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There’s a lot that’s been keeping the heat on in the Asian and international gaming industry of late. Headlining the latest developments in Asia is the move made by the Myanmar government to introduce the Gambling Bill 2018 that will open legal doors for foreigner-only casino complexes in the country.
In UK, regulators have taken two lottery operators to task. While the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has penalized the national lottery operator Camelot with a £1.15 Million fine for various infractions, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has reprimanded online betting operator LottoGo.com for running a misleading advertisement.
Coming back to American soil, the opening of the Encore Boston Harbor casino is near as Wynn Resorts announced that 70% of its construction and development work is completed.
Meanwhile in Europe, mobile gaming giant LeoVegas has launched its BankID registration platform for Swedish players, enabling quick verification to register and log in.
Following up on its assurances to introduce legislation to permit legal casinos for foreign tourists, the government of Myanmar has tabled the Gambling Bill 2018 to the country’s bicameral legislature. The bill was submitted by the Public Affair Management Committee on Tuesday.
It seeks to amend the country’s 1986 Gambling Act, paving the way to permit casino development in areas of the country that are frequented by international tourists.
Commenting on the bill, Mingaladon MP U Aung Hlaing Win stated that legalizing the casino industry with focus on foreign tourists would “enable a whole new sector to flourish and draw much needed taxes and foreign currency into the country”.
The country’s economic needs are sufficiently urgent that there was “no time” to start from scratch with an entirely new bill, Win said, adding that the amended 1986 Act would be bolstered later with rules and bylaws for spelling out the details of the casino regulation.
Committee secretary U Kyan Soe Lin said that once the bill was passed, new casinos were likely to be located in areas sharing borders with China and Thailand so to attract the bulk of their clientele from these countries. For locals, the state-run Aungbarlay lottery will be the only legally permitted gambling option and their entry in these new legal gaming venues would be strictly prohibited.
The fact remains that there are a number of underground casinos operating in Myanmar. These setups pay annual taxes to the government despite not having a formal sanction to function. With failed attempts in the past to update the 1986 Gambling Act, the new bill is only the first of many steps needed to be taken by the government to push its gaming industry in the right, legal direction.
Two lottery operators in UK faced the heat from regulators this week. Even as the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) slapped the country’s National Lottery operator, Camelot with a penalty of £1.15 Million for “sufficiently serious” control and governance failings on Thursday, online betting operator LottoGo.com was reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for running an advertisement that generated two specific complaints.
The UKGC announced the penalty on Camelot after wrapping up its December 2016 investigation on the lottery operator’s failings on different fronts, including the launch of a mobile app that incorrectly informed players that their winning tickets were losers.
At the same time, the UKGC did praise Camelot for making efforts to “update and enhance its procedures and control to mitigate the risk of further issues” and engaging positively during the probe.
As part of the investigation, the UKGC probed into the mobile app failure, online publication of incomplete Lotto results, direct debit instruction failure in May 2016 that temporarily prevented processing of lotto sales and failings in security measures and post office control. The UKGC probe was later expanded to include investigation in ‘other controls-related failures that had emerged subsequent to the start of the investigation.’
Meanwhile, UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) rapped the online lottery betting operator LottoGo.com for running an ad that generated two specific complaints. The ASA found that LottoGo’s promotion of US Powerball jackpots was misleading and didn’t specify that the advertised prizes were ‘subject to significant deductions which might reduce them by nearly half’.
While no penalty has been slapped on LottoGo.com yet, ASA has noted that the ad failed to specify that customers would be betting on international lottery results, rather than participating directly in lottery draws. Fellow lottery betting operator Lottoland was fined £150K by the UKGC in 2017 for similar infractions.
Following a meeting with the Massachusetts gaming regulators in a public hearing last week, Wynn Resorts announced that its Boston-area casino is about 70 percent finished.
Located outside Boston in the town of Everett, the Encore Boston Harbor has already costed its developers $1.4 Billion so far, with another $2.22 Billion in estimated expenditures expected in the coming months.
The director of construction for the project Peter Campot stated, “We are on schedule with 314 days to go. We’re 69 percent complete from a time standpoint, 66 percent complete from a labor standpoint and just over 70 percent complete from a cash standpoint. We’re tracking really well.”
He also added that the gaming floor in the casino is “about a month ahead of schedule. It’s great because it allows us to move the gaming machines in, as everyone knows, it’s crucial to have the time to install those, timely.”
The opening of this casinos will revitalize the poker scene in the Boston area due to its plans of offering 90 tables in the poker room, which would make it one of the largest in the region.
Taking a big step for its users in Sweden, mobile gaming giant LeoVegas has tied up with the country’s BankID e-identification system that allows quick verification of individuals over the internet and allows LeoVegas users to register and log in quicker than before.
CEO of LeoVegas Gustaf Hagman confirmed this. “With BankID we are now offering the best product on the market in Sweden. For new and existing customers we provide a very smooth and simple log-in and registration experience while giving them access to the market’s broadest offering of casino games and sports betting.”
“We also know that fast payments are very important, which is why our customers can see their account balances within minutes of a withdrawal. We are consolidating our position as the leading GameTech company, and I look forward to finding additional markets in which we can launch similar, local e-identification systems,” he added.
Sweden’s BankID system is an electronic form of identification created to allow banks, companies, authorities and organizations to verify and sign agreements with individuals over the internet. Swedish citizens having personal identity number can apply for a BankID through their bank.
Founded in 2011, LeoVegas offers an online casino, a live casino and sports betting across several international markets. Recently, the company entered a sports gambling partnership with SBTech under which its Rocket X platform will be used for a number of SBTech’s UK-facing sites.
With LeoVegas now launching its BankID registration, gamblers and gaming enthusiasts in Sweden will have to spend less time entering and more time playing on the gaming platform.