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Malaysian Budget Increases Gambling Penalties

Niji Narayan

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Malaysian Budget Increases Gambling Penalties
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Malaysia’s Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has announced that the punishments for both gamblers and gambling operators will be increased as part of the country’s 2020 budget. The budget has also set out that the number of four-digit lottery draws per year run by the Number Forecast Operators (NFO) will be reduced from 11 to 8.

It has been found that the maximum penalty for those who gamble illegally will be increased 20-fold from RM5000 to RM100,000. In addition to this, where previously there was no minimum sentence for gambling under the Common Gaming Houses Act of 1953, it will be now carrying out a jail term of no less than six months.

The minimum penalty of RM1m replaces the former minimum penalty of RM5000 for illegal gambling operators. Operating illegal gambling previously carried a maximum penalty of RM50,000, however, no maximum penalty is mentioned in the new budget.

The budget did not detail any changes to the upper limit on prison sentences for online gamblers, however, which is also set at six months for players, or for illegal operators, for whom the maximum sentence is three years.

Asia

Philippines Approves New 5% Tax on Gaming Revenues of POGOs

Niji Narayan

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Philippines Approves New 5% Tax on Gaming Revenues of POGOs
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The Philippines authorities have approved a new 5% tax on the gaming revenues of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs).

The House Committee on Ways and Means passed the measure which sees POGOs classified as resident corporations and therefore subject to an additional 5% franchise tax on top of current tax and fees.

PAGCOR currently collects a 2% franchise tax from licensed offshore operators, generating around Php8 billion in revenue each year, but the 5% tax is expected to push that figure to Php20 billion.

The new measure also allows for all foreign employees of POGOs earning Php600,000 (US$11,850) or more to be taxed 25% on their wages and other allowances, potentially pushing the government’s annual revenue from the POGO industry north of Php45 billion.

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Asia

Macau’s DICJ Conducts iGaming Inspections During MGS 2019

Niji Narayan

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Macau’s DICJ Conducts iGaming Inspections During MGS 2019
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Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) has conducted iGaming inspections during MGS Entertainment Show 2019, as part of an ongoing campaign to ensure exhibitors are not engaging in the display or promotion of consumer-facing iGaming products.

The operation, carried out alongside the Judicial Police and Macao Trade and Investment Promotion Institute (IPIM), involved “various surveillance actions” to check whether exhibitors were promoting illegal online games, the creation of gaming websites or other activities related to illicit gambling.

No such cases were detected, although unspecified irregularities individually committed by some exhibitors were corrected on the spot, the DICJ said. Information leaflets were also distributed to all exhibitors clarifying Macau’s legal provisions.

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Asia

New Wave Esports Announces Strategic Investment in Talon Esports

Niji Narayan

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New Wave Esports Announces Strategic Investment in Talon Esports
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New Wave Esports Corp has announced a strategic investment in Talon Esports Limited (Talon). In addition to the Investment, New Wave will work closely with Talon’s leadership to provide advisory support services to help fuel continued growth.

“We are looking to build on our momentum from 2020 by expanding into additional international gaming titles and further developing our brand through the establishment of our very own creative studio. With the addition of New Wave Esports’ leadership and expertise, we are equipped to continue our aggressive growth and achieve our vision,” Sean Zhang, CEO of Talon Esports said.

“Talon’s proven ability to show revenue growth and thorough execution with no external capital raises to date sets them apart as a strong, leading esports organization. Through the new investment and strategic partnership with Talon Esports we are excited to continue building the next generation of esports as a commitment to executing against our Asian growth strategy we announced in October,” Daniel Mitre, CEO of New Wave Esports said.

Pursuant to the terms of a Subscription Agreement dated November 13, 2019, between New Wave Esports and Talon, the Company has subscribed for 681,818 common shares in the capital of Talon at a price of USD$0.44 per Talon Share, for an aggregate investment amount of USD$300,000.

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