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Interview with Dr. Mag. Klaus Christian Vögl

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Dr. Mag. Klaus Christian Vögl, the long-serving Managing Director of the Department of Leisure and Sports Facilities in the Vienna Chamber of Commerce, offers here his lucid opinions on gambling and betting legislation in Austria. He not just talks about the nitty-gritty of legislation, but clearly implies where the new legislation could lead the betting industry to.

He is critical of Austria’s legislators and regulator. He says some of the legislators wantsimply to preserve and protect the acquis of monopoly companies (Austrian Lotteries, Casinos Austria)”. He talks positively about the way gambling legislation is changing in Europe, especially Central and Eastern Europe.

There is much more. Read on for an enlightening interview with one of the foremost legal experts in Europe.

Question  

I’d first like to ask you to begin with a few words about yourself. It’s always nice to hear top-class professionals say a few words about themselves for our audience.

I´m Managing Director of the Department of Leisure and Sports Facilities in the Vienna Chamber of Commerce since 1981. Our specialist group looks after around 40 different branches, from tourist guides to dance schools and sports companies to the gambling and betting sector. The companies in the gambling monopoly sector are members of another division of the Chamber. Here in Austria, we have a statutory compulsory membership of all commercial enterprises in the Chamber of Commerce, which is around 600,000.

 

Question

Now on to betting laws in Austria. Protective can be a word used for the gambling legislation in the country. It is also somewhat unique in its distinction between betting and gambling. Your thoughts on this?

The distinction made by the Austrian Federal Constitution is indeed special. Gambling is a federal matter and essentially regulated in a monopoly, sports betting is a matter of the state and governed by various different state laws. In the betting area, there is (still) a free market regulated under very strict conditions, apart from Vienna. In Vienna the competent authority, due to political decisions, almost does not issue licenses although we have a brand new state law.

 

Question

The betting law varies from region to region in Austria. For instance, the betting law of Salzburg is different from that of Vienna. What about a uniform betting legislation throughout the country – like the gambling legislation?

In fact, the current government program plans to transfer the betting system into federal competence. In principle, nothing would be objectionable. For the providers operating throughout Austria, it could even be a great advantage and a simplification. However, we fear that the legislator and the stakeholders behind it could establish a monopoly or oligopoly, in order to eliminate the free market. As was accomplished concerning slot machines before in 2012.

 

Question

There have been reports about new amendments in the betting and gambling legislation, ranging from IP blocking for online betting to the operation of biometric recognition in slot apparatus and setting up of a Competence Center. How are these legal amendments going to affect the betting industry in the country? Is it going to be stricter?

We fear that the train will roll in the stricter direction. The planned changes in the gambling sector that you address are not yet affecting sports betting. Setting up biometric controls is not a problem for our industry in itself, even welcomed. What worries us most of all at the moment is the demonization of the betting terminals and, in Vienna in special, the legislators fight against betting exchange. Imagine: the whole country, the government and the whole of Europe is talking about digitization, and then we should get back to the bookmakers switch if possible. Whereas it anyway still exists.

 

Question

Isn’t the conservative approach to betting and gambling legislation a hindrance to the growth of betting and gambling industry in the country?

Absolutely, but that’s the political will of all political parties in Austria. The Chamber of Commerce is also in favour of strict framework conditions. The gambling and betting market does not have to grow at all, but it should be regulated in a consolidated way. This applies, for example, to the area of online gambling, which is totally ignored by our gambling law, or even online betting, for example, for which the Viennese authorities declare to be not responsible. Only in Salzburg you can apply for such a license concerning betting.

 

Question

The gaming world has been witnessing a massive change with the introduction of new software platforms, crypto currencies and generally smarter operators. How is Austria’s law faring against the changes?

Not at all, these areas are ignored and declared illegal by our regulator. The aim of the legislator is simply to preserve and protect the acquis of monopoly companies (Austrian Lotteries, Casinos Austria).

Question

What are the major challenges facing the formulation of betting and gambling legislation as a whole? There is a thin line separating the need for protecting the society from gambling addiction and the need for allowing the industry to grow economically. How do the legislators negotiate this inherent conflict of interests?

Legislators see, as far as private sector providers are concerned, exclusively the field of protection of players and minors. Economic considerations or argumentation with secure jobs go nowhere, and there is not even a willingness to talk in Vienna. In the federal states, the policy is sometimes more prudent. When, for example, in Vienna in 2014, the “small slot machine game” was turned off by the legislature, this brought many gastronomic businesses and of course also long-established vending machines companies in distress. We argued with a high number of jobs and a tax loss alone from the amusement tax of around 80 million Euros for the city of Vienna, per year. Then a politician in a leading medium said, “these jobs are worth nothing”. In such a view, unfortunately, every factual conversation is unnecessary. On the other hand, the protected monopoly sector is expected to grow, with regular sales and profit figures being published on a regular basis, pointing out the high social importance of gambling. That this is not EU-coherent, is evident.

