What's New in the Gambling Industry? Find Out From Our Digest!

What's New in the Gambling Industry? Find Out From Our Digest!
14.05.2021

Another company received a license to open online casinos in Ukraine, whereas Portuguese gambling establishments got tax exemptions due to losses driven by COVID-19 pandemic. In the UK and Cyprus, casinos resume their work after a lockdown, and the Armenian parliament has established tougher requirements for advertising of tote services. Read more about latest news from the gambling industry in the weekly UGW 2021 digest!

Another license to launch an online casino issued in Ukraine

The website of the Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (CRGL) published information that Joker UA company became the owner of a license providing the right to organize gambling in online casinos. It is known that the operator is registered in Kyiv. It intends to launch an internet platform under the Joker brand.

Previously, CRGL issued licenses to open online casinos to nine companies, including Spaceix, Parimatch, Gamedev, First Element, Favbet and others. Operators paid UAH 23.4 million for each license.

UK casinos to reopen after tightened quarantine

On May 9, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that quarantine restrictions would be softened. Thus, gambling establishments and bingo halls will reopen on May 17.

With the increase of new cases regarding the coronavirus in London, the lockdown was introduced in December last year, with restrictions tightened in January throughout England. Prior to this, quarantine restrictions in the UK were in effect from March to July 2020.

On April 12, 2021, bookmakers resumed their work in England, and two weeks later – in Scotland. Now, in addition to restaurants, casinos and bingo halls will open as well.

Portugal exempted casinos from taxes until 2022

The Portuguese government has ruled that gambling establishments suffering from losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic will be exempt from income tax until the end of 2021.

Moreover, casino operators Estoril, Lisbo and Figueira de Foz, whose licenses on conducting gambling activities have expired received permission to extend them until 2022.

In total, the income of 11 casinos in Portugal for 2020 amounted to €159 million, which is half the amount in 2019.

Armenia to limit advertising time for tote and casinos

The National Assembly of the Republic of Armenia adopted amendments to the Law “On Advertising” in the second and final reading, reducing the time for broadcasting advertising of sweepstakes, casinos and online games with winnings.

According to the amendments, operators will be able to advertise their services only from 22:00 to 7:00. In case of violation, they will be held accountable.

MP Babken Tunyan noted that over the past year and a half, the volume of bets in Armenia has grown. In his opinion, limiting advertising is the best and most effective method of preventing an increase in the number of bets.

He also said that a new package of stricter rules for the work of betting companies and organizers of games with a reward for winning is underway. This project has now been submitted for public discussions.

The date when casinos in Cyprus will resume operations has been announced

The Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus adopted a resolution on the resumption of the casino operations, provided that the capacity of the rooms will be kept 30% of the previous norm. The venues will begin to accept visitors from May 17. And from June 1, their capacity can be increased up to 50%.

In addition, gamblers will have to carry a health safety pass to attend the gambling establishments.

Casinos and bookmakers in Cyprus have suspended operations since November 30 last year due to an increase in COVID-19 new cases.


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