G4 supports the 8th European
Gambling Studies & Policy Issues
14 – 17 September 2010
- More than 125 presentations
- Excellent social programme
- Top Academics
- Industry Leaders
For more information on details, please visit www.easg.org
For registration and hotel bookings, please
- Australia -
upholds online gaming ban
government has rejected the call of its gambling policy advisory body to
lift the country’s eight-year-old online gaming ban.
Commission recommended last October that the Australian government repeal
the 2001 Interactive Gambling Act (IGA) to allow operators to offer poker
and casino to Australian residents, subject to a strict consumer protection
Conroy yesterday rejected any such move on behalf of the
Rudd government. “We are not convinced that liberalising online
gaming would have benefits for the Australian community which would
outweigh the risks of an increased incidence of problem gambling,
particularly with the rapid changes in technology," he told the Courier-Mail.
reported as saying the government instead will talk to other nations,
including the US,
“about global regulations.”
The passage of the
IGA made it an offence to provide poker and casino to Australian residents,
leading to an estimated AU$790m being spent on offshore sites in 2008.
Commission reached its recommendation the Australian government should
regulate online gaming after concluding of the current ban under the IGA:
“The long-run consequence of prohibition may be higher problem
gambling risks and a loss of commercial opportunities and tax revenue in
EGR Magazine, 24 June 2010
- Australia -
Pokies venue gets approval for kids’ play area overlooking parents
Children will be able watch their parents gamble
after the regulator gave approval for a pokies venue to build a special
play area with a view of the action.
In what is believed to be a Victorian first, the
children's area at a Beaconsfield
pub will have a direct view into the gaming room.
Anti-gambling groups warned it could promote
problem gambling as it would allow parents to use the children's area as a
babysitter while they play the pokies.
The Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation
has given the Pink Hill Hotel permission for the children's playroom to
"be fully enclosed with soundproof glass so that children are visible
to parents from the gaming
room or bistro".
VCGR executive commissioner Peter Cohen said it
was better to have children inside the venue than being left outside in a
"I am not concerned about children seeing
poker machines because I don't think that's as harmful as ... children
being unsupervised," he said.
"I'm a realist. People will gamble. If they
are going to gamble, I would rather they have their children
Mr Cohen said he was unaware of any other venues
where gamblers could see directly into the children's play area.
The VCGR has no guidelines on how play rooms or
children's amenities are regulated.
Child-free pokies advocate Paul Bendat said the
regulator was out of control.
He also said Gaming Minister Tony Robinson had
reneged on promises to minimise harm to children.
"It's a disgrace. It basically normalises
gambling. Little kids say, 'Look at all the grandmas and grandpas playing
all the pokies in the room'," he said.
Opposition gaming spokesman Michael O'Brien attacked
the Brumby Government for sinking to a new low.
"John Brumby doesn't care if parents can't
hear their children cry as
long as mum and dad keep playing the pokies and making
him money," he said.
Mr O'Brien said the decision flies in the face of
community concern and government research about the danger of exposing
children to gambling.
Cardinia Council last year refused to grant
planning permission to Pink Hill director Robin Daley to build the $8.4
million pokies venue after receiving 122 objections from the local
community. The council also opposed the VCGR licence for 60 poker machines.
The council said the proposed venue, due to open
in 2012, did not comply with its policy on responsible gambling practices,
location, impact on the community and the number of machines.
The council and the local community have not given
up the fight with a VCAT hearing into the planning application to be held
Mr Robinson was last night seeking further advice
from the VCGR.
Herald Sun, 28 July 2010
- Canada -
In B.C., gamblers are welcome by Lottery Corporation until they win
I can see why Mike Lee is unhappy.
Back in 2007, the Vancouver
Island man knew he had a gambling problem. He was losing too
much money and couldn't stop.
So he signed up for B.C. Lottery Corp.'s voluntary
self-exclusion program. That's supposed to bar you from bingo halls and
casinos and online betting. Staff will be on the alert to keep you out, the
corporation says, and you can be fined up to $5,000 for breaking the agreement.
And, the current rules say, you can't keep your
winnings if you go back into a casino and beat the odds.
But Lee says he was able to keep on gambling,
winning sometimes but mostly losing. B.C. Lottery didn't keep up its end of
the bargain when it came to preventing him from gambling.
Until January, when he won $42,500 in a video
lottery terminal at Duncan's
mini-casino. Sorry, the casino said.
You're on the self-exclusion list and you don't
get the money. It will subsidize B.C. Lottery's harm-reduction programs.
Lee's lawyer is fighting the decision. Partly,
it's a technical question of whether Lee ever agreed to forfeit any
But on a more basic level, the issue is fairness.
Despite all the talk about helping gamblers save
themselves, B.C. Lottery didn't enforce Lee's exclusion when he was losing
money and increasing its profits.
Only when he won did the Crown corporation and its
agents leap into action.
You could write this off as an aberration, a
one-off. Except the self-exclusion program has been around for 11 years.
And so far, not one fine has been levied against a
gambler for sneaking into casinos.
