home | about us | contact | site map | credits | disclaimer | bookmark

Online Casino News


Friday, April 30, 2010

Gambling Therapy


Gambling Therapy, set up by the Gordon Moody Association in 2004, offers problem gambling counselling in various formats:


Helpline: a one-to-one online chat service, where the counsellor is hooked up to a webcam for more personal interaction.

Group therapy: online chatrooms, with various categories to choose from. You need to register to participate.

Forum: general discussion. You need to register to post.

Email: for contact when the helpline isn't available.

SMS / text: messages can be sent to 07624 806159.


There is also a resources page, which lists alphabetically gambling help organisations, both home and abroad.


If you want to support their work, you can send a donation via the Gordon Moody Just Giving donations page.



0 Previous Comments


Post a Comment

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gordon Moody Association


Gordon Moody Association is a unique service that offers residential treatment in the UK for problem gamblers.


Telephone: +44 (0)1384 241292

Email: info@gordonmoody.org.uk


The Why Gordon Moody? page gives detailed information on how the association considers gambling addiction as distinct from other addictions, such as alcohol and drugs, and therefore in need of a different approach:



If a drug addict steals money from their mother's purse, to buy drugs with, they know it is a one-way street, the money is gone and will be missed; if a drug addict takes the day's takings from their place of work, they know they will never be able to replace it.

However addicted gamblers, having stolen money and lost it, will persuade themselves that they need to steal again in order to win back their losses so as to replace the money they stole.

It is self delusion, but allows an addicted gambler to go far further in the abuse of the trust of others than substance-based addicts are normally able, or willing, to.



You can read testimonials from a couple of satisfied customers, and make a donation if you want to support their work.



0 Previous Comments


Post a Comment

Breakeven


Breakeven is a specialist one-to-one counselling service for problem gamblers, funded by Gamcare, with offices located in south east England, in Brighton, Eastbourne, Maidstone, Newmarket, Skegness, Colchester and Chelmsford.


Phone number: 01273 833722

email: info@breakeven.org.uk


The counselling page gives details of the logistics, aims and objectives of the counselling sessions, listing amongst other things the following:



Our counsellors adopt a "two-tier" approach by also working with you to explore the origins of the problem and the underlying reasons why you gamble.

Gaining insight and understanding can help you come to terms with the problem and gradually master it, setting you on the road to a gambling-free and ultimately more productive and fulfilling lifestyle.



To set up a meeting, you need to fill in the contact form.



0 Previous Comments


Post a Comment

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Online gaming would create new jobs


According to a report by Kevin Bogardus of publication The Hill, online gambling would create new jobs:



Study: Online gaming would create new jobs

Pro-gaming lobbyists are highlighting a new study that shows legalizing online gambling could create tens of thousands of new jobs over five years.

(more)



For the study this report is based on, see H2 Assesses the Economic Impact Internet Gaming Regulation in the United States


The report estimates a tax windfall of 57.5 billion over five years. Assuming tax at a heavy 40%, this would require a profit to the online gambling industry of around 150 billion, or 30 billion a year.


Whenever I read these reports, by industry-financed online gambling lobbyists, about the taxation utopia that legalised online gambling would bring to the USA, I always immediately wonder why the vastly greater financial damage to the people themselves is never placed in the equation.



1 Previous Comments


Yup, strangely they always forget the costs. Both direct and indirect. Have never read a decent study were gambling would have a positive effect on the economy.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:02 pm  


Post a Comment

Gamblock


Gamblock is a download software utility which blocks access to online gambling sites and software, forcibly restricting the problem gambler's access to potentially damaging activity.

The product overview page explains how Gamblock works:



GamBlock searches the data in each site requested for viewing on the internet. On receiving the data it checks to see if this is a site which has gambling, wagering or betting facilities. Following a number of sophisticated analyses it advises the user if this is a site to which access will not be permitted.

On detection of a gambling site the browser is shut down and a warning message is displayed. GamBlock also blocks non-browser based online gambling activities and can be configured to hide its operation from guests.

GamBlock has done extensive research on the type and number of internet sites offering gambling facilities. On the basis of this research we are able to determine the type and nature of gambling sites through sophisticated diagnostic methods.



You can choose which version of the software you require from the download page. The personal licence is most appropriate for domestic use, costing $89 (about £60).

There's also a mobile phone version, which, logically enough, must be purchased from, and downloaded to, the phone in question.


You can read words of thanks from satisfied - and richer - customers on the testimonials page. Here's one:



I can tell you in no uncertain terms that this product has changed my life. I lost more money than I could afford to lose whilst playing online poker - I was absolutely hooked. My own home was not a 'safe' place to be whilst I had a computer with access to gambling sites. My relationships were wrecked, I didnt sleep properly, I was decietful and preoccupied with the next gambling binge.

The company should be very, very proud of the positive impact the product has on people like me.



Assuming all the testimonials are genuine, it looks like this product does its job pretty well.



0 Previous Comments


Post a Comment

Gamble Aware


Gamble Aware is not a counselling service like Gamcare or Gamblers Anonymous, but rather a gambling facts service. The advice in bold at the top of their homepage is spot on:


Don't gamble unless you know the facts. Being responsible about gambling means knowing whether to gamble and how much money or time to spend.



How gambling works contains several subsections:

Types of gambling has subcategories detailing casino games, gaming machines and others.

Gambling terms explained includes pages on odds and the house edge, plus a glossary.

Fact ot fiction is a quiz to test your knowledge of the facts, claims and superstitions about gambling.

Chances of winning lists the probabilities of various bets and life occurances.


Responsible gambling has advice on how to manage you gambling, with a time management diary and a money management planner, along with a page of tips on responsible gambling where you are invited to submit your own advice.


Customer protection discusses responsible gambling measures such as helping problem gamblers, making sure gambling is 'fair and open' and several others; the rules for different games section discusses rules for casinos, online gambling and others.


Recognise a problem goes into the signs of problem gambling and provides a self assessment form to fill in.


Seek help describes the various options available to address the problem: self-exclusion lists the gambling blocking software tools available to physically stop you from gambling online, gambling advice lists the various support and counselling services, and there are recommendations for financial advice and an other advice page.


This is a very useful information site.



0 Previous Comments


Post a Comment

Monday, April 26, 2010

Gamblers Anonymous


Gamblers Anonymous is a worldwide gambling help organisation whose focus is on group therapy rather than one-to-one counselling. They describe themselves in this way:



What is GA?

Gamblers Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who have joined together to do something about their own gambling problem and to help other compulsive gamblers do the same.



They also make this encouraging claim:



Gamblers Anonymous ALWAYS works for the man or woman who wants it to



The structure of GA is quite loose, with little central organisation beyond the needs of the group meetings. They employ a 12-step recovery programme, spiritual in basis but with no adherence to any particular religious faith - the nature of spirituality is left to the interpretation of the individual.

The "12 steps" should be read in conjunction with the more lengthy Towards the first 90 days handbook, designed to help the problem gambler through the first weeks of the recovery programme.


The "Are you a compulsive gambler?" questionnaire gives the individual the opportunity to assess the extent of the problem; answering "yes" to just seven of the twenty questions is apparently indicative of need for concern. Even if you don't consider yourself to be a problem gambler, the questionnaire is worth taking purely for the interest value.


Another useful document to read is the I Am Addiction pseudo-poem, which portrays addiction as nothing less than the devil incarnate, and is designed to give every possible reason to keep out of his way.


To set about attending a GA meeting, go to the "meetings" section on the right hand side of the homepage, click on the nearest town listed and you'll find all relevant details - time, place and directions.


For interaction outside of meetings, you can either read and post in the forum (you don't need to register) or load up the chat room.



0 Previous Comments


Post a Comment

Gamcare


Since this is something I've barely touched on, I thought a series of articles on the various help organisations available for gambling problems would be useful.


I'll kick off with Gamcare.

Founded in 1997, Gamcare has this to say about itself:



GamCare is the leading provider of information, advice, support and free counselling for the prevention and treatment of problem gambling.



Contact details for Gamcare -

• UK helpline number: 0845 6000 133

• Email address: info@gamcare.org.uk

• An online counselling service, "netline", operational between 8am and midnight.

• A discussion forum where you can share problems in public and receive feedback.


There is an online gambling help section, where you can download their remote gambling guide, which offers possible solutions to online gambling problems and a few stories from people who have had problems, as well as advice about protecting children from online gambling.


There is also a self-help guide, worth a look in conjunction with the one-to-one services on offer. It lists various possible indicators and consequences of gambling addiction, and offers suggestions on how to go about tackling the problem.


Gamcare Trade Services is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gamcare, whose job it is to provide certification for both terrestrial and online companies who adhere to the charity's objectives. This is beneficial to both casinos and punters, as operators are shown to be responsible and the customers should feel safe in the hands of people whose practices have been given a clean bill of health.

GTS is a commercial operation, and the profits go towards the costs of maintaining the Gamcare counselling service.



0 Previous Comments


Post a Comment

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Cryptologic video poker autohold


The Cryptologic video poker autohold function does not produce optimal results. I ran a test of a hundred hands or so at Intercasino, and made the following findings:


Correct holds


Paying hands are correctly auto-held. Here, a queen pair:


High pair



A flush:


Flush



Also correctly auto-held are low pairs:


Low pair



Four cards to both flush and "open" straight are correctly held:


Four to a flush


Four to a straight



Three to a royal flush is correctly held:


Three to a royal



Incorrect holds


On the negative side, the problem centres primarily around the treatment of high cards, where they do not represent a paying hand but should be held according to optimal strategy.

Both two and three unsuited high cards should be held, but are not:


Two unsuited high cards


Three unsuited high cards



Suited high cards are also not held:


Two suited high cards



Two suited high cards plus three to a flush with one gap, both holdable hands in their own right, are ignored by the autohold:


Two suited high / three flush



In addition to that, where there is choice between a low pair and four to a straight, the the four straight is held, which is incorrect:


Two suited high / three flush



Finally, high card plus suited ten:


High plus suited ten



The video poker help section has the following to say on the matter:



Auto-Hold

The auto-hold feature allows you to let the game suggest which cards to hold after the initial deal. You may toggle the system on or off at will. Additionally, you are not forced to accept the recommendation of the system; you may manually change any of the suggestions prior to clicking on 'draw' to continue the hand.

Please note that the strategy suggestions are an accurate representation of simple strategy for each variant but there are highly advanced exceptions that are not incorporated into the feature.

Additionally, the system will not select any card(s) to hold for hands without a pair and without a strategically correct draw. For more information on intermediate and optimal strategy in video poker, we recommend the website of a highly regarded gaming math expert at WizardOfOdds video poker



It's an exaggeration to say that that holding one, two or three high cards is "highly advanced" strategy. These are fundamental plays.


My advice: leave the autoplay function switched on, as it will save clicking. However, there is absolutely no substitute for knowing correct strategy yourself. The casino suggests Michael Shakleford's VP page, which is a good recommendation.


You can also see my video poker page, which contains the hand-rank chart and recommendations for practice software.



2 Previous Comments


Have you checked the cryptologic VP autohold recently? I think it works correctly now. Can you confirm?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:29 pm  


I haven't, and I don't have a copy of the download software I got this from. I'll try and check.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 11:31 pm  


Post a Comment

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Gambling Wages casinos Cirrus, Cool Cat, Palace Of Chance and Club Player: another offer of help.


The Gambling Wages affiliate programme, which handles the webmaster business partners of a bunch of generally not well-regarded casinos, has a new affiliate manager - and he seems keen to resolve problems:



Gambling Wages affiliate issues

I'm the new Sr. Marketing Manager for Gambling Wages in Costa Rica.

I wanted to introduce myself and make myself available in order to resolve any disputes...how can I help you?



The casinos in question are:

• Cirrus Casino

• Cool Cat Casino

• Palace Of Chance

• Club Player


If you have an issue with any of these casinos, contact Marty Davis. Maybe he'll be able to do something:

email: md@gwages.com

phone: 1-800-549-7407


It's realistically unlikely that anything will be achieved, as such offers have been made, and have failed, on past occasions.