 

Question

What are the chances of realizing a unified betting law for Europe, at least for online gambling and betting? A legal equivalent of Euro, that is.

The ball is clearly in the hands of the commission, which has been squandering on the “hot mush” for years. Even the Services Directive excluded the gambling sector. The chances are not good in the short term. In the medium term, the need to intervene regulatively cannot be ignored. We can only hope that this does not happen too restrictive, although with full respect for consumer protection, which is one of the declared main aims oft he EU.

 

Question

On to a more general question now. E-sports are gaining more recognition and exponential popularity. It may soon be drafted into the Olympics too. Do you see any legal hurdles for the further growth of E-sports?

As long as E-Sports remains skill-based, I do not see any problems, these are normal events. Should it be possible to make the area Olympic, that would be a milestone, because the sport is regulated more favourably than the game. It could also be legally betted on the outcome of e-sports events, which is currently not possible. It is important to observe whether e-sports is not abused for illegal gambling, there is a certain danger I see, and this would put the entire new business sector in the wrong light.

Question

Now the final question – a bit off-topic. You have had a chance to travel a lot owing to your official position. Could you please share some interesting experience during your travels?

It is interesting for me to learn, for example in the Prague meetings, that the countries of Central and Eastern Europe are wider than Austria in terms of realistic regulation of gambling. Unthinkable, for example, that official representatives of the Austrian Ministry of Finance would sit down with operators and ask: what can we do better? Our regulator always knows everything better on its own, even a public corporation like the Chamber of Commerce is only partially heard. Fascinating for me is in my travels, in what a short time Europe has grown together. You can really feel European today, and I do it with all my heart. I still experienced customs borders, the Berlin Wall, the Iron Curtain – an hour’s drive from Vienna. How far away is that today! And that’s good.


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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Casino Cash Trac Named on Inc. 5000 List For Third Consecutive Year

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TULSA, Okla.Aug. 17, 2018 – Casino Cash Trac (CCT) is excited to announce that once again it has been ranked on the Inc. 5000 list. Inc. magazine announced that Casino Cash Trac ranked No. 1044 on its 37th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies with an outstanding three-year sales growth of 470%.

Led by CEO Kurt Williams, Casino Cash Trac joins an elite group of companies which have been honored three years in a row. Of the tens of thousands of companies that have applied to the Inc. 5000, only one in four percent have made the list three times.

“It is truly an extraordinary accomplishment for the company. To be selected three years in a row is remarkable and I thank our employees and customers for trusting our vision,” says CCT’s CEO, Kurt Williams.  “Our teams continue to deliver the best Casino Audit System (CAS) across the country and it is amazing to work with such a talented group of individuals.”

The Inc. 500 award underscores the value of CCT’s offerings and validates their strategy of providing a cutting edge solution accompanied with extraordinary customer service.

“It is an incredible achievement to be listed among the nation’s fastest-growing companies yet again. For CCT, this honor is a direct reflection of our commitment to push ourselves to get better every day. We are thankful for the employees we have, the clients we work with and the trust they put in us every day to help them streamline their operations,” says CCT’s CRO Wanor França.

About Casino Cash Trac

Based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Casino Cash Trac is the creator of Casino Insight™, an award-winning suite of transactional, reporting, and analytical tools designed to streamline and automate cage operations, revenue audit processes, and operations analysis. Casino Insight™ offers full integration with most casino management, food & beverage, and hotel systems, as well as most cash dispensers, kiosks, and other bank machines.

Since developing Casino Insight™ in 2012, Casino Cash Trac has helped over 130 casinos across multiple states and countries to maximize productivity and efficiency while minimizing paper waste and manual processes that are prone to human error.


Source: European Gaming Media Latest News

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Wazdan goes wild with one of Europe’s fastest growing casino companies

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Friday, August 17; 2018, Malta – Slots pioneer Wazdan has inked a deal with GoWild Gaming to provide the innovative operator with Wazdan’s full portfolio of slots, which have been attracting attention across the igaming industry all year. GoWild is a leading online gaming operator. The jungle-themed gaming brand has been leading expeditions through the wilds of the internet since 2008.

The GoWild platform currently features over 1,500 games from more than twenty carefully selected software providers including Microgaming, NetEnt, Evolution, Scientific Games, Yggdrasil, iSoftBet, Play’n GO, and now Wazdan. In addition, the platform has a sophisticated CRM system enabling GoWild to personalise promotions and content in an unprecedented manner to boost retention and customer loyalty.

Wazdan’s portfolio of over 110 HTML5 slots for desktop, tablet and mobile incorporates the Unique Wazdan Features, that include the world’s first Volatility Levels™, Energy Saving Mode, Double Screen Mode and Unique Gamble Feature which deliver outstanding player engagement and casino revenue.

