Citing Potential Job Losses, Ireland Puts Brakes on Gambling Tax

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Saturday 30 December 2017 3:14 pm

Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe is putting the brakes on a plan to double his country’s current tax on gambling. Donohoe, and other government officials are worried that such a massive increase would create job losses and push punters towards illegal gambling operations.

Donohoe’s plan to double the current tax on gambling operators from one percent to two percent never got far in the legislative process and met with immediate scorn from representatives of the gaming industry. When discussing the formal feedback (or “submissions”) he received on the matter, Donohoe said the following to the Irish Mirror:

A total of 13 submissions were received. Of these, eight were from the betting/gaming industry, two were from the horse racing industry, one from the addiction advocacy service and two from individuals.

If enacted, the proposal would have raised approximately €50 million annually. While that’s a lot of extra cash for government coffers, Donohoe decided that the potential job losses for smaller bookmakers would have offset the benefits of extra revenue.

Donohoe also nixed an idea of additional taxes on individual wagers, citing it is as a potential boost to illegal gambling operations saying:

There is] the possibility of punters seeking out alternative untaxed forms of betting or a move towards unlicensed operators.

Besides potential job losses, Donohoe pointed out the fact that any increase in gambling taxes would actually result in increased subsidies for the horse and dog racing industries and that isn’t a good look for government.

While the gambling tax increase has been shelved for now, Donohoe left the door open for more creative, and less jarring, tax increases in the future.

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US States Prepping for Legal Sports Betting

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Thursday 28 December 2017 3:14 pm

Sometime in the next few months, the US Supreme Court will decide the fate of regulated sports betting in the United States.

Though the outcome of the state of New Jersey’s epic quest to bring this form of gambling to its customers is anything but a sure thing, many US States are working feverishly to prepare for a day when US punters can legally throw down a wager on their favorite team. One state that’s prepping at a particularly feverish pace is Delaware.

Delaware is one of just a few US States where any form of sports betting is actually and state officials are more than ready to get back in the business of real sports betting. (Under current laws, only a form of parlay wagering is legal in the state.)

According to a recent report from, business interests in Delaware are preparing for just about any outcome when it comes to sports betting as Vernon Kirk, director of the Delaware Lottery explained saying:

The thought is that a favorable ruling would mean anything that’s offered in Las Vegas could be offered here in Delaware or any other state. Whether we would do that remains undecided, but we are considering what that might look like if we did.

But, unlike most other US States, Delaware’s current system allows for sports betting to be offered in retail establishments like bars and restaurants. Whether that system remains in place, or is expanded, is something that Delaware lawmakers will have to consider.

But before anyone starts counting up chickens before they hatch, consider the words of Denis McGlynn, the CEO of Dover Downs, where sports betting is offered alongside slots. In an interview with Delaware Online he said:

It’s a lot of sizzle but no steak. Sports betting in Las Vegas only makes up about 2 percent of their casinos’ total revenue and they have a monopoly right now. If you open it up to every state, I see the impact on us being marginal at best.

What’s becoming abundantly clear is that no one has a really good idea of how regulated sports betting is going to change the face of American gambling…if it’s legalized at all.

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New Zealand Regulators Ruling – Loot Boxes Aren’t Gambling

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Tuesday 26 December 2017 3:14 pm

Gaming regulators in New Zealand have ruled that in-game loot boxes are not a form of gambling. The decision is a big victory for the video game industry and its recent efforts to beef up revenue streams through loot boxes and other in-game transactions.

The announcement regarding loot boxes came from the Gambling Compliance office of New Zealand’s Department of Internal Affairs, earlier this month. In their ruling they decided that because loot boxes could not be exchanged directly for cash that was enough to keep loot boxes out of the realm of casino gambling. (Given the thriving aftermarket for video game skins, that overall accuracy of that decision remains to be seen.)

New Zealand’s decision to rule on loot boxes came in response to the worldwide controversy surrounding the use of in-game transactions in the new Star Wars video game, Battlefronts 2. Video game players worldwide erupted in anger when they saw what a heavy emphasis the game’s developers had placed loot boxes, and the clear indication that advancement in the game would revolve around purchasing lots of them.

Battlefronts 2 is so reliant on loot boxes for advancement that the Hawaii Attorney General opened an investigation into the game. After all, loot box grabs can be purchased, but their contents are awarded on a random basis.

In response to the worldwide uproar over loot boxes in Battlefronts 2, and the prospect of being labelled as a gambling operator, the game’s developers have reduced the profile of in-game transactions in the game. Whether that move will be enough to hold off regulators is another question entirely.

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Did NSW Government Cover Up Negative Gambling Report?

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Sunday 24 December 2017 3:17 pm

Government officials in New South Wales (NSW) are being criticized for allegedly failing to release a university study that casts the impact of poker machines and gambling in a negative light. It’s the latest salvo in the battle over gambling Down Under and it could have a big impact on both land-based and internet operators.