Still, no harm in trying.



0 Previous Comments


Post a Comment

Blackjack double down v. video poker double up


In the Intercasino article I wrote earlier today, I highlighted one casino's different treatment of the video poker double up feature and the blackjack double down:



For clarity an individual bet relates to the total amount wagered on one spin of the roulette wheel, one individual hand against the house in table games or blackjack (double up in any individual hand is permitted), one deal of the cards in video poker (no matter how many hands are chosen to play with) and one spin of slots.



Intercasino clearly - and correctly - considers that the blackjack double down wager doesn't infringe their betsize limitations with regard to bonuses. On the other hand, on the basis of the situation discussed in the above article, it's evident that they view the video poker double up feature in a different light.


So how is double down in blackjack different to double up in video poker?


It might be useful to recap the logistics of the two bets to get a better idea.


Blackjack double down


After the deal of the initial two cards to both player and dealer, the player is presented with a series of options. The only circumstance in which the player is given no option at all is in the case of an ace and a ten, a natural 21 which cannot be improved or beaten. Aside from that, the hand is always considered incomplete until the player has made at least one more play decision.

One such option is the double down bet, an extra wager which results in the receipt of one more card to the player hand.

Once the player has made his decision / decisions, his hand is complete.

At this point, play turns to the dealer's hand, and the round is concluded.

As such, it is noted that the double down bet is an integral part of the round of play - the hand is never considered complete until the option is accepted, or rejected on the basis of either another option being taken or there simply not being a double down option available in the first place.

While the double down option is live, the hand is incomplete.


Video poker double up


The player receives five cards. He then has the option of discarding any of the cards he wishes. Discarded cards are replaced, and if a winning combination has been achieved it is paid as appropriate.

The hand is now complete.

If the player has achieved a winning hand, he is offered the double up option. If he accepts it, one more card is dealt to both player and dealer. If the player's card is higher, he wins the double. If the dealer's is higher, the winnings are lost.

Crucially, the video poker double up bet is not an integral part of the main wager, but a separate bet altogether. It has no relation whatsoever to the base video poker game, the only connection being that the winnings from the base game are used to make the wager.

In fact, the double up game could exist in its own right, without being offered as an optional extra to another game. Equally, it could be attached to non-video poker games - roulette, baccarat or any other.


In summary: the blackjack double down is an integral part of the round of play, whose acceptance or rejection has an effect on the outcome of the wager; the video poker double up is a non-integral, distinct bet whose acceptance or rejection has no bearing on the outcome of the main wager.


Returning then to the rules I quoted at the top and the adherent discussion, it would appear reasonable to put restrictions on the video poker double up when a bonus is in play, as it is as separate and distinct a wager as the initial wager on the VP game, and can reasonably be ruled as governed by the same "percentage of bonus" rules that govern the initial bet.



0 Previous Comments


Post a Comment

Intercasino: video poker double up for bonus wagering rules not clear


Intercasino voided a player's £2000 win recently on the basis of behaviour apparently in contravention of the terms and conditions - see the Intercasino is rogue thread at Casinomeister:



It is with our great reluctance to inform you that following a review of your account activity, your account has been identified as one that has displayed certain activity we feel is not in the spirit of promotions.

As a result your account has been and will remain disabled, thank you for your understanding in this matter.



The player subsequently discovered the justification for the voiding of the win:



Intercasino has a rule that you can't place bets over 25% of the bonus, so if the bonus is 125£, betting 25£ on Video Poker should be fine. They don't have a rule against the double up feature, but when I doubled up winning amounts over 25£, they said that I've violated the rule of not betting over 25% of the bonus.

I think that using the double-up feature is a part of the initial bet and not a new bet. 32red.com has exactly the same rules and they paid me without a problem.



The Intercasino bonus rules contain this clause:



In the interests of fair gaming, players may not place individual bets equal to or in excess of 25% or more of the value of the bonus credited to their account until such time as the wagering requirements for that bonus have been met.

For clarity an individual bet relates to the total amount wagered on one spin of the roulette wheel, one individual hand against the house in table games or blackjack (double up in any individual hand is permitted), one deal of the cards in video poker (no matter how many hands are chosen to play with) and one spin of slots.

InterCasino reserves the right to refuse withdrawals and lock all accounts of players found abusing this rule.



It's encouraging to note that Intercasino clearly states that use of the double down feature in blackjack is not considered a violation of the maximum bet rule. This really should not require any clarification, but it has been known to cause confusion and it's good to see the point made.


The rules do not make this clarification for video poker - they just mention "one deal of the cards" being permitted, not that the subsequent double up function is also allowed, as with blackjack. They should specify this, but given the blackjack clarification you could reasonably conclude that the lack of mention of the double up equates to its ineligibility, assuming the combined total exceeds the stated 25% limit.


My own take on the issue is that the Intercasino rules are reasonably clear, if not perfectly so, and they have a defensible case in revoking these winnings.


However:

1) They should specifically state that the video poker double up will be included in the total initial wager size calculation, and if the combined total of initial bet plus any doubles exceeds 25% of the bonus, this is grounds for confiscation of winnings.

2) They absolutely should not email players who are to have their winnings voided with such vague and meaningless nonsense as was the case here:


Your account has been identified as one that has displayed certain activity we feel is not in the spirit of promotions.



Since Intercasino has a reasonable case here in claiming rules violation, they should just say so, giving the player an exact explanation.


When casinos talk about the "spirit of the promotion", you can be sure such amateurish and vague nensensical waffle is a result of a very unsure position on their part.



9 Previous Comments


I would have thought a Brit would be able to apply a "common law" approach to this issue.

I cannot see how you could take the position that InterCasino's theft of the winnings is defensible - when you take into account their own contradiction in their position on BJ doubling, as well as 32Red's position on the issue, as well as common sense.

-------

Yet I don't have any issue with their use of language when notifying players they are no longer offering them exploitability.

Which really is a tiny issue in comparison to theft of winnings....

By Blogger 1540564456, at 11:35 pm  


Actually, I've firmed up my opinion after more fully mulling over the matter - see my blackjack / VP post.

On this occasion, Intercasino was entitled to make this call, as the double bet is entirely separate, and therefore governed by the same percentage of betsize restrictions as the initial wager.

It would be helpful if the specified this fully in the terms, however.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 11:40 pm  


Even if VP double up is considered as a separate wager, what if you enter the double up game with a winning size that doesn't break the max. 25% of bonus bet rule? For example you could only double up winnings that result from a high pair (a push payout). Would you consider each additional doubling up as a separate bet or just the first one?

By Anonymous JS, at 11:40 am  


If the double bet doesn't break the 25% rule, then you should be fine.

Say, £125 bonus and you're playing £1 single line, £5 total bet. You hit a flush for £30. You can double no problem, as the restriction is £31.25.

Of course, you can't go on to double again, as that'd be £60, which is over the limit.

As long as you stay within the 25% restriction for any double bet, you're good to go.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 2:54 pm  


[QUOTE]Say, £125 bonus and you're playing £1 single line, £5 total bet. You hit a flush for £30. You can double no problem, as the restriction is £31.25.
Of course, you can't go on to double again, as that'd be £60, which is over the limit.[/QUOTE]

But if you enter the double up game with a 30£ win which is below the allowed maximum, shouldn't you be allowed to double up as many times as you want after that, since surely each doubling up doesn't count as a completely different wager but just the first one?

By Anonymous JS, at 4:24 pm  


Each game is separate, the same as a round of blackjack, roulette or whatever else. As such, whatever the percentage restriction is, it will apply to each bet.

So, your £30 would be OK, but another double up, on £60, wouldn't be.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 4:30 pm  


[QUOTE]Each game is separate, the same as a round of blackjack, roulette or whatever else. As such, whatever the percentage restriction is, it will apply to each bet.

So, your £30 would be OK, but another double up, on £60, wouldn't be.[/QUOTE]

Is that just your interpretation or is there some good reason to support this? If we ignore the VP game and assume that the doubling up game is offered as a standalone game if I put a 10£ wager on the game it counts as 10£ wager no matter how many times I double up until the round ends. Similarily if you play any Hi-Lo game, no matter how many consecutive rounds you play through, only the initial wager which you take to the game at the beginning counts as wager.

By Anonymous JS, at 4:36 pm  


The wager in a standalone version of this game would still be governed by bonus rules, assuming a bonus was in the mix. If it was a "wild doubling" game, then the restriction would be bizarre, but still there.

Of course, with a zero house edge, the doubling game wouldn't be available for bonus play in the first place.

In terms of my opinion or otherwise, I'm basing it on the casino's response and my own reasoning thereof.

By Blogger 100% Gambler, at 4:46 pm  


[QUOTE]The wager in a standalone version of this game would still be governed by bonus rules, assuming a bonus was in the mix. [/QUOTE]

I agree with that. However to me the most logical assumption would be that the only the inital wager you take to the game counts as wager, no matter how many consecutive rounds or double-ups you conduct starting from that single wager. But then again that's just my opinion...

By Anonymous JS, at 5:03 pm  


Post a Comment

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tradition Casino warning


I've added a Tradition Casino warning to my rogue page.



0 Previous Comments


Post a Comment

Tradition Casino: payment inaccuracies and rule discrepancies


Tradition Casino, powered by Rival software, was proved to be short-paying on blackjacks, with even money payoffs as opposed to the usual 1.5 to 1 (3 to 2) - see Casinomeister Tradition Casino thread:



Tradition casino even money blackjack



An additional, though less serious, discrepancy was the inability to double down after splitting pairs, within a game whose rules included the DAS option:



Tradition Casino no DAS


Tradition Casino rules


The casino claimed that payouts were changed in error during a period of new staff training, suggesting that the casino itself, as opposed to the software supplier, can change such fundamental standards on a whim.


Paying blackjacks at even-money adds approximately 2.4% to the house edge, depending on the number of decks in play. Loss of the double after split option adds around 0.14%.


So, in total an average 0.5% house edge for perfect play blackjack would increase five-fold in these circumstances to 3%, with the payout reduced from 99.5% to 97%.


It's not clear to me exactly what happened here that resulted in the short-paying blackjack and the double after split discrepancy. The reason given about employee training isn't especially credible.


My directory page has a list of Rival casinos which is not fully comprehensive, but which should give you an idea of most of the other casinos which may share this ability to alter crucial game payments and reconfigure the rules.


My recommendation is to avoid Rival casinos.



2 Previous Comments


These spots are so tricky.

Does one avoid them like they are going out of fashion?

Or pile in as if it's a fire sale?

I'm bonus-banned so - of course - I'm speaking purely in the abstract...but one does wonder...

Rogue + Stupidity = Standard. Avoid.

Rogue no Stupidity = Run!

No Rogue no Stupidity = ugh. 32Red blech professionalism.

***No Rogue +++ Stupidity = ??***

By Blogger 1540564456, at 4:16 pm  


It's probably not a bad habit to get into were you to make a point of attributing screenshots correctly to their owner/s. I'm really just nit-picking though. Of course I don't really mind.

It seems the answer to my musing above was "avoid like they are going out of fashion". I'm hearing reports Rival is all-but-donkdown.

By Blogger 1540564456, at 6:23 pm  


Post a Comment

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Be The Dealer: possible problems


The Be The Dealer group may have problems, according to a Be The Dealer warning posted at the GPWA.

The mother casino has been offline since at least yesterday, when I first checked, with this rather austere message:



Be The Dealer



Of the other sites I've checked, they still exist, but the download pages are missing, and they are all very slow to load - 777 Dealer is one such example.


Assuming signing up is even possible, which it does not appear to be, this may be one to steer clear of.



1 Previous Comments



Post a Comment

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

eCOGRA approved casinos that comply with the letter and spirit of eCOGRA? Actually, yes: they all do


The standards set by eCOGRA for their operator partners are laid out in the generally accepted practices document, or "EGAP". As with most things aboard the Good Ship Spin of the online gambling industry, it walks the walk and talks the talk rather well.


