacle for its big American hopes. In fact, the operator being present in a country where gambling is banned could have cost it its recently secured entry into the Nevada sports betting market.
GVC, which started as a seven-person Isle of Man-based business to become one of the world’s gambling powerhouses, disposed of its Turkish operation to complete the Ladbrokes Coral purchase, but the Sunday Times says in a recent report that its boss, Kenny Alexander, might have not entirely cut ties with his company’s Turkish past.
The Sunday Times’ article is based on the fact that Mr. Alexander co-owns with his friend, Ron Watts, a stud farm in Ayrshire in rural Scotland. The news outlet has established that Mr. Watts is one of the three people whom GVC offloaded its Turkish operation to a few years ago, the other two being Soeren Christensen and Predrag Popovic.
Mr. Alexander and Mr. Watts’ relationship appears to be dating back two decades ago when the two joined online gambling company Sportingbet. According to his LinkedIn profile, Mr. Watts is an IT consultant and one of the three owners of Dochanoris Limited, the company which bought GVC’s Turkish business.
Mr. Watts is also listed as a consultant in an IT company controlled by Mr. Christensen and Mr. Popovic. He is said to be managing key customer accounts, including GVC’s.
The Turkish Issue
Mr. Alexander left Sportingbet to join GVC in 2007. Back then, the Isle of Man-based company employed seven people and had a single operation – an online casino that targeted German-speaking customers.
Under Mr. Alexander’s stewardship, GVC grew to become one of the world’s digital gambling powerhouses. The operator moved to buy the Turkish operation of Sportingbet in 2011. The move quickly proved successful as it took a really short time before Turkey accounted for a third of the company’s total revenue.
As mentioned earlier, gambling is largely banned in Turkey. According to an Associated Press report from last year, GVC tapped a company that was also used by porn websites and debt collectors to mask payments from unregulated and black markets, including Turkey.
Mr. Alexander navigated GVC through two major acquisitions in recent years. In 2016, the company bought bwin.party Digital Entertainment in a £1 billion deal. Last year, GVC finalized the takeover of major British bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral. However, to make sure that the deal would close with no regulatory trouble, the Isle of Man operator had moved to dispose of its Turkish division.
According to a statement from December 2017, GVC said that it would sell its Turkish business to Rospo Malta, now Dochandoris Limited, the company owned by Watts, Christensen, and Popovic for €150 million, which Rospo was to pay over five years.
It later on became known that GVC was giving its Turkish operation away. A lawyer for the company confirmed in May that it had given away the Turkish division to clean up its business and complete its Ladbrokes Coral merger on schedule. The lawyer spoke before Nevada casino regulators who were assessing GVC’s application for a sports betting license.
A Threat to GVC’s US Hopes
Similarly to other European gambling operators, GVC has been looking to tap into the lucrative US sports betting market. Last year, the company formed a joint venture with Las Vegas casino and hospitality giant MGM Resorts International for the operation of a sports betting business that would be penetrating the local market as more and more states open to legal sports gambling.
British operators are setting their sights on the US market as the recent crackdown on the highly controversial, yet extremely profitable fixed-odds betting terminals is forcing companies to close betting shops around the UK. William Hill announced last week that it would close 700 shops around the country, putting more than 4,500 jobs at risk, while GVC said shortly after that it would shutter 900 facilities. The two companies operate UK’s largest retail betting chains.
GVC’s previous Turkish dealings could have cost it its entry into the Nevada market. During the hearing before regulators, Mr. Alexander said that he was “ultimately responsible” for their targeting customers from a black market. GVC was given the green light to operate in Nevada. However, state regulators put the company on two-years’ probation.
It is understood that the operator’s boss will now have to answer before US gambling regulators for his link to the current owners of GVC’s Turkish business. And this could seriously threaten the company’s bid to enter a betting space with huge growth potential.
The Sunday Times’ revealing could not have come at a worse time for Mr. Alexander and GVC. Last month, the company faced a shareholders’ revolt over its latest pay report. Earlier this year, its shares plummeted after Mr. Alexander and GVC’s outgoing Chairman Lee Feldman sold a combined £20 million of GVC stock in a single day.
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Betting Brokerage Closes Business with Betfair Clone Site after Financial Times Investigation

