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23.05.2019

Ohio Sports Betting Possible Delay

Ohio is coming very close to legalising sports betting, but the law hasn’t quite passed yet and there’s the possibility of disputes on the horizon. Unfortunately, this last hurdle is where Ohio is seeming to be stuck at, with lawmakers unable to reach an agreement on several points – running the risk that sports gambling might not become legal before the end of the year.

The General Assembly is torn between two options, Bill 194 (HBH 194) proposed by the House and Bill 111 (SB 111) by the Senate. The two bills have many similarities and merits, but they differ on a number of points with a major standpoint being who will regulate the sports betting industry.

The House bill has stated that the Ohio Lottery Commission would regulate the industry, containing as many as 1,000 sportsbooks across the state. Whereas the Senate bill would want the activity to be controlled by the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC). Arguing that the commission has the experience required to control the activity but would be restricted to sports betting taking place in one of the 11 casinos and racinos licensed in the state.

SB 111 proposes to have mobile sports betting websites tied in with the licensed casinos, but being limited to the 11 facilities in the state will more than likely sway the vote towards the House’s version of the Bill.

As for the pricing, the House stated that the initial licensing fee would be $100,000 with
an annual renewal fee of an equal amount. Whereas the Senate would charge an initial $10,000 fee with renewal being due after 5 years costing operators $100,000.

There’s plenty of time for the differences to be worked out, with the Ohio General Assembly being in session until the end of December, but the differences in the Bills will hinder the chance of sports betting legalisation from progressing sooner rather than later.


21.05.2019

UK Gambling Commission Fines Casino Operators £4.5 Million



The UK’s gambling regulator has struck four of their licensees with fines that total £4.5 million. The fines were in response to the operators having a lack of attention to anti-money laundering processes, customer due diligence and social responsibility obligations.

After some time spent looking into the vast majority of the casino operators who hold a UKGC licence, the regulatory body found four offenders, including InTouch Games Ltd (£2.2 million), Betit Operations Ltd (£1.4 million), MT Secure Trade (£700,000) and BestBet (£231,000).

InTouch, which operates mFortune, PocketWin and Mr Spin, took little interest in finding where their customer’s funding was coming from – this is something the UKGC has been investigating since April of 2018. InTouch was found to have their financial triggers too high to flag warnings when players were depositing and withdrawing large amounts, resulting in concerns that money laundering
may be happening under the radar.

Similarly, Betit was found to have very little money laundering risk assessments in place, with the small amount being insufficient to meet the license requirements. One of their customers deposited around £67,000 – which caused no red flag to be triggered, resulting in the operator not investigating the source of these funds. Another example was when a different customer deposited over £100,000 in a 24 hour period, despite having two cards declined.

The UKGC has repeatedly shown that they are losing their patience with operators who are failing to stick to the rules and increased fines have been warned for future offenders. Last year, they reportedly charged over £27 million in penalties and given that they are carrying out even more investigations this year, they are expecting to surpass that figure.


20.05.2019

Gambler Takes Chance on Tiger Woods to Win $10 Million



It’s not in distant memory, that the one and only Tiger Woods has made a comeback to his decorated career by winning the PGA Championship. A William Hill gambler spent his time biting his nails as he had $85,000 on the line after an against the odds bet on the, 14 year dry, golfer. James Adducci, the gambler managed to bank himself $1.19 million, after being given the odds of 14-1.

Adducci explained that “A month before is when I knew I was going to do it. I had been thinking a lot about this. I watched Tiger’s performance at the Tour Championship, and things seemed to be going his way. I looked at how well he did there, and some other factors you can’t put stats behind. It wasn’t about the stats for me. The fact that this was going to be his first major in front of his kids, I was convinced he would win.”

Darren Rovell of the Action Network drew attention to the fact that Adducci had the second highest earnings based on the event, banking around $250,000 more than the 2nd place golfer Xander Schauffele. The Direct of Trading at William Hill stated that
“It’s great to see Tiger back. It’s a painful day for William Hill—our biggest loss ever—but a great day for golf.”

James Adducci hasn’t stopped there, investing some of his winnings into an even bigger wager. He believes that Tiger is going to sweep the next three majors, he would be hitting the record of four golf majors won in a single year. He has already travelled to SLS Las Vegas to place his $100,000 bet with 100-to-1 odds. Stating that “Tiger has history winning at Bethpage, and he won at Pebble, by the biggest margin in history. This is a very unique situation.”


18.05.2019

Norway Updates Payment Processing Laws



Norway is preparing to slightly change their regulatory scheme, with elements to improve payment transactions. The Norwegian government announced the new measures that will change the processing rules and will prevent gambling operators from offering unauthorised gambling services.

Outlined in the new scheme was the fact that there is an existing ban on payments both to and from unlicensed operators. The new additions stating that this ban extends to companies in charge of payments on behalf of unlicensed operators – as many companies used this as a loophole.

Trine Skei Grande, Minister of Culture and Gender Equality said that
- “The changes will help make it less attractive to play on foreign gaming sites without Norwegian permission. The unregulated players offer games with a higher risk of gambling addiction.”

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