But how far are they applied?


For this article, I'm going to focus on an area close to my heart - promotions and bonuses.

Here is the relevant clause:



113.R.1

Advertising media and content as well as promotional activities shall comply with the letter and spirit of eCOGRA.

113.R.4

Terms and conditions applicable to promotional activities shall be clearly displayed and shall not be unreasonably altered subsequent to the wagering activity.



The first is vague in the extreme, the second more specific. The "spirit of eCOGRA" must relate to the claims on the homepage of "particular emphasis on fair and responsible gambling", with their certification being "synonymous with the highest industry levels of fair and responsible gaming, professional conduct and superior operating standards."


So the EGAP implementation of rules 113 R1 and R4, on the part of the client casinos, has a lot to live up to.


Take a look at the UK Casino Club bonus page - terms & conditions are listed towards the bottom, and below them there is a link that says:



In addition to the above, by taking part in any promotion or activity with our casino, you agree inherently to abide by the full casino terms and conditions.



...clicking on which takes you through to the general terms page, nestling close to the bottom of which there is a list of additional bonus terms; one of them says:



13. The Casino reserves the right to withhold any withdrawals and/or confiscate all winnings for irregular play. 'Irregular play' includes but is not limited to any one or more of the following types of play:

i.Placing single bets equal to or in excess of 25% or more of the value of the bonus credited to the account prior to the play-through requirement for that bonus having been met.



I wrote about this at length in my Kahnawake article, but to cut a long story short: the Kahnawake Commission required that, aside from making the appropriate payment, the casino place their terms in an accessible position - clearly, spread across two pages was unacceptable and deceptive.


The casino never complied with this directive.


Is the placement of vital bonus terms and conditions on pages where the player would never expect to find them in any way "synonymous with the highest industry levels of fair and responsible gaming, professional conduct and superior operating standards" as per the lofty requirements of EGAP clause 113R. 1?

Are these terms "clearly displayed", as per 113R. 4?


Clearly, the answer is negative on both counts.


There are many such examples of unethical, unacceptable rules across many other eCOGRA certified casinos, and I highlighted a few more examples in the Online gambling rules article. There are many more.


As such, eCOGRA does seem to talk a good game in its EGAP document, but a relatively superficial analysis of the rules, terms and conditions on a handful of their clients casinos' sites reveals either a policing which is non-existent, or a reality which is far, far removed from the marketing hype.


So are there any eCOGRA casinos which comply with "the letter and spirit of eCOGRA"?


Well, yes. They all do. With relatively few exceptions, they comply with the letter and spirit of eCOGRA to the...letter.


Hang on a sec.

Isn't that backwards? Surely most do no such thing?


No. They all comply.


The only "letter and spirit" that holds any meaning for operators in the online gambling industry is the "letter and spirit" that results in the transference of as much money as possible from the customers into the operators' pockets. eCOGRA is no different.

So yes, the eCOGRA client operators comply with eCOGRA's ideals, aims and objectives to the letter.


It's just a pity that the true "letter and spirit" is so radically different to the one we read about in the marketing brouchure.



0 Previous Comments


Post a Comment

Under age gambling in the UK: substantial operator failure


I came across this article just now by the UK Gambling Commission, from November 2009:



Under age gambling in betting shops

The Gambling Commission (the Commission) undertakes a rolling programme of nationwide test purchase visits to determine that adequate and effective controls are in place to prevent under age gambling. The Commission benefitted on this occasion from working with a number of local council licensing authorities on the most recent series of visits to betting shops.

While the results show that there is still plenty of work to be done, the five major betting operators in Great Britain, accounting for around 80% of betting shops, have made considerable progress. Following disturbing results in May this year when almost all shops failed a similar exercise, these results show that in 65% of the 160shops visited, a person under 18 years of age was prevented from placing a bet at the counter.

This exercise also covered initial visits to a small sample of those medium and smaller betting operators in England and Wales that make up 20% of the total number of betting shops. The results were poor with only 35% of betting shops visited preventing someone under age from betting at the counter.

(More)



For the big boys, they give the following breakdown:



test purchase results



So, Ladbrokes scored three out of four, but it was all downhill from there, with Coral's detection rate at just over a half and the minnows managing just one in three.


How hard is it to ask to see a youngster's ID?



0 Previous Comments


Post a Comment

Monday, April 19, 2010

iGaming Super Show


The iGaming Super Show in Prague, May 25th to 28th 2010, looks like being an interesting event:


The iGaming Super Show is a completely new concept and is set to attract over 2,500 delegates, making it the biggest event in the iGaming calendar. The concept is simple: to create a comprehensive show for what has become an established global industry. The show will be completely free of charge for all attendees, and will include multiple networking events, high level conference streams and the biggest exhibition the industry has ever seen.

The aim of the iGaming Super Show is to provide a meeting place for the whole industry whether you are a vendor, media, affiliate, operator or regulator – This will be the first event where the whole industry will meet under one roof. In total, we expect a minimum of 2,000 attendees from CEO's of the leading operators through to some of the biggest affiliates in the sector.



I'll be there - I have to admit I'll jump at any excuse to take myself off to foreign climes.


There's going to be a very large turnout, so if anyone has any issues they'd like raised with a casino, software supplier or anyone else in the industry, drop me a line and I'll see what I can do.



0 Previous Comments


Post a Comment

eCOGRA exposed: reputable portals? Actually, link trading of the worst kind


From the eCOGRA homepage, click on "our services" and then "reputable portal seals" at the bottom left. You'll see the following far-reaching claim:



In seeking as wide a protection for the player as possible, eCOGRA has identified a number of reputable portals where we are confident that players can benefit from the integrity and quality of the content, and the commitment to fair play and customer service of the portalmaster.

eCOGRA has a policy that permits linking with professional and integrity driven online gambling webmasters who share the organisation's player protective ideals and objectives for honest and ethical conduct in the industry.



Now click on the A to Z listing option, and let's take a look at the portal with pride of place at the head of eCOGRA's list of quality gambling sites where "players can benefit from the integrity and quality of the content" - #1 Casino Portal.


At first glance, the site appears to be primarily full of casino links and bonus offerings, not exactly the "quality content" that eCOGRA tells us is the case in their marketing statement.


However, there may be more to it than initially meets the eye - down the left side we see standard contents links, including such potentially encouraging titles as "how to play" and "rules".

So let's click on "how to play"...


1 Casino Portal


...and see what happens.


We are immediately transported to a casino, Spin Palace, replete with download link.


Hmm. Maybe a mistake - shouldn't that be an internal site information link?


So let's click another one: "strategies", then "fibonacci":


1 Casino Portal


Same result, a link through to a casino. No mistake.


In fact, all those menu links, which by website norm should be internal navigation links to other pages within the site for informational purposes, and will certainly be taken as such by the casual web surfer, are in fact external affiliate links to casinos.


In other words, deceptive and not especially ethical. There are in fact no information links on this site, just affiliate banners and text links to various casinos which masquerade as site navigation links in the menu.


I'm confused at this point. According to the eCOGRA marketing blurb, this is a "reputable portal", where eCOGRA is...



...confident that players can benefit from the integrity and quality of the content, and the commitment to fair play and customer service of the portalmaster.



This on a site consisting of affiliate banners, deceptive text links and nothing else?


I then bypassed the next two, as they're the same as the first, and clicked on the fourth link, "10 Best Online Casinos".



10 Best Online Casinos



The site appears to have disappeared - possibly a blessing in disguise.

eCOGRA doesn't seem to spend too much time checking its "reputable portal" list.


So what is going on here? Is there a reason why of the top the four sites, three use deceitful advertising techniques and the fourth doesn't even exist?


The answer may lie on the Reputable portals information page - see the very last criterion on the list:



Reciprocal recognition of eCOGRA on the linked portal site is required, with eCOGRA seals displayed alongside approved gambling sites, and the Reputable Portal Seal linking through to a certificate providing a brief overview of eCOGRA (to be supplied by eCOGRA).



This explains it. eCOGRA requires that the "reputable portal" provide information and, essentially, advertising, for eCOGRA in exchange for inclusion on the list. In other words: link-trading.


Surely, if the portal provides quality information, eCOGRA would want it on their site with no conditions attached, given that it would represent the same apparent ideals to which eCOGRA itself holds dear?


In fact, you'd think they would do the same as the highly-regarded Michael "Wizard Of Odds" Shackleford - see his recommended sites page:



I hand-picked these sites to share resources which I feel are truly outstanding. This is not the kind of free-for-all list of worthless sites that you typically see elsewhere.

I don't trade links. I picked the sites below because they're quality sites, not because they might link back here. I won't link to low-quality sites just because they might give me a link back.

How to get a link. You can't get your site listed here. I don't trade links, I don't sell links, and I don't accept suggestions for additions, because when I did that I was inundated with suggestions for worthless sites. If I run across your site on our own, and I like it, then I'll list it here.



Michael Shackleford uses all the right, ethical and honest criteria for listing sites. He doesn't require links in exchange, and he offers the links for free on the basis of the intrinsic worth of the sites themselves. Exactly as it should be.

I'm also quite proud to say that this site figures on Michael's recommended page - see the "internet gambling" section.


All of that is the absolute direct opposite of eCOGRA's ethically-challenged marketing exercise of link-trading of the worst kind - and this IS the "worst kind" of link trading, because it masquerades as something it is not.


Maybe I can re-write the eCOGRA advertising pitch I quoted at the top into something more appropriate:


Agree to place our stamp on your site, and we'll list your site on ours



I think that about sums it up.



1 Previous Comments


Yet another excellent article. I operate an "eCOGRA Approved Portal" after initially thinking "about time someone separated the chaff rogue portals from the wheat". I was disillusioned to find that the approval process appeared to be as strenuous as placing an eCOGRA Tick from a template eCOGRA "You Have Been Approved" email on my site.

6 months later, I'm yet to appear on the 'prestigious' Approved Portal List. I would chase up my site's non-inclusion but that would imply that I value placement on such a list - and I most certainly do not.

I would estimate 80 or 90% of those portals are rogue in some way.

By Blogger 1540564456, at 3:02 pm  


Post a Comment

eCOGRA exposed: the independent standards authority of the online gambling industry...or maybe it isn't


eCOGRA, an online gambling marketing organisation originally established by software suppliers Microgaming and Cassava, lays claim to some impressive credentials. Most notably the one appearing in bold text at the top of the homepage:


eCOGRA is the independent standards authority of the online gaming industry.


That's an impressive claim: not only is this organisation independent, but it is unique, the only one of its kind, somehow appointed by "the online gambling industry" to alone fly the flag of standards, integrity and fairness.


Furthmore, on the about us page, they push the independence angle a bit further:


Our independence


Independent Directors are solely responsible for determining which software developers are admitted as eCOGRA members, and which operators qualify for the eCOGRA Seal.


So, good stuff.

But is it true?


Actually, the claim for independence and uniqueness crumbles away at the most cursory examination.


Oddly, it's the proof of independence page which hints at where the problem lies:



All decisions regarding how casinos and poker rooms are tested and who gets the Seals fall under the control of the four independent directors on the Board.

This is clearly set out in the company's constitution. These are all eminent and well-qualified and experienced professional men. Most important of all - they are all independent of the funding entities.



"Funding entities".

Who are these funding entities? It's mentioned nowhere on the site - and maybe this isn't so surprising.

The funding entities of eCOGRA are those same software companies whose casinos eCOGRA signs off as "safe and fair".


It really makes no difference whether the decision making comes from industry insiders, Donald Duck or The Flintstones. You cannot be independent as an overseer / regulator while your salaries come from those same entities you regulate.


But does it work, warts and all? If it does work, then it really matters little where the funding comes from.


So let's take a look at the independent directors in action:


In 2006, the Jackpot Factory Microgaming casino group ran one of the most ethically-challenged marketing campaigns ever seen, in which they targetted the old, bereaved and terminally ill - you can read blow-by-blow reports on this in the Winneronline and Casinomeister dicussions.