Another gambler is suing over the self-exclusion
program: Joyce May Ross.
She too registered to be barred from betting in
2007. Since then, she has lost $331,000. There was no serious effort to
stop her from gambling, she alleges.
Casino staff knew she was a participant in the
self-exclusion program, but didn't stop her from gambling, she claims.
It does suggest a double standard. The program
isn't great at
catching gamblers -- until they win.
The notion of protecting addicted people from
their illness is appealing. (This has to be an illness. Imagine someone who
can think of no way to stop gambling and losing except by making a public
declaration and being barred.)
But the reality, in B.C., is flimsy.
Casino employees are supposed to memorize 6,600
pictures of British Columbians who have asked to be kept out of casinos and
then confront them.
They're filed in big binders. (Ontario is considering cameras and
facial recognition technology to help. It is facing a proposed $3.5-billion
class action lawsuit on behalf of addicted gamblers who claim they asked to
be barred, but were allowed to keep losing.)
B.C. gambling establishments turned away people on
the list about 8,200 times last year, according to a Vancouver Province
review of the issue.
They kept 102 people on the exclusion list from
claiming a jackpot.
But is that good? When people put themselves on
the list, they are acknowledging they no longer can control their gambling
addictions. They need someone to stand at the door of the bingo hall or
casino and say you can't come in.
If there are 6,600 of them, and they each test the
safeguards every couple of weeks, then the program is catching about five
per cent of people who have asked to be barred.
Rich Coleman, the minister responsible for
increasing gambling, reducing harm and limiting gambling-related crime,
acknowledges the program has problems.
But the addicted gamblers have to take
responsibility too, he says.
Except that's why it's called an addiction -- they
can't stop. And that's why they sign up for the self-exclusion program.
It's depressing. The government knows that for
every 1,000 new gamblers, some 40 will have problems. Their lives will be
worse -- often a lot worse.
But it still is setting out to recruit about
240,000 new gamblers per year.
Footnote: Meanwhile, the government's online
gambling site remains closed until further notice after the botched launch,
privacy violations and less-than-honest communication.
The shutdown is costing the B.C. Lottery Corp.
about $800,000 a week. But it's saving gamblers money.
Times Colonist, 4 August 2010
- China -
China to implement
regulations to govern internet gambling industry in China
China’s first regulation that will govern the
booming market of internet
gambling will take effect on Sunday, which has been
implemented to allegedly protect children from unwholesome content and
Internet addiction, state-run media announced on Saturday.
The regulation, which was issued by the Chinese
Ministry of Culture on June 22, legislates that online games targeting
minors must be free of content that can lead to the imitation of behavior
that violates social morals and the law. However, it’s not entirely
clear exactly what content would be behavior that violates social morals.
The law also requires that gaming companies
develop techniques that limit the gaming time of minors to prevent
addiction, though; the regulation did not specify the techniques and the
permissible gaming time. The issue drew international attention last year
following a series of deaths at boot camps for “Internet addicted
This will require web players to have to register
using their real names before playing any games online, according to the
online population reached 420 million by June 2010, according to
information from China
The market value of the online gambling industry in China was estimated to be
almost $3.8 billion in 2009.
A separate set of regulations will be enacted on
Sunday as well, which would stipulate that health care institutions would
face punishment for withholding certain information to patients and the
BNO News, 31 July 2010
- France -
The embarrassing departure of the French football
team during the World Cup in South Africa has provided the
American multi-millionaire, Warren Buffett, with a windfall of 30 million
In March, he told American business network CNBC,
the insurance department of his investment funds, Berkshire Hathaway, had
sold an insurance policy to an anonymous client who had to pay 30 million
dollars if the French would win the World Cup.
After the French lost against South Africa,
2-1, and so already lost in the first round of the World Cup, Buffett is
allowed to keep the money in his own pocket. Moreover, he shall more than
likely get a considerable part of the
“I think we will lose around 30 million
dollars if France
wins” said the 79 year old Buffet in the Spring time on tv.
The anonymous client was possibly the French
warehouse Carrefour, which is the largest in Europe.
During the running up to the World Cup they were busy with a promotion
French people who bought flat screen tv’s
with the label Panasonic, LG or Sony, would receive their money back when
the French would win the World Cup.
If ‘les bleus’ would at least get to
the finals, they would receive half back from Carrefour.
Parool, 26 June 2010
Fahrenkopf lectures Asian regulators on need for
Frank Fahrenkopf, president and CEO of American
Gaming Association (AGA), scolded Asian gaming regulators for not paying
enough attention to "responsible gaming," in a talk show
interview on Monday.
"In our view," said Fahrenkopf, "Asia has not paid enough attention to what we call
responsible gaming." He credited the success of the Macau casino
industry as "probably the reason why there is no much interest
However, he warned, "the jurisdiction has a
duty to do whatever it can to help the people who can’t gamble
responsibly. Pretty much around the world, about one percent of the
population will have trouble adjusting to gaming."
He called that one percent "pathological
gamblers," and noted that they ":will lose all their money."
