ONLINE SPORTS BETTING TO BE REVIEWED IN NEW ZEALAND
2015-04-16

The New Zealand government has expressed concerns about the activities of offshore online sports betting operators and has tasked a new working group with a review of the situation, perhaps as a prelude to a crackdown.

The New Zealand Herald reports that Racing Minister Nathan Guy, concerned that online sports betting may be depriving the local racing industry of critical income by competing with the TAB monopoly, thus denying the government potential tax revenues, has named former National MP Chris Tremain as the chairman of the working group.

Tremain was Minister of Internal Affairs until he left Parliament last year.

The membership of the working group appears to be weighted toward racing, with no sports betting nominees. Other members include Racing Board chief executive John Allen, Sport New Zealand chair Sir Paul Collins, Thoroughbred New Zealand representative Greg McCarthy and two Internal Affairs officials.

Minister Guy said this week that the TAB monopoly on racing and sports betting required the Racing Board to distribute profits back into the racing industry.

This was being undercut by increased use of online betting with overseas agencies, especially in Australia.

"This means offshore organisations make money on New Zealand racing and sports without paying their fair share of tax, or making contributions back to the racing industry or sporting organisations that make the betting possible in the first place," he said.

The minister noted that online sports betting was a growing trend internationally, and that other countries had introduced regulatory regimes.

The racing industry has raised concerns at the impact of online sports betting, claiming that it undermines both investment and employment prospects in the industry.

The review will determine to what extent New Zealand punters use online sports betting, and will examine claims that offshore operators are not subject to the same stringent responsible gambling rules as those complied with by the TAB, leading to an increased risk of under-age or problem gambling.

The working group is required to submit its recommendations to government by September this year.




MANITOBAS NOVELTY BETTING PIQUES INTEREST
2015-02-23

BC Lotteries Corps online Play Now website is getting a fair amount of U.S. media attention with its recently introduced novelty b Apuestas UFC etting offer in Manitoba and British Columbia.

"It's meant to capitalize and bring that entertainment factor to more casual people that wouldn't normally wager on something like a regular sports bet," Chris Fairclough, senior communications officer with B.C. Lotteries Corp. told the Winnipeg Free Press.

Fairclough spoke about B.C. Lotteries Corps regulated offer as opposed to punters placing bets on unlicensed operators websites saying: These are sites that aren't legal in Canada but people play on them anyway. Instead of going the prohibition route and trying to shut all those places down, we're offering a product that is safe and secure and gives back to the people and repatriates the money. So if you are placing this type of wager, you're doing so in a safe, secure environment.

"Would you rather your money go back to paying for education and health care or would you rather it go to pay for someone's yacht in the Caribbean? We'll leave that to the players to decide."



BELGIAN ONLINE GAMBLING OPERATOR ABOUT TO CHANGE HANDS
2015-01-08

Dutch media are reporting the imminent sale of Mieke Michiels' Belgian-licensed Napoleon Gaming land and online gambling group to Apuestas UFC fashion motorcycle boots Waterland, a Dutch private equity company, for an unknown consideration.

Napoleon brands include the land Casino Knokke, through which the company obtained an internet gambling licence in the hard-nosed Belgian online gambling market.

Michiels' online interests embrace casino and sportsbetting operations, and the company sponsors AA Ghent, a Belgian football club, along with the Sunweb professional cycling team.

The transaction is timely, with the Dutch government gearing up for liberalised online gambling regulation later this year (see previous InfoPowa reports).

Through the deal Waterland, which additionally holds gambling assets in Germany and the Netherlands, also gains the rights to operate 23 gambling venues across Belgium.



ANOTHER U.S. DEAL FOR SPORTECH RACING AND DIGITAL
2014-08-07

The Hawthorne Race Course in Illinois has become the latest US company to sign up for Sportech Racing and Digital's range of onlin Apuestas UFC fashion motorcycle boots Handmade Costa Rica e and land-based betting products.

Sportech Racing and Digital is the American subsidiary of the UK-listed gambling group Sportech plc.

The new deal will see SRD providing Hawthorne with totalisator and related services over a ten-year period, along with a full suite of digital and land-based betting products that include the G4 internet wagering solution, Digital Link mobile suite, and the new Sportech Kiosk a self-service account set-up, funding and cashing product.

Hawthorne Race Course has a positive ten-year history with SRD and remains impressed by the innovative technologies the company continues to make available, said president and general manager Tim Carey.

We look to expand distribution of our account wagering services with the new Sportech Kiosk, and to deliver a better wagering experience for our players with the Digital Link mobile suite and the next generation self-service terminals, he said Wednesday.



PREACHING TO THE CONVERTED
2014-07-21

Britain's Responsible Gambling Trust has confirmed in its latest survey that there is wide consensus among online and land gambling operators on the priorities for self- exclusion as a harm minimisation tool.

The study identified specific elements in self-exclusion which are already familiar to most online operators, namely:

* Self-exclusion applications should be irrevocable during the period set (usually a minimum of six months);

* Information-sharing among operators and suppliers could be improved;

* Relevant training for front-line managers and staff is essential;

* Precautions must be taken to avoid marketing to individuals who have self-excluded.

RGT chief executive Marc Etches notes that technology will help to enforce self-exclusion in the future.

This project shows that the gambling industry has the appetite to look at itself and ask what more it can do to improve the way it looks after problem gamblers," he said.

"The industry now needs to develop the technology needed to enforce self-exclusion, look into what legal restrictions there may be, and better understand the most effective methods of self-exclusion.

"We have identified these areas as research priorities and it is for the gambling industry to show their continued commitment by implementing the highest standards in their respective codes of conduct.