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Central Government of India Says Blocking Online Gaming Sites Not Technically Feasible

Niji Narayan

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The Central government has told the Delhi High Court that blocking of online gaming sites is technologically infeasible as many states have enacted laws which partially or fully allow such activities.

The government was responding to a Delhi High Court order in an ongoing petition to block online gaming sites in India. The Delhi High Court had urged the central government and the Delhi state government to assess the petitioners’ demands to block gaming sites on the basis of skill or chance.

The petitioners Avinash Mehrotra and Deepti Bhagat had claimed that gaming and gambling websites are encouraging people to spend income on games of chance. It claimed no skill was involved in these games and such sites also allowed revenue to leak out of India since many are based outside the country.

In India, games of skill are those where the element of chance cannot be entirely ruled out, but it is the element of skill on the part of the participants that plays a dominant role in determining the outcome of the game.

While casino and sports gambling is banned in many parts of India, Section 12 of the Public Gambling Act exempts games of skill from the penal provisions against gambling. Startups such as Junglee Games, Dream 11, Funnearn, Ace2Three, RummyCircle, Zynga, Innopark India (Classic Rummy), Loco by PocketAces, MPL, Skill4fun and BrainBaazi among others are active in the games of skill segment in India.

Asia

Kazakh President Signs Amendments to Law on Gambling Industry

Niji Narayan

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Kazakh President Signs Amendments to Law on Gambling Industry
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Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has signed the law “On Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Gambling.” Bookmakers will be moved to Kapshagay and Schuchinsk gambling zones.

Earlier it was reported that the government of Kazakhstan wanted to create three new game zones in the country, however, deputies of the Parliament abandoned this idea and excluded this rule from the draft law. Now all bookmakers will be moved to the two existing gaming zones – Kapshagay and Schuchinsk.

In order to have information about the players, they will create a unified betting centre in the country and the player’s relatives will be able to limit the right to place bets appealing to court. All bets received by the bookmaker in cash or through electronic payment systems should be accounted in a single monitoring centre.

A single accounting of all payments received by the bookmakers will eliminate the shadow turnover, increase tax collection and simplify control. A database of players will contribute to the introduction of universal declaration, the introduction of a procedure for limiting and self-restricting a client from betting and will also strengthen measures to fight money laundering related to crime and the financing of terrorism.

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Asia

Philippines Continues Chasing POGOs Despite Reports of Closures

Niji Narayan

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Philippines Continues Chasing POGOs Despite Reports of Closures
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The Philippine government has said that it will not be easing up on its pursuit of outstanding taxes from Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) despite revelations that some of them had shut down and left the country.

As per reports, two licensed POGO operators and several service providers have closed operations due to stringent tax rules imposed by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and statements from gaming regulator PAGCOR that no POGO would be allowed to resume post-COVID until all liabilities were paid.

PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Andrea Domingo named Suncity Group and Don Tencess Asian Solutions as the two POGOs to have left, although Suncity denied this was the case when contacted by Inside Asian Gaming.

“Suncity Group spares no effort to develop itself as a global integrated VIP entertainment conglomerate. The junket business in Manila is definitely important to us and we can’t find any reason to leave Manila at this particular moment,” the company said.

“In regards to the comment provided by Mdm Andrea Domingo, we think she is referring to telebetting services, which has nothing to do with the junket business that Suncity Group operates in Manila. We will continue to develop our VIP entertainment business in licensed gaming operators in Manila, and provide seamless VIP services to our guests,” Suncity said.

Nevertheless, the authorities insisted that they will continue to crack down on POGOs.

“I think Secretary Dominguez will not budge from the position that they need to pay all their taxes, including the franchise tax,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, referencing Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III.

“Now, although the President has said we need all the resources, all the revenues that we can derive from all, including POGO operations to fund Covid-19 response of the government, I think the bottom line is they have to settle their tax obligations,” Harry Roque said.

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Asia

Booongo expands in Asia with Flow Gaming partnership

George Miller

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Booongo expands in Asia with Flow Gaming partnership
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Company’s slots portfolio made available through platform provider

Slots developer Booongo has strengthened its position in Asia after securing a new partnership with platform provider Flow Gaming.

As part of a content distribution agreement, Booongo will integrate its fast-expanding games portfolio onto Flow Gaming’s platform.

The deal significantly enhances the platform provider’s content offering, with the developer’s top performing games including Tiger Pearls, Great Panda and Aztec Sun all being made available to Flow’s extensive operator network and their players.

Booongo’s games are enjoyed by players across Asia and this latest launch further extends the company’s presence within the territory.

Sebastian Damian, Commercial Director at Booongo, said: “We’re well aware of Flow Gaming’s popularity in the Asian market and signing this deal is an exciting move for Booongo.

“Integrating our games onto the Flow Gaming platform ensures that we take our market presence in Asia to the next level.”

Peter van Tuyl, COO at Flow Gaming, said: “We know the importance of nurturing strategic relationships to enhance our platform offering, which is why we’ve partnered with Booongo.

“Booongo’s games are of a high quality and are appreciated by players across the globe. We’re looking forward to offering the developer’s content to our operator partners over the coming months.”

 

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