Dutch Get Tough on Online Illegal Advertisers

03
Mar

Dutch Get Tough on Online Illegal Advertisers

Dutch Secretary of State for Justice Fred Teeven: ‘we cannot let you know given that businesses will never be granted a license, however 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 fact, in response to concerns in the Dutch Parliament about the amount of online sports advertising that is betting at Dutch residents within the run up to your World Cup, Teeven warned that such sites were ‘playing with fire.’

While Holland may have a liberal and socially progressive attitude towards soft medications like marijuana, and prostitution, the same cannot be traditionally stated of online gambling. There are no legal online video gaming sites in the nation, and the government holds a monopoly that is complete gambling. The country’s only casino that is land-based, Holland Casino, which operates 13 venues round the country, is wholly owned by the state, with all profits going to the Treasury.

Breaking the Law

But, movements are afoot to change this. Last 12 months, the Dutch Remote Gambling Act ended up being drawn up and passed by an initial round of lawmakers in February. The bill is expected to be rubber-stamped later on this and should come into force midway through next year year. Experts predict that the regulated online environment would 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 for the recent ‘cease and desist’ letters sent by New Jersey regulators to online gambling advertisers, the Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) recently penned to certain operators who have been noisily marketing World Cup betting to Dutch citizens, warning them they continue to do so that they face sanctions should.

The question was posed in the House of Representatives by Mei Li Vos who asked: ‘If companies advertise, do they conform to what the law states or perhaps not? And does this mean that Unibet and other large parties will maybe not get a license when the law that is new been authorized?’

Teeven said that the KSA mostly targets companies who use such media as radio, lightning-link-slot TV, and internet sites ending in .nl, and those that have Dutch language options, in its fight against illegal advertising, although he would not be drawn into mentioning any ongoing companies by name.

Bad Actors Frozen Out?

‘So far, things have gone very well and just a few businesses were active in the Dutch market. However, this is changing,’ said Teeven. ‘Companies which do so can be playing with fire when it comes to licensing once the remote gaming law is implemented. Obviously, the KSA is in fee of licensing. We should however just take into account the Bouwmeester Motion.’

The Bouwmeester movement is the exact carbon copy of the ‘bad actor clause’ which was adopted by newly regulated states in the US, such as New Jersey and Nevada, and is part of the proposed bill to legalize poker that is online California. Founded last year, it stipulates that unlawful gambling operators that offer bets to Dutch citizens should be excluded from a future market that is regulated. As is the situation in the United States, this list would include industry giants such as PokerStars (even though the latter’s recent buyout by Amaya Gaming ought to be a game changer in that arena).

However, Teeven declined to say definitively whether such operators would be frozen out forever: ‘I cannot inform at this point you that companies will never be granted a license, but they are playing with fire,’ he repeated. ‘It would be against all agreements we have reached in the past.’

US Casinos Must Refuse Bets from Medical Marijuana Profits

All bets are down: Medical marijuana workers are to be refused bets at gambling enterprises across the usa, on pain of prosecution, say federal regulators. (Image: ukcsc.co.uk)

America’s casinos must refrain from accepting bets from workers within the medical marijuana industry, 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 in 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 marijuana sales. How casinos are to determine that exactly, is clearly going to be problematic all around.

Former White House advisor on money laundering issues Jim Dowling, who’s now a consultant to casinos, told executives: ‘Casinos can’t accept any money they have to comply with the new government guidance from them, or. This might be a federal problem that has been brewing for sometime, and now it’s coming up to a mind. State rules and laws that are federaln’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 regard, casinos are being told to adopt a similar relationship mindset towards the medical marijuana industry as the banks, which may have essentially blacklisted anybody in that business from starting a checking or savings account.

No Pot Luck Allowed

Dowling said he desired to improve the problem during the conference in las vegas to ensure that casinos were alert to the new guidelines so that they could avoid any risk of prosecution.

