Monthly Gambling Law Updates – February 2020

MLB to Change Gambling Laws

Orlando, Florida — Major League Baseball is all set to change its regulations guiding the teams’ owners to participate in any sort of gambling activity. The foremost and the most potent effect of this new legislation will be felt by the Ilitch family which is currently in control of a casino and a baseball team. As per the new guidance, it will stick to the earlier rule that a club with interest in a sportsbook will not be able to conduct bets on that particular club.

This rule does not take into the account special safeguards built in the current form of gambling restrictions. Although, these safeguards are there to ensure that there should be no controlled interference from the team to the book operator and the latter must be totally independent. Till the publication of this news, no change of rules has been notified.

Gambling Law Revision by Washington State Gaming Industry

At the start of February, Washington State Senate along with the House of Representatives has moved two bills in order to change gambling laws currently prevailing in the state. These proposed changes are a response to a court case pertaining to the Ninth Circuit’s 2018 and its final ruling. In response to this decision, both houses of the legislation are now trying to redefine the list that includes all “illegal gambling games”. This list will be based on the guidelines presented in RMGLA Act.

Through this revision, the legislators are trying to prevent the unnecessary exit of the gaming industry from the state itself. As per the sources, this new legislation seeks to tackle the ambiguity related to “thing of value” while carving out new rules guiding the online gambling. In order to make it more clear, illegal games are defined as the ones which do not include games of chance which are played only for entertainment purposes.

Fantasy Sports Contest Illegal in New York

In a huge setback to online sites FanDuel and DraftKings, which were promoting fantasy sports contests, New York Appeals Court has declared such contests illegal and unconstitutional. In its decision, the court has struck down almost all of the gambling laws that legalized fantasy sports. In an earlier decision taken by Governor Cuomo, fantasy sports were not considered as a form of gambling.

The law pertaining to this observation not only made it legal but also provided required consumer safeguards, standards, and registrations. This law also took into account the regulation and taxation issues related to fantasy sports.

This law was challenged by a resident of New York and now the court has issued its decision in this case. In its decision, the court has taken into account the observation that in order to legalize fantasy sports; voters of New York must approve an amendment rather than a governor making the statutory changes.

Maryland to Take Gambling Out of Constitution

In order to make changes in the current gambling laws easier, the Senate had decided to move the gambling laws out of the state’s constitution. This resolution was passed with a resounding vote count of 46 against 1. This move taken by the Senate would help in reversing one of the main components of legislation related to gambling which was passed a decade ago.

When the first amendments were made into the gambling laws in 2007, a provision was added that any subsequent opening out of these laws must be backed by a referendum approved by the residents of the state. The new bill passed by the Senate proposed that the legislature’s power to approve gambling laws must be restored which was subsequently cleared by the members of the senate.

Macau Casinos to Re-Open after Corona Virus Scare

After a temporary shutdown for a period of 15 days, Macau casinos are now again ready to provide their services to tourists from all over the world. This re-opening will be somewhat subdued due to the epidemic being still active in the mainland. Casinos are now hoping to open but with fewer tables and slots to cater to their business. In the meantime online casinos like bet365 Live Casino have dominated the market for casino players.

According to the report submitted by the GGRAsia, only 39 casinos will be allowed to open. This number can be increased in the coming days. It should be noted that even without reports of any Coronavirus case being detected there; Macau took the decision to shut most of its casinos. This was done to stop and control the epidemic which has now taken the lives of more than two thousand people in China. Coronavirus is currently spreading all over Southeast Asia with fresh cases being detected in Japan and South Korea.

Taking cognizance of this fact, the regulators have only allowed half of the casinos to open with strict guidelines being followed. Casinos are allowed to open with half of their tables with minimum distance between them of one meter and the same distance requirement for the patrons and the dealers.