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Published:  24 January, 2012

Every month Euroslot updates you onthe latest news affecting gaming policy and regulation around the world.

DENMARK

The Danish government has issued a gambling licence to Gauselmann Group’s Cashpoint subsidiary, permitting it to offer sports wagering in betting shops, via betting terminals, and online, as well as Internet poker and other games.

“Denmark – like Schleswig-Holstein in Germany – has set an example of what a modern and legally compliant gambling system should look like. Apart from lotto, which is still operated by the state, all other forms have been liberalised or, as far as Internet gambling is concerned, regulated for the first time, and thus taken out of the realm of illegality,” said chairman Paul Gauselmann.

“The Danes now have access to a legal, differentiated gambling system that also ensures the best possible player protection,” he added. “Schleswig-Holstein has already recognised the correctness of the Danish method and has adopted many regulations into their own gambling contract. As of yet, the other German states have not been so insightful.”

EUROPE

At the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), advocate general Paolo Mengozzi has issued an opinion that there is no copyright in football fixture lists. The English and Scottish football leagues, along with Football DataCo, had attempted to assert intellectual property rights in the lists of games. But Mengozzi said there was no creativity involved in compiling a database of match fixtures and that the information did “not acquire any additional significance by being entered in the database itself”.

The CJEU is not bound to follow the advocate general’s opinion when it rules on the matter later this year, but is likely to do so. It has in the past thwarted attempts to assert database rights, similar to copyright, in football fixtures lists and horse racing “runners and riders” lists.

Said Clive Hawkswood, chief executive of the Remote Gambling Association: “Sporting bodies have attempted several times to use intellectual property rights arguments and the EU Database Directive to extract significant funds from media and betting organisations. We hope that this opinion and the final CJEU ruling in this case discourages them from doing so again. Substantial revenues already flow from the betting industry to professional sports, for instance through sponsorship and joint ventures, and those kinds of truly commercial relationships provide the best way ahead for the two sectors to co-operate together for their mutual benefit.”

FIJI

Fijian authorities have granted operator One Hundred Sands the nation’s first-ever casino licence. It will develop a $290m resort on Denaru Island, creating 800 jobs.

“It is important with all new investment projects – both internal and international –  that we protect the rights and interests of Fijians, and provide for the prosperity of our nation,” said prime minister Frank Bainimarama, adding that the project “provides a malleable fusion between the Western ideals of casino gaming with the strong cultural virtues of tribal and community life.”

GREECE

The tender process for operation of the Greek state lotteries has entered its second phase, with the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund approving three candidates to go forward: Austria’s Osterreichische Lotterien Gesellschaft; a consortium of Sisal, Damco Energy and Damlot; and a consortium of OPAP Investment, Lottomatica Giochi e Partecipazioni, Intralot Lotteries, and Scientific Games Global Gaming.

During this second phase, the candidates will be required to submit binding financial proposals.

ISLE OF MAN

Authorities on the Isle of Man have begun a consultation process as they consider amending gaming regulations to allow live tournaments. The Department of Economic Development said they would bring economic benefits for sectors including hotels and civil aviation, by increasing the number of visitors to the island.

JAPAN

Japan may allow slot machines and table games in resorts and hotels. The move to ease tight controls on gambling is seen as a reaction to the success of nearby Singapore and Macau in attracting gamers. A study by Osaka University has predicted that a Japanese land-based gaming sector could be worth up to $44bn.

PERU

Revenue from gambling tax will increase to $112m this year and to $150m next year following the introduction of a new system, known as SUCTR, connecting all slots to a data centre for monitoring by regulators and tax authorities. There are believed to be more than 70,000 slots in Peru, in around a dozen casinos and 700 slot halls.

SPAIN

Most major online operators are likely to apply for licences to offer their services in Spain, according to a new study from MECN. Said Martin Oelbermann, director of MECN and co-author of the study: “Many operators lost a significant amount of money in the liberalised French market – therefore, operators became more sceptical. They now analyse the financial effects of the tax rates and other key regulations, such as identification processes, even more closely. But the Spanish model seems to convince them and brings back a lot of optimism to the industry.”

The Spanish online market, worth around €465m last year, is expected to grow to €680m by 2015, largely driven by poker and sports betting.

SWEDEN

Jensigame is to appeal to the Court of Justice of the European Union after Sweden’s supreme court ruled against it in a case concerning its Internet Lottery Terminal.

The Czech-headquartered company contends that it, rather than the management of individual venues, should be seen as the operator of the

games offered by the device, and that the terminal should simply be regarded

as a means of Internet access that does not require licensing as a gaming machine.

Said founder Jens Göransson: “Traditionally gaming has been regulated on a country, even state level. The Internet changed this. Politicians still at times do not wish to come to terms with this. It is our duty to inform politicians of the market as it is today. At times we have to fight our case in law courts. We have a very successful track record of this.”

Jensigame had won 32 cases in other Swedish courts before its defeat in the supreme court.

UK

The British government is setting up a special intelligence unit to monitor suspicious betting activity related to the London Olympics. It will involve the Gambling Commission, the Olympics organisers, and possibly the police.

Separately, the bookmaker Betfred has proposed to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) that it could divest 25 betting shops in as many different areas to resolve competition concerns raised by its acquisition of the Tote. The OFT had warned that the takeover would lead to a “significant reduction in choice and competition for customers who choose to place bets at betting shops in certain towns and cities across the UK”.







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