Spain to create a centralized data registry of betting games

Spain is deliberating the implementation of a centralized data registry for betting games in the country. Spain’s gambling regulatory body, the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) came up with the proposal, stating that such a registry would compile and keep customer data from all licensed gaming operators.

These would include data from minimum deposit casinos, top online casinos and minimum bet sportsbooks. Work has already begun on the policies relating to the registry’s data management and roll out, but these exact details were not clear.

This ground-breaking initiative would mean significant changes in Spain and the best online casinos would have to comply.

The DGOJ said this system would improve monitoring and regulation within the gambling industry.

DGOJ director general Mikel Arana said: “The creation of a centralized data registry will increase the transparency and accountability of gambling operations in Spain. Furthermore, it will provide a robust framework to monitor and ensure compliance with the highest standards of responsible gambling.”

Impact on gambling operators in Spain

Once this registry comes into effect, operators will be required to establish risk profiles for customers or players who are under 25-years-old. The reason for focusing on individuals under 25 emerges from research into behavioural studies.

It has come to light that some studies in the country have indicated that this age group is more vulnerable to developing addictive gambling behaviours than other age groups. But the name of these studies have not yet been divulged.

By implementing risk profiles for this age group, the DGOJ believes that casino operators will be enabled to identify and intervene in cases where individuals are over indulging in gambling activities at online casinos. These profiles are expected to be a foundational element of the new regulatory framework, due to be release next year.

Spain hopes that by carefully examining the gambling habits and patterns of younger players, it will be able to proactively address potential issues such as gambling addiction and financial irresponsibility. It believes responsible gambling practices are key.

For now, these risk profiles are still under discussion with casino operators, and it is unclear whether any online casino operator has begun developing them.

The deadline for finalization of the project is set for the end of 2024 and the registry’s implementation is due to be begin early in 2025. While the specifics of these risk profiles are yet to be discussed, the DGOJ is expected to set a timeline for compliance in the near future.

It is expected that all casino operators will be given a reasonable timeframe to implement the necessary measures before the registry comes into effect.

The DGOJ says this mandate emphasizes Spain’s proactive approach to safeguarding vulnerable age groups and promoting responsible gambling practices across the board. 

Reasons for Spain’s betting registry

The reasons behind the move aligns with Spain’s efforts to promote responsible gambling practices. Decision makers believe this will help alleviate the negative consequences associated with excessive gambling.

The regulator’s general director Mikel Arana has commented on the matter, emphasizing that “the establishment of a centralized data registry will enhance the transparency and accountability of gambling operations within Spains low minimum deposit casino industry. It will provide a robust framework for monitoring and ensuring compliance with the highest standards of responsible gaming”.

By compiling data from diverse operators onto a unified platform, authorities can more effectively monitor compliance. This will make it easier to detect irregularities and intervene promptly where necessary.

These changes align with the laws on all responsible gaming environments, which aim to promote responsible gambling behaviours and protect vulnerable individuals from harm. By enforcing data-driven insights and regulatory oversight, the centralized registry will play a pivotal role in ensuring compliance with responsible gaming standards and identifying areas for improvement within the online casino industry.

The registry will form a collaboration between regulatory authorities and gaming operators. This will enable a more effective way of monitoring gambling activities and ensuring that all rules are adhered to. By centralizing customer data, the DGOJ can streamline regulatory processes and enhance the efficiency of any missed steps.

This ultimately this would benefit both consumers and the online casino industry. The law on responsible gaming environments emphasizes the need for comprehensive data collection and analysis to support evidence-based policy making. The registry serves as a key element of this strategy, empowering casinos with actionable insights to tailor interventions and support mechanisms effectively.

With any major change, there have to be concerns. Critics have raised concerns over data privacy and security implications associated with such a comprehensive registry. In response, the DGOJ has assured the necessary data protection protocols. The safeguards will be implemented to uphold consumer privacy rights and eliminate potential risks of unauthorized access or misuse.

Arana stated, “The establishment of a centralized data registry is a crucial step towards enhancing transparency and accountability within the gambling sector.”

