Gambling Laws Update – January 2019

Sports Gambling Still Remains Illegal In New York

Even after eight months since the historic decision was made by U. S. Supreme Court allowing states to implement their own sports gambling laws, the state of New York is still there where it had started. Till the filling of this update, the residents of this state are waiting to cast their votes to allow legalized sports betting.

This hold up is so shocking because of the fact that the city of New York had been taking steps to implement legalized gambling five years before the ban got lifted by the Supreme Court. As far as the political dimension of this case is concerned, the Assembly Democrats had backed away from a legal action which would have hastened the proceeding related to formation of laws to guide legal gambling.

Majority of the people from gaming fraternity are of the opinion that Governor Andrew M. Cuomo is solely responsible for this delay. It was expected that the governor will submit his report after his re-election but all of this had come to a halt when Senecas and New York City opted for an arbitration in order to resolve their disagreement related to the payments from the former to the latter.

New Gambling Legislation Vetoed by Slovakia’s President

It was a totally unexpected move by President Andrej Kiska to veto the new gambling legislation drafted and supported by the Ministry of Finance. This new legislation was passed by National Council in December, 2018 and now it stands void.

This new gambling law would have allowed international gaming industries to invest in the local gambling market of Slovakia as part of their drive to expand their business throughout the European Union. If the president had signed the legislation then it might have been implemented from the March of 2019.

In the statement issued by president’s office it was stated that there were concerns related to the new legislation and president did not felt convinced enough to allow this legislation. The president had proposed that this law should be totally rejected till a sophisticated and a rigorous approach is part of the regulation. The other reason given for this veto is insufficient protection provided for the players in this bill.

DOJ Opinion Makes Online Gambling Illegal

In another major twist in United States, a new opinion given by Justice Department makes online gambling in any form to be illegal. It was made public that the November opinion given by the counsel of DOJ had reversed the previous opinion given on the Wire Act during Obama’s regime.

This opinion was given in 2011 and it declared that Wire Act only applies to sports betting. The aforementioned opinion was given in relation to the Wire Act which does not allow bettors to transmit gambling data across the states.

Now the new opinion makes it very clear that any sort of gambling activity including sports betting is not allowed to transmit data under this law. This opinion has further restricted all sorts of online gaming by making it illegal. The impact of this opinion will have an adverse effect on the states which had already allowed online gambling.

The most effected states will be of Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. It will also be a setback for the states which are planning or had already proposed legislations to make gambling legal. It is expected that this opinion will be challenged in the courts and according to news sources, DA office had already issued instructions to delay the implementation of this opinion for ninety days.

Massachusetts Proposes Sports Betting Legislation

In the last week, governor of Massachusetts had proposed a gambling legislation which will allow and tax sports betting in casinos and via online bookmakers. It was announced that the governor will file a legislation which will allow the Gaming Commission to provide gaming licences to the three main operators.

This will allow the operators to provide both on-site and online betting options to their clients. This new legislation will also allow other online operators to apply for such licenses. It was also stated that this legislation also puts some proposals so that all the potential betting providers are properly vetted and there is some sort of safeguards to deal with problematic gambling, underage gambling and other illegal activities related to sports betting.

This legislation proposes to implement a tax of 10 percent on all of the betting activities taking inside a casino. On the other hand, online wagering will face a tax of 12.5 percent. It is also proposed that the Gaming Commission will be responsible for overseeing the sports betting. As per the estimates given by Finance Department, this proposed legislation will help city of Massachusetts to raise a revenue of more than $35 million per annum.

$5 Million Ceiling for Sportsbook in New Jersey

In a bid to prohibit gambling operators from trying to please high rollers, the Gaming Enforcement of New Jersey had proposed some changes in the regulations guiding both online and on-site gambling.

The new proposal states that the sportsbook operators will not be allowed to accept a wager of more than five million dollars from an individual player. In the light of this proposal, it should be also considered that throughout the history of sports betting in United States, no sportsbook had ever accepted the wager that even comes close to the proposed ceiling. As per the estimates, the state of New Jersey had gone through sports wagers amounting to the total of $1.25 million since the sports betting was allowed in the June of last year.

The only instance of highest sports betting wager made in United States relates to legendry gambler, Billy Walters who wagered more than three million dollars on New Orleans Saints to win the 2010 Super Bowl XLIV.