Category : Events & Reports

Online sports betting brokerage Asianconnect88 has closed its business with a website connected to Betfair after a recent investigation by the Financial Times detailed an obscure pattern of the P2P gambling exchange using third-party websites to avoid identity checks of new customers.
Asianconnect88 offered bettors access to Betfair’s products through accounts opened on 9wickets, a clone site of Betfair. As reported by the Financial Times, 9wickets and similar websites share Betfair’s programming interface, which enables them to replicate the betting exchange’s odds and liquidity pool.
The major financial news outlet found out that 9wickets accounts opened through Asianconnect88 offered a backdoor into Betfair to avoid the otherwise required customer identity checks as well as checks of customers’ source of funds. Practices of this kind undermine established anti-money laundering controls and facilitate the use of the online betting industry for money laundering and other financial crimes.
Following the publication of the Financial Times’ findings, Asianconnect88 informed its customers in an email sent on Friday that it would cease brokering accounts with 9wickets. All existing accounts are to be suspended from today, July 6, it also became known.
Betfair is part of UK-listed gambling group Flutter Entertainment, which operated as Paddy Power Betfair up until recently and was formed through the merger of Paddy Power and Betfair in 2016.
One of Many
As noted by the Financial Times, Asianconnect88 is one of many sports betting brokerage firms referring customers to Betfair and funneling money into the major betting exchange without conducting proper checks on the identity of punters or their source of betting funds.
Betfair is understood to apply a 2% commission per winning bet that comes through a third-party website. And 9wickets and other clone sites are required to route no less than half of their business through Betfair’s exchange.
Businesses like 9wickets are banned from operating in the UK, where a number of locally licensed gambling operators have been slapped hefty fines by the Gambling Commission for poor anti-money laundering controls. However, third-party partners of Flutter are found to be targeting customers from countries where Betfair’s products are largely banned, such as the US and India.
The Financial Times points out that betting on cricket through Betfair’s exchange is extremely popular, with more than £100 million being wagered on each match within the recent ICC Cricket World Cup.
Asked to comment on the Financial Times’ findings, Flutter said that all its B2B partners “are licensed operators and they are held to a high standard of verification.” The company’s statement went on that “all our B2B partners adhere to the ‘know your customer’ requirements specified by their [local] licensing authority.”
Asianconnect88 is licensed in Curaçao, but the local Gaming Control Board has not responded to the Financial Times’ requests for comment on the recent investigation.
A spokesperson for the UK Gambling Commission has told the business news outlet that a UK licensed operator is required to assure that it is acting in a lawful manner and any failure to do so “would bring into question [its] suitability to hold a Commission licence.”
In the UK, Betfair’s customers undergo thorough identity checks before being able to wager money.
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Svenska Spel’s Research Council Grants SEK5 Million for Addiction Research

Category : Events & Reports

Svenska Spel’s independent Research Council has granted funding to five new research projects aiming to find ways to better understand and treat gambling addiction, the Swedish gambling operator announced today.
The five projects will be able to share SEK5 million (approx. $532,315) in funds contributed by the Research Council, it also became known.
One of the projects will look to map gambling addiction among Swedish professional ice hockey players. The Research Council has also awarded funds for the development of an Internet-based service for gambling addiction treatment. A third project will research the link between trauma and problem gambling behavior in women.
The council has not revealed details about the two other projects it has agreed to fund this year. More about those as well as about their results will be unveiled on Research Day on October 7, 2019.
Research Day is an initiative organized by Svenska Spel’s Research Council, which annually gathers some of Sweden’s most accomplished gambling addiction researchers to discuss together future solutions for fighting one of the most widespread forms of addiction in the world. The focus of this year’s edition of Research Day will certainly be the recent reorganization of Sweden’s online gambling market and what risks the move has created for vulnerable members of the Scandinavian nation’s population.
Impact on the Public Debate
Commenting on today’s announcement, Sara Lindholm, Chairwoman of the Research Council said that the projects they have selected to fund “have the potential to increase knowledge about gambling addiction.”
Ms. Lindholm added that it has been gratifying to see that the council’s “long-term work to increase knowledge in the area has had an impact on the public debate.”
Svenska Spel Sustainability Manager Scarlett Roa pointed out that the gambling operator being able to develop its social responsibility has been a prerequisite to support activities related to the research of gambling addiction. Ms. Roa further elaborated that through Svenska Spel’s independent Research Council, they want to increase “the knowledge and understanding of gambling problems.”
The Research Council was set up in in 2010 with the aim to gain more knowledge of gambling-related problems and find solutions to treat and prevent these. The council is composed of experienced researchers and people with relevant interests and is tasked with assessing and commissioning research projects that are based on “scientific quality and societal relevance.”
Svenska Spel, the former gambling monopoly in Sweden, has been an active participant in the reorganization of the Swedish market since the beginning of the year. To enter the newly regulated space, the company has launched its own online casino and betting product.
As the debate whether participants in Sweden’s regulated market are doing enough to protect customers has intensified in recent months, Svenska Spel announced recently that it would withdraw all its online casino adverts across all media channels.
The operator said that its decision was prompted by a recent study by Sweden’s Public Health Authority that showed that online casino games presented the greater risk to Swedish gamblers. According to the study, around 30% of all Swedish online casino players found it difficult to curb their gambling habit.
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Key Gambling Takeaways from the Midterms

