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Compliance Updates

UKGC Extends Consultation on Gaming Research

Niji Narayan

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UKGC Extends Consultation on Gaming Research
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The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has extended its consultation on proposed changes to the methodologies it uses to measure gambling participation and the prevalence of problem gambling.

The consultation was due to close on February 12 but the deadline has been put back to February 26 to allow more people to submit views for what the Gambling Commission says will be a critical area in the UK government’s review of gambling legislation this year.

The regulator was instructed to review its research methodologies to ensure that both the government and health services have access to the most accurate data on gambling participation and factors that influence problem gambling.

Select committees led by Lord Grade and Lord Foster had commented on an urgent need for reliable facts on problem gambling statistics for the government’s review of gambling legislation.

The commission is also conducting consultations on affordability measures, safer gambling interactions and additional care duties and controls for operators.

Asia

Kerala Government Bans Online Rummy

Niji Narayan

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Kerala Government Bans Online Rummy
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The Government of Kerala has amended the Kerala Gaming Act 1960 and declared online rummy as illegal. The ban will come into force with immediate effect.

The decision comes after the Kerala High Court directive that had urged the state government to take measures against the online rummy business. During the February 15 hearing, the Kerala High Court was told about the online rummy menace. A Public Interest Litigation filed by movie director Pauly Vadakkan had sought action against such sites that hosted the online rummy games. The director in his plea had said that the online rummy gaming business was ruining the youth of the state. The plea had also mentioned a suicide by a young man after he lost a considerable amount due to his habit of playing online rummy.

Kerala is not the first state in India that has banned online rummy. Earlier, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have also amended existing laws or brought rules to declare online rummy gaming as illegal.

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Compliance Updates

Ukraine Sets Flat 10% Tax Rate for all Forms of Gambling

Niji Narayan

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Ukraine Sets Flat 10% Tax Rate for all Forms of Gambling
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Ukraine’s Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy has approved a 10% tax rate for all forms of gambling.

The committee considered bill 2713-d, put forward by committee chair Oleg Marusyak, to complement the Gambling Act that legalised various forms of gambling in Ukraine and was signed into law in August 2020.

This bill initially proposed a 5% GGR tax on bookmaking, 10% for online gambling and for lotteries and 12.5% for slot machines. However, the committee opted for a single rate on all verticals instead.

In addition, gambling winnings of more than eight months’ minimum wage (currently UAH48,000) will be taxed as income.

The country’s Gambling Act had also previously required that online betting and gaming licence fees start out three times higher than normal, and would only be lowered once an online player monitoring system is put in place. However, the new tax bill abolishes that requirement.

The Rada will still have to approve the new tax bill, after which it may be signed into law.

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Compliance Updates

Merkur Gaming Signs MoU with Ukraine’s Gambling and Lotteries Regulation Commission

Niji Narayan

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Merkur Gaming Signs MoU with Ukraine’s Gambling and Lotteries Regulation Commission
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Merkur Gaming has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ukraine’s gaming regulatory body, the Gambling and Lotteries Regulation Commission.

The signing of MoU between Ukraine’s Expert Advisory Council of Gambling and Lotteries Regulation Commission (EAC GRLC) and adp Gauselmann GmbH (Merkur) allows Merkur to bring its more than 60 years of experience and achievement in both manufacturing and operations in gaming to help and assist Ukraine in its creation of a strong, socially responsible, and well-regulated gaming industry within its borders.

Athanasios ‘Sakis’ Isaakidis, Chief Executive, International at Merkur Gaming, said: “This is truly an exciting time and a great opportunity. Coming as it does in the current pandemic climate of Covid-19, the news from the Ukraine is inspiring for us and for the entire gaming industry. Historically, difficult times have always also created opportunities and that is clearly the case here. Merkur Gaming is absolutely committed to bringing its huge experience – as both a manufacturer and as a successful operator – to work alongside the authorities in creating a new market opportunity that will create many new jobs, create new wealth and which will be, by law, a socially responsible gaming environment within the Ukraine.

“The overwhelming feeling, the aura as we call it, is already hugely positive and that will increase as actual operations are seen to open up. There are still many challenges to be addressed but we look forward to assisting in the process of those challenges being met. As has been said many times, to make the best result from new opportunities it is necessary to always be in the right place and at the right time. Merkur Gaming is achieving that and will continue to do so in the future as we actively co-operate in making Ukraine’s new gaming future become a resounding success.”

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