As Spain moves forward with the establishment of its centralized betting registry, stakeholders across the gambling industry are preparing for a new era of heightened scrutiny and accountability. While challenges and adjustments lie ahead, some have argued that the registry represents a proactive step towards ensuring sustainable growth and responsible gambling within Spain’s dynamic igaming industry.

Spain’s initiative to create a centralized data registry of betting games marks an important milestone in its regulatory framework. By controlling the power of data analytics and unified oversight, the country aims to set a precedent for effective regulation and consumer protection in the global gambling industry.

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Ginvera Alessandrello
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Half of gambling helpline calls in US were for technical assistance to place bets

The US Department of Public Health’s Problem Gambling Services Helpline is experiencing an unusual trend. Instead of addiction support, which is why this helpline was set up in the first place, many use it to get help with placing bets, and in particular at minimum bet sportsbooks.

According to the latest statistics, half of over 2,000 calls were for technical assistance to place bets, especially on mobile sports platforms. Additionally, 1,043 gamblers contacted operators to get answers to general questions related to how wagering real money on platforms work.

According to the service data, the number of such calls between July 2022 and June 2023 has increased compared to previous years. This is significant data, considering that this service has been around for a long time. But despite this, the Helpline is using it as an opportunity to speak about responsible gambling to callers. According to experts, one of the main reasons they believe there has been an increase in calls to the Helpline is because of the legalization of sports betting in Massachusetts.  

Surge in calls comes after sports betting is legalized in Massachusetts

Sports betting in Massachusetts was legalized in August 2022. Additionally, retail sports betting went live in January 2023. These changes affected several sectors, including, unexpectedly, the US Department of Public Health’s Problem Gambling Services Helpline.

Apparently, this legalization has been well received by many players from The Bay State. However, many of them do not have a complete understanding of how betting works on online platforms, especially on mobile platforms.

As a result, the Helpline witnessed a surge in calls. Thanks to their preparedness, these calls were appropriately handled.

Although the primary purpose of this service is to help players practice responsible gambling and deal with problem gambling, many players from Massachusetts and other US states use it to find out how to enter the world of internet gambling, and in particular top online casinos.

Reports of an increased number of calls do not mean that the number of players facing problem gambling has increased. This was confirmed by Victor Ortiz, the director of the Problem Gambling Services Helpline.

“The Problem Gambling Helpline provides an important connection between those who are experiencing problem gambling — including sports betting — and services that can help,” Ortiz said.

“Expanded access to gambling in the Commonwealth poses risks, particularly to those in recovery, and highlights the need to provide responsive referrals to callers based on their needs.”

This unusual trend may lead to unexpected success for this service. Namely, with every call they receive, operators remind users that they ensure responsible gambling, pay attention to their budget, and see gambling as a form of entertainment and not as a way of making money. This is an unexpected education, which indirectly helps in reducing the number of people who become addicted to gambling.

On a positive note, there is also a growing number of calls seeking help for family members, colleagues, and friends. Interestingly, the rate of male callers is increasing while the number of female callers is more or less the same. With this information in mind, it may be a good idea to think in the direction of creating campaigns that will target these categories of players. Specifically, we are talking about men between the ages of 25 and 40.

Massachusetts Senate wants to higher taxes for sports betting in Massachusetts

Although many US states legalized sports betting years before Massachusetts, this state still managed to surpass most in revenue generated from this activity. In fact, minimum bet sportsbooks have become a hit in this region. In April alone, the Massachusetts sports betting industry had revenue of over $50 million. With that, it became the second US state in the number and value of bets.

On the other hand, compared to the same month last year, it is a decrease. Regardless, Bay State remains one of the national industry leaders.

The initial resistance that specific structures had towards legalization is slowly fading. This situation will change further if taxes on sports betting are increased. Currently, the Massachusetts State Senate is considering increasing taxes on sports betting from 20% to 51%. This initiative is also supported by Senator John Keenan.

When it comes to sports betting taxes, you can’t say that the tax in Massachusetts is low. Other states have lower percentages, such as Colorado with 10%, New Jersey with 13%, and Virginia with 15%. However, there are states where it is higher, such as New York with 51%. It’s clear that legislators want to follow this example, which has proved quite successful in the Empire State. As a reminder, New York is the leader in sports betting revenue. In 2023 alone, this activity generated a revenue of about $1.7 billion.