Category : Events & Reports

Everyone with a microphone or a laptop called them the most important midterm elections in modern US history; the political event that would shape the remaining two years of Donald Trump’s Presidency by either weakening his power or further expanding it. But even though the future of one of the most controversial political figures of our time takes center stage in post-election comments and discussions, it should also be noted that the midterms will have a shaping and lasting effect on the nation’s casino and sports betting landscape.
The legal sports betting market has been expanding rapidly in the wake of the mid-May landmark ruling of the US Supreme Court that struck down a federal ban on wagering on professional and amateur sports. It is now up to individual states to decide whether they should legalize sports betting, but in some states the legalization process cannot happen without the approval of a majority of its voters.
Tuesday’s midterms saw Arkansas voters take to the polls to cast a vote on whether they wanted legal sports gambling, among other things. But aside from Arkansas, a few more states had casino- and/or betting-related measures on the ballot. In addition, the choice of a Governor in a few other states is poised to have a direct impact on gambling in those in the coming few years.
Here are several gambling-tinged takeaways from the 2018 midterm elections and what the results mean for the US gambling industry.
Florida Hands Gambling Decision to Its Residents
Amendment 3 was one of the most controversial and widely discussed measures on the 2018 Florida ballot. Titled Voter Control of Gambling in Florida, the initiative aimed to ensure that state residents were given the “exclusive right to decide whether to authorize” any proposals for gambling expansion on the territory of the state.
The measure was overwhelmingly approved with 5,572,528 ‘Yes’ votes cast to just 2,227,226 ‘No’ votes. This means that any proposed changes in the state’s gambling landscape will first have to be approved by a 60% majority of Florida’s electorate.
The initiative was spearheaded by the Voters in Charge ballot measure committee. The organization managed to collect the required number of signatures early this year after a long lobbying campaign. Lobbying efforts continued throughout the year and those included several big corporations pouring significant amounts of money in support of the measure.
Here it is important to note that Amendment 3 was promoted as an initiative that aimed to restore voters’ control over casino gambling and gambling as a whole. That control had belonged namely to voters for decades after gambling had originally been legalized on the territory of Florida. It was only a few years ago when state lawmakers assumed control over gambling-related decisions.
Amendment 3 could not have succeeded without its major donors, which most notably included Disney Worldwide Services Inc. and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which owns and operates casinos across the state. Each of the two gave in excess of $20 million ahead of the midterm elections to lobby for the passage of the proposed amendment.
And each of them have interest in having voters decide on the future of gambling in the state. The Florida Legislature has been trying to expand the local gambling industry, a move that would impact negatively both Disney and the Seminoles’ operations.
Now, as it is up to voters to decide on such matters, the two corporations will be able to lobby against expansion efforts – Disney in a bid to keep its tourism dominance across the state and the Seminole Tribe to keep its casino preeminence. The Seminoles are currently the exclusive operator of table games in the state, generally known to be among the most popular and highest grossing gambling activities not just in Florida but globally.
The Amendment 3 opposing camp was prominently backed by the Miami Dolphins. The NFL franchise got a little bit political in the months ahead of the November 6 elections, quietly spending money on lobbying against the initiative. The Dolphins eventually got a bit vocal on the matter on Monday. In a Tweet from that day, the team urged Florida residents to vote ‘No’ as the amendment’s passage would effectively put an end to sports betting legalization hopes.
Arkansas Voters Approve Casino, Sports Betting Expansion
In Arkansas, residents voted on and passed Issue 4, a constitutional amendment that authorizes the state Racing Commission to issue four casino licenses in four different counties. The initiative could also see the state soon join the ranks of those that offer legal sports betting. The proposed amendment passed by a significant 54.1% to 45.9% margin.
