Latest Gambling News: French Regulator Warns Against Betting Advice, and more

Kat Pilkington

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July 1, 2024

Catch up on six of the stories our gambling compliance analysts have covered lately, and stay up-to-date on the latest news.

French Regulator Warns Against Betting Advice

In the run-up to the Olympics in Paris and as the Euros continue, the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Prevention (DGCCRF), together with the National Gaming Authority (ANJ), has issued a warning to players about so-called “tipsters”.

According to the press release, tipsters offer advice free of charge or by subscriptions, and claim to have expert advice to hand out regarding betting. “To encourage the subscription of subscriptions, some operators display a luxurious lifestyle on social networks, claiming that their advice on sports predictions would allow them to earn a lot of money in a short time.”

The DGCCRF warned players that any suggestion or claim that using tipsters will increase chances of winning is “likely to constitute an offence punishable by criminal prosecution”.

Indian Gaming Revenue Sets New Record Of $41.9bn In 2023

Tribal gaming operations generated $41.9bn in gross gaming revenue last year, setting a new record and another sign of the continued strength over overall U.S. gaming market.

Combined with the $66.5bn generated by the commercial gaming industry in 2022, total revenues topped $100m for the second year in a row. In 2022, commercial casinos generated $60.4bn and tribal $40.9bn for a total of $101.3bn.

Sharon Avery, acting chairwoman of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), attributed the $1bn increase to the viability of tribal gaming operations, as they continue to adapt to new technologies and changes in consumer preferences.

“This year’s GGR results demonstrate how a strong regulatory framework and diversity of tribal gaming enterprises generates growth in the gaming industry,” Avery said Thursday (June 27) at the Wisconsin Gaming Regulators Association’s summer conference in Green Bay.

All eight NIGC regions reported year-over-year growth in gaming revenue. The Phoenix region, which has 54 tribal operations, posted the largest increase, a 5.5 percent jump to $3.92bn, while the Sacramento region, which includes 87 tribal operations, remains the largest region at $11.96bn, a 1.8 percent increase from 2022.

Cherokee Nation Awarded Arkansas Gaming License

The Arkansas Racing Commission (ARC) on Thursday (June 27) issued the casino license in Pope County to Cherokee Nation Entertainment.

Earlier this month, the commission decided to proceed with the Cherokee application to build its $300m-plus Legends Casino project after receiving a letter of support from local leaders.

No date has been set for construction to begin but it is expected to take 18 months to complete.

Mississippi-based Gulfside Casino Partnerships also submitted an application that was rejected by commissioners due to it lacking a letter of support from local leaders.

This is the commission’s third attempt at issuing a casino license in Pope County. State courts have voided the previous licenses to Gulfside Casino Partnership and Cherokee Nation Business.

Voters approved Amendment 100 to the Arkansas State Constitution on November 5, 2018, to allow four casinos in the state. Currently, Saracen Casino is operational in Pine Bluff, while casino gaming is also offered at Oaklawn Racing & Gaming in Hot Springs and Southland Gaming & Racing in West Memphis.

Kenya Abandons Controversial Finance Bill, Gambling Tax Increases

Kenya’s President has said he will withdraw the controversial finance bill, which included a raft of tax increases including a host affecting the gambling industry, after mass protests against it led to several deaths and parliament being stormed.

On June 26, President William Ruto said “I concede” as he admitted that people “want nothing” associated with the bill.

Just a day prior, lawmakers voted in favour of the controversial Finance Bill 2024 and the government's amendments to parts of the draft law.

President Ruto had two weeks to sign it into law or send it back to lawmakers with more proposed amendments.

The government was determined to reduce its public debt, which stands at 68 percent of its GDP; however, it now appears to be on a course towards promoting austerity measures on public spending to alleviate the tax burden on citizens.

The bill would have increased the excise duty on gaming, betting and lottery products from 12.5 percent to 20 percent and amended the VAT status of several products currently exempt from tax, including gaming, betting and lottery products. The proposed rate of VAT is 16 percent.

Additionally, the existing excise duty on gambling adverts that currently apply to traditional forms of media, such as television and print, would have been expanded to online adverts, including social media platforms.

Lithuania Approves Gambling Tax Increase

Lithuania’s Seimas, the legislative branch of government, has adopted amendments to the Law on Lotteries and Gambling Tax, which will see the tax rate increase from 20 percent to 22 percent of gross gaming revenue (GGR).

The legal changes will come into force from January 1, 2025.

It is estimated that the change in the tax rate would generate an additional €4.4m annually for the state budget, which the government says will be used to “educate the public about the possible [caused] harm of problem gambling”.

The amendments received preliminary approval a few days before the final approval.

Third Of Indonesian Lawmakers Linked To Online Gambling

Up to one in three Indonesian lawmakers across national and regional electorates is gambling illegally online, the nation’s financial transactions watchdog has alleged in parliament.

The head of the Financial Transactions Reports and Analysis Center (PPATK), Ivan Yustiavandana, told a parliamentary committee on Wednesday (June 26) that more than 1,000 lawmakers and public servants in the national parliament or regional lawmakers have made a total of 63,000 online gambling transactions worth 25bn rupiah ($1.5m).

Yustiavandana did not break down the number of lawmakers by assembly or region, but said the PPATK “will be sending out notifications” to suspected gamblers, the Jakarta Globe reported.

The total number of seats in the House of Representatives and regional legislatures is 2,807, making the proportion of implicated elected officials roughly one in three.

The revelations came with the onset of an internationally coordinated central government crackdown on online gambling, which President Joko Widodo has confirmed includes the formation of a Gambling Eradication Task Force and mass targeting of gambling websites.

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