The potential tax increase will not affect the advertising policies of sportsbooks. Experts in the field agree that MA remains one of the states with the strictest advertising rules. It certainly goes in favor of suppressing the emergence of problem gambling. However, some sports bookmakers do not share this opinion.

In addition, it is worth mentioning that betting on college sports is not allowed, except for college teams that are part of major competitions.

Currently, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission has issued licenses to several sportsbooks. Most of them are brands available in other US States. You will find names such as DraftKings, a reputable brand offering live betting, same-game parlays, and more among them. Another brand with a massive fan base is FanDuel, a minimum bet sportsbook with great experience and presence in several US states, including Arizona, Tennessee, West Virginia, and New York. Other notable MA sportsbooks include ESPNBet, Caesars, Fanatics, BetMGM, and WynnBET.

Calls for technical assistance highlight the need for education on responsible gambling practices

By almost all predictions, sports betting in Massachusetts will continue to grow whether or not proposed tax increases related to this activity are approved by the Senate. It will certainly significantly impact the economy and society because the authorities mostly direct these revenues to things that benefit the community. For example, with those revenues, schools are renovated, hospitals are built, etc.

However, with positive things can also come specific problems, such as the emergence of problem gambling. Massachusetts legalized gambling later than many states, and this is an advantage because the authorities can build their strategy based on real-life information about these things.

The fact that half of the calls to the US Department of Public Health’s Problem Gambling Services Helpline are for help with placing bets suggests that a large proportion of MA players are not educated in this area. The authorities need to raise awareness of the dangers of gambling, as do betting sites and places where you can only bet with your physical presence.

In addition, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission may require sportsbooks to post the betting rules in a prominent place and provide more detailed instructions on practicing this activity.

There are also announcements that online gambling will be legalized, which will allow players to visit different Real Money US online casinos. These announcements are based on the experience of other states. However, such a move should be considered in detail because the danger of problem gambling will increase. Investing in additional agents to support the US Department of Public Health’s Problem Gambling Services Helpline sounds like a valid idea in this case.

Dutch Casino Operator becomes the main sponsor at Zandvoort Grand Prix, the Dutch Casino operator will sponsor the Zandvoort Grand Prix in 2024. will join the list of the Dutch Grand Prix’s partners which includes major companies such as Radio 538, Pon, Heineken, and Jumbo.

Jan Lammers, Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix’s sporting director, praised as being a company with a love for motorsport and said that the two parties share the same values, making a welcome addition to the Dutch Grand Prix family.

Eric Olders, Board Chairman, expressed his enthusiasm for the partnership and emphasized his team’s dedication to racing and sports. He reassured citizens that the collaboration with Formula 1 Heineken Dutch Grand Prix will promote the operator’s services safely and responsibly.

In the Netherlands, responsible gambling is taken seriously by the government and the Dutch gambling operators. An online casino must get a license from the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the country’s regulator, to ensure that all Dutch players can enjoy fair, safe, and responsible online gambling.

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Players from Netherlands finally gained access to the world of regulated top online casino gambling in 2021. Dutch players now have access to legal and regulated online casinos where they may play the best slots and table games. These casinos have been granted licenses to operate by the KSA. Casino is a top licensed online betting site in the Netherlands since 2021. It offers a great user experience through top-rated games and a straightforward bet on the sportsbook. These best online casinos have all types of casino games, and the sportsbook features everything from the latest darts tournaments to Eredivisie – the highest level of professional football in the Netherlands.

Part of JOI Gaming, a subsidiary of JVH Gaming & Entertainment group, it is a Malta-based online casino with a KOA license that complies with legal gambling regulations. They also provide a chance to bet on online sports. takes a robust approach towards responsible gambling with licensing issued by the KSA – which oversees the practices of both online casinos and land-based casinos. For the KSA, player safety is a priority. In the Netherlands, online operators must comply with the rules set in the country and commit to promoting responsible gambling.