Here it is important to note that with Arkansas being among the nation’s horse racing hotbeds, the legalization of wagering could create a very promising market.
In addition, Issue 4 was promoted as an initiative that aimed to prevent Arkansas from losing gambling money to neighboring states, most prominently from Mississippi. According to statistics from the latter state’s gambling regulator, residents of Arkansas made more than 1.14 million visits to casinos across Mississippi in 2017. In addition, the latter legalized sports betting following the Supreme Court’s ruling and several of its casinos now operate sports books.
A study conducted by the Arkansas Economic Development Institute at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock claimed that the approval of Issue 4 could result in an economic impact of $5.8 billion for the state over a ten-year period and would create more than 6,000 jobs. As mentioned earlier, the measure now enables the Racing Commission to grant four casino licenses for the provision of full-scale gaming options as well as of sports betting services.
The Oaklawn Racing & Gaming and Southland Gaming and Racing already hold licenses for electronic games, but as Issue 4 was passed, they will be able to obtain casino licenses, as well.
The ballot measure was proposed by the Driving Arkansas Forward initiative. The group had quite some challenges in its bid to put Issue 4 on the November 6 ballot. The measure was rejected by state Attorney General Leslie Rutledge several times due to its wording and other issues spotted by the official. It eventually received the necessary approval in May. Driving Arkansas Forward then had to gather 84,859 valid signatures in order to have its proposal added on the ballot.
Louisiana Could Soon Offer Legal Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily fantasy sports contests have gained quite some popularity over the years, with DraftKings and FanDuel being the absolute rulers of that nascent market. Among other things, Louisiana voters were given the opportunity to voice their opinion on DFS at the midterm elections.
Unlike in other states, the Louisiana DFS initiative had one major complication. Instead of a statewide approval, DFS contests will only be legal in those of the state’s 64 parishes that voted ‘Yes’ on Tuesday. The measure was passed in 47 parishes.
However, it will be a little while before DFS services go live in the state. Lawmakers will have to draft and approve a legislation that will set out the regulations under which the nascent industry will operate.
While the DFS vote does not have any direct impact on the potential legalization of sports betting in Louisiana, analysts believe that it can be indicative of how residents feel about legal wagering. State lawmakers failed to act on sports betting this year but have promised that at least one bill on the matter would be tabled during next year’s legislative session.
What Do Illinois, Ohio, and Georgia’s New Governors Think of Expanded Gambling?
Democrat J.B. Pritzker toppled first-term Republican Governor Bruce Rauner in the Illinois gubernatorial race. Gambling expansion has long been a topic broadly discussed by state lawmakers, but efforts for the addition of more gambling options to Illinois’ existing market have traditionally failed in the Legislature.
While sports betting was not a main issue in Governor-elect Pritzker’s campaign, he has indicated earlier this year that he would support its legalization. Mr. Pritzker has told local media that betting has proved to be “a revenue generator” and that it should be regulated with the right laws in place.
Ohio also elected a Governor who has shown support for sports betting. Republican Mike DeWine, who has served as the state’s Attorney General since 2011, won the elections Tuesday. Commenting on the mid-May SCOTUS ruling, Mr. DeWine said earlier this year that while he was not a fan of gambling, he would support the creation of a well-regulated sports betting industry in Ohio.
In Georgia, efforts for the legalization of casino gambling have been launched on multiple occasions. But those have all failed, despite promises of major economic impact from the construction of destination resorts with casino floors in the state, including a mega-resort in Atlanta.
Republican candidate Brian Kemp will take over as the state’s new top official early next year. Mr. Kemp has previously said in comments during his campaign that he would oppose any casino legalization proposals if he won the race. State lawmakers have revealed plans to table casino bills next year, so it is yet to be seen whether any future efforts will succeed with Mr. Kemp heading the Legislature.
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Puerto Rico Could Move to Legalize Sports Betting

