Gambling Laws Update – February 2019

Slovakia’s Parliament Rejects President’s Veto

Giving a big jolt to the decision made by Andrej Kiska, Slovakian parliament had vetoed the stand taken by him in the month of December, 2018. With this veto at this day and age the gambling liberalization is now back on the track again. In the first week of February, 2019 Slovakian parliament overrode the veto given by the president in relation to the new gambling laws envisaged for the country.

This legislation was passed in order to deal with wide varieties of issues related to online as well as land based casino gambling. The most important decision taken in this legislation was to remove the monopoly of the govt in online gambling. The online gambling was conducted thorough government’s subsidiary known as Tipos in the form of national lottery.

In order to curb its hold over the online gambling, the Slovakian National Council had decided to allow overseas as well as local operators to apply for licenses to conduct their businesses. According to this new law, Tipos will keep its hold on the lottery, bingo and raffle while all the other gambling businesses such as casinos and sports betting will be provided by private gaming operators.

The new online gaming licenses for private operators are in the range of three to five million Euros depending upon the type of license required.

Delayed Gambling Law Risks Irish Players

As per the latest reports shared by European Gaming and Betting Association, the inaction shown by the Irish government to implement gambling regulation and constant delays have now started hurting vulnerable gamblers. According to the secretary-general, these constant delays in implementation of Gambling Control Bill 2013 are now hampering efforts to provide security the players who have gambling problems.

The aforementioned association represents some of the top gambling operators from the United Kingdom but does not include Irish operators such Paddy Power or Boylesports. Some of the biggest high street bookmakers like William Hill live casino are also involved in the Irish market. Apart from risking vulnerable players, this delay is also impeding the formation of an independent regulator which can employ more than hundred people.

According to the Minister of State, David Stanton, he is unsatisfied with the multiple procrastinations in implementation of the legislation which is now running about more than five years behind. But on the other hand he is quite satisfied with the delay till now because he feels that there had been huge changes in the gaming industries in the past few years.

Casino Gambling Postponed in Virginia

In a new twist the referendum for allowing casino gambling in Bristol, Virginia has been postponed for 2020. This referendum by the public was to decide whether casino like gambling can be allowed in the state. Now this voting has been postponed by the Senate Finance Committee.

As per the suggestions given by the local business tycoons it was proposed that the Bristol Mall, which is presently laying vacant, should be converted into a casino-style resort. This resort will have entertainment facilities for the families along with casino games. With the latest decision by the senate now, this legislation will be sent to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission for further deliberations.

It is expected that this proposal will be then sent to General Assembly if all goes well at the commission. According to the Councillor of Bristol, this delay was expected as this new legislature might have been a huge change in the gambling laws of Virginia. On the other hand there is also an urgency because of the revenues associated with this proposal. These revenues would have been a shot in the arm and a relief for local taxpayers. Now it is expected that this referendum will take place in 2022.

DOJ Opinion Challenged by Hampshire

An opinion by Department of Justice which can have serious implications on online gambling has been challenged by New Hampshire in the court. This opinion might have threatened not only the online gambling but also the state sponsored iLottery system.

In a big U-turn from their previous opinion given in 2011, DOJ had given an opinion in November of previous year that re-interprets the Wire Act. The federal Wire Act was enacted in the ‘60s to curb crimes related to mafia and prohibits any type of interstate betting.

In its previous opinion, DOJ had submitted that online gambling in the states which are not involved in sports events does not violate this law. Then again in their new opinion given in the November, 2018, DOJ opined that this law relates to all types of gambling and does not allow transfer for any type of data across the states’ lines.

This new opinion raised concerns not only with casino gambling operations passed by some of the states, but also has an impact on poker agreements between multiple states along with state lotteries. From the first moment it as acknowledged that this opinion can be challenged in court and now New Hampshire Lottery Commission has filed a suit.