New players who register at can get a welcome bonus of $/€60 in Free Bets that can be used on a complete sportsbook with the best odds and instant payouts. Players who prefer casino games can collect a welcome bonus of $/€150 to play $/€50 in Free Spins for their hottest slots. Other than that, features hundreds of games like Microgaming’s MegaMoolah progressive jackpot game and slots of every type created by over 20 software providers.

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Under Dutch gambling laws outlined in the KOA Remote Gambling Act, a game of chance is a game that awards players the opportunity to compete for prizes or premiums to which an economic value can be attached. Real money casino games should always be enjoyed at a licensed online casino, or your money could be in danger.

The KSA has ensured strict, Responsible Gambling requirements at all top-rated online casinos and sportsbooks under their jurisdiction to prevent the risks associated with gambling for Dutch players. The license covers casino games, wagering at sports betting and horse racing, and is valid for a maximum of 5 years.

With Responsible Gambling being at the forefront of Dutch Online Casinos, players can count on all the information they need to keep a check on their gambling behaviour. The strict responsible gambling requirements ensure that vulnerable players and underage gamblers are protected against gambling addiction.

Online casinos in the Netherlands feature tips and tricks for playing in fun and responsible ways, and there are many tools to help them limit their deposits and playing time such as self-exclusion and timeouts. Responsible gambling tools mean that Dutch players can control how long and much they gamble and self-exclude when necessary. The Responsible Gambling pages offer everything needed to help Dutch players play responsibly.

How this New Partnership differs from Formula 1 Team Sponsorships

When Formula 1 began, there was no connection between casinos and motorsport but in today’s world, Formula 1 is the pinnacle. Formula 1 racing has become a global phenomenon, attracting sponsors from significant industries including big casino brands.

The earliest casino sponsorship dates back to the 1970s when French casino group Barriere sponsored the Monaco Grand Prix and by the 1990s, Casino Magic sponsored the Ligier Formula 1 team in the 1995 season. Casino sponsorship of Formula 1 increased in the mid-1990s but only in the late 20th century did casinos significantly impact sport events.

Here are some of the most significant sponsorships of recent times:

  • Aristocrat Gaming is a global software developer for slots, table games, and casino games licensed in over 300 gaming jurisdictions in over 90 countries. They offer a unique blend of slots, table and card games, and other products to “bring joy to life through the power of play.” This year, Aristocrat Gaming has been chosen to sponsor the Heineken Silver Las Vegas Grand Prix. This is also where they were awarded the National Football League (NFL) 2021 sponsorship.
  • Another global gambling company that recently signed a 3-year sponsorship agreement is Stake, a trending crypto-based gambling company. Stake entered into such an agreement to accentuate their recognition within the Formula 1 community and expand fan engagement through brand integration.
  • Following the start of the Bahrain 2023 Formula 1 season, it was announced that the partnership between PokerStars and Oracle Red Bull Racing would continue for a second year. PokerStars offers plenty of rewards for Formula 1 fans through competitions and promotions. Fans can stay tuned to PokerStars’ YouTube channel for never-before-seen videos of season warm ups behind-the-scenes.
  • With the most recent sponsorship award going to, the Zandvoort Grand Prix will be sponsored by a safe and popular online casino that takes responsible gambling and security seriously. The Circuit Zandvoort is known for its legendary races and fantastic atmosphere, with the Zandvoort track being famous for its unique location that is only a stone’s throw away from the beach.

The 5 most vibey online casinos that symbolize some of the classic gambling-inspired songs

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MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment hacked, 6 Terabytes of Data Stolen

MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment, two of the most well-known names in the gaming and hotel industries, have both been hit by a severe cyberattack, which comes with a startling turn of events. Due to the security breach, an unbelievable six terabytes of data were taken without authorization.

The occurrence has caused shockwaves throughout the corporate sector, leading to concerns regarding the safety of critical client information and the more significant consequences for the online gambling industry.

Hackers targeted MGM Resorts, which resulted in the chain’s slot machines and ATMs being rendered inoperable and the digital keys to the casinos and hotels being rendered useless. A hack had been launched against Caesars Entertainment, the competitor casino, just a few days earlier. Hackers took six terabytes of personal information from members of the company’s loyalty program including Social Security numbers and driver’s license information. The company’s hotels and online operations were not affected.