Category : Events & Reports

Puerto Rican lawmaker tables two sports betting bills aimed to boost the nation’s casino industry
Legal sports betting could soon arrive to Puerto Rico if two bills on the matter gain the necessary approval by the island nation’s government, local news outlets reported earlier this week.
Both pieces of legislation were introduced by Representative Néstor Alonso Vega, a legislator from the New Progressive Party (Partido Nuevo Progresista, PNP) and President of the House Commission of Tourism and Social Welfare.
Puerto Rico’s move towards legal sports betting comes after the US Supreme Court struck down a long-standing ban on wagering on professional and amateur sporting events, commonly known as PASPA. Several US states have already moved to legalize and launch sports betting services, including New Jersey which was the state to lead the anti-PASPA effort. The state’s casinos and racecourses recorded “stunning” results in September, handling $183.9 million in wagers.
Puerto Rico is an unincorporated United States territory, located approximately 1,000 from the US East Coast. Encouraged by the buzz that sports betting has created across North America, the tiny island nation is now looking to create its own regulated sports betting industry.
As mentioned earlier the legislative push is led by Rep. Alonso Vega, who believes that the passage of his two bills and the legalization of sports betting at Puerto Rico’s casinos could bring additional revenue of $20 million to the gambling venues.
Details about the Two Bills
Rep. Alonso Vega’s pieces contain provisions about the legalization, regulation, and taxation of wagering at the nation’s casinos. Under the bills, 20% of gross income from sports betting would be contributed to Puerto Rico’s retirement system, while 80% would remain for casinos that provide the services.
The two bills also provide for the legalization of Internet gambling. If approved, the two legislations will thus allow Puerto Rico’s bettors to place wagers via desktop or their mobile phones. In order to be able to do so, they will have to register with the nation’s gambling venues as these will host the Internet wagering services. In comments regarding his effort to legalize betting, Rep. Alonso Vega has said that the move would boost the local land-based casino industry.
However, the industry itself has expressed doubts that wagering is what it needs. According to Miguel Vega, President of local hotel and casino developer and operator HI Development, Puerto Rico’s gaming market is already saturated and will not see any significant gains if sports gambling becomes legal. Mr. Vega is a former Chairman of the Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association (PRHTA).
The Association is set to present Rep. Alonso Vega with a study on the current state of the nation’s casino industry and the potential benefits it could reap from the legalization of sports betting. The two sports betting bills have up to later today to be discussed and approved by the Puerto Rico government as it is the last day of its ordinary legislative session. In previous comments, Rep. Alonso Vega has expressed confidence in the success of his legislations.
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Genting Malaysia to Review Marketing Expenditure as New Casino Tax Hits Stock

Category : Events & Reports

Genting Malaysia to review marketing expenditure ahead of the introduction of a higher casino tax
Genting Malaysia Bhd is moving to assess the full implications of the recently introduced increase in annual casino license fees and gambling taxes, the gaming and hospitality company said today in a filing to Bursa Malaysia.
Malaysian Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng introduced the country’s 2019 budget plan this past Friday. Stricken by financial scandals and growing budget deficit, Malaysia will implement higher casino and gaming machine license fees as well as higher taxes on those operations as part of its effort to mend its ailing economy, it became known last week.
Under the new budget plan, casino operators will be required to pay a MYR150-million annual license fee, up from MYR120 million. In addition, land-based casinos will be taxed at 35% on their annual gross income from January 1, 2019, when the reforms are set to take force.
Slot machine operators in Malaysia will have to pay an annual license fee of MYR50,000, up from MYR10,000. Their operations will be taxed at 30% on annual gross proceeds from next year, up from the current rate of 20%.
Looming Review of Marketing Expenditure
In today’s filing, Genting Malaysia said that it is assessing the implications of the new tax regime and that it will “take the appropriate next course of action which includes a review of its marketing expenditure and cost structure” in a bid to mitigate the imminent impact of the new tax and license fee.
Genting Malaysia operates the Resorts World Genting integrated resort in its homeland. The property is located on the peak of Mount Ulu Kali not far from the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. Among multiple other facilities, the property features a full-blown casino with slot machines and gaming tables.
The company’s shares closed at a three-year low on Monday in a knee-jerk reaction to Friday’s introduction of the new budget plan. The stock has improved since then, closing at MYR3.64 today for a market capitalization of MYR20.579 billion (approx. $4.9 billion).
First reports about Malaysia’s plans to increase gambling taxes and licensing fees emerged in October. Back then, analysts from two research houses pointed out that Genting Malaysia would not suffer any major negative impact from a potential implementation of higher rates. According to Nomura International and Maybank Kim Eng Research experts, the planned opening of new attractions at Resorts World Genting next year would help the company weather any looming reforms.
The gaming and hospitality operator has previously unveiled plans to add 1,500 hotel rooms at its resort as well as the 20th Century Fox World and the Skytropolis theme parks. Genting Malaysia has also pointed out that it targets 30 million visits at the property by 2020. Resorts World Genting welcomed around 22 million visitors last year.
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“Conservative” Japan Might Prove a Challenge for Macau’s Casino Operators, Legal Expert Says

