Tuesday, 20 April 2021

AGA Releases New Report On Dangers Of Illegal Gambling In USA

Gambling Machines USA

The American Gaming Association (AGA) has released a new report highlighting the dangers of illegal gambling in the United States.

The AGA released its white paper, titled Skilled At Deception: How Unregulated Gaming Machines Endanger Consumers And Dilute Investments In Local Economies, on Monday (April 19). In it, the AGA explained the dangers that illegal gambling machines pose to players across the country.

According to the white paper, illegal gambling machines do not undergo the same regulatory requirements that legal machines do in the country. This includes undergoing licensing processes, vigorous game testing, as well as a need to meet responsible gambling requirements. The white paper also states that illegal gambling machines are not monitored to ensure fair play for customers.

What’s more, the AGA’s white paper stated that illegal gambling machines are often tied to criminal activity, such as drug trafficking, violence, gang activity, and ties to several major organised crime families. Finally, the AGA white paper stated that unregulated gambling machine operators lack training in responsible gambling and potentially encourage children and those at-risk to use the machines.

In response to its findings, the AGA white paper suggested several ways to combat illegal gambling machines, including urging law enforcement and policymakers to prioritise the enforcement of laws to stamp out said illegal and unregulated machines. It also urged businesses to remove illegal and unregulated machines and called on states and communities to avoid authorising illegal machines.

Mark Brnovich, the Arizona Attorney General and former Director of the Arizona Department of Gaming, said in a statement to CasinoBeats: “History has taught us that unregulated gambling gives rise to an array of legal and social concerns and ultimately erodes public confidence in the safety and integrity of the whole gaming industry.”

Jessica Feil, the Vice President of Government Relations and Gaming Policy Counsel at AGA, added: “Legal gaming provides immense benefits to the communities it serves – and operating with a gaming license is a privilege that our industry takes seriously.

Unfortunately, there’s been a rapid increase of unregulated gaming machines that exist in the shadows, taking advantage of loopholes and flouting the law, with little to no oversight. These machines ultimately endanger consumers and communities, fueling problem gambling and crime while drawing important tax revenue away from states.”

The AGA’s concerns are similar to those made by UK charities and organisations regarding the illegal online gambling black market. Organisations such as the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) have claimed that too much regulation in the country could push gamers to play at unlicensed websites where there are no protections of regulations.

However, the concerns have been dismissed by the UK Gambling Commission, which criticised the “exaggerated” concerns. In January, the UKGC reiterated the need for regulation in the United Kingdom and said that concerns over the illegal black market should be kept in “proportion”.

Dutch Gambling Regulator Receives 28 License Applications

Also this week, Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has revealed its received 28 license applications since the new national Remote Gambling Act came into effect on April 1st. Under the new act, the country’s gambling market will launch on October 1st, with successful license holders being allowed to offer online gambling via approved websites.

According to the KSA, all 28 applicants have paid the required €48,000 (Around £41,578) license application fee as part of their submission. Other requirements applicants must follow include the implementation of a responsible gambling strategy as well as connecting with the Netherlands’ gambling exclusion service Cruks. Earlier, the KSA stated that it expected around 40 applications and to award 35 licenses.

KSA Chairman René Jansen said in a statement: “The intention of the law is to channel players from illegal providers to legally reliable providers. With this number of applications, I am confident that there will soon be a sufficiently attractive and varied offer to achieve this objective.”

According to iGamingBusiness, the Netherlands’ Remote Gambling Act was set to launch in July 2020, with the market due to launch on January 1st, 2021. However, the Act was hit with three delays, pushing the new law’s launch to April this year and the market launch to October.

Habanero Launches Casino Games In Spain With 888 Casino

Also internationally, game developer Habanero has launched its casino games in Spain after striking a partnership with 888 Casino. Under the agreement, Habanero has launched a selection of its content with 888 Casino, including titles such as Hot Hot Fruit, Wild Trucks, and Egyptian Dreams.

The new agreement follows on from a similar agreement Habanero struck with 888 Casino for its launch in Italy. With the two new markets, Habanero’s content can be accessed in 17 markets across Europe. The game provider is expected to continue its rapid expansion after acquiring a license for Romania and a license from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) earlier this year.

Habanero’s Head of European Business Development said in a statement: “Joining forces with such a prominent operator as 888 reinforces our deserved reputation as one of the industry’s fastest-growing providers, and we have no doubt that our titles will get a warm welcome from its extensive player base. Having secured a string of high-profile deals and accreditations, 2021 has seen us maintain the strong momentum generated last year, and I look forward to maximising this fantastic opportunity.”

Talya Benyamini, the VP of B2C Casino at 888 Casino, added: “Habanero’s premium games portfolio offers a huge variety of immersive titles that have already proven enormously popular with our customers in Italy. We are delighted to expand our partnership with Habanero to offer its titles to our players in Spain and look forward to a continued productive relationship.”