Here is one of Jackpot Factory's best efforts - why slots are good for the elderly and ill:



Multi-Line Slots Can Improve Arthritis

The Foundation for Arthritis Prevention has recently announced that certain games can help reduce the worsening and spread of arthritis.

Multi-Line Slots For the Elderly

The Foundation also announced that it encourages the elderly to play multi-line slots and the other games listed because this will help not only improve the condition of those people with arthritis, but multi-line slots might even help prevent the occurrence of arthritis in later life.

The Foundation stated that multi-line slots was not a game which was too confusing and that the elderly would be able to pick it up quite easily without major hassles.



There were many other such examples.

Their actions were roundly condemned, and the eCOGRA seals were removed.

But only temporarily.


The independent directors carried out an investigation. This turned out to be little more than a whitewash, and the Jackpot Factory "play it safe" seals were back up very quickly - you can read my eCOGRA and Jackpot Factory article for full details on their report.


Just once were the eCOGRA independent directors called upon to act. And just once they failed.


In fairness, even those regulatory entities which are theoretically impartial, governmental bodies such as the Malta LGA or the Aldeney AGCC, have been found seriously wanting in the player protection department. But crucially, the funding of those bodies does not come from the gambling operations they license. The casinos pay a fee, but the regulators themselves are publically funded, which gives them at least a degree of theoretical autonomy.


So: is eCOGRA "the independent standards authority of the online gambling industry"?


Not really.

At least, not by my understanding of the word "independent".



1 Previous Comments


Interesting points , I will how ever add that micro gaming defy probable outcome in there poker room and E Cogra fail to show any test results after many requests.

Alderney gaming commission who regulate LOL JOKE poker stars also fail to close a loop hole in there regs that allows manipulation of expected outcome. The whole online poker industry runs free from ant serious regulation and cheats there deals to create action any way they please. Do not be fooled online poker is rigged.

By Anonymous v Rice, at 11:14 pm  


Post a Comment

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Slots Oasis warning


I've updated my rogue casinos page to include a warning against Slots Oasis Casino.

Since the two sister casinos, Rushmore and Cherry Red, already figure in my rogue listing, it may not be entirely surprising that Slots Oasis now has dishonourable mention.



0 Previous Comments


Post a Comment

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Slots Oasis problem: theft of a five-figure balance by means of deceptive rules


Playing roulette and slots at Slots Oasis Casino in July 2009, a player racked up a win of £51,000. On attempting to cashout, the casino informed him that roulette, his first game, was restricted from bonus play, and pointed him to the following terms:



Slots Oasis terms



Bets placed in Roulette, Craps, Baccarat, Bingo and Paigow Poker do not fulfill players obligations towards wagering requirements.

Wagering on restricted games does not count towards the fulfillment of the wagering requirements and winnings from rounds played on restricted games before meeting the wagering requirements will be removed at the time of a cash-out request.

Wagering on restricted games may void all winnings won on this promotion.



The first thing to note here is that the terms are contradictory:

Of the three I've quoted, the second says that play on restricted games does not count towards whatever the wagering requirements are for the given bonus and that, as such, any derived winnings will be removed. This is crystal clear, and also fair.

The third says that it may be the case that all winnings, from all game play, will be removed. This is vague, and basically contradicts the first. It is also unfair.

Assuming that roulette is a "restricted" game, the clear terms should take precedence, as would always be the case in a jurisdiction with rigorous consumer protection laws, as in the EU; the player should lose his roulette winnings but receive the remainder of the balance.


However, after initially taking the casino at its word about the "restricted" nature of roulette, with a little further examination it became apparent that roulette is nowhere classed as a "restricted" game. It simply "does not fulfill players obligations towards wagering requirements" as per the above term. There are in fact no restricted games listed anywhere.


As per the terms of the deal, the player is owed his full winnings.


But exactly what is going on here?

Why does the casino list no "restricted" games, only those which "do not fulfil players obligations towards wagering requirements", a patently different matter, having mentioned "restricted" games in the previous term?

Why the apparent contradiction and confusion?


Since the Slots Oasis terms are written in correct English, there is clearly no misunderstanding or misinterpretation of the language on their part. They cannot plead ignorance of the difference between "restricted", meaning the game cannot be legally played, and "not fulfilling the wagering requirements", which rather passively means that whatever the wagering requirements are, bets placed in roulette will simply not contribute towards their fulfilment.

If they wanted roulette to be "restricted", they could simply say so - and they are clearly linguistically competent enough to so do. Yet they do not.


As such, this would appear to be a trap laid by the casino, and not particularly subtly either, to encourage the player to play games which result in his never being able to cashout.

If he loses, he loses; if he wins, his winnings are void.


However, I think there's a way around this which is fair to both sides.


Let's assume an honest mistake on the part of the casino, whereby they intend "not fulfilling the wagering requirements" to mean "restricted", being somewhat bizarrely unaware of the clear difference between the two.

In this case, we go back to the original terms:



Wagering on restricted games does not count towards the fulfillment of the wagering requirements and winnings from rounds played on restricted games before meeting the wagering requirements will be removed at the time of a cash-out request.

Wagering on restricted games may void all winnings won on this promotion.



The clear term should take precedence over the non-specific one. As such, of the total £40,000 balance, the player should lose his £9000 roulette winnings and receive the remainder, £42,000.


I do not for one minute expect the casino to take this fair view, or take steps to amend their deceptive terms. They are aware of the issue, and choose to leave the contradiction in place - see the Slots Oasis bonus terms page.


As such, they are willfully seeking to entrap the player, and should be avoided at all costs.


The matter was also discussed at Casinomeister, where self-proclaimed player watchdog Bryan Bailey made a number of remarkably incorrect and unfair statements, accused the player of making a deliberate mistake where there was, in fact, no mistake, proclaimed the casino was right, and for good measure locked the thread to prevent any further discussion - see Slots Oasis voids winnings discussion.


It should, of course, be borne in mind that Slots Oasis is one of the Casinomeister accredited casinos - see the accredited RTG casinos list.



0 Previous Comments


Post a Comment

Friday, April 16, 2010

HR 2267: the online gambling industry faces tough measures if it wants to deal to US citizens


Barney Frank's proposed HR 2267 Internet Gambling Regulation Act was universally welcomed within the online gambling industry, as its passage into law would pave the way for online gambling regulation in the USA and a subsequent reopening of that lucrative market.


However, I wonder how closely the entire industry has studied the proposition?

I've been looking at it more closely since it was due to be discussed in congress today (subsequently postponed), and it isn't necessarily the passage to untold riches at the expense of the American public that the industry might have been expecting.



5383. B. 1. LICENSING REQUIRED FOR CERTAIN INTERNET GAMBLING

No person may operate an internet gambling facility that knowingly accepts bets or wagers from persons located in the United States without a license issued by the Secretary in accordance with this subchapter.



C. 2. E.

...the applicant agrees to submit to United States jurisdiction and all applicable United States laws relating to acceptance by the applicant of bets or wagers over the Internet from persons located in the United States and all associated activities.



These clauses require that any US-facing operator have a US licence to deal to the American public, and fully comply with the legislation. As such, casinos in the lax and operator-friendly offshore jurisdictions of Costa Rica, Antigua & Barbuda, Curacao etc would all have to obtain US licences to legally do business with the USA.

However, many of the casinos in these lax jurisdictions already deal to US customers. These operations will no longer be able so to do under the proposals, and failure to obtain a licence and submit to the subsequent rigorous procedures would be a breach of US law.

The US government's affection and zeal for the extradition of foreign criminals is well documented, so offshore operators in lax jurisdictions that continued to offer unlicensed online gambling would not sleep easy.


In order to obtain a licence, one of the requirements is to avail to the licence committee...



...the criminal and credit history of the applicant, any senior executive and director of the applicant, and any person deemed to be in control of the applicant.



I suspect this alone might be a problem for some. There are many other requirements. Here's one such that made me laugh:



...is a person of good character, honesty, and integrity.



I'm sure that wouldn't any problem for anyone operating in the squeaky-clean world of the online gambling business.


Here are some more:



5383. G.

1. LEGAL AGE - Appropriate safeguards to ensure that the individual placing a bet or wager is of legal age as defined by the law of the State or tribal area in which the individual is located at the time the bet or wager is placed.

2. Appropriate safeguards to ensure that the individual placing a bet or wager is physically located in a jurisdiction that permits Internet gambling at the time the bet or wager is placed.



Age verification checks would be required before, or at the latest at the point of, bets being placed. Clearly a good idea, but not something the industry has shown much affection for to date, with age verification usually only occuring at the time of withdrawal.



3. Appropriate mechanisms to ensure that all taxes relating to internet gambling from persons engaged in internet gambling are collected at the time of any payment of any proceeds of internet gambling.



This appears to require that the operator take a hand in collecting taxes on winnings. If I'm reading this correctly, it's certainly a new and stringent concept.


These requirements are all on "pain of death" for the licensee, as failure to adhere to them results in forfeiture of the licence:



G. Safeguards Required of Licensee - No person shall receive or retain a license under this section unless the person maintains or requires mechanisms so that the following requirements, and the standards established under section 5384, are met with respect to any internet bet or wager:

LEGAL AGE...

PERMISSIBLE LOCATION...

COLLECTION OF CUSTOMER TAXES

SAFEGUARDS AGAINST COMPULSIVE GAMBLING...

(etc etc)



Clearly Barney Frank had in mind to produce a bill which erred on the cautious side, in order to take as much firepower as possible away from the likes of Spencer Bachus and his prohibitionist cohorts. Well, he succeeded - if this bill became law, it would not result in any kind of a free ride for casinos licensed to deal to the USA, and those who failed to obtain a licence but continued to offer services to Americans would face the long arm of US law.


All told, it's a pretty fair bill and deserves consideration.



0 Previous Comments


Post a Comment

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

HR 2267: Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act


HR 2267 is the legislation proposed by US senator Barney Frank for the regulation of online gambling in the USA.

You can use the contents links below to navigate to the various sections, which should facilitate the reading of this large document.




• Sec. 1. Internet gambling regulation, consumer protection and enforcement act
• Sec. 2. Federal licensing requirement for internet gambling operators
  • Subchapter v - Regulation of lawful internet gambling
• Sec. 5381. Congressional findings
• Sec. 5382. Definitions
• Sec. 5383. Establishment and administration of licensing program
  • (a) Treasury responsibilities
  • (b) Internet gambling licensing Program
  • (c) Application for license
  • (d) Standards for license issuance
  • (e) Assessments for administrative expenses
  • (f) Approval of license
  • (g) Safeguards required of licensee
  • (h) Term and renewal of license
  • (k) Administrative provisions
  • (m) Treatment of records
  • (n) Suitability for licensing
  • (o) Reliance on State and Tribal Regulatory Body
• Sec. 5384. Problem gambling, responsible gambling, and self-exclusion program
• Sec. 5385. Financial transaction providers
• Sec. 5386. Limitation of licenses in States and Indian lands
• Sec. 5387. Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act prohibitions
• Sec. 5388. Safe harbors
• Sec. 5389. Relation to section 1084 of title 18 and the UIGEA
• Sec. 5390. Cheating and other fraud
  • Subchapter v - regulation summary
• Section 3. Report required
• Section 4. Effective date




111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 2267

To amend title 31, United States Code, to provide for the licensing of Internet gambling activities by the Secretary of the Treasury, to provide for consumer protections on the Internet, to enforce the tax code, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 6, 2009

Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts (for himself, Mr. PAUL, Mr. GUTIERREZ, Mr. KING of New York, Mr. WATT, Mr. ACKERMAN, Mr. CAPUANO, Mr. CARSON of Indiana, Mr. MCDERMOTT, Mr. DELAHUNT, Mr. MCGOVERN, Mr. WEXLER, Ms. BERKLEY, Mr. COHEN, Mr. PERRIELLO, and Mr. SABLAN) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Financial Services, and in addition to the Committees on Energy and Commerce and the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


SECTION 1

This Act may be cited as the 'Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act'.


