Legislation News of the Week: UKGC Urged to Act on Lottery Tickets, Georgia Reformed Online Casino Licensing

The UKGC has received requests to tighten controls on the lottery ticket sale. The Danish court found an illegal bingo company guilty of a serious violation. BGC does not want the authorities to implement additional gambling taxes. Meanwhile, Georgia approved a new law on online casino licensing. The ASA has dismissed complaints about sports betting ads featuring popular former football players. And New York is ready to support a bill to license online gambling.

UK regulator called to take action on lotto tickets

As the new National Lottery license holder Allwyn prepares to start operations in 2024, many parliamentarians and gambling companies are calling on the UKGC to implement one particular rule about lottery tickets. The fact is that the regulator banned the use of credit cards for bingo halls, casinos, and all online gambling businesses. But at the same time, it made an exception for the National Lottery.

Although lottery games do not promote gambling addiction as other money-wagering activities do, many companies feel that this does not give the UKGC the right to apply double standards in this regard. With this in mind, political activists and businesses are calling on the regulator to ban the purchase of lottery tickets and scratch cards through credit cards in retail stores.

Such an initiative is fair when it comes to standardized control of the gambling market for all. However, its implementation could bring many logistical challenges to retailers already operating in a complex industry.

Unlicensed bingo operator loses court case in Denmark

The Danish Gambling Authority filed a lawsuit against a bingo operator that offered illegal banking and bingo services in Odense and won the case on February 2. The regulator did not name the company that violated the law but stated that its first criminal acts were dated 2019.

The Danish Gambling Monopoly Rules, which are supervised by the local Ministry of Taxation, imply that companies that want to provide customers with bingo and banco games must be licensed. However, the convicted business continued to offer players such gambling activities without proper authorization for several years.

In addition to compensating all legal costs, the discovered infringer will have to pay a €2024 fine.

BGC opposed the introduction of additional gambling taxes

Michael Dugher, who is the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) chief executive, urged the secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport Lucy Frazer to not introduce new taxes on the gambling business.

Frazer received the mentioned position last week under the decree of Rishi Sunak, who has already implemented many personnel changes. Dugher greeted the new secretary with a successful career step and made some appeals to her right away.

First, Dugher asked Frazer to focus on getting the long-awaited white paper on the gambling industry approved as soon as possible. And secondly, she asked the secretary to ignore any initiatives to raise taxes for licensed gambling companies.

Advertising supervisor denied sports betting ad complaints in the UK

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which controls ad space in the UK, has received complaints about sports betting ads featuring Micah Richards and Peter Crouch. Even though these retired footballers are quite popular personalities in the country, the watchdog dismissed the complaints about two TV commercials and one tweet.

While Crouch advertised bookmaker Paddy Power twice in November 2022, Richards was featured in a Sky Bet promotional tweet last October. Both operators have declared that their advertising content is not illegal according to the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the UK Code of Broadcast Advertising (BCAP).

Since Crouch and Richards are retired athletes who played their last matches a few years ago, the ASA argues that their presence in betting ads is not harmful to minors. Instead, both football players are targeting a predominantly adult audience both on their social media and in various commercials.

Georgia plans to tighten online casino licensing

The Georgian government continues to tighten legislative measures that affect the gambling industry, including increasing tax rates and promoting new licensing rules. The current prime minister Irakli Garibashvili has approved the new reform that will allow only Georgia-based casinos to operate licensed online gambling platforms in the country.

This decision by the authorities may leave Iveria, Adjara Group, and Crystallbet as the last companies to provide legal online casino services to Georgians. But instead of questioning the new measures, the government doubled down on them and announced an additional €1.6 million fee for operators who want to work in the iGaming segment.

New York introduces bill to legalize online casinos

According to the bill introduced by New York senator Joseph Addabbo Jr., local gambling companies will be able to obtain licenses for table games, online slots, and games based on interaction with real dealers. Although this 10-year license will cost $2 million, the fee could subsequently increase to $10 million.

The law also proposes to introduce a 30.5% tax that will apply to gross gaming revenue (GGR). The entire amount will be transferred to the fund for the needs of responsible gambling initiatives. If the law is passed, New York will become the seventh US state to legalize online gambling.

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