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Goa set to restrict the right of locals to gamble at casinos next year

George Miller

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Goa set to restrict the right of locals to gamble at casinos next year
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There are set to be rather dramatic changes in the Indian state of Goa next year, following an announcement that only tourists are set to be able to gamble in the state’s casinos.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said over the weekend that government is aiming to restrict locals on account of gambling ruining the society.

Opposition parties and civil society organisations have long called for a ban on local gambling at Goa’s casinos, and the move doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Speaking on the ban, Parrikar stated: “as a policy, Goans will not be permitted to enter the casino’s playing areas and only visiting tourists shall be permitted”.

It is not yet clear just how the new policy will be implemented, but the ban looks set to get into full swing next year, with January being mooted as the starting point for the new laws to come into effect. The chief minister announced that many of Panaji’s offshore (floating) casino would be moved out of the region, and no new ones would be permitted to take their place.

The Government of Goa is likely to move the casinos on to new zones, with any further licenses for those casino owners being determined by whether or not they express a willingness to move on within a year’s time. Business is set to be reduced by as much as 50% following the change in the law, according to Kundan Shetye, one of the onshore casino owners.

The move to ban gambling for locals comes after many years of fighting the gambling industry in Goa. The ruling BJP party has had designs on ending the right of locals to gamble since they were in opposition back in 2007. After coming to power in 2012, they were even accused of working with the casino industry before the passing of the most recent bill.

As well as the shift to offshore areas, new licenses are set to cost more than ever before, with a massive hike in fees. Floating offshore casinos may be furious that they are being pushed on elsewhere, but the move is most likely to damage the land-based casinos which operate out of hotels and resorts the most. They are unable to be “moved on” and will be banned from offering their services to locals. As a result, only tourists will be permitted to play in such venues. With Goa’s tourist industry in decline, there is a genuine possibility that such casinos would be unable to survive.

Land-based casinos are trying to force the local government into organising a gaming commission, which would be able regulate the industry better and thus make it safer, avoiding the need for the ban. Thus far, they have not had much luck. Many of the land- based casino owners insist that they wouldn’t mind paying more substantial fees for licenses if the array of games they could offer (such as live table games) was increased told us Live Casino Reports India. All efforts to break the impasse and find another way around the ban have thus far either been rejected or fallen by the wayside due to other means.

At the time of writing, it certainly doesn’t seem as though the land-based and floating casinos in Goa are going to be able to overturn the government’s decision. Local players in Goa are going to have to get used to not being able to play casino games, and while many gamblers may follow the floating casinos elsewhere, those players who relied on land- based casinos to offer their services are well and truly stuck.

Asia

Cambodian Cabinet Passes Casino Regulation

Niji Narayan

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Cambodian Cabinet Passes Casino Regulation
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Cambodia’s cabinet has approved the draft law on commercial gaming management, according to reports in the Phnom Penh Post.

The law “focuses on ensuring integrated commercial gambling that contributes to economic growth, tourism promotion, job creation, and revenue generation,” the report said, citing a press release from the Council of Ministers.

It calls for strict casino sector management and measures to protect against money laundering and terrorism financing.

The report gave little information on the details of the bill, except to confirm that locals will not be permitted to gamble and there will be no further licenses issued within 200km of the capital, where NagaCorp has a monopoly.

The report cited government spokesman Phay Siphan as saying that money laundering and terrorism financing concerns are addressed through cooperation with relevant casino partners.

The gambling law has been in the works for nine years.

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Asia

AESF Partners with Coventry University UK

Niji Narayan

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AESF Partners with Coventry University UK
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The Asian Electronic Sports Federation (AESF) has signed an official memorandum which sees them officially collaborating and working together with Coventry University.

Following a meeting with representatives from Coventry University, both parties have agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This MOU focuses on four vital aspects, which include a series of planned Webinars, as well as industry research collaboration on topics of interests and Esports governance.

“I would like to celebrate this close relationship we are forming with Coventry University, one of the UK’s most esteemed educational institutions. Not only does it benefit the AESF and our member associations, but it also opens the doors to many more potential partnerships from academia going forward,” Kenneth Fok, president of AESF, said.

“This will not only be beneficial to our athletes but also various stakeholders in this industry. We look forward to supporting our Esports community as well as future talents for their growth and further development in collaboration with Coventry University,” He added.

The AESF and Coventry University will also be looking to create more student experiences, including potential internship programmes and the production of case studies on Esports. The meeting between both parties discussed more opportunities for course development, which includes introductory sessions on Esports and support in the development of course topics for the curriculum.

“Coventry University’s expertise in sports management and business studies will help further support our Member Associations, players, and officials in developing content around the education of Esports. This collaboration not only signifies AESF’s continuous effort in supporting this industry, but it also reflects Coventry University’s dedication and commitment to adapting and keeping up with the times,” Sebastian Lau, Director General of AESF, said.

“We are delighted to have reached this key milestone in developing this crucial partnership for the university. We understand the importance of esports globally and in Asia particularly and are delighted at the opportunity to work with the AESF to support the athletes, players, officials and associations who make up this vibrant community as it continues its rapid growth and innovation,” David Pilsbury, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Coventry University, said.

“We are proud to lay down the foundation of a long-lasting partnership with the AESF, that offers tremendous opportunities in terms of students’ experience. This agreement will also foster the development of impactful, multi-disciplinary research on this fast-changing and growing sector,” Simon Gérard, Course Director, MSc Sport Management, said.

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Asia

Vietnam Police Bust $859 Million Online Gambling Ring

Niji Narayan

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Vietnam Police Bust $859 Million Online Gambling Ring
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Vietnam Police have busted an online gambling ring worth$859 million in northern Hung Yen Province, leading to 20 arrests.

Police seized several mobile phones, computers, SIM cards and around VND2 billion ($85,963) in cash as evidence. Authorities also froze over 100 bank accounts involved in the case.

The ring, operating millions of accounts since 2018, is the largest in Hung Yen yet uncovered, provincial police said.

Among the arrests, Le Tuan Vinh, 32, Tran Thi Ngan, 30, Hoang Van Tan, 32 and Hoang Van Nham, 28, are considered the masterminds.

The four masterminds managed five level-one agencies via five different gambling websites, with its server located outside Vietnam.

Each website would have around 20 level-one agencies assigned to it and each level-one agency would have dozens of level-two agencies below, all spread across the country.

These agencies display gamblers’ personal info like phone numbers or social media accounts publicly, so that players can get in touch with each other and perform transactions. The investigation is ongoing.

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