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AIGF approaches BJP and Congress for inclusion of online gaming in manifestos

Niji Narayan

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AIGF approaches BJP and Congress for inclusion of online gaming in manifestos
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The All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) has approached the BJP and the Congress for inclusion of central regulation of online gaming in their manifestos.

“It is commendable that the two main political parties have looked at inclusiveness and suggestions from people in their manifestos. We wanted to highlight this critical issue of regulation in the online gaming industry, that has long been ignored but is the need of the hour. Hence, we have sent our suggestions to the respective committees highlighting benefits that will accrue to all stakeholders,” AIGF CEO Roland Landers said.

Gaming is a state subject in India and each state has their own gaming laws. While most of these Acts are archaic in nature, gaming businesses have gone digital over the years and hence a central regulatory framework for the Online Gaming industry is the ideal way forward.

In July, 2018, the 21st Law Commission in its 276th report said, “legalising betting and gambling is not desirable in India in the present scenario. Therefore, the state authorities must ensure enforcement of a complete ban on unlawful betting and gambling.”

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Asia Pioneer Entertainment Terminates Two Lease Agreements

Niji Narayan

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Asia Pioneer Entertainment Terminates Two Lease Agreements
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Asia Pioneer Entertainment (APE), the Macau-based slot machine agent, has terminated two finance lease agreements for the leasing of electronic gaming equipment (EGE). The agreements were terminated after Siam Star Leisure and GLIMEX failed to pay lease rental of around HK$17 million and HK$9 million, respectively.

APE said the group is now expected to write off the HK$26 million finance lease receivables from its 1H20 accounts and has demanded the return of the leased equipment.

Under the terms of the lease agreements, both signed in December 2018, APE has the right to terminate “without the need for any notice or demand” if the lessees fail to make any payment for equipment rental by the due date.

“The Company intends to identify new lessees for the EGE in Macau or other Southeast Asian countries,” APE said.

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Singapore Casinos to Remain Closed Beyond June 1

Niji Narayan

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Singapore Casinos to Remain Closed Beyond June 1
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The gaming venues of Singapore’s Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands are to remain shut beyond June 1, the Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) of Singapore confirmed.

Singapore will see three-quarters of its economy resume normal operations when measures to fight the Covid-19 pandemic are eased from June 2, the government said last week.

“The Ministry of Trade and Industry announced on 19 May the list of businesses which are allowed to resume operations from 2 June 2020 onwards. Casinos are not included within the list,” CRA said.

“The government will further monitor and assess developments in the Covid-19 situation to determine the appropriate timelines for the gradual resumption of more businesses and activities, including the casinos,” it added.

“With the phased approach, we are ready to help our workers go back to work and allow businesses to resume in a safe way,” the government said.

Marina Bay Sands said on its official website that the property “remains closed in support of the Singapore government’s ongoing efforts to combat the Covid-19 situation.”

“We are working closely with the authorities on our reopening schedule, in line with Singapore’s gradual resumption of business activities in phases,” it added.

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Adriano Ho to Take Over as Director of DICJ Next Month

Niji Narayan

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Adriano Ho to Take Over as Director of DICJ Next Month
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Lei Wai Nong, the Secretary for Economy and Finance, has confirmed that Adriano Ho will take over as the Director of Macau’s Gaming of Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) on June 10, replacing Paulo Martins Chan.

Chan will step down on June 9 with Ho to be formally appointed the following day.

Lei said that progress on amendments to Macau’s gaming law, which is set to form the legislative basis for the retendering of gaming concessions, will not be affected by the change of director.

“The authority of making decisions about the gaming law are in the hands of the Chief Executive and the five Secretaries. The DICJ’s job is mostly to execute our decisions and policies,” he said.

Ho is currently a key advisor to the Secretary for Security, Wong Sio Chak, having previously headed the Police Criminal Investigation Department and the Gaming-related and Economic Crimes Investigation Department.

Discussing the appointment with media, Lei expressed his belief that Ho has enough experience in the field of gaming to perform his new role but denied his appointment was intended to strengthen regulations on gaming operators.

“Regulating the gaming industry is a persistent work for the government, it is not future tense. No matter who is the DICJ director, we’ll continue with our regulation as usual to ensure healthy development of the gaming industry,” Lei said.

The Secretary also emphasised that Chan’s departure is a “normal personnel change,” revealing Chan had offered his resignation last year but had been retained for another six months to aid transition – even though his tenure had been extended by a full 12-months until 1 December 2020.

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