At issue is a study by University of Sydney gambling researcher Professor Alex Blaszczynski. Blaszczynski’s report, which was commissioned by the NSW Government in 2013 and completed in December of 2015 is highly critical of poker machines and the features they use to keep players engaged.

In particular, Blaszczynski blasts the common practice of losses disguised as wins. Losses disguised as wins are what happens when the machine lights up and delivers all the stimuli associated with a win, but does so when the player’s win is less than their original bet. This practice is one of the points Blaszczynski uses in his recommendation that the feature be banned from poker machines entirely.

An investigation by the Syndey Morning Herald revealed that various government officials were aware of the report and its contents, but failed to release it the public. This all occurred while Blaszczynski desperately lobbied to have his report released.

While the Morning Herald failed to reveal a smoking gun and a distinct cover up, it did reveal some serious foot dragging by the officials responsible for releasing the report.

Now that the report’s been released, government officials in NSW say that they are mulling over its findings and recommendations. As of this writing, there’s no indication as to when, or if, that will translate into a ban on losses disguised as wins.

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» Online Casino News Domain Goes on the Market…for $20 Million

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Sunday 24 December 2017 11:00 am

An ambitious, and anonymous, group of entrepreneurs is looking to sell the domain for the low, low price of just $ 20 million (USD). While it may seem like a stretch, there’s a very real chance that the owners of this very valuable piece of internet real estate could get their asking price.

If you’re interested, the deal is being brokered by an outfit Right of the Dot, which is an established domain name broker. In an interview with, Right of the Dot CEO Monte Cahn said that his company has a long list of parties that are interested in acquiring the mother of all gambling domains. Cahn also pointed out the appeal of saying:

Domain gets thousands of unique visitors every month and is probably one of the most valuable domain names in the world and certainly with poker tournaments being televised every day all over the world its the most valuable domain name in the gaming industry by far.

If you’re wondering whether domain names actually sell for sky high prices, be prepared to be surprised. According to a recent report on, the most expensive domain name transactions of all time include:
1. – $ 35.6m (sold in 2010)
2. – $ 35m (2007)
3. – $ 30.1m (2012)
4. – $ 18m (2009)
5. – $ 16m (2009)
6. – $ 11m
7. – $ 8.5m (2010)
8. – $ 7.5m (1999)
9. – $ 7m (2004)
10. $ 6m (2011)

Sharp-eyed readers will notice that the most recent big name domain transaction took place more than five years ago. That points to the fact that most internet marketers have accepted the fact that internet end-users aren’t quite as liter as they once were. That said, some industry watcher suggest that with the long-awaited opening of the US online gaming market drawing nearer, could indeed be worth at least $ 20 million.

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Aussie Media Groups Scramble to Preserve Gambling Advertising

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Wednesday 20 December 2017 3:17 pm

A coalition of Australian media groups is working feverishly to water down the impact of their country’s broad new ban on gambling advertisements during sports broadcasts. Their efforts to protect advertising revenue from a “siren-to-siren” advertising ban are meeting with objections both from anti-gambling forces and the gambling industry itself.

At issue is a proposed draft of advertising standards being pushed by media groups including Free TV Australia (FTA), Commercial Radio Australia and the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA). These new standards include a number of sly workarounds to the government advertising ban such as an exemption for what they’re calling “low audience” channels. This exemption would be applied to obscure cable channels like ESPN.

Broadcasters are also pushing for a break for lottery advertising. Their reasoning is that the original ban was aimed at sports betting advertisements, not lottery advertisements, including ads from Lottoland.

The proposed changes are turning out to be a real affront to the anti-gambling forces that pushed for the changes in the first place. In an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, Mark Zirnsak, of the Victorian Inter-Church Gambling Taskforce spelled out his side’s argument on the matter saying:

What shocked me is that these bodies governing TV and radio are actually using this as an opportunity to water down the code. What shocked me is that these bodies governing TV and radio are actually using this as an opportunity to water down the code.

On the other side of the coin, trade groups representing online gambling operators are fuming about the proposed lottery exemption saying that it gives operators like Lottoland an unfair advantage.

As of this writing, all sides in the matter are still working on proposals and no final decisions have been made.

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Swedish Newspaper Threatened with Fines for Gambling Advertising

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Monday 18 December 2017 3:20 pm

Swedish advertising regulators have a stern message for newspapers that run advertisements from unauthorized online gambling operators: knock it off or pay the price. That message was delivered late last week on the website of Lotteriinspektionen, the regulatory authority in charge of gambling matters throughout Sweden.

The conflict between regulators and advertisers is one that rages throughout Europe and the UK, and the saga playing out in Sweden is a pretty good example of how that drama plays out.

At the center of the conflict is a free newspaper called Metro that’s handed out to commuters throughout the country. Like most small newspapers, the Metro is more than happy to accept advertising from international gambling operators. Unfortunately, the Lotteriinspektionen looks at those same operators and sees the face of the enemy. After all, the Swedish lottery monopoly is protected by regulations that prevent media outlets from promoting any lottery other than the one that is sanctioned by the government.

