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Threat of crackdown looms over online gambling industry in Canada

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The Canadian government’s friendly attitude towards online gambling is fading fast.

A new bill titled “Quebec’s Bill 74,” which is awaiting a court decision, could prevent foreign online gambling operators from taking too much of the revenue generated by the Canadian online gambling industry.

Canada’s existing online gambling laws allow for betting on an online gambling site, provided the operator does not have any offline gambling establishments in Canada. This is a big hit for the provincial casinos that operate their own websites like Espacejeux and PlayNow.com. Legislators are also concerned that a significant number of Canadians are playing an offshore websites and all that revenue is not being taxed.

Estimates show that the Canadian online gambling industry generated CAD$17.3 billion for 2017.

Bill 74 which was passed by the Quebec legislature in 2016 looks to address all of these issues. The bill also looks to get local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block foreign online casino sites and prevent gaming revenue from going out of the country. Quebec already blocked access to illegal poker sites in 2015 due to revenues being eaten up.

Loto-Quebec Pushing Hard For Bill To Take Effect

The bill has not gained as much momentum as Loto-Quebec would have expected but things are changing quickly. Loto-Quebec which operates EspaceJeux.com is the gambling body in Quebec that passes on all of the profits from EspaceJeux.com to the government. The operator has pointed out in the past that their profits have dropped while profits for foreign operators have increased. Loto-Quebec was willing to allow foreign operators to offer services in Quebec provided they were willing to share a percentage of their profits with them.

Loto-Quebec has a list of 2000 gambling websites that they have handed over to ISPs so that they could be blocked. However, several ISPs did not want the burden of handling the job. So they, along with civil rights activists who did not like the idea of the government handing down restrictions, formally filed a complaint against it. The court case has been delayed until March 2018 and is still awaiting resolution. Many legal scholars believe though that the case will end up going all the way to Canada’s Supreme Court.

If the court does agree in favour of Bill74, it would set a precedent that Canadian provincial governments would be able to restrict Internet access – and may lead to other provinces following Quebec’s lead.

Source: top10pokersites.net


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Ireland to regulate video games over fears of juvenile gambling

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The Irish Government has signed an international declaration that proclaims worries about juvenile gambling in video games. A number of experts consider these video games as the gateway through which children enter the world of problem gambling.

Ireland could soon enforce a law that will put the video games in the same gambling regulation bracket as bookmakers and online poker.

Many modern video games, such as Fifa and Star Wars Battlefront, feature betting systems based around “loot boxes.” Players can pay real money for a chance to win new items or abilities for their in-game characters from these boxes.

The practice has already attracted scrutiny from gambling authorities in the US and Europe. This year Belgian authorities declared some loot box systems to be illegal gambling and compelled major game developers to remove such features in games sold in the country. It recently threatened Electronic Arts, one of the world’s biggest game developers, with criminal prosecution for failing to remove loot boxes from Fifa 19.

This week the Gambling Policy Division of the Irish Department of Justice, along with authorities from 14 other countries, signed a declaration voicing concern about video game gambling and comparing it to other forms of online gambling such as online poker.

“Our authorities are committed to the objectives of their public policies with regard to consumer protection, prevention of problem gambling and ensuring the safety of underage persons,” stated the declaration, which was signed at a meeting of the Gaming Regulators European Forum.

 

Source: Irish Times


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Ukrainian football body warns bookmakers

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The Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU) has issued a warning notice to bookmakers. The organisation has been strengthening the efforts to minimise the impact of gambling on football. FFU has so far identified 30 clubs and judges as vulnerable entities per person to match fixing.

FFU announced that it is considering a ban on the transfer of information about the U17 tournaments to bookmakers.

Previously, the FFU had already blocked the transfer of statistics to bookmakers in tournaments for players under 18 years of age. This practice led to the fact that bookmakers did not have the opportunity to offer bets on such competitions, which in turn positively affected the number of fake games in junior football leagues.

But this August it appeared that matches in the tournament in honour of V. Bannikov were offered by some betting companies for bets. In connection with this episode, FFU expressed an intention to provide the legal regulation to statistics data transfer from football tournaments to representatives of bookmakers.

If bookmakers operating in Ukraine fail to follow new rules, FFU will take measures to completely prohibit the bets on the competitions that are held under the aegis of the FFU.

 

Source: ffu.ua


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New Hampshire to launch online lottery

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The US state of New Hampshire is all set to launch its first online lottery products. The launch is scheduled later this week. When it takes place, New Hampshire will become the sixth US state to sell instant lottery online.

 “We have long viewed ourselves as a player-centric lottery,” said Charlie McIntyre, executive director of the New Hampshire Lottery. “Our focus in everything we do is how best to make our products entertaining and accessible to our customers by creating a strong and positive play experience. Launching iLottery is the critical next wave component in enhancing our players direct interaction with our games.”

To run its iLottery, New Hampshire selected NeoPollard Interactive, a turnkey online lottery solution active in several North American jurisdictions. NPI will provide the platform and manage several aspects of the NH online lottery for the state.


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