SECTION 2. FEDERAL LICENSING REQUIREMENT FOR INTERNET GAMBLING OPERATORS

(a) In General - Chapter 53 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subchapter:


SUBCHAPTER V - REGULATION OF LAWFUL INTERNET GAMBLING

Sec. 5381. Congressional findings


The Congress finds the following:

(1) Since the development of the internet, millions of people have chosen to gamble online, and today internet gambling is offered by operators located in many different countries under a variety of licensing and regulatory regimes.

(2) Despite the increasing use of the internet for gambling by persons in the United States, there is no Federal or State regulatory regime in place to protect United States citizens who choose to engage in this interstate activity, or to oversee operators to establish and enforce standards of integrity and fairness.

(3) In the United States, gambling activities, equipment, and operations have been subject to various forms of Federal and State control, regulation, and enforcement, with some form of gambling being permitted in nearly every State and by many Indian tribes.

(4) Internet gambling in the United States should be controlled by a strict Federal licensing and regulatory framework to protect underage and otherwise vulnerable individuals, to ensure the games are fair, to address the concerns of law enforcement, and to enforce any limitations on the activity established by the States and Indian tribes.

(5) An effective Federal licensing system would ensure that licenses are issued only to internet gambling operators which meet strict criteria to protect consumers, and which -

(A) are in good financial and legal standing, and of good character, honesty, and integrity;

(B) utilize appropriate technology to determine the age and location of users;

(C) adopt and implement systems to protect minors and problem gamblers;

(D) adopt and implement systems to enforce any applicable federal, state, and Indian tribe limitations on internet gambling; and

(E) have in place risk-based methods to identify and combat money laundering and fraud relating to internet gambling, and to protect the privacy and security of users.

(6) There is a need to extend the regulatory provisions of this Act to all persons, locations, equipment, practices, and associations related to internet gambling, with each State and Indian tribe having the ability to limit internet gambling operators from offering internet gambling to persons located within its territory by opting out of the provisions of this Act.

(top)


Sec. 5382. Definitions

For purposes of this subchapter, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) APPLICANT - The term 'applicant' means any person who has applied for a license pursuant to this subchapter.

(2) BET OR WAGER - The term 'bet or wager' has the same meaning as in section 5362(1).

(3) ENFORCEMENT AGENT - The term 'enforcement agent' means any individual authorized by the Secretary to enforce the provisions of this subchapter and regulations prescribed under this subchapter.

(4) INDIAN LANDS AND INDIAN TRIBE - The terms 'Indian lands' and 'Indian tribe' have the same meanings as in section 4 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

(5) INTERNET - The term 'internet' has the same meaning as in section 5362(5).

(6) LICENSEE - The term 'licensee' means an entity authorized to operate an Internet gambling facility in accordance with this subchapter.

(7) OPERATE AN INTERNET GAMBLING FACILITY - The term 'operate an internet gambling facility' or 'operation of an Internet gambling facility' means the direction, management, supervision, or control of an internet site through which bets or wagers are initiated, received, or otherwise made, whether by telephone, Internet, satellite, or other wire or wireless communication.

(8) SECRETARY - The term 'secretary' means the Secretary of the Treasury, or any person designated by the Secretary.

(9) STATE - The term 'state' means any state of the United States, the District of Columbia, or any commonwealth, territory, or other possession of the United States.

(10) SPORTING EVENT - The term 'sporting event' means any athletic competition, whether professional, scholastic, or amateur.

(top)


Sec. 5383. Establishment and administration of licensing program


(a) Treasury Responsibilities - The Secretary shall have responsibility for the following activities:

(1) Exercising full regulatory jurisdiction over -

(A) the operation of internet gambling facilities by licensees; and

(B) the licensure of all applicants.

(2) Prescribing such regulations as may be necessary to administer and enforce the requirements of this subchapter.

(3) Employing enforcement agents with sufficient training and experience to administer the requirements of this subchapter and the regulations prescribed under this subchapter.

(4) Enforcing the requirements of this subchapter through all appropriate means provided under this subchapter and other provisions of law.

(top)


(b) Internet Gambling Licensing Program -

(1) LICENSING REQUIRED FOR CERTAIN INTERNET GAMBLING - No person may operate an Internet gambling facility that knowingly accepts bets or wagers from persons located in the United States without a license issued by the Secretary in accordance with this subchapter.

(2) AUTHORITY UNDER VALID LICENSE - A licensee may accept bets or wagers from persons located in the United States, subject to the limitations set forth in this subchapter, so long as its license remains in good standing.

(top)


(c) Application for License -

(1) IN GENERAL - Any person seeking authority to operate an internet gambling facility offering services to persons in the United States may apply for a license issued by the Secretary.

(2) INFORMATION REQUIRED - Any application for a license under this subchapter shall contain such information as may be required by the Secretary, including the following:

(A) The criminal and credit history of the applicant, any senior executive and director of the applicant, and any person deemed to be in control of the applicant.

(B) The financial statements of the applicant.

(C) Documentation showing the corporate structure of the applicant and all related businesses and affiliates.

(D) Documentation containing detailed evidence of the applicant's plan for complying with all applicable regulations should a license be issued, with particular emphasis on the applicant's ability to -

(i) protect underage and problem gamblers;

(ii) ensure games are being operated fairly; and

(iii) comply with and address the concerns of law enforcement.

(E) Certification that the applicant agrees to submit to United States jurisdiction and all applicable United States laws relating to acceptance by the applicant of bets or wagers over the Internet from persons located in the United States and all associated activities.

(top)


(d) Standards for License Issuance; Suitability Qualifications and Disqualification Standards -

(1) SUITABILITY FOR LICENSING STANDARDS -

(A) IN GENERAL - No person shall be eligible to obtain a license unless the Secretary has determined, upon completion of a background check and investigation, that the applicant, and any person deemed to be in control of the applicant, is suitable for licensing.

(B) ASSOCIATES OF APPLICANTS - If the applicant is a corporation, partnership, or other business entity, a background check and investigation shall occur with respect to the president or other chief executive of the corporation, partnership, or other business entity and other partners or senior executives and directors of the corporation, partnership, or entity, as determined appropriate by the Secretary, in the Secretary's sole discretion.

(C) BACKGROUND CHECK AND INVESTIGATION - The Secretary shall establish standards and procedures for conducting background checks and investigations for purposes of this subsection.

(2) SUITABILITY FOR LICENSING STANDARDS DESCRIBED - For purposes of this subchapter, an applicant and any other person associated with the applicant, as applicable, is suitable for licensing if the applicant demonstrates to the Secretary by clear and convincing evidence that the applicant (or individual associated with the applicant, as applicable) -

(A) is a person of good character, honesty, and integrity;

(B) is a person whose prior activities, reputation, habits, and associations do not -

(i) pose a threat to the public interest or to the effective regulation and control of the licensed activities; or

(ii) create or enhance the dangers of unsuitable, unfair, or illegal practices, methods, and activities in the conduct of the licensed activities or the carrying on of the business and financial arrangements incidental to such activities;

(C) is capable of and likely to conduct the activities for which the applicant is licensed in accordance with the provisions of this subchapter and any regulations prescribed under this subchapter;

(D) has or guarantees acquisition of adequate business competence and experience in the operation of Internet gambling facilities; and

(E) has or will obtain sufficient financing for the nature of the proposed operation and from a suitable source.

(3) UNSUITABLE FOR LICENSING - An applicant or any other person may not be determined to be suitable for licensing within the meaning of this subchapter if the applicant or such person

(A) has failed to provide information and documentation material to a determination of suitability for licensing under paragraph (1);

(B) has supplied information which is untrue or misleading as to a material fact pertaining to any such determination;

(C) has been convicted of an offense punishable by imprisonment of more than 1 year; or

(D) is delinquent in filing any applicable Federal or State tax returns or in the payment of any taxes, penalties, additions to tax, or interest owed to a State or the United States.

(4) ONGOING REQUIREMENT - A licensee (and any other person who is required to be determined to be suitable for licensing in connection with such licensee) shall meet the standards necessary to be suitable for licensing throughout the term of the license.

(5) PROTECTION OF THE PUBLIC TRUST - The Secretary may take such action as is necessary to protect the public trust, including the implementation of such safeguards as may be necessary to ensure the operation of an internet gambling facility licensed under this subchapter is controlled only by persons who are suitable for licensing.

(6) ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS -

(A) DETERMINATION OF UNSUITABILITY FOR CONTINUED LICENSURE - If the Secretary finds that an individual owner or holder of a security of a licensee, or of a holding or intermediary company of a licensee or any person with an economic interest in a licensee or a director, partner, or officer of a licensee is not suitable for licensing, the Secretary may determine that the licensee is not qualified to continue as a licensee.

(B) ACTION TO PROTECT THE PUBLIC INTEREST, INCLUDING SUSPENSION - If the Secretary may determine that the licensee is not qualified to continue as a licensee, the Secretary shall propose action necessary to protect the public interest, including, if deemed necessary, the suspension of the licensee.

(C) IMPOSITION OF CONDITIONS INCLUDING REMOVAL OF PARTIES - Notwithstanding a determination under subparagraph (A), the Secretary may allow a licensee to continue engaging in licensed activities by imposing conditions on the licensee under penalty of revocation or suspension of a license, including -

(i) the identification of any person determined to be unsuitable for licensing; and

(ii) the establishment of appropriate safeguards to ensure such person is excluded from any interest in the licensed activities.

(top)


(e) Assessments for Administrative Expenses -

(1) USER FEES -

(A) IN GENERAL - The cost of administering this subchapter with respect to each licensee, including the cost of any review or examination of a licensee to ensure compliance with the terms of the license and this subchapter, shall be assessed by the Secretary against the licensee institution by written notice in an amount appropriate to meet the Secretary’s expenses in carrying out such administration, review, or examination.

(B) DISPOSITION - Amounts assessed by the Secretary as user fees under subparagraph (A) shall -

(i) be maintained by the Secretary solely for use in accordance with clause (ii);

(ii) be available to the Secretary to cover all expenses incurred by the Secretary in carrying out this subchapter; and

(iii) not be construed to be Government funds or appropriated monies, or subject to apportionment for the purposes of chapter 15 or any other authority.

(C) HEARING - Any licensee against whom an assessment is assessed under this paragraph shall be afforded an agency hearing if such person submits a request for such hearing within 20 days after the issuance of the notice of assessment.

(D) COLLECTION -

(i) REFERRAL - If any licensee fails to pay an assessment under this paragraph after the assessment has become final, the Secretary shall recover the amount assessed by action in the appropriate United States district court.

(ii) APPROPRIATENESS OF ASSESSMENT NOT REVIEWABLE - In any civil action under clause (i), the validity and appropriateness of the assessment shall not be subject to review.

(2) DIRECT AND EXCLUSIVE OBLIGATION OF LICENSEE - The user fee shall be the direct and exclusive obligation of the licensee and may not be deducted from amounts available as deposits to any person placing a bet.

(top)


(f) Approval of License - The Secretary shall grant licenses under this subchapter if the applicant meets the criteria set by the Secretary set forth in this subchapter and in any regulations promulgated thereunder.

(top)


(g) Safeguards Required of Licensee - No person shall receive or retain a license under this section unless the person maintains or requires mechanisms so that the following requirements, and the standards established under section 5384, are met with respect to any internet bet or wager:

(1) LEGAL AGE - Appropriate safeguards to ensure that the individual placing a bet or wager is of legal age as defined by the law of the State or tribal area in which the individual is located at the time the bet or wager is placed.

(2) PERMISSIBLE LOCATION - Appropriate safeguards to ensure that the individual placing a bet or wager is physically located in a jurisdiction that permits Internet gambling at the time the bet or wager is placed.

(3) COLLECTION OF CUSTOMER TAXES - Appropriate mechanisms to ensure that all taxes relating to internet gambling from persons engaged in internet gambling are collected at the time of any payment of any proceeds of internet gambling.