This incident has highlighted weaknesses in the gaming world’s digital ecosystem. These companies have invested a significant amount of resources into developing their online presence, allowing clients to play casino games and make reservations without leaving the convenience of their own homes. However, due to this transition into the digital domain, they have also become desirable targets for cybercriminals.

According to media reports, the MGM attack had a large impact. MGM oversees the operations of more than 25 hotels and online casinos worldwide, in addition to lucrative online sports betting operations. Following the initial disclosure of a cybersecurity breach on September 11, customers began to notice issues with digital hotel room keys, slot machines, and receipts for winnings. Data protection specialists expressed concern that stolen consumer information might also be sold on the dark web.

A hacking organization known as Scattered Spider claimed responsibility for both the data breaches at MGM and Caesars. The hackers used ransomware developed by ALPHV, also known as BlackCat, a secretive organization infamous for providing malware as a service. According to Scattered Spider, one of its hackers gained access to the data by employing the practice of “vishing,” which refers to voice-based social engineering attacks carried out over the phone. The information was subsequently encrypted before the hackers made an extortion, demanding a ransom payment in exchange for its return.

Background of MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment

MGM Resorts International was established in 1986, and it currently manages a wide variety of casino resorts all over the world. This marked the beginning of the casino gaming industry as we know it today. Some of these resorts are well-known attractions such as the Bellagio and the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The MGM Group has grown to become one of the most successful and extensive gaming operations in the United States.

Caesars Entertainment’s origins, on the other hand, can be traced back to 1937, when founder Bill Harrah ran a single bingo parlor in Reno, Nevada. Caesars Entertainment currently possesses a vast network of top online casinos, hotels, and resorts, which positions it as an essential player in the casino industry. It symbolizes a massive conglomerate that is comprised of land-based casinos located all over the world, as well as online gambling operations, and brands like the World Series of Poker, and other facilities such as golf courses and arenas.

Other Platforms Hacked in the Past

In recent years, the online gaming industry has been subject to a significant number of cyberattacks. One situation that deserves special attention is the hack that occurred earlier this month on the popular cryptocurrency gaming platform Hackers were able to make off with an astounding $41 million worth of cryptocurrencies during this attack. This event, like many others in the industry, raises issues about the sector’s ability to protect the assets and data of its clients.


Hackers have shown a particular interest in the crypto-gambling sector due to the decentralized nature of the industry and the widespread attraction of cryptocurrencies. This highlights the need for stringent security measures throughout the whole range of online gaming platforms, from conventional casinos to innovative companies based on blockchain technology.

The recent cyberattacks on Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts serve as a harsh reminder of the persistent danger that hangs over firms that operate in the digital sphere. The fact that these two industry titans had 6 gigabytes of data stolen from them demonstrates how urgent it is for companies to prioritize cybersecurity.

The gaming industry is continuously changing, and as a result, a growing emphasis is being placed on online platforms. As a result, the protection of consumer information and assets must take precedence. In order to effectively battle cyber threats, it is not only the responsibility of individual enterprises to strengthen their defenses; it is also a worry that affects the entire industry as a whole, which needs coordination and the sharing of information.

There is, however, some good news for those of you who are considering booking a stay at one of the MGM Resorts’ properties in Las Vegas in the next several weeks: The casino and resort operator has successfully restored functionality to the computerized systems.

UAE on the verge of legalizing gambling as it introduces federal gambling regulator

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) made headlines this month when it announced that it was creating a new federal authority to regulate commercial gaming activities including lotteries and online casino gambling. This surprising move positions the UAE to become the first country in the Gulf region to legalize gambling, marking a major shift for the traditionally conservative Islamic nation.

The new regulatory body, known as the General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority (GCGRA), has been tasked with introducing a “world-leading regulatory framework” to govern gambling activities across the UAE. While no timeline has been formally announced, industry experts believe casinos and lottery games could launch within the next 5 years.

The GCGRA will be led by two gambling industry veterans from the United States – Kevin Mullally, former executive director of the Missouri Gaming Commission will serve as CEO, while ex-MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren will be chairman.

Recent developments leading up to the GCGRA announcement

While still surprising, the move to create GCGRA did not come out of nowhere. Over the past few years, the UAE has been progressively relaxing its stance on gambling.

