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 Dublin illegal gambling goes through amusement establishments

Dublin illegal gambling goes through amusement establishments
Published: 2018-06-28

According to Revenue’s definitions, an amusement machine is one that allows players to win “no more than an opportunity to play again” or “to obtain a non-monetary prize” the value of which does not exceed €7.

Once this has been said, various properties in the Dublin city center feature casino-style gaming machines, although are supposed to be amusement site and gambling type machines are banned from being featured in the city.

However, in Dublin there are three proved establishment where this happens Dr Quirkey´s on O’Connell Street, Empire Amusements on Burgh Quay and Amusement City on Westmoreland Street.

The establishments had found a way to converted into a gambling facility with casino-style games such as video poker, roulette, and blackjack their facilities. Also, there were no age checks at the property to ensure that underage customers are prevented from playing the casino-style games featured there (READ SO: GAMBLING IN IRELAND PREPARING A RENOVATION IN THE LAW)

However, the Dr Quirkey´s is owned by one of the richest man from Ireland, Richard Quirke (pictured), he operates casinos with licenses from Ireland’s Revenue (Revenue Commissioners) that are actually only applicable to amusement machines.


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Poland with a firm gambling industry 

Dublin illegal gambling goes through amusement establishments

The growth of regulated gambling in Poland is helping to reduce the market share taken by unlicensed operators following amendments to the country’s Gambling Act.


The new report found that the licensed gambling sector, including Totalizator Sportowy’s own online casino offering, generated PLN1.82bn (€402.1m) in 2020. Unlicensed operators are estimated to have taken PLN627.4m, giving the unlicensed sector a 25.6 per cent share of the market.


Amendments to Poland’s Gambling Act introduced a 12 per cent turnover tax on online sports betting while also giving the national regulator powers to block unlicensed offshore sites. The change spurred a growth in regulated sports betting, with revenue rising from PLN999.1m in 2018 to PLN1.50bn in 2020.


More than 120 unlicensed sites were actively targeting Polish players and others accepted wagers from the country. It said around ten companies licensed in Malta, Curaçao and Gibraltar represented about 80 per cent of offshore revenue.


Though, it should be clearly emphasized that if it were not for the regulations introduced in 2017 with the amendment to the Gambling Act, this value would most likely be several times higher.


Analyses show that, compared to several other countries, Poland is doing very well in the field of blocking websites of illegal operators and blocking payments. However, regulations, in particular tax regulations, and restrictions on advertising of legal operators, which redirect customers to the grey market, remain a problem.


The regulated market could be increased still further if operators were allowed to advertise its online casino, and if online poker were regulated. The turnover tax could also be replaced by a gross revenue rate across all verticals.


In recent months, Poland’s Ministry of Finance and National Revenue Administration have issued warnings reminding Polish residents that gambling on unlicensed slots and unlicensed gambling sites is a criminal offence subject to fines of up to PLN4.4m (€975,740).


Poland’s Ministry of Finance has also relaunched its “Gambling? Don’t Get Involved!” campaign, which aims to educate children aged 12 to 14 about gambling addiction and illegal gambling.


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Sweden going great with their gambling industry 

Dublin illegal gambling goes through amusement establishments

Gambling revenue in Sweden reached SEK6.51bn (€637.8m) for the three months ending June 30, an increase of 10.2 per cent year-on-year and 4.8 per cent against the previous quarter.


According to figures from the regulator Spelinspektionen, revenue from online casino games and sports betting increased 13.9 per cent year-on-year to SEK4.11bn, making up the bulk of revenue. State lottery and land-based slots revenue rose 9.3 per cent to SEK1.41bn.


Revenue from charitable lotteries remained very much steady at SEK939m, while revenue from charity bingo games rose by 15.8 per cent to SEK44m.


However, land-based commercial gaming revenue, which includes restaurant casinos, was down 85.3 per cent year-on-year to SEK5m. The land-based Casino Cosmopol chain generated no revenue at all for a fifth consecutive quarter due to Covid-19 restrictions. The state-controlled monopoly only began to reopen venues in July.

