Online Gaming World News Round UpPublished November 4, 2013 by OCR Editor
Albania will be shutting down overseas online casinos; sports betting might be legalized in China; Bulgaria adds another five casinos to its blacklist; Slovenia to introduce new Gaming Act in 2014.
Albania to Shut Down Online Gambling
Albania Prime Minister Edi Rama is encouraging the government to shut down all overseas online gambling sites in a determined effort to stop the outflow of money from one of the most impoverished regions in Europe.
Albanian gambling on foreign websites is estimated to be approximately €500 to €700 million a year, and legislation shutting down these sites would help keep that large sum of money in the country.
Since the new government party came into power in June, there have been strict crackdowns on casinos operating without proper licenses and 1300 casinos and betting shops have already been closed down across the country.
Online Sports Betting Might Have a Chance in China
Rumor has it that Chinese company 500 has come to an understanding with their government that would allow them to provide an online gaming platform specifically for sports betting (excluding Macau).
Only a few obstacles stand in the way of 500:
- They would need to raise $150 million in order to offer the platform for online sports betting.
- The actual betting would be ties into China's lottery service, which only offers a 68% return on players' bets. (Illegal sites in China offer a large percentage of return.)
- 500 will not be able to offer "in-play" bets, which are very popular among the Chinese, thus they might not be able to draw players from illegal online casinos to their own.
Despite the obstacles, this is the first real chance that China has at legal sports betting, and Western online operators would love to get in on the action.
Bulgaria is on a Blacklisting Roll
Bulgaria has added another five online gaming operators to its list of 150+ sites. The five websites are: PrimeCasino, Oddsring, BetCris, BetSonic and BetCave.
The sites have only a two-week window in which they can appeal their blacklisted status; an appeal will only be accepted if they prove that they have completely withdrawn from the market (as bwin.party's PartyPoker did, and it is no longer blacklisted).
New Gaming Act Introduced in Slovenia
Slovenia plans to introduce a new Gaming Act in early 2014. It has already notified the European Union of its intentions, which is a requirement under EU law, and must now wait for the approval of the European Commission. The Commission must review the Act to make sure that it complies with EU treaties.