In 2020, the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah announced plans to allow gambling at integrated casino resorts in the future. This was followed in 2022 by the emirate establishing its own casino gaming regulator.

Ras Al Khaimah moved quickly to capitalize on its new gambling-friendly stance. In January 2022, Wynn Resorts announced a deal to build a $3.9 billion luxury integrated resort, complete with a gaming floor, on Al Marjan Island in Ras Al Khaimah. The resort is slated to open in 2026.

In addition to Ras Al Khaimah, Dubai has been easing restrictions on gambling. Although casinos are still prohibited, Dubai has allowed cruise ships with onboard casinos to dock there since 2020. Two Las Vegas giants – Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts – are also constructing non-gaming integrated resorts in Dubai.

Finally, in 2020 the UAE approved a national online lottery called Emirates Loto. Although promoted as a “lifestyle lottery”, it has many similarities to traditional lotteries, potentially paving the way for a state-sponsored lottery programme under the GCGRA.

Massive long-term gaming revenues predicted for UAE economy

If regulated casinos become a reality, gaming industry analysts estimate the economic impact could be immense. According to Bloomberg, the introduction of casinos could potentially generate $6.6 billion in annual gaming revenue across the UAE. That would likely make the country one of the top gaming markets globally behind only Macau, Las Vegas and Singapore.

A report from the Telegraph further underscores the massive upside, suggesting the UAE has an opportunity to become the gambling capital of the Middle East. With its extravagant luxury establishments and appeal to the ultra-wealthy, the region certainly possesses the necessary ingredients.

Of course, significant unknowns remain around exactly how gambling will be implemented across the UAE’s different emirates. Local laws and regulations are still being formulated and leaders will need to balance economic gains against cultural considerations within each area.

Regardless of the complexities, the consensus is clear – the UAE gambling market holds incredible potential. The opportunity to generate billions in gaming revenue annually and transform the Middle East’s tourism landscape is real and substantial.

Top Casino Brands headed to the Middle East

The UAE’s bold move to welcome gambling could create massive new opportunities for big players in the global gaming industry. Several top Las Vegas casino operators are already making significant investments in the UAE, with the expectation that regulated gambling is coming soon.

Wynn Resorts

Wynn is developing a $3.9 billion integrated resort in Ras Al Khaimah that will include a casino with gaming tables and slot machines, a 5-star luxury hotel with over 1,000 rooms, restaurants, convention space, a spa, retail shops, entertainment venues and more.

Set to open in 2026 on Al Marjan Island, the beachfront resort aims to bring Wynn’s signature high-end experience to the Middle East. Wynn reportedly expects to secure one of the first gambling licenses issued in Ras Al Khaimah.

Caesars Entertainment

Caesars already operates two non-gaming properties in Dubai – Caesars Palace Dubai and Caesars Bluewaters Dubai, which combined have nearly 500 rooms and suites. If Dubai grants Caesars a casino license down the road, the company will be well-positioned to quickly offer gaming at its existing integrated resorts.

MGM Resorts

MGM is developing a massive resort along Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach in partnership with local developer WASL. The resort will bring MGM’s renowned brands like Bellagio and MGM Grand to Dubai.

MGM CEO Bill Hornbuckle has hinted at the possibility of incorporating a casino at some point, saying there facility has around 150,000 to 200,000 square feet of space that could easily be converted for gaming.

In addition to these brands, other household names in casino gaming like Las Vegas Sands and Genting Group are likely watching the UAE market closely and could explore investment opportunities as regulations develop.

iGaming: NEXT podcast to discuss the UAE’s first gambling regulator

With gambling poised to arrive in the UAE in the near future, the newly formed General Commercial Gaming Regulatory Authority and its implications have captured attention far beyond the Gulf region.

On a recent episode of the iGaming NEXT podcast, host Jake Evans and Nico Jansen discussed the UAE’s historic decision to establish a federal gambling regulator.

iGaming NEXT provides news and insights about the global online gaming industry, making it an influential information source followed by gaming executives worldwide.