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Irish gambling with a change of laws within their industry 

Dublin illegal gambling goes through amusement establishments

After recent calls for change from politicians, Irish bookmakers have agreed to an industry-wide ban on credit card payments and a whistle-to-whistle advertising ban for live sport.


The new restrictions have been introduced in the Irish Bookmakers’ Association‘s (IBA) updated code of practice for safer gambling, which sets out the industry’s commitments to player protection. IBA members include Entain, BoyleSports and Flutter Entertainment.


The credit card ban will cover both land-based and online gambling. Some bookmakers have already introduced the measure, while others need to make updates to their technology, which they must make before the end of the year.


The advertising ban will cover all live sport shown before the 9pm watershed apart from horse racing and greyhound racing. It will run from five minutes before the start of events until five minutes after, much like the BGC’s ban in the UK.


IBA chair Sharon Byrne said: “We recognize that there is a need for the industry to continue to develop the highest of standards for safer gambling. We believe in particular that the credit card bans and the ‘whistle-to-whistle’ advertising restrictions are significant steps on that path.


The minister of state for justice, James Browne, has pledged to introduce legislation to reform Irish gambling and create an “extremely powerful” gambling regulator by the end of the year.


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Exchange of gambling licenses in Ukraine, under scope  

Dublin illegal gambling goes through amusement establishments

A member of Ukraine’s new Gambling and Lottery Regulatory Commission (KRAIL) is reported to have been arrested on suspicion of receiving a $90,000 bribe to grant gambling licenses.

A Ukraine gambling body regulator member suspicious of bribing in exchange of gambling licenses


The country’s Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office did not reveal the identity of the official arrested, but the news outlet Ukrainska Pravda has reported that it is believed to be Yevhen Hetman, who was appointed as lead coordination of the gambling regulator in October last year.


The prosecutor’s office said its investigation was ongoing.


Ukraine legalized gambling last August to tackle the unlicensed market that sprang up during a period of 11 years during which almost all forms of gambling were banned. The period of prohibition followed a fire at a gaming hall in Dnipro in 2009 in which nine people died.


KRAIL began issuing licenses under the new gambling legislation in February and has since issued 40 licenses, including seven to high-end hotels in Kyiv. Licenses are valid for five years, and the cost for land-based licenses varies depending on the city and the type of building.


According to the Kyiv Post, some experts believe gambling revenues in Ukraine could reach $30bn, some 15 per cent of gross domestic product if the country can attract more investors.


Meanwhile, the final bill that will set the tax rate on the newly licensed market has passed its first read.

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Portugal with enormous gambling growth 

Dublin illegal gambling goes through amusement establishments


The national regulator Serviço de Regulação Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ) has reported that online gambling revenue continued to rise in the second quarter, up 81.9 per cent year-on-year to €125m.


The growth was driven by a 224.5 per cent rise in sports betting revenue, from €20.8m to €67.5m, thanks to a complete sports calendar in 2021. However, revenue was down slightly from a record €128.3m in the first quarter of this year.


Sports betting stakes rose 236.2 per cent to €304.9m, partly thanks to Euro 2020. Football remained the most popular sport, accounting for 77.5 per cent of all online sports bets. It was followed by tennis (9.6 per cent) and basketball (8.7 per cent).


Meanwhile, online casino revenue rose 20 per cent to €57.5m, with stakes up 25.2 per cent year-on-year to €1.65bn. Slots were the most popular option, making up 76 per cent of all casino bets. That was followed by roulette (10.1 per cent) and blackjack (5.4 per cent).


Some 151,900 new players registered for online gambling accounts in Q2, while 93,600 people were self-excluding by the end of the three months, up significantly from 56,600 a year ago.


Retail gambling revenue also rose to €30.6m, up 166.7 per cent from Q2 2020, when all retail venues were closed during most of the quarter due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


The majority of retail revenue came from gaming machines, up 159 per cent to €24.6m. American roulette was the most popular non-machine retail gambling option, generating €1.5m in revenue. It was followed by baccarat (€883,170) and blackjack (€775,530).


Casinos and bingo halls in all areas of Portugal were allowed to reopen last month. Customers need to present a vaccination certificate or negative Covid-19 test to enter.

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