Category : Events & Reports

Macau’s casino operators will initially come across serious challenges in their bidding for a casino license in Japan, a legal experts believes
Chinese casino operators might initially face certain setbacks when the race for three gaming licenses in Japan officially begins, according to Japanese legal expert, Hayato Terai. Mr. Terai was appointed earlier this year as the Co-CEO of GanaEight Coin, a blockchain project launched by online slot game developer Ganapati.
Mr. Terai spoke with the Macau News Agency (MNA) during the ongoing Asia Gaming Summit in Taipei, Taiwan where he was invited as a speaker.
The legal expert believes that Macau’s gaming and hospitality companies might face difficulties obtaining licenses for the development and operation of integrated resorts under Japan’s newly adopted gambling legislation. He told the MNA that his homeland “is very conservative so for [Macau gambling companies] to come in it might take a while.”
On the other hand, the legal expert said pointed out that the case will be completely different for Chinese gamblers and that they will certainly be welcome in Japan. The Japanese Diet passed this past summer the Integrated Resort Implementation Bill, a piece of legislation setting out the rules and principles under which the nation’s first integrated resorts with gaming floors will be operated.
Among other things, the bill contains provisions regarding the access to Japanese nationals to the casinos. Under the piece, residents of the country will only be allowed ten casino visits per month and will have to pay an entry fee of JPY6,000 (approx. $53). The measures aim to prevent an extreme rise in the number of people affected by problem gambling.
Mr. Terai noted that as Japanese nationals will only be able to gamble at the nation’s casinos under certain restrictions, customers from outside the country, particularly ones from China and the US, will be the main clientèle targeted by the venues.
Nobody Has Run a Large Casino in Japan
The Japanese attorney said that while Macau casino operators might face challenges in the race for the casino licenses, their expertise in operating large integrated resorts will eventually place them in an advantageous position. Casino companies will also have advantage over Japan’s pachinko companies, many of which have, too, expressed interest in participating in the casino license bidding process.
Mr. Terai said he found it funny how Japanese have a bad image of gambling, even though gambling is practically everywhere in the country and will be there “for a very long time in the future.” While most forms of gambling are illegal in Japan, there are several locally popular gambling options, including the pinball-like pachinko gaming machines.
In fact, the pachinko sector has been the one to be blamed the most for Japan’s soaring gambling addiction rate. According to a government-commissioned study from last year, 3.6% of Japanese have been found to have been addicted to gambling at some point in their lives, which is higher than the 1%-2% average in most of the other developed countries.
Under Japan’s IR implementation bill, three casino licenses will be issued by the government. Lobbying by major international gaming companies interested in the nation’s nascent casino market has already begun, although the licenses are expected to be granted in about a year from now.
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Delayed Action in Queensland Sets Back Launch of Australia’s Nationwide Gambling Self-Exclusion Scheme