Upcoming games from Wazdan include the eagerly anticipated Mayan Ritual™, a slot that explores the mystery of the lost ancient culture of the Maya; Black Hawk Deluxe, a magic and fantasy game with ghosts, skeletons and a treasure-filled castle; and, Los Muertos™, a game which celebrates the unique Mexican holiday Day of the Dead and will be released in time for Halloween.

Anthony Berningham, Director of Gaming Content at GoWild, said,”With best-of-breed content from all the leading providers on our platform, we feel the fit with Wazdan is excellent. Their world-class technology and games help to expand the gaming experience further which is why we wanted to bring them on-board. It’s our desire to provide our players with the best gaming experience possible with deals like this one.”

Head of Sales at Wazdan Andrzej Hyla said: “Our games bring a new dimension to casinos as they seek to deepen player experience and to unlock the potential of added-value built-in to technology tools like the Unique Wazdan Features. We are absolutely delighted to be joining GoWild’s platform and supporting GoWild’s ambition to provide access to the best gaming content on one platform.”

So far in 2018, Wazdan has signed with some of the biggest names in the industry including EveryMatrix, Videoslots, SlotMillions, Tipbet, Iforium, iSoftbet, Evenbets, Groove Gaming, Globalplay, Tipbet, Rabbit Entertainment, SoftGamings, and now Go Wild Gaming, amongst others. For further information visit www.wazdan.com

 

ABOUT WAZDAN:

Wazdan is a popular game producer, developing innovative casino games that deliver original, fun and truly omni-channel player experience. Offering an extensive game library of over 100 HTML5 slots, table games and video pokers, Wazdan is gaining popularity on the iGaming market thanks to the great quality of their games, interesting themes and engaging gameplay. Wazdan’s game portfolio consists of such popular titles as Great Book of Magic Deluxe, Magic Target Deluxe, Valhalla and Wild Guns and soon will extended with new amazing slot games, including Los MuertosTM, Mayan RitualTM and Captain FlyntTM, among others. Wazdan releases new, exciting titles on a regular basis and equips them with Unique Wazdan Features: innovative Volatility LevelTM, exciting Unique Gamble Feature and mobile-friendly Energy Saving and Double Screen Modes. Wazdan holds a number of  European trademarks including for their world’s-first Volatility Level TM. Their extensive portfolio of clients includes some of the top gaming operations in the industry. The company is headquartered in Malta and holds licenses issued by the UKGC, the MGA and complies with Curacao regulations. Furthermore, their games use the RNG certified by the NMi, which ensures reliable, fair and secure gameplay. Wazdan’s Sales Team is showcasing their products at SiGMA in Malta from 28 to 30 November.

 

For more information on this press please contact Ogilvy Malta on 00356 99207677 or edwin@ogilvymalta.com


Source: European Gaming Media Latest News

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Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Reports July Monthly Fantasy Sports Contests Revenue

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HARRISBURG, Pa.Aug. 17, 2018 – The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board today posted on its web site the July Fantasy Sports Contests revenue report. The report provides a breakdown on fees collected from the play of Pennsylvania participants, Fantasy Sports Contests operators adjusted revenue, and the tax revenue due to the Commonwealth, and can be found at www.gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov.

Tax revenue is derived through a 15% assessment on adjusted revenue reported by the Fantasy Sports Contest operators, and is deposited into the Commonwealth General Fund. In total, tax revenue generated during July totaled $131,728. Seven of the Fantasy Sports Contest operators reported tax revenue due.

Fantasy Sports revenue and tax revenue for each of the providers for July 2018 is displayed in the following tables:

Fantasy Sports Contest Provider

Fantasy Sports
Contest Adjusted
Revenue

State Tax

Due

DraftKings

$437,108.24

$65,566.24

FanDuel

$427,451.31

$64,117.70

DRAFT

$8,760.00

$1,314.00

Fantasy Draft

$1,737.19

$260.58

Yahoo Fantasy Sports

$1,627.97

$244.20

Sportshub Technologies

$1,236.16

$185.42

Boom Fantasy

$264.06

$39.61

Full Time Fantasy Sports

$0.00

$0.00

Fantasy Football Players Championship

$0.00

$0.00

Total

$878,184.93

$131,727.75

About the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board:

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is tasked to oversee all aspects of the state’s casino industry, along with oversight of new gaming initiatives created through amendments to the Race Horse Development and Gaming Act recently approved by the signing of Act 42 of 2017.

The Commonwealth’s casino industry currently consists of 10 stand-alone and racetrack casinos in operation, along with the two smaller resort casinos.  These facilities collectively employ 17,000 people and annually generate approximately $1.4 billion in tax revenue from slot machine and table games play. The largest portion of that money is used for property tax reduction to all Pennsylvaniahomeowners.

Additional information about both the PGCB’s gaming regulatory efforts and Pennsylvania’s gaming industry can be found at gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov. You can also follow the agency on Twitter by choosing @PAGamingControl.

CONTACTS: Doug Harbach or Richard McGarvey
(717) 346-8321

 

SOURCE Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board


Source: European Gaming Media Latest News

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