(4) COLLECTION OF TAXES OF LICENSEE - Appropriate mechanisms to ensure that all taxes relating to internet gambling from any licensee are collected and disbursed as required by law, and that adequate records to enable later audit or verification are maintained.

(5) SAFEGUARDS AGAINST FINANCIAL CRIME - Appropriate safeguards to combat fraud, money laundering, and terrorist finance.

(6) SAFEGUARDS AGAINST COMPULSIVE GAMBLING - Appropriate safeguards to combat compulsive Internet gambling.

(7) PRIVACY SAFEGUARDS - Appropriate safeguards to protect the privacy and security of any person engaged in Internet gambling.

(8) PAYMENT OF ASSESSMENTS - Appropriate mechanisms to ensure that any assessment under subsection (e) is paid to the Secretary.

(9) OTHER REQUIREMENTS - Such other requirements as the Secretary may establish by regulation or order.

(top)


(h) Term and Renewal of License -

(1) TERM - Any license issued under this section shall be issued for a 5-year term beginning on the date of issuance.

(2) RENEWAL - Licenses may be renewed in accordance with the requirements prescribed by the Secretary pursuant to this subchapter.


(i) Revocation of License-

(1) IN GENERAL - Any license granted under this subchapter may be revoked by the Secretary if -

(A) the licensee fails to comply with any provision of this subchapter; or

(B) the licensee is determined to be unsuitable for licensing, within the meaning of this subchapter.

(2) FINAL ACTION - Any revocation of a license under paragraph (1) shall be treated as a final action by the Secretary.


(j) Regulations - The regulations prescribed by the Secretary under this subchapter shall include regulations to fully implement -

(1) safeguards required for licensees under subsection (g); and

(2) the requirements for programs relating to the Problem Gambling, Responsible Gambling, and Self-Exclusion Program under section 5384.

(top)


(k) Administrative Provisions -

(1) GENERAL POWERS OF SECRETARY - The Secretary shall have the authority to engage in the following:

(A) Investigate the suitability of each applicant to ensure compliance with this subchapter and regulations prescribed under this subchapter.

(B) Require licensees to maintain appropriate procedures to ensure compliance with this subchapter and regulations prescribed under this subchapter.

(C) Examine any licensee and any books, papers, records, or other data of licensees relevant to any recordkeeping or reporting requirements imposed by the Secretary under this subchapter.

(D) When determined by the Secretary to be necessary, summon a licensee or an applicant for a license, an officer or employee of a licensee or any such applicant (including a former officer or employee), or any person having possession, custody, or care of the reports and records required by the Secretary under this subchapter, to appear before the Secretary or a designee of the Secretary at a time and place named in the summons and to produce such books, papers, records, or other data, and to give testimony, under oath, as may be relevant or material to any investigation in connection with the enforcement of this subchapter or any application for a license under this subchapter.

(E) Investigate any violation of this subchapter and any regulation under this subchapter and any other violation of law relating to the operation of an internet gambling facility.

(F) Conduct continuing reviews of applicants and licensees and the operation of internet gambling facilities by use of technological means, onsite observation of facilities, including servers, or other reasonable means to assure compliance with this subchapter and any regulations promulgated hereunder.

(2) ADMINISTRATIVE ASPECTS OF SUMMONS -

(A) PRODUCTION AT DESIGNATED SITE - A summons issued pursuant to this subsection may require that books, papers, records, or other data stored or maintained at any place be produced at any business location of a licensee or applicant for a license or any designated location in any State or in any territory or other place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States not more than 500 miles distant from any place where the licensee or applicant for a license operates or conducts business in the United States.

(B) NO LIABILITY FOR EXPENSES - The United States shall not be liable for any expense incurred in connection with the production of books, papers, records, or other data under this subsection.

(C) SERVICE OF SUMMONS - Service of a summons issued under this subsection may be by registered mail or in such other manner calculated to give actual notice as the Secretary may prescribe by regulation.

(3) CONTUMACY OR REFUSAL -

(A) REFERRAL TO ATTORNEY GENERAL - In case of contumacy by a person issued a summons under this subsection or a refusal by such person to obey such summons or to allow the Secretary to conduct an examination, the Secretary shall refer the matter to the Secretary of the Treasury for referral to the Attorney General.

(B) JURISDICTION OF COURT - The Attorney General may invoke the aid of any court of the United States to compel compliance with the summons within the jurisdiction of which -

(i) the investigation which gave rise to the summons or the examination is being or has been carried on;

(ii) the person summoned is an inhabitant; or

(iii) the person summoned carries on business or may be found.

(C) COURT ORDER - The court may issue an order requiring the person summoned to appear before the Secretary or a delegate of the Secretary to produce books, papers, records, and other data, to give testimony as may be necessary to explain how such material was compiled and maintained, to allow the Secretary to examine the business of a licensee, and to pay the costs of the proceeding.

(D) FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH ORDER - Any failure to obey the order of the court may be punished by the court as a contempt thereof.

(E) SERVICE OF PROCESS - All process in any case under this subsection may be served in any judicial district in which such person may be found.

(l) Civil Money Penalties -

(1) IN GENERAL - The Secretary may assess upon any licensee or other person subject to the requirements of this subchapter for any willful violation of this subchapter or any regulation prescribed or order issued under this subchapter, a civil penalty of not more than the greater of--

(A) the amount (not to exceed $100,000) involved in the violation, if any; or

(B) $25,000.

(2) ASSESSMENT -

(A) WRITTEN NOTICE - Any penalty imposed under paragraph (1) may be assessed and collected by the Secretary by written notice.

(B) FINALITY OF ASSESSMENT - If, with respect to any assessment under paragraph (1), a hearing is not requested pursuant to subparagraph (E) within the period of time allowed under such subparagraph, the assessment shall constitute a final and unappealable order.

(C) AUTHORITY TO MODIFY OR REMIT PENALTY - The Secretary may compromise, modify, or remit any penalty which the Secretary may assess or has already assessed under paragraph (1).

(D) MITIGATING FACTORS - In determining the amount of any penalty imposed under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall take into account the appropriateness of the penalty with respect to -

(i) the size of the financial resources and the good faith of the person against whom the penalty is assessed;

(ii) the gravity of the violation;

(iii) the history of previous violations; and

(iv) such other matters as justice may require.

(E) HEARING - The person against whom any penalty is assessed under paragraph (1) shall be afforded an agency hearing if such person submits a request for such hearing within 20 days after the issuance of the notice of assessment.

(F) COLLECTION -

(i) REFERRAL - If any person fails to pay an assessment after any penalty assessed under this paragraph has become final, the Secretary shall recover the amount assessed by action in the appropriate United States district court.

(ii) APPROPRIATENESS OF PENALTY NOT REVIEWABLE - In any civil action under clause (i), the validity and appropriateness of the penalty shall not be subject to review.

(G) DISBURSEMENT - All penalties collected under authority of this subsection shall be deposited into the Treasury.

(3) CONDITION FOR LICENSURE - Payment by a licensee of any civil penalty assessed under this subsection that has become final shall be a requirement for the retention of its license.

(top)


(m) Treatment of Records - In light of business competition, confidentiality, and privacy concerns, the Secretary shall protect from disclosure information submitted in support of a license application under this subchapter and information collected in the course of regulating licensees to the full extent permitted by sections 552 and 552a of title 5, United States Code.

(top)


(n) Suitability for Licensing Requirements for Certain Service Providers -

(1) IN GENERAL - Any person that knowingly manages, administers, or controls bets or wagers that are initiated, received, or otherwise made within the United States or that otherwise manages or administers the games with which such bets or wagers are associated must meet all of the suitability for licensing criteria established under this section in the same manner and to the same extent as if that person were itself a licensee.

(2) SUBJECT TO SAME ENFORCEMENT JURISDICTION - Any failure on the part of such person to remain suitable for licensing shall be grounds for revocation of the license of the licensee for whom such service is provided, in the same manner and in accordance with subsection (i).

(top)


(o) Reliance on State and Tribal Regulatory Body Certifications of Suitability for Applicants -

(1) QUALIFICATION OF STATE AND TRIBAL REGULATORY BODIES-

(A) APPLICATION FOR DETERMINATION - Any State or tribal regulatory body with expertise in regulating gambling may -

(i) notify the Secretary of its willingness to review prospective applicants to certify whether any such applicant meets the qualifications established under this subchapter; and

(ii) provide the Secretary with such documentation as the Secretary determines necessary for the Secretary to determine whether such State or tribal regulatory body is qualified to conduct such review and may be relied upon by the Secretary to make any such certification.

(B) DETERMINATION AND NOTICE - Within 60 days after receiving any notice under subparagraph(A)(i), the Secretary shall -

(i) make the determination as to whether a State or tribal regulatory body is qualified to conduct a review of prospective applicants and may be relied upon to certify whether any such applicant meets the qualifications established under this subchapter; and

(ii) notify the State or tribal regulatory body of such determination.

(2) ACTIONS BY QUALIFIED AUTHORITIES - During the period that any determination of qualification under paragraph (1)(B) is in effect with respect to any such State or tribal regulatory body, the State or tribal regulatory body -

(A) may undertake reviews of any applicant to determine whether the applicant or any person associated with the applicant meets the criteria for suitability for licensing established under this subchapter;

(B) may impose on each such applicant an administrative fee or assessment for conducting such review in an amount the regulatory body determines to be necessary to meet its expenses in the conduct of such review; and

(C) shall process and assess each applicant fairly and equally based on objective criteria, regardless of any prior licensing of an applicant by the State or tribal regulatory body.

(3) RELIANCE ON STATE OR TRIBAL CERTIFICATION - Any applicant may provide a certification of suitability for licensing made by any State or tribal regulatory body under paragraph (2), together with all documentation the applicant has submitted to any such State or tribal regulatory body, to the Secretary, and any such certification and documentation shall be relied on by the Secretary as evidence that an applicant has met the suitability for licensing requirements under this section.

(4) AUTHORITY OF SECRETARY TO REVIEW - Notwithstanding any certification of suitability for licensing made by any State or tribal regulatory body, the Secretary retains the authority to review, withhold, or revoke any license if the Secretary has reason to believe that any applicant or licensee does not meet the suitability requirements for licensing established under this section, or any other requirement of a licensee.

(5) RELIANCE ON QUALIFIED REGULATORY BODY FOR OTHER PURPOSES - At the discretion of the Secretary, the Secretary may rely on any State and tribal regulatory body found qualified under this subsection for such other regulatory and enforcement activities as the Secretary finds to be useful and appropriate to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.

(6) REVOCATION OF QUALIFICATION - The Secretary may revoke, at any time and for any reason, the qualification of any State or tribal regulatory body to certify or to conduct any other regulatory or enforcement activity to carry out the purposes of this subchapter.

(top)


Sec. 5384. Problem Gambling, Responsible Gambling, and Self-Exclusion Program

(a) Regulations Required - The Secretary and any state or tribal regulatory body that has been qualified under subsection 5383(o) shall prescribe regulations for the development of a problem gambling, responsible gambling, and self-exclusion program on the basis of standards that each licensee shall implement as a condition of licensure.

(b) Minimum Requirements - Any application for a license shall include a submission to the Secretary or qualified State or tribal regulatory body setting forth a comprehensive program that is intended -

(1) to verify the identity and age of each customer;

(2) to ensure that no customers under the legal age as defined by State or tribal law, as applicable, may initiate or otherwise make any bets or wagers;

(3) to verify the State or tribal land in which the customer is located at the time the customer attempts to initiate a bet or wager;

(4) to ensure that no customer who is located in a State or tribal land that opts out pursuant to section 5386 can initiate or otherwise make a bet or wager prohibited by such opt-out;

(5) to ensure that responsible gambling materials are made available to customers upon request;

(6) to make available individualized responsible gambling options that any customer may choose, including any stake limit, loss limit, deposit limit, and session time limit option, and any other similar option, that the Secretary or qualified State or tribal regulatory body may deem appropriate and require to be made available;

(7) to protect the privacy and security of any customer in connection with any lawful internet gambling activity; and

(8) to protect against fraud and money laundering relating to internet gambling activity.

