IAGR News letter – July 2009

Written by Morten Thulstrup on . Posted in

Dear Member,
Since the last newsletter in March several developments have taken place which I would like to bring to your attention.


The program for the 2009 IAGA/ IAGR International Gaming Conference in Buenos Aires, Argentina, scheduled to take place from October 19th through 23rd is shaping up nicely. The preliminary program is available on the IAGR website. Although the IAGR/ IAGA conference program will cover a wide range of topics, this year it will specifically focus on the operational and regulatory challenges posed by the current world economic climate.
In addition, we have created conference web pages on the IAGR website where you can register online for the conference, book your hotel room and make travel arrangements. You will also find useful information on the conference hotel, country information, and post conference travel options. If you have not already registered for the conference, I would encourage you to do so as soon as possible.


As I explained in the previous newsletter, one of the Steering Committee’s objectives for this year is the establishment of a members-only web portal which will allow registered members of IAGR to communicate and share information. I can now report that the ‘Regulators Area’ is fully operational and would like to invite you to visit the portal. In order to log in, you should go to the ‘Regulators Area’ on the IAGR website where you can apply for a password. I hope I will be bumping into you in our new regulators portal!


I am pleased to inform you that a revised draft of the Bylaws, which takes into account the comments received from members, is now available in the ‘Regulators Area’. The intention is to submit a final draft to the membership at the business meeting in Buenos Aires for approval. I would therefore encourage you to review the proposed draft and to provide Peter Cohen, who is responsible for the revision of the Bylaws, with any final comments you may have.


The eGambling Working Group met on the 10th of June in Tallinn in Estonia. As part of the group’s current focus on compliance and enforcement in the field of eGambling, the meeting considered three areas that the group had agreed on: reactive compliance activities; testing and approval of games, equipment and internal controls; and powers of the regulator to investigate breaches and impose sanctions. The group also agreed to add two new discussion topics: compliance and enforcement issues arising from cross-jurisdictional nature of eGambling and the scope and practicalities of physical measures such as IP blocking. The documents prepared for these discussions will be available in the Regulators Area.


Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Hosts Singapore Team
A delegation from the Singapore’s Casino Regulatory Authority visited Pennsylvania to look at the process involved in opening a casino. The Singapore regulators shadowed members of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s (PGCB) Casino Opening Team at the opening of the Las Vegas Sands casino in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. With a Sands casino due to open in Singapore later this year, the visit focused on how the PGCB goes about assuring that a new casino is prepared for opening to the public. The Singapore regulators spent several days onsite at the Sands casino observing how the PGCB’s works with the slot machine licensee to bring the licensee into compliance with the state’s Gaming Act and the Board’s Regulations and Technical Standards. The visit proved beneficial to both Singapore and Pennsylvania and is another example of how IAGR is building successful relationships between regulators.
Great Britain
The government announced in April that it is launching a review of the current arrangements for regulating remote gambling taking stock of developments in Europe (e.g. the moves to open up the market in France, Italy and Spain). The Department for Culture, Media and Sport, working with the Gambling Commission, will look at a number of issues, including securing fair contributions from overseas licensed operators towards the costs of regulation, the treatment of problem gambling and the Horserace Betting Levy. The Department will also look at the existing controls that apply to operators licensed overseas to ensure that the rigorous consumer protections introduced by the Gambling Act continue to be upheld.
In July, the Government notified the European Commission of its intention to introduce new legislation in the area of gambling and betting. The legislation, if approved, will mean a partial liberalisation of the Danish gambling market and will enable Denmark to issue interactive gambling and betting shop licences to operators who wish to access the Danish market.
I look forward to seeing you in Buenos Aires in October.
André Wilsenach
IAGR Chair