Gambling News Roundup
Each week, our website reports on one or more stories related to casino gambling in Australia. It’s a big ‘ol world, though, which means a lot of news goes unmentioned. This time around, we’ll attempt to remedy that oversight, presenting snippets of gambling news from around the rest of the planet.
Additional Chinese Gambling Laws Coming
Recently, China’s state-run media reported an upcoming amendment to the nation’s gambling laws. Specifically, they’re planning to criminalize the “organizing and soliciting by casinos abroad.”
Most experts agree that the new law won’t apply to Macau, but any casino outside of China is fair game. This includes gambling operators all over the world, but especially those in Vietnam, Australia, South Korea, and the Philippines.
Junket operators will also start to feel the pressure. In recent years, they’ve steered VIP clients to countries with superior gaming tax rates. This practice has resulted in more money for the junkets, but now it could lead to trouble with the authorities.
Mexico Revokes Casino Permits
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that recently granted casino licenses would be revoked. This includes a license for the True Win Group, as well as a 12-year license for Wadcor that could have resulted in up to 10 new establishments.
According to President Obrador, “We want no more casinos to open and no more permits to be granted. That began during Vicente Fox’s administration and was not adequate.”
Tropicana Las Vegas Begins Layoffs
On October 15th, the Las Vegas Tropicana started a series of employee layoffs. Over the coming weeks, the casino and two of its restaurants will lay off a combined 828 workers.
These cost-cutting measures are due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the financial woes that have accompanied it. Since they expect to deal with financial hardship for the foreseeable future, “The Trop” also announced that layoffs would, unfortunately, be permanent.
Macau Making a Comeback
While overall earnings are still down, there are signs that Macau is slowly digging its way out of the hole. Total casino revenue is up 51% over the previous quarter, although it’s still down 93% from the same period last year.
Pittsburgh Casino Grand Opening
Pending approval from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, a gaming establishment known as Live! Casino Pittsburgh is scheduled to open on November 24th. The 100,000-square-foot facility will include 750 pokies, 30 table games, and a sportsbook operated by FanDuel.
Buenos Aires City Begins Reopening
After seven months under quarantine, Buenos Aires City is beginning to reopen. However, there’s been no mention of gambling establishments as part of the city’s six-phase plan.
Luckily, the workers have been cared for better than in most parts of the world. At both the Puerto Madero riverboat casino and Hipodromo de Palermo racetrack, owners have pledged not to fire any employees. In addition, the thousands of workers are still receiving 75% of their usual salary.
Throughout the rest of Argentina, five provinces have resumed gambling operations. These include Santa Cruz, Chubut, San Juan, Misiones, and Tucuman.
Kenya to Allow Mobile Money Payments
Thanks to Kenya’s Gaming Bill 2019, gamblers and betting institutions have been unable to use cash transactions or mobile payment. However, the government has revised those laws, which means mobile money services can now be accepted as a legal form of payment.
This is welcome news, as mobile money platforms are among the most popular ways to process payments across the nation. In fact, Kenya has a whopping 58 million mobile money customers (compared to a total population of 54 million).
Additional changes are being considered, such as a ban on credit/debit cards by punters. In an effort to crack down on illegal gambling, the minimum bet for online gambling has also been increased by 100% (from KSh50 to KSh100).
Mobile phones are the preferred method for placing bets, with 88% of gamblers having used them at one time or another. Sports betting dominates the market, and Kenya only ranks behind Nigeria and South Africa on the continent.
For more international gambling news, please see the following:
- Las Vegas COVID Update
- Auckland Casino Closes
- Coronavirus Shuts Down Macau Casinos
- UK Stops Credit Card Gambling