(c) List of Persons Self-Excluded From Gambling Activities -

(1) ESTABLISHMENT -

(A) IN GENERAL - The Secretary shall provide by regulation for the establishment of a list of persons self-excluded from gambling activities at all licensee sites.

(B) PLACEMENT REQUEST - Any person may request placement on the list of self-excluded persons by -

(i) acknowledging in a manner to be established by the Secretary that the person wishes to be denied gambling privileges; and

(ii) agreeing that, during any period of voluntary exclusion, the person may not collect any winnings or recover any losses resulting from any gambling activity at any licensee sites.

(2) PLACEMENT AND REMOVAL PROCEDURES - The regulations prescribed by the Secretary under paragraph (1)(A) shall establish procedures for placements on, and removals from, the list of self-excluded persons.

(3) LIMITATION ON LIABILITY -

(A) IN GENERAL - The United States, the Secretary, an enforcement agent, or a licensee, or any employee or agent of the United States, the Secretary, an enforcement agent, or a licensee, shall not be liable to any self-excluded person or to any other party in any judicial or administrative proceeding for any harm, monetary or otherwise, which may arise as a result of -

(i) any failure to withhold gambling privileges from, or to restore gambling privileges to, a self-excluded person; or

(ii) otherwise permitting a self-excluded person to engage in gambling activity while on the list of self-excluded persons.

(B) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION - No provision of subparagraph (A) shall be construed as preventing the Director from assessing any regulatory sanction against a licensee for failing to comply with the minimum standards prescribed pursuant to this subsection.

(4) DISCLOSURE PROVISIONS -

(A) IN GENERAL - Notwithstanding any other provision of federal or state law, the list of self-excluded persons shall not be open to public inspection.

(B) AFFILIATE DISCLOSURE - Any licensees may disclose the identities of persons on the self-excluded list to any affiliated company or, where required to comply with this subsection, any service provider, to the extent that the licensee ensures that any affiliated company or service provider maintains such information under confidentiality provisions comparable to those in this subsection.

(5) LIMITATION ON LIABILITY FOR DISCLOSURE - A licensee or an employee, agent, or affiliate of a licensee shall not be liable to any self-excluded person or to any other party in any judicial proceeding for any harm, monetary or otherwise, which may arise as a result of disclosure or publication in any manner.

(d) Gambling by prohibited persons -

(1) PROHIBITION BENEFITTING FROM PROHIBITED GAMBLING ACTIVITY - A person who is prohibited from gambling with a licensee by law, or by order of the Secretary or any court of competent jurisdiction, including any person on the self-exclusion list as established in accordance with subsection (c), shall not collect, in any manner or proceeding, any winnings or recover any losses arising as a result of any prohibited gambling activity.

(2) FORFEITURE - In addition to any other penalty provided by law, any money or thing of value that has been obtained by, or is owed to, any prohibited person by a licensee as a result of bets or wagers made by a prohibited person shall be subject to forfeiture by order of the Secretary, following notice to the prohibited person and opportunity to be heard.

(3) DEPOSIT OF FORFEITED FUNDS - Any funds forfeited pursuant to this subsection shall be deposited into the general fund of the Treasury.

(e) Problem or Compulsive Gamblers Not on the List of Self-Excluded Persons-

(1) PUBLIC AWARENESS PROGRAM -

(A) IN GENERAL - The Secretary and any State or tribal regulatory body that has been qualified under subsection 5383(o) shall provide by regulation for the establishment of a program to alert the public to the existence, consequences, and availability of the self-exclusion list, and shall prepare and promulgate written materials to be used in such a program.

(B) LICENSEE-PROVIDED PUBLICITY - Regulations prescribed under subparagraph (A) may require a licensee to make available literature or screen displays relating to the existence of the program.

(2) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION - No provision of this subsection shall be construed as creating a legal duty in the Secretary, a qualified State or tribal regulatory body, a licensee, or any representative of a licensee to identify or to exclude problem or compulsive gamblers not on the list of self-excluded persons.

(3) IMMUNITY - The United States, the Secretary, a qualified State or tribal regulatory body, a licensee, and any employee or agent of a licensee, shall not be liable to any person in any proceeding for losses or other damages of any kind arising out of that person's gambling activities based on a claim that the person was a compulsive, problem, or pathological gambler.

(top)


Sec. 5385. Financial transaction providers

(a) In General - No financial transaction provider shall be held liable for engaging in financial activities and transactions for or on behalf of a licensee or involving a licensee, including payments processing activities, if such activities are performed in compliance with this subchapter and with applicable Federal and State laws.

(b) Definitions - For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:

(1) FINANCIAL TRANSACTION PROVIDER- The term 'financial transaction provider' means a creditor, credit card issuer, financial institution, operator of a terminal at which an electronic fund transfer may be initiated, money transmitting business, or international, national, regional, or local payment network utilized to effect a credit transaction, electronic fund transfer, stored value product transaction, or money transmitting service, or a participant in such network, or other participant in a payment system.

(2) OTHER TERMS -

(A) CREDIT, CREDITOR, CREDIT CARD, AND CARD ISSUER - The terms 'credit', 'creditor', 'credit card', and 'card issuer' have the meanings given the terms in section 103 of the Truth in Lending Act.

(B) ELECTRONIC FUND TRANSFER- The term 'electronic fund transfer'

(i) has the meaning given the term in section 903 of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, except that the term includes transfers that would otherwise be excluded under section 903(6)(E) of such Act; and

(ii) includes any fund transfer covered by Article 4A of the Uniform Commercial Code, as in effect in any State.

(C) FINANCIAL INSTITUTION - The term 'financial institution' has the meaning given the term in section 903 of the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, except that such term does not include a casino, sports book, or other business at or through which bets or wagers may be placed or received.

(D) INSURED DEPOSITORY INSTITUTION - The term 'insured depository institution' -

(i) has the meaning given the term in section 3(c) of the Federal Deposit Insurance Act; and

(ii) includes an insured credit union (as defined in section 101 of the Federal Credit Union Act).

(E) MONEY TRANSMITTING BUSINESS AND MONEY TRANSMITTING SERVICE - The terms'money transmitting business' and 'money transmitting service' have the meanings given the terms in section 5330(d) (determined without regard to any regulations prescribed by the Secretary under such section).

(top)


Sec. 5386. Limitation of licenses in States and Indian lands

(a) State Opt-Out Exercise -

(1) LIMITATIONS IMPOSED BY STATES -

(A) IN GENERAL - No licensee may engage, under any license issued under this subchapter, in the operation of an internet gambling facility that knowingly accepts bets or wagers initiated by persons who reside in any State which provides notice that it will limit such bets or wagers, if the Governor or other chief executive officer of such State informs the Director of such limitation, in a manner which clearly identifies the nature and extent of such limitation, before the end of the 90-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, or in accordance with paragraph (2), until such time as any notice of any amendment or repeal of such specific limitation becomes effective under paragraph (2).

(B) COORDINATION BETWEEN STATE AND TRIBAL OPT-OUT EXERCISES - Any State limitation under subparagraph (A) shall not apply to the acceptance by a licensee of bets or wagers from persons located within the tribal lands of an Indian tribe that -

(i) has itself opted out pursuant to subsection (b) (in which case the tribal opt-out exercise under such subsection shall apply); or

(ii) would be entitled pursuant to other applicable law to permit such bets or wagers to be initiated and received within its territory without use of the internet.

(C) COORDINATION WITH INDIAN GAMING REGULATORY ACT - No decision by a State under this subsection shall be considered in making any determination with regard to the ability of an Indian tribe to offer any class of gambling activity pursuant to section 11 of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

(2) CHANGES TO STATE LIMITATIONS - The establishment, repeal, or amendment by any State of any limitation referred to in paragraph (1) after the end of the 90-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this subchapter shall apply, for purposes of this subchapter, beginning on the first January 1 that occurs after the end of the 60-day period beginning on the later of -

(A) the date a notice of such establishment, repeal, or amendment is provided by the Governor or other chief executive officer of such State in writing to the Secretary; or

(B) the effective date of such establishment, repeal, or amendment.

(b) Indian Tribe Opt-Out Exercise -

(1) LIMITATIONS IMPOSED BY INDIAN TRIBES - No internet gambling licensee knowingly may accept a bet or wager from a person located in the tribal lands of any Indian tribe which limits such gambling activities or other contests if the principal chief or other chief executive officer of such Indian tribe informs the Secretary of such limitation, in a manner which clearly identifies the nature and extent of such limitation, before the end of the 90-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act, or in accordance with paragraph (2), until such time as any notice of any amendment or repeal of such specific limitation becomes effective under paragraph (2).

(2) CHANGES TO INDIAN TRIBE LIMITATIONS - The establishment, repeal, or amendment by any Indian tribe of any limitation referred to in paragraph (1) after the end of the 90-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this subchapter shall apply, for purposes of this subchapter, beginning on the first January 1 that occurs after the end of the 60-day period beginning on the later of -

(A) the date a notice of such establishment, repeal, or amendment is provided by the principal chief or other chief executive officer of such Indian tribe in writing to the Secretary; or

(B) the effective date of such establishment, repeal, or amendment.

(c) Notification and Enforcement of State and Indian Tribe Limitations -

(1) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall notify all licensees and applicants of all States and Indian tribes that have provided notice pursuant to paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) or (b), as the case may be, promptly upon receipt of such notice and in no event fewer than 30 days before the effective date of such notice.

(2) COMPLIANCE - The Secretary shall take effective measures to ensure that any licensee under this subchapter, as a condition of the license, complies with any limitation or prohibition imposed by any State or Indian tribe to which the licensee is subject under subsection (a) or (b), as the case may be.

(3) VIOLATIONS - It shall be a violation of this subchapter for any licensee knowingly to accept bets or wagers initiated or otherwise made by persons located within any State or in the tribal lands of any Indian tribe for which a notice is in effect under subsection (a) or (b), as the case may be.

(4) STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL ENFORCEMENT - In any case in which the attorney general of a State, or any State or local law enforcement agency authorized by the State attorney general or by State statute to prosecute violations of consumer protection law, has reason to believe that an interest of the residents of that State has been or is threatened or adversely affected by a violation by a licensee pursuant to paragraph (2), the State, or the State or local law enforcement agency on behalf of the residents of the agency’s jurisdiction, may bring a civil action on behalf of the residents of that State or jurisdiction in a district court of the United States located therein, to -

(A) enjoin that practice; or

(B) enforce compliance with this subchapter.

(top)


Sec. 5387. Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act prohibitions

No provision of this subchapter shall be construed as authorizing any licensee to operate an internet gambling facility that knowingly accepts bets or wagers on sporting events from persons located in the United States in violation of section 3702 of title 28, United States Code, except for fantasy or simulation sports games (as defined in section 5362 of this title).


Sec. 5388. Safe harbors

It shall be a complete defense against any prosecution or enforcement action under any Federal or State law against any person possessing a valid license under this subchapter that the activity is authorized under and has been carried out lawfully under the terms of this subchapter.


Sec. 5389. Relation to section 1084 of title 18 and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act

Section 1084 of title 18 and subchapter IV of this chapter shall not apply to any internet bet or wager occurring pursuant to a license issued by the Secretary under this subchapter.

(top)


Sec. 5390. Cheating and other fraud

(a) Electronic Cheating Devices Prohibited - No person initiating, receiving, or otherwise making a bet or wager with a licensee, or sending, receiving, or inviting information assisting with a bet or wager with a licensee, knowingly shall use, or assist another in the use of, an electronic, electrical, or mechanical device which is designed, constructed, or programmed specifically for use in obtaining an advantage in any game authorized under this subchapter, where such advantage is prohibited or otherwise violates the rules of play established by the licensee.

