Casino Watch - January 2004

26 December 2003
EC Report Could Extend to Online Gambling

The European Commission's First Report on the application of the Electronic Commerce Directive ("the Directive") raises the possibility that the scope of the directive could be broadened to include online gambling.

Currently, Article 1.5(d) expressly excludes "gambling activities which involve wagering a stake with monetary value in games of chance, including lotteries and betting transactions."

But in its first report the commission said wording could be changed to include interactive gambling.

"In a number of member states new regulatory initiatives are under way in areas such as online gambling, including online sports betting," the report reads. "This gives rise to the risk of regulatory fragmentation and/or distortions of competition. The commission will closely monitor these policy developments in order to identify possible needs for community action, which will be considered in the second report on the directive in 2005."

The report explains that the review is initiated, at least in part, due to the various complaints received by the commission about the failure of the directive to deal with online gambling.

In particular, the industry has expressed concern regarding national rules in Denmark, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands that require service providers offering online sports betting in other member states to bar access to their citizens and requested that legislation to combat this be considered at a European level.

Prima Poker's Hendon Mob Has Strong Showing before Holidays

The successful campaign of merging land-based poker with the Internet for Prima Poker ended the 2003 calendar year on a strong note for the site's Hendon Mob.

The group of London-based poker players, who play in land-based tournaments while promoting the online site, won three straight Christmas Cracker tournaments leading up to the holidays.

Ram Vaswani stole the headlines by winning two tournaments back to back and making the 7 card stud final and finished in the money in the main event collecting two trophies and £27,710 in prize money.

The Prima Poker tour will wrap up with its grand finale, The Australasian Poker Championship 2004 in Melbourne Jan. 3-17.

Crypto Fuels Littlewoods Poker Site

Littlewoods Gaming this month debuted an online poker room powered by software from WagerLogic Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of CryptoLogic.

Littlewoods, a leading British gaming brand for over 80 years, is joining the likes of competitors William Hill, Ladbrokes and Victor Chandler in the online poker space.

Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Indian Gaming Tribes

A U.S. federal appeals court upheld California's tribal gambling law Monday, ruling that it violates no federal law even though it gives tribes special privileges to operate casinos.

The 9th Appellate Court in San Francisco upheld the July 2002 decision by Sacramento U.S. District Judge David F. Levi, who ruled against four San Francisco Bay area card clubs trying to stop the state's first urban casino in San Pablo.

The ballot measure approved by California voters does indeed give American Indians a monopoly on Nevada-style gaming, which includes slot machines and blackjack, the district and appellate courts agreed.

But both found the state's decision to permit tribal casinos violates neither the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) nor the U.S. constitutional guarantee of equal protection.