The Adverse Impact of Fiscal Pressure on Player Channeling

New evidence has surfaced in support of the contention that higher gaming tax rates have a clear and adverse impact on the effectiveness of the regulatory regime, as measured by the percentage of players that is channeled toward licensed operators.

Legislators, however, are not taking the relationship between taxation levels and player channeling sufficiently into account, gaming consultant Michael Ellen of MGE Advisors writes:

“The recent tide of remote regulation has rarely been primarily motivated to channel players into regulated markets; it has more frequently (often explicitly) originated in tax-raising. […] the predominance of the fiscal pressure, has a clear and adverse impact not only on the quantum of tax revenues actually raised but also on the effectiveness of the regulatory regime.

Conversely, the establishment of commercially realistic duty rates, that enable white-market operators to compete effectively with unlicensed competition, is likely (when added to the other components of effective regulation) to capture a significantly great market and hence to raise more tax.”


Former Problem Gambler Shares Perspective

Feite Hofman (1970) was addicted to gambling for almost 25 years. He is currently active, as an experiential expert, on “the other side” of addiction. He conducts workshops on gambling addiction and assists in providing responsible gaming training to casino employees. He is also working on a book, provisionally titled “Anonieme gokker” (“Anonymous Gambler”), detailing his experiences as a problem gambler.

“Nobody aims to be a gambling addict,” Feite tells Gaming in Holland. “There is not a single kid who tells his parents he wants to become an experiential expert on problem gambling. While I don’t want to dismiss the notion of personal responsibility, gambling addiction is always unintended, something that befalls a person. In essence, my book is about how it all happened to me.”

Read more about Feite’s forthcoming book and his perspective on responsible gambling here.


UKGC: “Children Are Experiencing Gambling Without Understanding the Consequences”

New research published by the UK Gambling Commission raises concerns that children are experiencing gambling in situations where the risks are not always explained:

“New technology is providing children with opportunities to experience gambling behaviours through products, such as free-to-play casino games, social media or within some computer games, which do not have the same level of protections or responsible gambling messages as regulated gambling products.

The report also shows that the most common forms of gambling amongst children – bets between friends, playing fruit machines in pubs and clubs, and buying National Lottery scratchcards – are happening in locations that do not need to be regulated to provide gambling.”


Upcoming Events

The following upcoming events may be of interest to members of the GiH community.

  • On 20 December, iGaming Business and Delta DNA will be organizing a webinar “Driving Loyalty in Online Casinos.” Click here to register.
  • The Keeping Crime out of Gambling Conference, which is set to take place on 17 January 2018 in London, is designed to help gambling operators manage compliance issues and ensure that they are not subject to criminal activity through effective fraud prevention and anti-money-laundering strategies.
  • Registration for ICE 2018, which is to take place 6-8 February 2018 at ExCeL London, is live. As always, there will be a Gaming in Holland Lunch – on 7 February – at next year’s foremost gathering of gaming professionals in the world.
  • The GamblingCompliance Global Regulatory Awards 2018, celebrating excellence in the field of regulatory compliance and responsible gambling, will be hosted at The Sheraton Grand Hotel, London – 18 April 2018.
  • Next year, the iGaming Super Show, EiG and Amsterdam Affiliate Conference come together as iGB Live!, a consolidated three brand event. The first edition of iGB Live! will take place 17 – 20 July 2018 at The Amsterdam RAI.
  • The 12th EASG Conference on Gambling Studies and Policy Issues is now scheduled for 11-14 September 2018 at the Grand Hotel Excelsior, Valletta, Malta.


EC’s Decision to Drop All Gambling Infringement Proceedings Will Have Limited Impact on the Netherlands, EGBA Says

As was already widely expected, the European Commission (EC) last week decided to close all infringement procedures and complaints in the gambling sector.

“In line with its political commitment to be more strategic in enforcing EU law, the European Commission has […] decided to close its infringement procedures and the treatment of complaints in the area of gambling,” the Commission’s press release states.

“Juncker’s ‘political’ Commission leaves gambling reform to the courts,” the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) said in a reaction to last week’s decision.

However, the EC’s decision will have little to no impact on the Netherlands, Maarten Heijer, Secretary General of EGBA, told Gaming in Holland:

“From a European perspective, this decision by the Commission is disappointing, but will have little to no impact on the Netherlands.

We look forward to the speedy enactment of the remote gaming bill in the Netherlands, which will modernize Dutch gaming policy and introduce a licensing system for online gambling.

There are currently a number of gambling-related court cases pending in the Netherlands, for instance on the transparent granting of gaming licenses, but there is clear and extensive EU jurisprudence that can be applied by Dutch courts. Should a Dutch judge have questions about the application of EU law, the court may, of course, ask an opinion from the European Court of Justice.

In none of these processes, however, does the European Commission have a role to play. Hence, today’s decision does not impact the situation in the Netherlands.”

Details of specific cases against several EU member states are available here.

The Remote Gambling Association (RGA) also expressed its disappointment with the Commission’s decision. “The Commission has effectively abandoned our sector and given a free pass to non-compliant regimes,” Clive Hawkswood, CEO of the RGA said.


Other News

The Netherlands Gaming Authority has announced the start of a public consultation on its evaluation framework that determines whether a specific game qualifies as a game of chance.


Yesterday, Jack´s Casino opened its newest branch in the city of Zeist.


A Dutch lottery prize of €100,000 remains unclaimed.


Holland Casino employs so-called “millennial hosts” in order to be more attractive to a younger audience.


Norway’s gambling regulator is taking action against unauthorized online gambling payment processing repeat offenders.


Malta’s government has announced that gambling on the outcome of an event, including sports matches, is to become exempt from value added tax (VAT).


The Spanish Ministry of Finance has opened a public consultation on gambling advertising.


GVC and Ladbrokes Coral Group have revealed that they have held “detailed discussions” over a possible merger agreement.


William Hill has ended its attempts to block Scientific Games’ acquisition of NYX Gaming Group.


Figures released this week by Italian gaming news outlet Agimeg show Italy’s combined retail and online sports betting market generated revenue of €147m in November, a whopping 78.2% gain over the same month last year.


Italy is set to delay its involvement in the online poker liquidity sharing pool it agreed to form along with France, Spain and Portugal until Q2 2018.


The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has published the latest installment of its quarterly newsletter. The current issue focuses on controlling unlicensed online content.


The UK Gambling Commission has announced that Sarah Harrison, its Chief Executive, will be leaving the Commission at the end of February 2018 to take up a senior role with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.


The Remote Gambling Association (RGA) has urged the UK Government to introduce a statutory levy to replace the current system of voluntary funding for research, education, and treatment of problem gambling.


French operator Française des Jeux (FDJ) has entered into a digital-focused partnership with global payment services provider Western Union.


Online casino operator LeoVegas has announced that its LeoVentures subsidiary has acquired a 51% majority stake in GameGrounds United AB, owner of the streaming website network.


Betsson continues its senior management reshuffle.


Cricket may be facing a new match-fixing epidemic, the New York Times reports.


The winners of the SBC Awards 2017 have been announced.


Florida’s Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will be shaped like a real guitar.