Category : Events & Reports

The National Consumer Protection Framework is not quite ready to be rolled out as Queensland is yet to vote on it
The rollout of a nationwide self-exclusion system for Australians trying to quit online gambling is set to be delayed because of Queensland, as the state has remained the only Australian jurisdiction that is yet to approve the proposed measures, news outlet the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
The self-exclusion scheme has been in the works for over three years and aims to help people with problem gambling behavior and gambling addicts quit gambling on the nation’s licensed betting websites.
All other Australian states and territories have officially agreed to introduce the self-exclusion system, but Queensland legislators are yet to vote on it which will imminently delay the introduction of the proposed reforms across the nation.
The scheme, known as the National Consumer Protection Framework, includes a new set of tools and standards intended to curb problem gambling and strengthen existing consumers protections within the online betting space. Aside from a self-exclusion tool allowing gamblers to ban themselves from gambling on licensed websites and apps, the framework also includes a voluntary pre-commitment system allowing bettors to set their own betting limits as well as a nationwide ban on bookmakers to provide “inducements” to lure customers into registering with their websites.
Queensland Delaying the Process
As mentioned earlier, Queensland has remained the only Australian jurisdiction that is yet to approve the National Consumer Protection Work. It is understood that the federal government has been urging Queensland Attorney General Yvette D’Ath table the responsible gambling measures to the state’s government and press for quick approval of those.
A spokeswoman for Ms. D’Ath has told the Sydney Morning Herald that the Queensland government has been working on its own problem gambling framework that will also be consistent with the nationwide scheme. State lawmakers have informed the Attorney General’s office that both frameworks will be finalized by the end of the year, the spokeswoman has added.
Lauren Levin, Policy Director at Financial Counselling Australia, has been among the most active lobbyists for the responsible gambling reforms. In recent comments, she has said that the implementation of the nationwide self-exclusion program is “desperately needed” and “urgent” and that the government should make it its priority.
The proposed measures have received support from Australia’s largest bookmakers, including Tabcorp, Sportsbet, BetEasy, bet365, Ladbrokes, and Unibet.
Lobbyists are pressing for urgent reforms in the nation’s responsible gambling policies at a time when studies are showing that Australians are the spendiest gamblers in the world. According to the latest data published by the Queensland Government Statistician’s Office, Australian gamblers wagered A$209 billion in 2016/2017, up 0.7% from the prior year. In addition, one of the latest snapshots of problem gambling in Australia, provided by the Australian Gambling Research Centre, shows that around 7.5% of the nation’s population, that is around 1.4 million people, are experiencing a low, moderate, or high level of gambling harm.
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Casino Tax Hike Included in Malaysia’s 2019 Budget Plan

Category : Events & Reports

New government considers casino tax hike economy grapples with financial scandals and growing budget deficit

Malaysia is aiming to mend its scandal-stricken economy and tackle a widening budget gap with higher license fees and tax rates for land-based casinos and slot machine operations, it became known today.
The planned changes were introduced today by Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng. The official presented his first budged under the country’s new government. The new gaming license fees and taxes are part of a larger package of tax and other financial reforms that are focused on improving Malaysia’s economy amid turbulent times. Today’s announcement came as a confirmation to reports from last month that a new casino taxation structure was under consideration as the new administration has been tussling with a massive debt and a growing budget deficit.

The newly tabled budget plan is yet to be discussed by the Malaysian government, but if it gains the necessary traction, it will increase the annual casino license fee to MYR150 million from MYR120 million. In addition, land-based casinos will be taxed at 35% on gross income. Annual slot machine license fees are planned to go up to MYR50,000 from MYTR10,000, and the gaming devices will be taxed at 30% on gross proceeds. The slot machine tax rate currently stands at 20% on gross income.
New Taxation Regime Will Not Affect Genting Significantly
While it is too early to determine how gambling operations in Malaysia will be affected by the increased license fees and tax rate, analysts believe that at least one casino operator will not suffer a heavy blow from the new regime.

As mentioned earlier, first indications that a new tax structure was being debated by Malaysian lawmakers emerged last month. In separate notes on the matter, Nomura International and Maybank Kim Eng Research said back in October that gaming and hospitality giant Genting Malaysia will not see any major negative impact from the planned license fee and taxation changes.
Genting Malaysia currently operates the Resorts World Genting mountain hotel and casino resort. According to analysts, the planned opening of new attractions at the property will help it weather any reforms in the way casino services are taxed. The integrated resort is set to add new facilities in the first half of 2019, including the Skytropolis and 20th Century Fox World theme parks as well as 1,500 hotel rooms and multiple dining options.

Genting Malaysia has said that it targets 30 million visitors at its property by 2020 with the addition of the new facilities. Resorts World Genting received 22 million visitors last year.
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