(b) Additional Offense - No person initiating, receiving, or otherwise making a bet or wager with a licensee, or sending, receiving, or inviting information assisting with a bet or wager with a licensee, knowingly shall use or possess any cheating device with intent to cheat or defraud any licensee or other persons placing bets or wagers with such licensee.

(c) Permanent Injunction - Upon conviction of a person for violation of this section, the court may enter a permanent injunction enjoining such person from initiating, receiving, or otherwise making bets or wagers or sending, receiving, or inviting information assisting in the placing of bets or wagers.

(d) Criminal Penalty - Whoever violates subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be fined under title 18 of the United States Code or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both.

(b) Rules of Construction -

(1) TECHNICAL AND CONFORMING AMENDMENT - Section 310(b)(2) of title 31, United States Code is amended -

(A) by redesignating subparagraphs (J) and (K) as subparagraphs (K) and (L), respectively; and

(B) by inserting after subparagraph (I) the following new subparagraph:

J) Administer the requirements of subchapter V of chapter 53.

(c) Clerical Amendment - The table of subchapters and sections for chapter 53 of title 31, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

(top)


subchapter v - regulation of lawful internet gambling

5381. Congressional findings and purpose.

5382. Definitions.

5383. Establishment and administration of licensing program.

5384. Minimum requirements: Problem Gambling, Responsible Gambling, and Self-Exclusion Program.

5385. Financial transaction providers.

5386. Limitation of licenses in States and Indian lands.

5387. Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act prohibitions.

5388. Safe harbors.

5389. Relation to section 1084 of title 18 and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

5390. Cheating and other fraud.

(top)


SEC. 3. REPORT REQUIRED

(a) In General - Before the end of the 1-year period beginning on the effective date of the regulations prescribed under section 4(a), and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall submit a report to the Congress on the licensing and regulation of Internet gambling operators.

(b) Information Required - Each report submitted under subsection (a) shall include the following information:

(1) A comprehensive statement regarding the prohibitions notified by the States and Indian tribes pursuant to section 5386 of title 31, United States Code.

(2) Relevant statistical information on applicants and licenses.

(3) The amount of licensing and user fees collected during the period covered by the report.

(4) Information on regulatory or enforcement actions undertaken during the period.

(5) Any other information that may be useful to the Congress in evaluating the effectiveness of the Act in meeting its purpose, including the provision of protections against underage gambling, compulsive gambling, money laundering, and fraud, and in combating tax avoidance relating to Internet gambling.

(top)


SEC. 4. EFFECTIVE DATE.

(a) Regulations - The Secretary of the Treasury shall prescribe such regulations as the Secretary may determine to be appropriate to implement subchapter V of chapter 53 of title 31, United States Code (as added by section 2(a) of this Act) and shall publish such regulations in final form in the Federal Register before the end of the 180-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act.

(b) Scope of Application - The amendment made by section 2(a) shall apply after the end of the 90-day period beginning on the date of the publication of the regulations in final form in accordance with subsection (a).

This bill is very large, and loading it may cause your web browser to perform sluggishly, or even freeze. This is especially true for old and/or bad browsers. As an alternative you can download the PDF of the bill or read the text on THOMAS.
Continue on to the bill.

(Page top)



0 Previous Comments


Post a Comment


May 2005 | June 2005 | July 2005 | September 2005 | October 2005 | November 2005 | December 2005 | January 2006 | February 2006 | March 2006 | April 2006 | May 2006 | August 2006 | October 2006 | January 2007 | February 2007 | March 2007 | May 2007 | June 2007 | July 2007 | January 2008 | February 2008 | March 2008 | April 2008 | June 2008 | July 2008 | September 2008 | October 2008 | December 2008 | January 2009 | February 2009 | March 2009 | May 2009 | June 2009 | July 2009 | August 2009 | September 2009 | October 2009 | November 2009 | December 2009 | January 2010 | February 2010 | March 2010 | April 2010 | May 2010 | June 2010 | July 2010 | August 2010 | October 2010 | November 2010 | December 2010 | January 2011 | February 2011 | March 2011 | April 2011 | May 2011 | June 2011 | July 2011 | August 2011 | September 2011 | December 2011 | February 2012 | May 2012 | July 2012 | August 2012 | March 2016 | April 2016 | June 2016 | November 2016 | December 2016 | March 2017 | May 2017 | June 2017 | August 2017 | Atom feed
© 2005 hundred percent gambling

ONLINE CASINO NEWS

• Online casino news


2016

• Can't split 10s?
• Overbetting
• EV charts
• The IPCA
• Basic strategy master
• Back to the future
• Site hack

2015

• Better comp value
• Pit bosses are a pest
• 32Red buys Roxy Palace
• Winneronline is gone
• Paradise Win Casino
• Blackjack simple strategy

2014

• Court refuses Ivey winnings
• Phil Ivey versus Crockfords
• 32Red does the right thing
• Wizard Of Odds sold
• Gambling addict sues Ritz
• Better blackjack conditions
• FL: the beat goes on
• Phil Ivey and the Borgata
• LadbrokesFOBT profit
• Chat with the Met
• "Bonus abuse" and the Met
• Casino industry crooks.
• Debate to curb the FOBTs
• Labour idea to ban FOBTs

2013

• Ruby Fortune: terms buried
• Royal Vegas: bad outcome
• Russia illegalises gambling
• RV: player breaks no rules
• Gib casinos and UK laws
• The GGC (GRA) useless
• BetFred rigged games 9
• BetFred rigged games 8
• Betfred rigged games 7
• BetFred rigged games 6
• BetFred rigged games 5
• BetFred rigged games 4
• Phil Ivey: is he entitled?
• BetFred rigged games 3
• Betfred rigged games 2
• BetFred: rigged games 1
•  UK GLA Act 2013
• 888.com and Facebook
• Crockfords denies Phil Ivey
• Bad dealers
• Betfair Blackjack test
• Playtech software update
• Cheap blackjack
• Hippodrome Casino

2012

• The UK's FOBT addiction
• Conan Casino beware
• Intercasino misleading
• Fortune Lounge
• UK Gambling Commission

2011

• Small Claims Court
• Gamcare
• Full Tilt Poker saved
• Full Tilt ponzi scheme
• Casino Barcelona
• Irakli Kacharava
• Betfair processor no pay
• Full Tilt licensing meeting
• UK Gambling Commission
• Full Tilt Poker investors
• Full Tilt license suspended
• Twitter
• Betfair resolution
• Casino Web Scripts 2
• 32Red bonus marketing
• Casino Web Scripts 1
• Poker domains seized
• eCOGRA independent?
• Easystreet Sports theft
• Betfair to Gibraltar
• Rigged blackjack 2
• Betfair responses
• Rigged blackjack
• 888.com theft
• Betfair poker problem
• UK gambling controls
• Harry Reid

2010

• eWallet Xpress
• Kevin Stillmock
• Blog back up
• Betfair happy hour
• Ladbrokes bonus increase
• Absolute Poker tricks US
• Absolute Poker rigged
• Last position no difference
• Basic strategy simplified
• Online casino bonuses
• Righthaven LLC
• Ladbrokes bonus rules
• Malta LGA nonsense
• Purple Lounge theft
• UK affiliates issue
• Online casino problems
• GPWA code of conduct
• One Club Casino problems
• Rushmore theft resolved
• Realtime Gaming cheats
• Absolute Poker Ultimate Bet
• Rushmore Casino theft
• Ask gamblers service
• Intercasino bonus terms
• Profitting from poverty
• Gambling dooms UK to ruin
• Want To Stop Gambling
• Gambling Therapy
• Gordon Moody Association
• Breakeven
• Online gambling jobs
• Gamblock
• Gamble Aware
• Gamblers Anonymous
• Gamcare
• Video poker auto hold
• Gambling Wages help offer
• Blackjack double down
• Intercasino rules
• Tradition Casino warning
• Tradition Casino problem
• Be The Dealer
• eCOGRA approved casinos
• UK underage gambling
• iGaming Super Show
• eCOGRA reputable portals
• eCOGRA exposed
• Slots Oasis warning
• Slots Oasis problem
• HR 2267 comments
• HR 2267 proposed bill
• Search fully functional
• Gambling hearing delayed
• Betfair download blackjack
• Betfair blackjack
• The Federal Wie Act
• Casino Rewards warning
• Kahnawake dumps GP
• GP dumps Microgaming
• UK online gambling
• Gambling checklist
• Online casino problems
• Gambling Grumbles
• Casino Rewards
• Brian Cullingworth
• Casino Wager Tracker
• Grand Prive affiliates
• Jackpots Heaven Casino
• Kahnawake commission
• UK gambling problem
• eCOGRA and Grand Prive
• Bet365 misleading bonus
• Mastercard and Visa
• Online gambling rules
• 32Red sign up bonus
• Ladbrokes data theft
• Ladbrokes unfair settlement
• Palace group bonus rules
• Grand Prive and eCOGRA

2009

• Blackjack in the UK
• Seminole Hard Rock
• The APCW and MG
• Sportsbook.com
• Slot beaters slot strategy
• Rushmore Casino theft
• Paddy Power affiliates
• Slots
• 888.com problem
• The UIGEA
• Neteller contest winner
• 888.com bonus problem
• Casino Club meeting
• Online casino directory
• 32Red debit card bonus
• Blue Square Casino
• Budapest Affiliate Expo
• Rushmore payment issues
• Modern Blackjack volume 1
• Eurolinx certain insolvency
• Buzzluck winnings theft
• PaddyPower removed
• 32Red lawsuit
• William Hill Casino Club
• Betfair video poker
• APCW underage children
• Odds page updates
• VP Genius
• Video poker page updates
• Blackjack page updates
• Progression page updates
• Single deck page updates
• Betfair Playtech license
• Cherry Red Casino
• Online gambling debate
• William Hill & Teddy Sagi
• Rogue casinos section
• Pontoon correction
• Microgaming poker scandal
• Casino Club confiscation
• Casino Club steals €8000
• Villa Fortuna Casino
• Grand Prive affiliate issue
• CAP and Cardspike 2
• Virgin Casino bad results
• CAP and Cardspike 1

2008

• iNetbet removal from site
• Mario Galea and Malta LGA
• Cold Mountain Resort
• The AGCC
• Moneybookers privacy
• Virtual Casino rebranding
• Captain Jack Casino
• Royal Ace Casino
• Ringmaster Casino
• Catseye Casino
• Lucky Palm Casino
• Pharaohs Gold Casino
• Goldstream Casino
• Plantet 7 Casino
• Betfair bonus confiscation
• Malta LGA worthless
• The GIA
• Interwetten theft of £5000
• Lucky Ace winnings stolen
• The KGC and Absolute

2007

• HippoJo Casino
• Microgaming All Aces VP
• Neteller issues
• Lou Fabiano responds
• Lou Fabiano selling stats
• Betfair Zero Lounge
• ICE 2007 brief visit
• RTG cancels ICE visit

2006

• Crystal Palace Casino theft
• eCOGRA & Jackpot Factory
• English Harbour cheating
• Boss Media single deck
• Bella Vegas / Grand Prive
• The KGC worthless
• Gambling Federation
• Playtech sued
• Meeting Andrew Beveridge
• Playtech confirmed listing
• African Palace Casino
• G-Fed ICE discussion
• Playtech ICE meeting
• Playtech issues escalation
• Chartwell hands off

2005

• Crystal Gaming silence
• Price Waterhouse Cooper
• Crystal Gaming flotation 2
• Vegas Frontier
• Crystal Gaming flotation 1
• Playtech public listing
• African Palace & Indio
• Kiwi Casino
• Rochester Casino
• G-Fed theft 2
• Warren Cloud best avoided
• Golden Palace stupidity 3
• Golden Palace stupidity 2
• G-Fed theft 1
• Golden Palace stupidity 1
• Russia online expansion
• Wan Doy Pairs Poker
• Microgaming CPU usage
• Net Entertainment RNG
• Cryptologic & William Hill
• Casino growth slow
• English Harbour paying
• Fraudster or not
• Blackjack surrender
• Integrity casino group audit