CasinoBeats breaks down some of the most fascinating stories in the industry every week. The latest headlines reflect on illegal gambling in the US, Philippines, Ireland, cybersecurity issues at major US casinos, and a potential ban of online gambling credit cards in Australia.
Caesars Entertainment has acknowledged that “suspicious activities” have been detected in its network of information technology, while MGM Resorts continues to investigate the effects of the “cybersecurity problem” it identified earlier this week.
The news came as reports claimed that the first paid about half of a 30m ransom demand. Reuters reported that the Scattered Spider hackers group had confirmed that they obtained six terabytes worth of data from both.
In an SEC8K filing Caesars reported that its customer-facing operations including physical properties, online and mobile gambling applications and gaming software were not affected.
We have taken measures to ensure that stolen data is removed by unauthorised actors, but we cannot guarantee the result. The company stated that it was monitoring the internet and had not found any evidence of the stolen data being shared, published or misused in other ways.
The Australian government has introduced legislation that will ban online gambling using credit cards, and increase fines on companies who fail to comply with the new rules.
The Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2023 (Credit and Other Measures), which will be introduced into parliament on Wednesday, 13 September, aims to ban credit cards and other credit-related products, along with digital currencies used for online betting.
The proposal will see the Australian Communications and Media Authority gain expanded powers to ensure “strong and efficient enforcement”. The new provisions can also result in penalties of up to $234.750.
The industry and consumers will be given a six-month transition period, starting from the date Royal Assent. In the country, it is already illegal to use credit cards at land-based venues.
This time, the Swedish gambling authority will receive an additional funding increase, which will be spread over three years. The funds will be used to support efforts in fighting illegal gambling and match-fixing activities.
The government of Sweden has proposed an increase in the budget of the authority for 2024 after gaining SEK 2.4m for this year (EUR200,000).
The Spelinspektionen is expected to receive SEK 15.6m (PS1.12m), and SEK 18m (PS1.33m), to combat these activities in 2026.
Institute of Public Health in Ireland has suggested that a new report highlights the need for more gambling regulations to protect children and vulnerable members of the society.
The report titled ‘Children and Gambling – Evidence to Inform Regulation and Responses in Ireland’also highlighted the need to collect more data about children and gambling, as well as to monitor via national health surveys.
The study found that 22,9% of respondents had gambled for money within the past 12 months. This rate was higher in boys (28,2%) than girls (17,9%).
The most popular activity was sports betting, with 60.7% of respondents participating. This was followed by lotteries (51.8%), cards or dice (41.3%) and slot machines (36.7%).
PAGCOR warned the public to not be misled by a growing number of websites that use the regulator’s trademark in an attempt to trick players into believing their activities have any connection with offshore gaming licensed in the Philippines.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation had taken legal action against offshore gaming licensees for unpaid fees. It was noted that the unpaid licensing fees amounted to P2.02bn.
The public was advised to be cautious as “fake” online gaming sites are using the old PAGCOR Logo. This could pose a threat to personal and financial data.
The Philippine National Police is currently taking legal action against websites that are deemed to be suspect. They also hand over the results of their investigation and monitoring of these sites to the Department of Information and Communication Technology and National Bureau of Investigation.
The Dutch Gaming Market warned licensees that they should intervene more urgently and efficiently when players display behaviour that may indicate excessive gaming, or addiction.
Kansspelautoriteit has announced that, following what it called an “extensive” investigation into the fulfillment of duty of care by 10 providers, they are also working to tighten their own policy in light of conclusions and findings.
The responsible gambling protocol will be modified to include real-time monitoring of all accounts and the blocking of any that show signs of concern until an intervention is made.
The rules will include additional indicators to be used in assessing gaming behaviour.
Tabcorp received a refund of A$83m from the Australian Taxation Office, after the operator revealed that a settlement had been reached in relation to an ongoing dispute.
Tabcorp confidently stated that all payments made to the Commissioner for different licences and authorities had been received in full. The taxpayers’ actions will be dismissed.
The ATO will pay the above sum as part of the settlement. This is supposed to be 20 percent of the tax liabilities and interests disputed.
According to the terms of the separation deed, dated March 25, 20,22, the company must pay about $37m to the Lottery Corporation.
The Registrar of Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario imposed a C$80,000 fine on Toronto’s Woodbine Casino after allegations of cheating at play and dealer collusion.
The Ontario Provincial Police Investigation and Enforcement Bureau embedded within AGCO brought charges against 5 individuals earlier in the year over allegations that an electronic craps seller was in collusion.
The AGCO’s regulatory branch conducted a review of compliance with the Game Control Act 1992 and found that the gaming facility had failed to detect the scheme or take the appropriate action.
Michigan Attorney general Dana Nessel revealed that she has shut down illegal operations of Massachusetts-based Golden Hearts Games within the state.
This was accomplished by her Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division and the Michigan Gaming Control Board. The pursuit lasted for more than two years.
Golden Hearts Games was accused of offering online games without a license to Michigan consumers.
The American Gaming Association praised the move, saying “kudos for the Michigan Department of Attorney General’s and MGCB teaming up in order to combat illegal gaming in their communities.”