Latest Gambling Law Changes Around the World in September and October 2019


The regulations in the gambling industry are ever-changing. The United States has seen many changes in betting laws in some of the states.

Multiple states are open minded towards gambling and have decided to open their doors. However, there are those that are still skeptical about whether gambling should be allowed or not.

As far as South America goes, the region has seen a lot of changes as well. Google’s set of updates has brought major changes in Columbia. The Asian region, more specifically – the integrated resorts, have been encountering difficulties. Read on to get more details about the legalization updates and latest industry events around the world in 2019.

Gambling Regulations in the United States

The Saracen Casino Annex together with its partner IGT launched its retail sports betting operations in Arkansas on October 1st 2019. The Annex started operating on September 27 2019 as a temporary facility and it offers 300 gaming machines. By the end of 2020, the Annex is scheduled to be replaced by the full Saracen Casino Resort.

In the state of Indiana, Rush Street Interactive and Draft Kings  launched their online sportsbook on October 3rd, 2019. Their first land-based partners and operating partners, French Lick and Ameristar casinos were the first ones to go live in the state.

In the District of Columbia, the Office of Lottery and Gaming introduced final sports wagering regulations on August 30. This introduction of regulations is a start of licensing in the District of Columbia and Intralot, the provider DC Lottery and technology provider, to offer sports betting online as well as in retail facilities.

However, the DC’s contract with Intralot for lottery and sports betting was suspended. After a complaint that was not under the standard procurement laws, the judged ruled on a temporary restraining order. The request for an injunction to block the DC Lottery’s no-bid contract with the operator was denied by The Superior Court, which means that the Lottery was able to resume work and continue the launch of the district’s mobile sports betting platform.

In the state of New Jersey, Parx Casino, together with GAN and Kambi, launched its online sportsbook. After Parx’s home state of Pennsylvania, the Garden State is its second largest market.

In Illinois, the public consultation on legal sports betting concluded at the end of September. The industry stakeholders suggested policies such as pre-registration process. This process is a “grace period” lasting 270 days, set in order to comply with regulations once the market goes live, licensing reciprocity between major gaming jurisdictions which allows online sportsbook to be co-branded with local casinos and racetracks and in-stadium registration.

The public expressed concerns about the pushed back date of mobile betting launch. Operators now have to wait for 18 months after retail betting goes live before they can offer mobile betting. Churchill Downs’ decision not to bid for a racino certificate at Arlington Park was met with great criticism.

In Iowa, in three casino establishments, Wild Rose Entertainment and Draft Kings launched retail sportsbook.

The Montana Lottery published a set of proposed rules for sports betting operations in the state. Under the proposals C1,400 lottery vendors in Montana would qualify to be able to apply for licenses to offer sports betting utilizing self-service kiosks. Using self-limiting and self-exclusion, the Montana Lottery would operate mobile wagering via a sports wagering app. The rules were revised during a public consultation and a public hearing that was scheduled for October 28th 2019.


After many successful agreements made in China, AGTech won a contract to supply sports lottery terminals in the province of Hainan.

On October 1st, 2019, the Japanese government made a decision to raise the rate of general consumption tax from 8% to 10%. The tax raise is said to have a negative effect on player spending. However, the tax is not imposed on pachinko directly. The Government in Japan also went public with their plans to form a regulatory body that will supervise the country’s land-based casino industry and it is said to be operational by January 2020. A five-person board will be appointed by January 7th 2020, and the board will lead the Casino Management Committee.

After a review that was ordered by Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, the Department of Justice proposed the revocation of the provisional integrated casino resort license that was given to Landing International Development President.

The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) revoked all certificates for venues that are located on the Boracay island, together with the planned integrated casino resorts that was under development by Galaxy Entertainment and Leisure & Resorts World. The ban was imposed by Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force and the decision will be applied to all existing casinos and proposals in the future.

Changes in Regulations Across South America

Back in December 2018, the government of Argentina imposed the tax on gambling winnings to fund social welfare. The tax has now been removed. This decision came after a resolution that stated that the government would need to build a new strategy with better methods to calculate the tax amount.

In Brazil, the sports leaders highly recommended to the government that it should form a regulatory body that will be in charge of overseeing the integrity of sporting contests before the launch of regulated sports wagering in the country.

The National Development Bank of Brazil has confirmed the sale of Lotex, the instant win games operator, to the Consórcio Estrela Instantânea. The operator in question is a 50/50 joint venture that was formed by IGT and Scientific Games Corporation, securing a 15-year concession. The venture will start operating in the middle of 2020.

In Colombia, Coljuegos reformed the regulations that made betting on virtual events possible. Colombia was included in the recent Google update, as one of the states in LATAM countries in which the gambling-related advertisements are allowed. The advertisements are allowed as long as they are approved by their national regulatory bodies.

New Gambling Laws in Europe

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) urged the European lawmakers to make a single set of rules for online gambling. Establishing a unified rulebook is of grave importance for Europe, since online gambling accounts for 21% of all gambling activity in Europe.

The Convention on the Manipulation of Sports Competitions has been adopted by the Council of Europe in September. This legislation is set up to combat match fixing, which has been a burning issue in Europe. The legislation also tackles specific legal definitions on illegal betting, conflicts of interest and how to manage poor handling of confidential information and poor governance.

Telecomdrive Bureau
TelecomDrive is an effort to create a unique content focused platform for the telecoms and communications segment.