During their podcast conversation, Jake and Evans highlighted how the GCGRA represents a “major shift” for the traditionally conservative UAE. The hosts also spoke about the appointments of Kevin Mullally and Jim Murren, describing both as highly experienced gambling industry veterans. In their view, these personnel choices demonstrate the UAE is serious about constructing a robust, world-class regulatory regime.

Looking ahead, Evans and Jake expect fierce competition as Las Vegas heavyweights like Caesars, MGM and Wynn vie to capitalize on the blockbuster gaming opportunity taking shape in the UAE. They believe Dubai could become the “Las Vegas of the Middle East” as casino giants look to entrench their brands in the region.

Above all, the podcast hosts concurred that the formation of the GCGRA regulator marks a watershed moment for gambling in the Gulf. With the pieces falling into place, they anticipate integrated resorts featuring casinos, hotels and luxury amenities will reshape travel and tourism across the UAE in the coming years.


The creation of a new federal gambling regulator represents a defining moment for the United Arab Emirates. After years of prohibiting most forms of gambling, the UAE now appears poised to permit regulated gaming activities ranging from lotteries to casinos.

Las Vegas heavyweights like Caesars, MGM and Wynn are already making huge investments in integrated resorts across the region in anticipation of securing casino licenses. These projects could completely redefine tourism and bring billions in new gaming revenue into the country.

Of course, many details around gambling legalization remain uncertain. Individual UAE emirates will shape their own local gaming policies and regulations. However, the big picture is clear – the UAE is opening up to gambling in a major way that will send ripples throughout the international gaming industry.

The GCGRA regulator will have the complex task of constructing a world-class regulatory regime essentially from scratch. How gambling evolves across the culturally conservative UAE will be an intriguing test case to watch in the years ahead. But given the massive financial incentives, global casino brands are certainly keen to be part of this emerging new frontier in the Middle East.

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Why lawmakers need to be educated on internet casino games

By Ramona Depares         

Online gambling is no longer considered a new phenomenon. Remote gaming came out in the noughties, and has been going strong for around two decades. It is then reasonable to assume that authorities in countries would be familiar with the concept and its intricacies.

And yet, this is evidently not the case with many lawmakers still struggling to fully grasp the concept and the various distinctions that characterize the world of remote gambling, Reality is that many people in authority do not understand the difference between, for example, playing at the top online casinos and using an unregistered, unregulated site.

Words like ‘unregistered’, ‘unregulated’, ‘offshore’, ‘licensed’ and even legal versus illegal online casinos remain a mystery to many and a site that offers responsible gambling tools and a superb customer support service is very often viewed in the same way as one that doesn’t.

Which is, of course, a huge shame as it defeats the entire point of having legislation to regulate these matters. The problem was highlighted most recently at the SBC Summit that took place in North America earlier in May.

One of the hottest takes on the schedule revolved around discussions about the importance of educating state lawmakers about internet casino games, while drawing a distinction between the different types of sites that players may encounter.

The summit brought together key speakers from several leading online gambling brands with a presence in the US, each of whom took a strong stance in this regard.

And the operators of some of the best online casino brands are in agreement, while emphasizing the importance of remote gaming as a government source of revenue across the US.

Speaking to Associated Press (AP), Cesar Fernandez, one of the senior directors at FanDuel, remarked how, with post-pandemic federal aid now in decline, states are looking towards alternative sources of revenue that don’t involve raising taxes on residents. Revenue from operator gambling tax fits the bill nicely.

“Since 2018, FanDuel has paid $3.2 billion in taxes,” he said. “That’s a lot of teacher salaries, a lot of police officers and firefighters,” he told Associated Press.

Yet, the industry still faces challenging stumbling blocks when it comes to regulatory approval across the states. Some cite concerns about the increase of gambling addiction, in the belief that legalized online casinos would be facilitating access. This, despite the fact that regulated sites are all required to offer comprehensive responsible gambling tools, with most going over and above minimum legal requirements and taking a highly-player centric approach to stave off future problems.

That said, it is also true that online casinos themselves needed to be a lot more vocal about such efforts related towards player protection, Associated Press reported.

The challenges for internet casino gambling

Internet casino gambling has faced a diversity of challenges since its inception. The old adage goes that people are always scared of a new thing, and nowhere has this held so true as within the sphere of online casinos. The reasons for this skepticism are wide and varied.