While Metro isn’t the first Swedish media outlet to run ads for unsanctioned gambling sites, it’s the site that’s clearly been picked out to be used as an example of what happens to outlets that do engage in that activity. Lotteriinspektionen has threatened a fine of right around $ 30,000 (USD), according to a report on Gaming Intelligence (subscription required).

The core issue here is really how established government monopolies react to the threats posed by an open marketplace where competitors of all stripes are allowed to compete for business using free market tactics. In Sweden’s case, it appears that the monopoly will enjoy its protected status for a bit longer.

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Bet365 Moves Closer to Victory in EU Trademark Battle

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Saturday 16 December 2017 3:15 pm

How much control does Bet365 get to have over the word “bet” and the number “365″?

It may seem like a trivial point to outsiders, but to gambling operators doing business in the incredibly competitive European online gambling market it’s an incredibly big deal. That’s why lawyers in the employ of the massive UK operator have spent the better part of a decade defending their company’s name in the European marketplace.

Earlier this week, Bet365 scored a small victory in that ongoing battle when the EU General Court (EGC) overturned a lower court’s ruling that “Bet” and “365″ were just a little bit too generic to trademark. The previous ruling was made in 2013 after a man named Robert Hansen successfully convinced EU regulators to invalidate Bet365 as a trademark because it was so vague. Coincidentally, Hansen was looking to trademark his brand…”b365.”

The 2013 ruling overturned years of work in which Bet365′s lawyers had nearly convinced EU trademark regulators that their long-established brand name was worthy of a trademark. That battle intensified after an EU trademark examiner engaged in some deep thinking on the matter and declared the trademark invalid. In his mind, the terms “bet” and “365″ could really be applied to anything that anything to do with time or gambling and simply weren’t worthy of protection.

Not surprisingly, Bet365′s legal team vigorously contested that finding and were able to have it overturned, until Hansen came along.

With this week’s ruling, Bet365 is, basically, back to where it was in 2008 and has secured the trademark for its well-known brand in the European gambling marketplace.

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Tasmania Declares War on Pokies

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Thursday 14 December 2017 3:15 pm

The Tasmanian Labor Party has a pretty ambitious goal in its war on gambling; remove all pokies from most public places in the Australian state by the year 2023. The announcement from the party, made earlier this week, marks a major escalation in the ongoing war on gambling that’s been picking up steam over the last year.

Representatives of the Tasmanian Labor Party announced their plan, which would impact about 2,300 pokies across the state, as part of broader effort to clamp down on what they see as out of control gambling and problem gambling. Labor leader Rebecca White did not mince words when describing the impact of the machines saying:

They affect an individual’s health, their family, relationships and work. For every person who is harmed by their own gambling, seven other people are affected.

White and her Labor colleagues also took advantage of the announcement to throw a little shade at their political enemies by also mentioning that:

The Liberals are not willing to make this decision, which is the right one for the economy and the right decision for Tasmanians.

Under the plan proposed by the Labor Party, about 2,300 Tasmanian pokies would be out of commission by 2023. To help ease the transition for businesses that would be impacted by the loss of pokie revenue, the party proposed a $ 55 million package of incentives and programs. This package includes money to help businesses come up with alternative revenue models and would offer consultants to help with the transition away from gambling.

While the move certainly won’t be popular with businesses that rely on pokie revenue, Labor Party officials say that 80 percent of Tasmanians support the move.

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Feds Bust Massive US Football Pick ‘Em

Posted by admin | Casino Affiliates | Tuesday 12 December 2017 3:16 pm

Two New York state men are looking at a mountain of legal troubles after their massive football pick ‘em was shut down by the US Department of Justice last week for promoting illegal gambling.

Ron Kronengold and Mike Bernstein are the organizers of a long-running, and pretty massive, football pick ‘em site called, “Ron & Mike’s Football Pool.” The site featured a number of pools in the survivor format, wherein players can only choose a team once per season and are eliminated completely if they miss a single pick.

According to a report on, the site has been around for at least eight years; hosted thousands of players; and features a prize pool of nearly $ 2.5 million (USD).

None of this would really be a problem for Kronengold and Bernstein save one little, the Feds believe that they were skimming roughly ten percent of the prize money for their own use. Under New York State and Federal law, that moves the football pick ‘em from a friendly wager between friends to a serious violation of the laws regarding illegal gambling.

According to, Kronengold and Bernstein seemed to vacillate between hiding their operation from view and bringing it into the public light. For example, while the men had no problem trademarking the term, “Ron and Mike’s Football Pool,” they also had players make out checks to the name of a non-existent mortgage company while sending those same checks to an anonymous PO box.

So far the men haven’t been formally charged, but it’s likely they’ll face charges of bookmaking and profiting from a gambling activity.

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