Digest of legislative initiatives of January 2017
Gambling still remains a matter of concern for many regulators imposing more and more restrictions on this sector of entertainment industry. However, there exist countries where restrictions, limitations, and bans get gradually lifted and gambling is welcomed, as long as it is viewed as a valuable source of financial benefits for the state treasury and local budgets.
Here is a short review of the latest changes in the world of gambling in January kindly provided by the company Slotegrator.
According to IGaming Business information resource, the authorities of the state of Pennsylvania are going to legalize online gambling already in March. The official statement was made by Mario Scavello, the chairman of economic development committee of the said state. The same kind of draft bill has been affirmed by the House of Representatives who are still considering its final approval.
As for Hawaii, its regulators are considering a new draft bill legalizing online gambling too. The norms stated in the draft bill cover all types of gambling, except sports betting. According to the document, gambling business will be monitored by a special regulatory agency called Hawaii Internet Lottery & Gaming Corporation. Companies willing to start businesses in this very area of commercial activities will be obliged to proceed with applications to obtain operating licenses.
From the perspective of various experts, implementation and adoption of the draft bill will enable gamblers to minimize their risks of being deceived by dishonest operators and guarantees them governmental protection and support. The draft bill indicates that gambling is legally permitted only to those who have already reached the age of 18. Money charged as taxes out of gambling will be invested into educational programs.
The parliament of Mongolia is looking forward to making up for shortfall of state budget funds, as long as the country is experiencing a deep economic crisis. One of the legislative initiatives aimed at overcoming such a turmoil implies legalization of the gambling business. This issue has been previously considered by regulators, however, it haven´t been solved yet. The draft bill passed recently to the members of the parliament will allow foreign residents to gamble on the territory of the country. In order to implement the said draft bill, Mongolian authorities have to build gambling facilities in neighboring with Mongolia popular touristic destinations. The priority locations are frontier zones such as borders with Russia and China, as well as areas near the international airport in Ulaanbaatar, being currently under construction. The initiators of this draft bill calculated the projected capital infusion out of gambling to the state budget, which will approximately account 75 – 130 bill. Mongolian tugriks (around $30–50 mill.), however, taking into consideration previous practices, implementation is still up in the air.
The Japanese information resource Shukan Gendai has recently published the results of the official meeting between presidents of Russia Vladimir Putin and prime minister of Japan Shinzō Abe. Heads of both states discussed matters of cooperation in terms of launching a joint project of a casino to be built in a disputable area of Kuril Islands. The details are still negotiated at the highest level. This kind of collaboration potentially means implementation of a program aimed at development of northern areas of Russia and establishing relations with the USA by means of this cooperative Russian-Japanese project.
Members of the Ukrainian parliament have recently discussed matters of transparency in running gambling businesses and taking control over black-market area of this kind commercial of activities. Among the participants of this discussion were representatives of lottery providers, fiscal authorities of Ukraine and a renowned expert Thierry Pujol, the head of Security and Risk Management Committee of the WLA (World Lottery Association). The said guest pointed out the main problematic matters of the gambling sector, such as ludomania, money laundering, manipulated fixed betting. Regulators came up with various decisions to solve these problems, including bans, licensing and governmental monopolization of the gambling market. As a result, it was concluded that bans are rather unsuccessful methods of solving problems, as limitations encourage development of black-market gambling and the state budget will eventually lose billions. What would be the final decision of the Ukrainian legislators is still a matter of time.