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Compliance Updates

Mississippi House passes bill to legalize online sports betting; measure moves to Senate

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The Mississippi House passed a bill Thursday that would legalize online sports betting, bringing the state one step closer to joining 29 other states that already allow the practice.

The Mississippi Mobile Sports Wagering Act, which would legalize mobile sports betting while requiring gambling companies to contract with brick-and-mortar gambling establishments, passed 97-14 after a brief debate on the House floor. Sports wagering has been legal in the state for years, but online betting has remained illegal amid fears the move could harm the bottom line of the state’s casinos.

Republican Rep. Casey Eure of Saucier, the bill’s prime sponsor, said the state could bring in $25-35 million a year in tax revenue, based on state Gaming Commission estimates. Mississippi is missing out on that money as it houses one of the nation’s most active black markets.
Across the U.S. each year, illegal betting sites see about $64 billion in wagers, Eure said. Mississippi makes up 5% of that market, which is about $3 billion in illegal bets.

After advancing the bill out of a House committee on Tuesday, lawmakers approved an amendment Eure introduced on the floor that would change where the revenue goes. The first version of the bill levied a 12% tax on sports wagers, sending 4% to the localities where a casino is located and 8% to the state. The amended version lawmakers passed Thursday would direct all 12% to a state fund for emergency road and bridge repairs.

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If the Mississippi law passes, online gaming platforms would have to reach an agreement with licensed gambling establishments to establish an online sports betting presence in the state.

House Democratic Leader Robert Johnson of Natchez raised concerns that gambling platforms would have no incentive to partner with smaller casinos, and most of the money would instead flow to the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s already bustling casinos. He proposed an amendment that would guarantee licensed gaming establishments would absorb some of the revenue from bets placed near their facilities.

“The only people making money are the two people that have a contract,” Johnson said. “The money from the platforms, you bet in Mississippi it doesn’t go to every casino in Mississippi. It goes to the casino that you have a contract with.”

Republicans tabled the amendment, but Johnson voted for the bill anyway. He called the potential legalization of mobile sports betting “inevitable.”

Mississippi House members acted on the same day Georgia senators passed a bill to allow sports gambling. Nationwide, 38 states allow sports betting. Some states allow only in-person bets, although most allow electronic betting from anywhere.

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The Mississippi bill now heads to the state Senate for consideration.
Michael Goldberg is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues. Follow him at @mikergoldberg.

Source: CDC Gaming

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Compliance Updates

NJ Governor Murphy Establishes Task Force to Support Responsible Gaming

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New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed Executive Order No. 360, establishing a Responsible Gaming Task Force responsible for providing advice and recommendations to the Governor’s Office and to the Attorney General regarding reforms to support responsible gaming and to address problem gambling in New Jersey.

A rise in problem gambling has been observed over the past few years, according to a 2023 report from the Rutgers University Center for Gambling Studies. The Rutgers study estimated that 6% of New Jersey residents are at high risk for problem gambling, which is significantly higher than the national average of 1-2%, with the highest rates affecting Black/African American or Hispanic residents.

“New Jersey is known to be a gaming destination with historic locations like Atlantic City, amusement gaming at the Jersey Shore, notable horse racing venues, and more. This Task Force will see to it that we maintain our global leadership in gaming by ensuring that we have the tools needed to address problem gaming for our residents,” said Governor Murphy.

“I applaud Governor Murphy for his leadership in elevating responsible gaming initiatives through the establishment of a statewide task force. New Jersey has been a national leader in casino and sports wagering for many years, and we owe it to our residents to review and expand our existing efforts on problem gambling. This task force demonstrates that ‘responsible gaming’ is not merely a buzzword in New Jersey, but a critical issue that demands the attention of government entities, industry, and stakeholders. As Chair of the task force, I’m eager to get underway in examining ways to help bring attention to and support the prevention and treatment of gambling disorder,” said Attorney General Platkin.

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The responsibilities of the Responsible Gaming Task Force will be to review several areas of the problem gambling landscape, including the effects on underage and vulnerable communities; develop strategies to achieve responsible gaming; and make recommendations for policy changes to address the issue of problem gambling.

Members of the Task Force will consist of seven government representatives or their designees, including:

The Attorney General, who shall serve as Chair;

The Chair of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission;

The Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs;

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The Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement;

The Director of the Division of State Lottery;

The Executive Director of the New Jersey Racing Commission; and

The Commissioner of the Department of Human Services.

The Task Force may consult with experts, representatives of regulated entities, or other knowledgeable individuals in the public or private sector with respect to any aspect of its mission.

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Compliance Updates

Flows Now Registered in New Jersey

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Technology solutions provider Flows is now officially registered as an active vendor in New Jersey.

James King, CEO of Flows, said: “Receiving approval as a vendor in New Jersey is a next natural step for us at Flows as we accelerate our North American expansion. It highlights the dedication and effort of our entire team and aligns with our mission to deliver cutting-edge innovation platform to the US market. A big thanks to our fantastic client Light & Wonder who supported our registration as well as a big shout out to North America’s finest legal outfit Saiber LLC (Jeremy and his team) for their expert guidance throughout this process.”

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Compliance Updates

Aruze Gaming Announces Rapid Expansion Throughout North America and Asia

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Aruze Gaming Global (AG2) has announced rapid expansion throughout North America and Asia. AG2 has now met the rigorous requirements and has been granted approvals from the following jurisdictions, across North America and Asia. These new gaming licenses dramatically expand AG2’s addressable markets in more than 160 new jurisdictions, including recent approvals in Macau (SAR) China (DICJ), Philippines (PAGCOR), Pennsylvania, Virginia, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, and dozens more that are in process. Additionally, AG2 is establishing offices and distributorships in the Netherlands, Malaysia, Philippines, Cambodia, and Vietnam to further extend its international reach. AG2 has now been granted licenses for over 160 gaming jurisdictions world-wide, up from just 76 licenses in August of 2023.

This accomplishment marks a substantial expansion for AG2, solidifying its commitment to providing cutting-edge gaming solutions with the highest standards of regulatory compliance. The recent approvals underscore the company’s dedication to fostering strong relationships with its partners across the globe while ensuring responsible and transparent gaming practices.

Kelcey Allison, Global Chief Operating Officer, said: “The timing could not be better for the new gaming licenses. Coupled with the recent release of several new titles that are performing at 2 to 3 times house average – thus giving us some amazing new content for our existing and newly accessible markets.”

Betty Zhao, SVP of International Operations, said: “Our explosive growth and high-performing new content is fueling a lot of excitement with our new customers.”

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