Justice Minister Brian Lenihan has stepped back from the controversial issue of fixed-odds betting terminals in Ireland’s betting shops, saying that a decision on the issue will be taken by the soon-to-be-formed cross party committee. He has conceded, however, that a report into the future of gambling in the Republic by the casino review committee has recommended that FOBTs be prohibited.
A bill to allow Maine’s Penobscot Indians to operate 100 slot machines on their reservation has been vetoed by governor John Baldacci. Baldacci’s veto was then endorsed by the House, which voted 94-49 against the bill, leaving future gambling expansion plans in the state very much at the mercy of voter referenda.
Norwegian monopoly gaming operator Norsk Tipping has announced record revenues and profits for 2007, with revenues up 9.2 percent and profits up by 8 percent. The state-owned company also confirmed its plans to introduce compulsory player registration across its business as a means of halting underage gambling and money laundering.
The owners of Guam’s Greyhound Park have submitted new plans for expanded gambling at the track, the third such proposal in two years. This proposal, however, goes much further than previous calls to allow the installation of slot machines and proposes a full portfolio of casino games including card games, dice, roulette, baccarat and video versions of those games, plus traditional slot machines.
Ireland’s Justice Minister Brian Lenihan has announced the creation of a dedicated cross party parliamentary committee to formulate new gambling legislation and establish a new regulator, however claims that Finance Minister Brian Cowen has already “given the nod” to bookmakers who wish to install fixed odds betting terminals in their shops have been denied. The committee is now set to consider the report by the Casino Review Committee, which is due to published within the next two weeks.
Kentucky state Governor Steve Beshear has finally admitted that there is no chance that legislation to legalize casinos will be passed in the current legislative session. The horseracing state is the second to reject new gambling proposals this month, and the issue must now wait until 2010 for further consideration.
The Maryland court of appeal has rejected a Republican lawsuit that would have scrapped a referendum on licensing up to 15,000 slot machines in the state. The Republicans had argued that technical and procedural irregularities meant that the vote enabling the referendum in the General Assembly last year should be invalidated.
European football’s governing body UEFA has met with representatives of the European gambling industry in order to improve its monitoring of betting patterns as it battles against match fixing and corruption in its competitions. Meanwhile, it has emerged that of the 15 matches the governing body reported to Europol as being suspicious only one game is still being investigated.
As a shake-up of Ireland’s gaming laws draws nearer, speculation is centred on exactly which aspects of gambling will be covered by the new legislation, with heavy bets being placed on the possible outcomes for the slot machine sector.