Dutch Secretary of State for Justice Fred Teeven: ‘I cannot tell you given that organizations will never be awarded a permit, but they are playing with fire.’ (Image: ANP)
The country’s Secretary of State for Justice, Fred Teeven, has made it very clear that operators currently targeting the Dutch market illegally are unwelcome while the Dutch may well open up their online gambling market next year. In reality, in reaction to questions in the Dutch Parliament about the amount of online sports gambling advertising directed at Dutch citizens in the run up to the World Cup, Teeven warned that such sites had been ‘playing with fire.’
While Holland could have a liberal and socially modern mindset towards soft medications like cannabis, and prostitution, the same cannot be traditionally said of online gambling. There are no legal Internet video gaming sites in the nation, and the government holds a complete monopoly on gambling. The nation’s only casino that is land-based, Holland Casino, which operates 13 venues across the country, is wholly owned by the state, with all profits visiting the Treasury.
Breaking the Law
Nonetheless, movements are afoot to change this. Last year, the Dutch Remote Gambling Act was drawn up and passed by a round that is initial of in February. The bill is expected to be rubber-stamped later this and should come into force midway through next year year. Experts predict that a regulated environment that is online bring in €200 million in gross gaming revenue in its very first year.
Teeven has made it clear, however, that overseas operators are breaking Dutch law by targeting the Dutch market. With echoes of the current ‘cease and desist’ letters delivered by New Jersey regulators to online gambling advertisers, the Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) recently composed to certain operators who have been noisily advertising World Cup betting to Dutch citizens, warning them that they face sanctions should they continue doing so.
The question was posed in the House of Representatives by Mei Li Vos who asked: ‘If companies advertise, do they comply with what the law states or otherwise not? And performs this imply that Unibet and other big parties will perhaps not get a license after the law that is new been approved?’
Teeven said that the KSA mostly targets companies whom use such news as radio, TV, and websites ending in .nl, and those that have Dutch language options, in its fight illegal marketing, although he’d not be drawn into mentioning any organizations by name.
Bad Actors Frozen Out?
‘So far, things have gone very well and only a few businesses were active within the market that is dutch. However, this is changing,’ said Teeven. ‘Companies which do so can be playing with fire in regards to licensing once the remote gaming law is implemented. Obviously, the KSA is in cost of licensing. We should however take into account the Bouwmeester Motion.’
The Bouwmeester movement could be the equivalent of the ‘bad actor clause’ which has been adopted by newly regulated states into the US, such as New Jersey and Nevada, and is part of the proposed bill to legalize poker that is online California. Established in 2011, it stipulates that illegal gambling operators offering wagers to Dutch citizens must be excluded from a future market that is regulated. This list would include industry giants such as PokerStars (although the latter’s recent buyout by Amaya Gaming should be a game changer in that arena) as is the case in the United States.
However, Teeven refused to say definitively whether such operators would be frozen out forever: ‘I cannot inform at this point you that companies won’t ever be granted a license, however they are playing with fire,’ he repeated. ‘It will be against all agreements we now have reached in yesteryear.’
US Casinos Must Refuse Wagers from Medical Marijuana Proceeds
All bets are off: Medical marijuana workers are to be refused bets at gambling enterprises across the US, on pain of prosecution, say federal regulators. (Image: ukcsc.co.uk)
America’s casinos must refrain from accepting bets from workers in the marijuana that is medical, a small grouping of federal regulators told gaming executives at the 2014 Bank Secrecy Act Conference in Las Vegas recently. Just as the clash between federal and state that is individual has hindered the processing of online gaming transactions into the newly regulated states, the federal stance on marijuana means that the government will not enable the casino industry to take care of the proceeds of cannabis sales. Exactly How casinos are to determine that exactly, is clearly going to be problematic all around.
Former White House consultant on cash laundering issues Jim Dowling, who is now a consultant to casinos, told executives: ‘Casinos can not accept any money they have to comply with the new government guidance from them, or. That is a problem that is federal has been brewing for a little while, and now it’s coming up to a head. State regulations and federal regulations don’t match up.’
Should a casino knowingly accept a bet from a person working in the marijuana that is medical, they could face prosecution, unless they perform a series of time-consuming, costly, and frankly unrealistic background checks, Dowling explained. In this respect, casinos are being told to consider a relationship that is similar towards the medical marijuana industry as the banks, which may have essentially blacklisted anyone in that business from starting a checking or savings account.
No Pot Luck Allowed
Dowling said he desired to improve the issue during the conference in las vegas to ensure that casinos were alert to the new guidelines therefore that they could avoid any danger of prosecution.
