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RGA appeals for calm after the appointment of new culture secretary should target “stability”

Niji Ng

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RGA appeals for calm after the appointment of new culture secretary should target “stability”
Photo Credits: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The UK’s Remote Gambling Association (RGA) has urged for a period of calm following the appointment of Jeremy Wright as the new Culture Secretary.

Former Attorney General Wright replaces Matt Hancock, who has appointed as Health Secretary after just six months in the job. He will now lead the department responsible for dealing gambling and sport, with Tracey Crouch remaining Minister for Sport, a post she has held since 2015.

Wright will have to face the heat immediately surrounding the debate about FOBTs – on the reduction of the maximum cap from £100 to £2 “to reduce the risk of gambling-related harm.” The announcement came after the completion of the Triennial Review that has involved government, the Gambling Commission and interested parties from across the gambling industry.

Speaking after Wright’s appointment, Clive Hawkswood, of the RGA, told iGamingBusiness.com: “After the protracted debate around FOBTs and the Triennial review process, I think the wider industry really needs a period of stability, so I’d suggest it could be counter-productive for anyone to rush forward with a shopping list of issues they might like him to consider.”

The Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) told iGamingBusiness.com that it hopes to work with Wright as his department implements the introduction of the FOBT maximum stake reduction, which the group has previously estimated could lead to 4000 shop closures and 21,000 job losses.

The ABB said: “We look forward to working with the new Secretary of State, Jeremy Wright QC, MP to ensure a sustainable and responsible retail betting industry.”

“Betting shops are facing a massive threat as the new maximum stake on gaming machines will result in thousands of shop closures, job losses and significant economic consequences for horse and greyhound racing. It is vital that we work with the Secretary of State and his department to mitigate these impacts where possible and ensure that betting shops remain one of the safest environments in which to gamble in the UK.”

An ABB spokesperson said: “While the implementation timeframe is a matter for the government, an appropriate timeframe would enable staff redeployment where possible, the introduction of voluntary redundancy schemes, the renegotiation of shop leases and the termination of contracts with many local suppliers in an orderly way.

“In addition software changes to the architecture of over 200 games will be made. This process will also require each game to be independently verified.”

“Those shops that survive will continue to provide a safe place to gamble with staff interaction and industry leading responsible gambling measures and to support British sport.”

 

Source: iGamingBusiness.com

Niji has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. Besides reporting industry headlines from all around the globe, Niji is also head of the content management team at Impressions Content Management, based in Kerala, India, which offers writing and editing services to clients around the world.

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Vegas Golden Knights signs deal with William Hill

Niji Ng

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Vegas Golden Knights signs deal with William Hill
Photo Source: ingingitinmotown.com - Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
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World’s leading betting company William Hill and the Las Vegas-based National Hockey League (NHL) franchisee Golden Knights have signed a multiyear partnership. The deal will include in-arena signage and updated league-wide odds displayed on the video board during intermissions at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

This partnership is the first of its kind in North America between a bookmaker and an NHL franchise.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to engage different segments of our fan base and provide a unique fan experience,” Golden Knights president Kerry Bubolz said in a release announcing the deal. “This partnership between a major professional team and a sports book operator is a historic, landmark agreement and we are delighted to be leading the way with William Hill in this space.”

The partnership between sports franchises and bookmakers could be the first of many as more states elect to offer legal sports betting. The NBA recently completed a deal with MGM Resorts, making the company the “official gaming partner of the NBA.”

“We could not be more excited to partner with the Golden Knights,” William Hill CEO Joe Asher said in the release. “William Hill is the leader in the U.S sports betting market and we are proud of the fact that this is the first sponsorship agreement between a sports book and an NHL team in the country.”

Asher said at a recent gaming conference that the U.S. branch of William Hill has been fielding frequent requests from sports franchises asking about partnerships.

The NHL, along with other major U.S. professional leagues, has been an ardent opponent of sports betting, with commissioner Gary Bettman often expressing concerns about how legalised betting would impact the atmosphere in the arenas.

 

Source: ESPN

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Russia arrests over 100 people for running illegal casinos

Niji Ng

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Russia arrests over 100 people for running illegal casinos
Photo Credit: RIA Novosti
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The Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation (SKR), together with the K Department of the FSB and the police, has busted a casino ring that has been engaged in illegal gambling business in Moscow.

“Investigators came to the conclusion that since May 2016 members of this group have been operating casinos outside the specialised gambling zones and used the signs of legal bookmaker office Panorama, which operates under the brands Green Bet, UnionBet and WinLin.”

The police stopped the activity of 15 gaming clubs and casinos, and also conducted more than 80 searches in offices. More than 100 people were arrested, of which 47 are already planned to be charged and imprisoned.

The criminal group had a strict conspiracy, where ordinary members did not know the leaders. The communication was carried out via modern IP telephony and messengers. The roles of the members within the group were clearly distributed, there was a strict hierarchy. Police has also arrested the leader of the criminal community.

According to RBC, the illegal gambling network generated hundreds of millions of rubles every month. Leaders of the group own real estate in prestigious suburbs of Moscow and premium cars. A criminal case was initiated against them in accordance with the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation

 

Source: E-PLAY Online

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Court cancels Pennsylvania’s ban on gambling donations

Niji Ng

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Court cancels Pennsylvania’s ban on gambling donations
Photo Credit: AP
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A federal judge has annulled legislation in Pennsylvania law that banned casino owners and persons who owns stakes in the gambling industry from contributing to political campaigns in the state. The court observed that the legislation is unconstitutional.

In her 31-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Sylvia Rambo said the provision violates constitutional protections over political association. However, Rambo did not close the door on lawmakers reviving a similar ban that is narrower in scope and tailored to the purpose of fighting corruption.

“The court holds only that the ban in its current form goes much further than necessary to achieve its stated purpose of eliminating corruption and the appearance of corruption,” Rambo wrote.

The U.S. Supreme Court, Rambo wrote, has ruled that preventing corruption, or the appearance of corruption, is the only sufficient reason to justify restrictions on political contributions.

So the Legislature, she wrote, could more strictly define who is subject to the ban by limiting its reach to those with close connections to a casino or imposing a limit on the amount of cash contributions. Right now, law acts as a wholesale ban on contributions of any amount, even $1, by people with “even an attenuated connection” to the gambling industry, far exceeding the necessary scope of such a prohibition, Rambo wrote.

The ban applied to people who own a stake in a casino, a slot-machine manufacturer or a casino vendor, as well as non-owner executives and important employees.

The prohibition has largely stood in Pennsylvania since the state legalised commercial casinos in 2004, touted as a major bulwark against gambling industry influence. A spokesman for the state attorney general’s office directed questions to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. A spokesman at the board did not respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit was filed last year by Pasquale Deon, who owns a 2.5 per cent stake in Sands Casino in Bethlehem, according to gaming board records, and Maggie Hardy Magerko, whose family owns the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in southwestern Pennsylvania that is home to Lady Luck Casino.

With 12 casinos operating and a 13th under construction, Pennsylvania is the nation’s No. 2 state for commercial casino gross revenue, second to Nevada. At $1.4 billion in the most recent fiscal year, Pennsylvania rakes in more tax revenue from casino gambling than any other state, according to the American Gaming Association’s figures.

 

Source: AP

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