Archive for the ‘online wagering’ Category

Online Gambling Grows in Philippines, but is it on Steady Ground?

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s shocking reversal on his crack-down against online gambling in favor of a much more lenient regulation and taxation policy, makes one wonder that if there was a way for him to make legal money off of meth-addicted drug addicts, his “values” driven killing spree would screech to a halt.

The shift from last summer, when Duterte seemed willing to lump online gaming business owners into the same pile as the rest of the “enemies of the state” he’s targeted, to now when he spoke recently about how the best course of action was to “tax them” rather “than fight them” has been astounding and has cemented his reputation for being unpredictable.

Many argue that it was not because “you can’t stop them”, as Duterte stated, but because he realized what a financial blow it would be if he continued on his tirade against the online gambling industry within the Philippines. Not only that, but President Duterte has seemed to lock in on the potential to grow the industry even more in the area of regulating online casinos that only cater to non-Filipinos. In a single year the Philippines has registered and licensed 45 such online gambling companies and collected $58 million in taxes. This is at a rate of ten percent what the industry accumulates in revenue.

Even the Filipino real estate industry has received a boon due to President Duterte’s change of heart. In the first half of the year, online casino companies accounted for 30% of the office space being rented in Manila during that time, and in the second half that percentage doubled to 60% of all the new leases being signed. And it is reported that this year many developers will have rented 90 percent of their stock, which in turn, has begun to see an uptick in residential properties sales as well.

Even the Philippine stock market has seemed to buoy with the burgeoning of this newly “in favor” industry. But as many in the online gaming industry can attest, markets and governing bodies can be fickle and Duterte has already proven his volatility. The rug could easily be pulled out from beneath this quickly growing cottage industry taking formation around the relative acceptance of online gambling by the Duterte administration.

Google Store Open to Online Gambling Apps

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

Google Play online gambling apps
The Google Play Store, has had an on-off relationship with online gambling apps for quite some time now. For the longest span of time, the Play Store was expressly off limits to applications that served sites participating in real money gambling. And then – unceremoniously – Google allowed for-money, fantasy sports apps onto their platform leading up to the 2015 NFL season.

When asked about the addition, Google stated that the two apps, FanDuel and DraftKings, were part of a “closed, limited pilot program”. But from that point on, despite speculation that the addition of for money online gambling would soon be allowed in the Play Store, the prohibition remained in place beyond those two applications.

Now, as of August 2nd, it has been reported that for money gambling apps are now officially allowed in the Play Store, as long as they are geo-targeted to residents of the United Kingdom, Ireland, and France. Google has also laid out several other regulations that must be fulfilled by the applications in order to be granted access to the Play Store.

There is a thorough application process that each company must satisfy and have approved by Google, in which the applicant must prove their app fulfills all laws and industry standards currently set for online gambling in the countries in which it will be distributed. This has to be proven by supplying a valid online gambling license for these countries. Also, the app must have technology that prevents underage persons from gambling on the application as well as residents who live outside of the designated licensed areas.

Google prohibits the use of any Google affiliated payment services. The app must be free to download, rated as “Adult Only” and provide easily accessible information on responsible gambling.

These type of regulations mirror some of the oness that have long been in place on the Apple App store in regard to for money online gambling applications. As regulation on a country-to-country basis expands, it will be interesting to see which of the two application platforms will be the first to allow a similar expansion of online gambling applications. It will also be interesting to see if this expansion will continue to shape how online gambling companies develop their products.

Online Gambling in Massachusetts Getting Close

Saturday, December 12th, 2015


Plans for casino expansion in the state of Massachusetts are well under way. Along with those plans, consideration is being given to legalizing online gambling. Bruce Tarr, the state Senate Minority Leader has been lobbying the Massachusetts Gaming Commission to grant internet gaming licenses to the states’ two planned new casinos, Wynn Everett and MGM Springfield. The option to offering online wagering with its additional revenue stream, is thought to be paramount in getting the new casinos off to a good financial start. Without it, it is feared that other states with legalized online gaming, especially the nearby states of Delaware and New Jersey, will undermine the new casinos potential success. This proposal does not allow for new casino licenses other than those that have already been approved. It was thought that this would be a great opportunity to provide sanctioning for fantasy sports, but such a provision has not been addressed in the new proposal.

The construction of three new regional casinos and a slot parlor will take place over the next four years. The new $1.7 billion Wynn Everett Casino will be 24 stories and located on the Everett waterfront. The price tag for the new MGM Resorts and Casino has already increased from $800 million to $950 million before construction gas even started. MGM Resorts is also currently involved in a campaign to challenge the legality of Connecticut legislation that could potentially the success of their new casino. The state has hired former Attorney General Eric Holder to assist. The Connecticut legislation has granted exclusive rights to two Indian tribes – the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan – to open a casino near the Massachusetts border. Meanwhile, Connecticut doesn’t think that there’s anything Massachusetts can do about it and are expected to award a construction contract by December 15 for the new casino. They are currently considering bids from East Windsor, East Hartford, Windsor Lock and Hartford.

Supports of Senator Bruce Tarrs’ proposal for online gambling feel it would be an excellent way to attract more players. But others feel that the option for internet gaming would diminish the new land based casinos chances for success by taking away potential players. The coming year of 2016 could see big changes for the online gambling marketplace in the United States –especially if Massachusetts and other states currently contemplating legalization do vote to legalize internet gambling.