‘It’s extremely controversial. I’ll probably get a complete lot of hate mail for bringing it,’ he stated. ‘But if you put your self in a banker’s situation, can you want to have to do all that and put yourself at unlawful risk?

‘ Bankers are all just saying, ‘We don’t want those nagging problems,’ ‘ said Dowling, who 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 increasingly being treated like pariahs and denied basic legal rights.

‘ The government is again saying individuals involved within the marijuana business don’t possess legal rights,’ reported Dale Gieringer, director of California marijuana advocacy group NORML.

Pot Control

Meanwhile, Jennifer Shasky Calvery, Director of FinCEN, the branch of the Treasury which regulates gambling enterprises and banking institutions, was also present at the seminar. She referred questions to her news spokesman, Stephen Hudak, who appeared to verify Dowling’s assertion.

‘FinCEN’s guidance applies to all or any institutions that are financial under FinCEN regulations, including casinos,’ said Hudak.

Calvery also really wants to enforce guidelines more rigorously that could need gambling enterprises to obtain their high-rollers to divulge the source of their bankrolls, an unpopular move with the casinos. She called gambling enterprises ‘complex financial institutions’ that have to get accustomed to ‘thinking more like other financial institutions.’

The Nevada Gaming Control Board recently ruled that none of its license holders should have such a thing doing with all the state’s legalization of the medical marijuana trade. Marijuana has been appropriate for medicinal purposes in Nevada since 2000, but in 2013 the statutory legislation changed to permit businesses to dispense the medication, giving the go-ahead for 66 outlets throughout hawaii.

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 allowing minors to gamble every year since it exposed. (Image: osga.com)

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 Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, is fined for enabling teens to gamble and consume alcohol on its premises for the 5th time in as many years.

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 seen playing dining table games or slot devices during the casino during this period. The total is brought by it to 20 individual incidents of underage gambling over the previous five years, that has cost Las Vegas Sand Corp. some $220,000 in fines.

Not Walking the Talk

While this means that the Sands Bethlehem has been penalized every 12 months it should be noted it’s not the only casino in the state to fall foul of the authorities in Pennsylvania since it opened in 2009. Mount Airy Casino in Paradise Township has paid also higher fines into the past, and recently Valley Forge Casino Resort in Montgomery County was handed a $35,000 fine for two incidents that occurred final year, the second time Valley Forge was penalized for underage gambling violations.

Ironically, Adelson’s Coalition to avoid Internet Gambling (CSIG) is fond of using rhetoric to claim that online casinos prey on underage gamblers, ignoring the fact regulation means greater protection and brings with it age-verification that is rigorous. CSIG recently created a video clip spot showing a teenage boy playing on their father’s gambling account, as the Coalition actions up its campaign to push through a bill that is federal would enforce a blanket ban on Internet gaming.

‘I believe the recent $32.5 million settlement by Apple over in-app purchases made by kids on their parents’ iPads/iPhones is just the end of the iceberg if on line gambling continues to grow,’ said Coalition National Co-Chair and former Senator Blanche Lincoln 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? It’s a nightmare situation for moms and dads.’

Hysteria and Hypocrisy

The incident at the Sands Bethlehem highlights the hypocrisy that many feel lies beneath the hysteria at the heart of the Coalition’s argument. Adelson suffered an additional blow to their cause recently when their ally that is closest in Washington, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, ended up being beaten in Virginia’s Republican primary. Cantor will now stand down, which means that the Coalition has lost a powerful backer, and that could hinder its efforts to promote the federal bill.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania is considering a bill of its, backed by State Senator Edwin Erickson, that, if passed away would, legalize and control poker that is online the state. It comes down hot on the heels of a study that is recent commissioned by the state’s Legislative Budget and Finance Committee and conducted by consultancy firm Econsult, which concluded internet poker would be considered a huge financial boon to Pennsylvania, generating $129 million in revenue each year.

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