‘It’s extremely controversial. I’ll probably get yourself a lot of hate mail for bringing it up,’ he stated. ‘But in a banker’s situation, would you want to have to do all that and put yourself at criminal risk if you put yourself?
‘ Bankers are all just saying, ‘We don’t want those problems,’ ‘ said Dowling, whom is also a banking consultant. ‘One banker called them toxic.’
There has been protests from civil liberty groups over the federal government’s stance they claim that workers are now being treated like pariahs and denied basic rights.
‘ The government that is federal once again saying people involved within the cannabis company don’t possess legal rights,’ reported Dale Gieringer, director of California marijuana advocacy group NORML.
Meanwhile, Jennifer Shasky Calvery, Director of FinCEN, the branch of the Treasury which regulates casinos and banks, was also present at the meeting. She referred questions to her news spokesman, Stephen Hudak, who appeared to confirm Dowling’s assertion.
‘FinCEN’s guidance applies to all institutions that are financial under FinCEN regulations, including casinos,’ said Hudak.
Calvery additionally wants to enforce legislation more rigorously that would require gambling enterprises getting their high-rollers to divulge the supply of their bankrolls, a move that is unpopular the casinos. She called gambling enterprises ‘complex finance institutions’ that has to get used to ‘thinking more like other finance institutions.’
The Nevada Gaming Control Board recently ruled that none of its license holders should have such a thing to complete utilizing the state’s legalization of the medical marijuana trade. Marijuana has been legal for medicinal purposes in Nevada since 2000, but in 2013 the legislation changed to permit organizations to dispense the medication, providing the go-ahead for 66 outlets throughout their state.
Pennsylvania Sands Penalized for Underage Gambling
While Sheldon Adelson is fond of scaremongering rhetoric about underage gambling online, the Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania has been fined for permitting minors to gamble every 12 months since it exposed. (Image: osga.com)
The Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, has been fined for allowing teenagers to gamble and consume alcohol on its premises for the fifth time in as many years while Sheldon Adelson rails against the evils of online gambling, stoking fears that it will irreversibly corrupt America’s youth, one of his casinos.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control slapped an $85,000 penalty on Sands Bethworks Gaming for six incidents of underage gambling between June 3rd 2013 and January 29th 2014 during the Sands Casino Bethlehem in Northampton County. Two 17-year-olds, a 19-year-old, and three 20-year-olds had been observed playing dining table games or slot devices during the casino with this period. The total is brought by it to 20 individual incidents of underage gambling over the past 5 years, which has cost vegas Sand Corp. some $220,000 in fines.
Not Walking the Talk
While this means that the Sands Bethlehem has been penalized every year because it exposed last year, it should be noted it’s not the only real casino within the state to fall foul for the authorities in Pennsylvania. Mount Airy Casino in Paradise Township has paid also higher fines within the past, and recently Valley Forge Casino Resort in Montgomery County was handed a $35,000 fine for two incidents that occurred year that is last the second time Valley Forge happens to be penalized for underage gambling violations.
Ironically, Adelson’s Coalition to quit Internet Gambling (CSIG) is fond of using rhetoric to claim that online casinos prey on underage gamblers, ignoring the truth that regulation means greater protection and brings with it rigorous age-verification procedures. CSIG recently created a video spot showing a teenage boy playing on their father’s gambling account, as the Coalition steps up its campaign to push by way of a bill that is federal would enforce a blanket ban on online gaming.
‘I believe the recent $32.5 million settlement by Apple over in-app acquisitions made by kids on their parents’ iPads/iPhones is simply the tip of the iceberg if online gambling continues to grow,’ said Coalition National Co-Chair and Senator that is former Blanche at the advertisement’s launch.
‘then think of what can happen when they get hold of their parent’s password and start playing blackjack if kids can blow $2,600 in the app ‘Tap Pet Hotel? This is a nightmare scenario for moms and dads.’
Hysteria and Hypocrisy
The incident at the Sands Bethlehem shows the hypocrisy that many feel lies beneath the hysteria during the heart of the Coalition’s argument. Adelson suffered a further blow to his cause recently when their ally that is closest in Washington, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, was defeated myfreepokies.com in Virginia’s Republican primary. Cantor will now stand down, this means the Coalition has lost a powerful backer, and that could hinder its efforts to promote the bill that is federal.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania is looking at a bill of its, supported by State Senator Edwin Erickson, that, if passed away would, legalize and regulate online poker in the state. It comes hot on the heels of a recent study, commissioned by the state’s Legislative Budget and Finance Committee and conducted by consultancy firm Econsult, which concluded internet poker would be described as a huge financial boon to Pennsylvania, producing $129 million in revenue per year.