Some states and countries are scared of going against public opinion, even though in reality it would appear that the general public is well in favor of it. Others cite a risk of encouraging underage gambling or even addiction. Others still mention financial crimes, the risk of fraud and other technical matters, even though the top online casinos operate to an extremely high standard of security, implementing thorough AML and anti-fraud measures while using the latest technologies to build their platforms.

However, perhaps the biggest nemesis that online casinos must face ironically hails from within their very own industry. These are brick-and-mortar casinos, forever fearful that internet gambling sites will rob them of their daily bread. One such example is Rob Norton, president of Cordish Gaming, a company that owns both retail casinos and internet gambling sites. Perhaps unexpectedly, he is one of the strongest opponents, claiming that remote gambling is causing damage to long-standing brick-and-mortar casinos.

“We’re setting ourselves up for our own failure,” he told AP, adding that, since Maryland legalized online sports betting, retail revenue at his company’s Maryland Live! casino was reduced by 65% and shows no signs of recovering. Moreover, he added, since remote sports wagering became popular he’s seen a decrease of some 7,000 people a day visiting the retail casino.

“Last year, eight states considered i-gaming,” he continued. “Not one passed.”

By contrast, the figures for online gambling revenue at online casinos in regulated states remain on the increase. In Pennsylvania alone, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) regularly reports record-breaking revenue figures for remote gaming. In March alone, there was a 28.95% increase in revenue generated compared to the same period last year. And in New Jersey, iGaming revenue has almost caught up with land-based figures, with the New Jersey Gambling Division reporting an overall increase of 19.9% when compared to 2023 as reported by IGB North America. Figures in other regulated states are equally positive.

Such trends reveal that remote gambling may indeed be catching up with their retail counterparts in the US and Canada and, as new online casinos continue to emerge, a decline is unlikely to happen.

Why understanding is important for adoption of gambling regulation

To ensure a level playing-field for all, while ensuring that players are protected, it is crucial for lawmakers to understand the regulated online casino environment, especially when it comes to passing regulations or measures. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why understanding the different terminologies and types of online casinos is important.

It puts legislators in a position to properly ensure consumer protection. You can’t protect someone from something you don’t understand, it’s as simple as that. The world of online casinos comprises a fair amount of technical and specialist topics that, if misunderstood, risk killing any legal efforts at safeguarding the consumer. These include ensuring that personal and financial data is secure, besides making sure that all games are fair and abide by true random generation. Lawmakers need a nuanced understanding of such topics so as to be able to legislate effectively.

It helps prevent financial crimes. Unfortunately, the one-size-fits-all approach that many lawmakers have adopted when regulating online gambling actually helps bad actors who want to take advantage of this ignorance. Lawmakers need to not only have a solid understanding of anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) procedures, but also be aware that the multitude of obligations imposed in this regard upon licensed online casinos undoubtedly make them safer than their unregulated counterparts. When a site is licensed, there are various measures in place to prevent financial crimes such as money laundering and fraud, which are common risks in unregulated markets.

It boosts the economy. As we’ve seen above, a well-regulated online gambling industry can generate significant tax revenue. It will also create jobs and contribute positively to the economy as most of the gambling brands take a significant interest in charitable and social endeavors where they operate. When lawmakers are well informed about the online casino environment, they can implement regulations that leverage economic benefits while maintaining a balance with responsible gambling practices.

It ensures a level playing field. If lawmakers fail to adequately regulate remote gambling, they’re leaving the door open to unscrupulous operators to take advantage of the gap in the market and indulge in unfair and uncompetitive practices.

Finally, understanding the distinction between regulated and unregulated online casinos is one of the best ways to maximize responsible gambling efforts. By ensuring that a licensed gambling site must offer proper responsible gambling tools, lawmakers are providing the best protection to players, reducing the risks that they end up gambling at unregistered sites with no interest in player protection and eliminating the market for bad actors.


Media site    Link    
Associated Press and MSN Slow to expand, internet casino gambling is the future of US betting, industry execs say ( 
SBC Events  
IGB North America 
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Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board  
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