With families involved, Fahrenkopf said, "they may commit a crime, and
that presents problems."
According to the Macau Daily Times, which reported
on the interview, Fahrenkopf made his remarks to the talk show TDM during
the 2010 Global Gaming Expo Asia (G2EAsia).
Gaming Today, 14 June 2010
- Malta -
Blow to Malta
as ECJ upholds ban on gambling websites advertising
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) today upheld a
Swedish ban on the advertising of gambling websites hosted in other EU
member states, including Malta.
The court said such a ban was legal as long as the penalties are
the same as for the organisers of illegal gambling within the country.
The case is being considered as ground-breaking
because it effectively allows a national government to stop its citizens
advertising services which are legal in other EU states but illegal at
home, as long
as it can prove that this is in the public interest.
Swedish law bans the organisation of gambling for
profit. The only groups which are allowed to run betting in the country are
those which use the money for "socially beneficial objectives."
But in 2003 and 2004, Swedish papers Expressen and Aftonbladet advertised
online betting on four commercial websites in Britain
The Swedish government therefore fined the chief editor and publisher of
the papers, Otto Sjoberg and Anders Gerdin, 50,000 crowns (roughly 6,500
Both men appealed against the fines, and the
Swedish appeals court asked the ECJ whether the Swedish law was in line
with EU rulings.
In a statement, European Lotteries, a grouping
which represents state lotteries and opposes cross-border online gambling, welcomed
the ECJ decision describing it as "another serious blow to the
commercial online gambling industry."
Malta and the UK currently host the majority
of online gaming operators in the EU.
9 July 2010
- The Netherlands
Dutch rule that Poker is a game of skill
In a case that will certainly change the course of
poker in the Netherlands,
a Hague court has ruled in favor of the argument that poker is a game of
skill. This new classification means that the game is treated in a totally
different light when it comes to legal matters, and brings with it
significant changes for players seeking to enjoy quality poker
entertainment in different venues.
Games in the Netherlands are essentially
divided into two categories – games of chance and games of skill. As
such, games of chance such as slots are legal up to a certain level,
meaning that they can only be played in state run casinos. For games of
skill, however, it is a whole different ball game and these are not subject
to such stringent legislation as games of chance are.
The new ruling means that poker has now been
deemed a game of skill and as such, the game receives different legal
status. For one, it is not necessary for players to go to state run casinos
to enjoy a game of poker, since is no longer considered a game of chance.
Instead, Dutch poker players will be able to enjoy poker at different
venues such as poker rooms, tournaments and others – the options are
The defense argued that “poker has become a
different game, depending on tactics, experience and psychology.” The
ruling judge clearly agreed with this argument and, as stated, granted
poker the status as game of skill.
As such, the organizers of poker tournaments are
not allowed to be prosecuted for breaking gambling laws in the country said
This is not the first country where poker has had
its classification status changed. Sweden ruled in the same vein
last year, however a Swiss judge recently decided that poker is a game of
Poker, 8 July 2010
- United Kingdom
Gambling addict ‘ashamed’ after stealing from mother
A GAMBLER, who stole thousands of pounds from his
sick mother to feed his addiction, thanked the judge who sent him to
Maxwell Bristow took out credit cards in his mother Beryl's name and drew
out up to £1,200 a night on them to use in casinos.
The 50-year-old also gambled away the Alzheimer's sufferer's pension, which
had been earmarked to pay for her residential care.
As he was jailed for two years at Derby Crown Court, Bristow stood in the
dock, arms clasped behind his back, nodding along to Judge Amjad Nawaz's
comments, before saying: "Thank you sir", when his sentence was
Judge Nawaz said the defendant's 79-year-old mother, who has since died,
showed him "nothing but kindness" and Bristow had committed a
"significant" breach of her trust.
Jeremy Janes, prosecuting, told the court that in 2006, Bristow had moved
in with his mother at her home in Ashlea
Drive, Mayfield, near Ashbourne.
He said Bristow was her principal carer.
He said: "Because of his long-standing gambling addiction, he started
stealing from his mother.
"Not being a very good gambler, he got deeper into debt."
Mr Janes said Bristow took out three credit cards in joint names between
him and his mother, forging her signature.
He said: "He was maintaining payments on the cards by taking out
another card with 0% interest and using that to clear the balance."
In February 2009, his mother was moved into a residential home.
Mr Janes said Bristow saved his mother's pension and took £1,700 to
the home to pay the care fees but he was turned away because they did not
accept cash. Bristow then gambled that money away.
In July last year, Bristow's sister intercepted his mail and realised the
home fees had not been paid. Police arrested him and the court heard that
he told officers: "Max has a little bit of a gambling problem."
He pleaded guilty to two counts of theft, two of making false instruments
and one of dishonestly making false representations.
In mitigation, Martin
Smith said: "He did not dare to go to his mother's
funeral. He knows he has alienated his family. He knows he has no one else
to turn to because of his actions. He has said he is ashamed."
Telegraph, 14 June 2010