Japan poised to introduce legalized casino gambling

Some six regions in Japan may soon be home to casino resorts if legislation currently on the table passes into law. The legislation, called the Integrated Resorts Implementation Bil,l is set to be discussed during the next regular legislative session in the nation’s parliament in 2018. The bill rides on the back of a piece of legislation set to deal with problem gambling and it’s discussion remains predicated on passage of the first problem gambling bill.

Hiroaki Yoshida, president of Japanese gaming machine investor Pixel Company Inc. is optimistic about the bills passage. Speaking on the sidelines of the MGS Entertainment Show 2017 in Macau, he said, ““The factor to consider is the business performance. What I think is that the regions that are more likely to have integrated resorts are Sasebo in the Nagasaki prefecture, Wakayama, Hokkaido, Tokyo and Osaka.”

Caesars Entertainment is also interested in capitalizing on the new regulatory framework were the bill to become law, unveiling plans for two mega resorts in Osaka and Tomakomai. Caesars Executive VP Jan Jones Blackhurst said that the company has set aside approximately $5 billion to $10 billion to build each new facility in the country of 127 million.

Analysts forecasts put the potential value of casino gambling in Japan at $30 billion annually, posing a fierce potential rival to current regional gambling mecca Macau, where the market is estimated to bring in some $28 billion each year.

NY lawmakers eyeing sports betting as new revenue source

Empire state law makers are eagerly awaiting a pending US Supreme Court decision this December that could possibly strike down the federal prohibition against sports betting nationwide. State Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, a Democrat from Westchester County and chairman of the Gambling Committee in the lower house of the state legislature, expressed optimism that the Supreme Court will strike down the ban, opening the floodgates to legalized sports betting across the country.

Eager to get in on the action in the event of a sports betting win, and counting on the Supreme Court to strike down the Professional Sports and Protection Act in a case brought by the state of New Jersey, Pretlow said he would support legislation aimed at allowing New York’s regional, off-track betting companies to cash in by setting up sports betting bookmaking operations.

In Nevada, the one state offered an exception to the 1992 Act prohibiting sports betting, sports betting has been exceptionally lucrative, pulling in over $558.2 million in professional sports bets in the month of September alone.

“If the U.S. Supreme Court rules favorably on New Jersey’s behalf, then New York is ready to go,” Pretlow told reporters.

With estimates of the currently illegal nationwide sports betting industry put at $150 billion a year, legalization would likely adversely effect the illegal bookmakers that currently handle sports bets, with one NY lawmaker comparing the introduction of legalized sports betting to the introduction of the state lottery that wreaked havoc on illegal numbers rackets and its organized crime links in major American cities decades ago.

“We should make this legal so people can just go into a racino or wherever and make their bets,” said Gary Greenburg, an investor in the Vernon Downs racing and video lottery complex in Oneida County New York.

Experts predict, that were the Supreme Count to strike down the provision, racinos across the state would be the first to start offering legal sports bets.

UK’s Odds Monkey censored over false ads

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) in the UK has banned matched betting site Odds Monkey from continuing with an advertising campaign that promised customers £1,500 per month matched betting income, describing the clams as completely unsubstantiated. The censure came after customers complained about a video on the Odds Monkey site claiming that the company had helped over 30,000 people earn £1,500 per month sustainable, tax free income from matched betting.

Matched betting schemes, like the one used by Odds Monkey, use sophisticated algorithms to take advantage of free bets offered by UK bookmakers to attract new clients, showing members how to unlock these free betting opportunities without having to put any cash down, usually by placing cancelling win/lose bets on the same event outcome while picking up the free bet on offer at one of the bookmakers that comes with placing your first bet. Odds Monkey states that your initial bets are cancelled out regardless of the outcome, but you’ve gotten the chance to make and win a free bet, hence earning income if you win at no risk.

The company countered that the amounts its customers earned depended on the amounts of the wagers they placed and the strategies they used. In support of its claim, the company offered screen shots showing it had 26,909 members between June and August 2017 and detailing the amounts of money members have posted they won on the sites message boards.

The ASA found Odds Monkey in breach of the Committees of Advertising Practice code of rules by providing misleading information. Odds Monkey was asked to immediately remove the video from its site and to ensure no further such unsubstantiated claims would be made in the future.

Online poker in France sees significant gains

The numbers are in on France’s regulated online poker market and casino operators couldn’t be happier. The Autorité de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL), France’s independent online gambling regulator, announced Q3 poker revenues for both cash games and tournaments rose 11% to €58 million. That last time both sectors saw revenue gains at the same time was back in 2011.

The online gambling market as a whole posted the largest gains in six years, coming in at €885 million, a solid 8% increase in the amount of money wagered. The numbers come as a breath of fresh air for the slightly beleaguered industry after the number of active players dropped for four straight quarters.

Speculation that the boost in player numbers and cash in the game was the result of excessively generous casino bonus offers (like the one’s you’ll find here on Planet 7) were disproved by numbers showing operators bonus expenditures were down 9% to €11.9 million in Q3.

Operators are expectant that the trend continue, thanks in large part to the shared liquidity agreement, signed by France, Italy, Portugal and Spain to open online poker borders, set to come into effect sometime in 2018.

Nick Johnson is a lover of game theory and mathematics. After years as a quant on Wall Street, Nick stepped out of the fast lane to become a stay at home dad and write. After chasing the kids around all day and tucking his little ones in bed, Nick loves to relax playing in online Casinos and is a life-long poker enthusiast.