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February 2021 Review of Regulatory Changes in the Gambling Industry

February 2021 Review of Regulatory Changes in the Gambling Industry

Let's start with the European continent, where a lot of changes took place in the second month of the year.

Ukraine

The Ukrainian Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL) has approved the country's first online gambling license under the new regulatory regime. The license was granted to Spaceiks, a local online gaming provider that operates the Cosmolot brand.

In addition, in the near future the first hotels in Kiev and other cities of Ukraine will open their legal casinos and slot machine halls. Some hotels in the capital have already received permission for gambling activities. You can read more about this in the news section on the casinoz website.

Netherlands

The government announced an additional one-month delay for the entry into force of the Remote Gambling Law until April 1, 2021 and, as a result, to extend the launch of the online market until October 1, 2021. The rules for the implementation of the Law on Remote Gaming were also finalized with a number of amendments.

These changes include bans on: gambling companies using sports teams in advertising; temporary bonus offers; offering bets on football matches in sports leagues under 21 and events in the third division or below.

Austria

The Ministry of Finance announced that it will introduce new legislation by the end of April 2021 to revise the country's current gambling regulatory framework. The law provides for the creation of a new independent gambling regulator to enforce regulatory compliance and manage licensing. In addition, the regulator will develop a new national multichannel self-exclusion register.

The legislation will include measures to introduce limits on rates and timing for online slot machines, as well as to increase the tax for gambling operators. Further measures were also announced, which included creating a blacklist for unlicensed operators and the power to require ISPs to block any specified site.

Regulations iGaming Great Britain

In the UK, DCMS consulted to gather views on its proposals to increase annual license fees for remote casino , betting and bingo operators and all gambling software providers by 55% from 1 October 2021. DCMS has offered to cancel the 5% discount for combined remote and terrestrial operating licenses effective October 1, 2021.

The proposals will also increase the annual license fees for classic casino operators by 15% from April 1, 2022. In addition, the Gambling Commission has announced a number of new restrictions on online slots, including bans on:

  • functions that speed up the game or create the illusion of control over the outcome;
  • the rotation speed of the slot is higher than 2.5 seconds;
  • automatic play - which can cause players to lose control of their game;
  • sounds or images that create the illusion of winning, when the winning is actually equal to or less than the bet.

In addition to this, the Commission has introduced a reverse withdrawal ban for all online gambling.

Operators will be required to display the total loss or winnings during any gaming session. They must enforce the new rules by October 31, 2021. In addition, the BGC has published new rules prohibiting sports teams from posting links to gambling sites or "calls to action" in non-promotional social media posts. Ireland In Ireland, legislators have introduced a bill to ban all forms of advertising for gambling except sponsorship. The 2021 Gambling Advertising Ban Bill was introduced by the Labor Party, which said the bill's purpose was to help address the nation's gambling addiction problem.

Retrospective of regulatory changes in Asia.

Thailand

The Thai government has warned ISPs to block access to over 1,200 blacklisted gaming sites for 15 days or face legal action. In addition, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha announced that he would consider legalizing gambling to help rebuild the economy from the current health crisis.

China

The country's government has introduced an amnesty period for citizens involved in organizing or facilitating cross-border gambling activities. Persons involved in illegal gambling were asked to declare themselves and provide information in exchange for a mitigation of punishment.

Philippines

The House of Representatives in the Philippines has passed legislation establishing a 5% tax on POGO's gross gaming revenue. The bill has been submitted to the Senate. Japan In Japan, the government has confirmed that it will not levy a tax on casino winnings from foreign visitors. Continuing trends from previous months, many US states welcomed online sports betting and other forms of gambling in February. Those who have not yet done so are actively taking steps to introduce this activity to the entertainment industry.

USA

Let's start in Massachusetts, where Senator Brian Crighton introduced legislation to allow retail and online sports betting in the state. If passed, the bill would tax 15% on gross winnings on all types of sports betting.

Kentucky Governor Andy Besheer signed into law clarifying the position of the horse racing betting law. He now has legal status in the state. BetMGM launched its second online casino platform Borgata Casino in Pennsylvania on February 24, 2021.

Meanwhile, in Wyoming, lawmakers have filed a bill to authorize and regulate internet sports betting.

Meanwhile, Illinois has introduced a bill to allow and regulate online gaming in the state. The law allows state ground facilities and racecourses to offer online casino games using three skins at a tax rate of 12% on gross winnings.

The Michigan online casino and sports betting market was officially launched on January 22, 2021, with eight online casino platforms and ten online sports betting platforms operating.

Among the operators who launched their platforms were:

  • Barstool,
  • BetMGM,
  • BetRivers,
  • DraftKings,
  • FanDuel,
  • Golden Nugget,
  • PointsBet,
  • TwinSpires,
  • William Hill ,
  • WynnBet.

In addition, PokerStars launched its online poker platform in Michigan on January 29, 2021, and FoxBet launched its online sports betting platform on the same day. Barstool unveiled its web casino platform in the state on February 01, 2021.

Georgia Senator Brandon Beach introduced legislation allowing state horse racing through a statewide referendum. The bill will allow the state to build three racetracks, which will be allowed to offer bets. In Virginia, DraftKings launched the state's second bookmaker on January 25, 2021, and two days later, BetMGM introduced an online bookmaker.

On February 3, 2021, William Hill also opened an online sportsbook.

Arizona Senator Sonny Borrelli and Representative Steve Pearce reintroduced legislation allowing Indian tribes to place retail sports betting in casinos on premises licensed to alcohol or private clubs.

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