Monthly Archives: December 2011

Irish Government Plans to Extend Online Betting Tax

Ireland’s ruling Fine Gael government has announced that it is close to finalizing plans to extend the nation’s current betting tax and has proposed a 1% tax on internet gambling bets made over the phone and online.

According to a statement issued by the government, offshore companies will be hit with a 15% charge on Irish commissions with these new changes and the government hopes to raise €20 million a year from the extended tax. A portion of the money raised by the extended taxes would be used to tackle the problem of gambling addiction in Ireland.

It was revealed that during 1991, betting turnover in Ireland amounted to almost €370 million with duty generated to the state amounting to €37 million. This figure tripled to €1.1 billion a decade later with €68 million going to the state. Due to the swift increase in telephone and online betting, this year’s turnover is expected to exceed €4.5 billion but only €26 will probably be raised in duty.

The additional €20 million which government wishes to raise a year will be used to provide for addiction services and supports.

Fine Gael Cork South West Deputy, Noel Harrington, said that because of the increase in online betting and the popularity of the smart phone it makes sense to tap into this sector in order to assist those who are struggling with gambling addictions. Harrington also expressed his hope that a signal would be sent to the international betting operators that Ireland is a location with relatively low taxes as well as an attractive possibility for employment and investment opportunities.

Amaya Shows Interest in Buying Cryptologic

The online gambling industry has been expecting to hear an announcement to the effect that the Amaya Gaming Group was interested in purchasing the share capital of Cryptologic ever since Amaya purchased a huge number of Cryptologic shares in April, 2011.

Cryptologic, the leading online casino software provider has now made an announcement, which has been prepared in accordance with English law and the Takeover Code, that Amaya Gaming Group has made a provisional offer to purchase its share capital.

The Board of Cryptologic has evidently agreed in principal to “the outline terms of a possible recommended all cash offer from Amaya for the acquisition of the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Cryptologic”.

The provisional offer of US$2.50 in cash per common share is at a premium of 52% over the closing share price of US$1.64 per common share on NASDAQ on 14th December, 2011. In terms of this “Possible Offer” Amaya will be permitted to conduct confirmatory due diligence.

Stripped of legalese, the provisional offer is subject to the condition that Amaya completes the due diligence to its satisfaction and is satisfied with the results thereof, the Board of Cryptologic gives its unanimous recommendation and that Amaya confirms that it has enough funds to complete the offer.

Amaya is required to either announce that they firmly intend to make an offer for the Company or that it does not intend to make such an offer by January 12, 2012.

Amaya has reserved its right to make an offer at a price lower than US$2.50 per common share after the due diligence.

World’s Richest Casino Exec Opposes Online Betting

The world’s richest casino executive and chief of the Gambling Industry’s largest publicly traded company has decided to come out publicly against online gambling.

Sheldon Adelson, the chairman of the billion dollar casino chain, the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, has revealed that he is totally opposed to online gambling due to the fact that he believes that available technology is not yet secure enough to stop young people from wagering on the Internet.

Sheldon met with Republican leaders last week in an attempt to convince them not to support the introduction of a legalized and regulated online gambling industry in the United States.

A spokesperson for Adelson, Ron Reese, reported that the 16th richest man in the world’s viewpoint did not reflect the opinion of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation but is his own observation of concerns about technology.

Chief Executive Officer of the American Gaming Association, Frank Fahrenkopf, revealed that he had met with Adelson recently and was told by him that he would oppose any legislation to legalize online poker in the United States. Fahrenkopf added that Sheldon was perfectly within his right to make such a decision as he has had concerns about this issue for a long time.

The American Gaming Association, at the discretion of their board of directors, will carry on supporting federal legislation for states to be allowed to license and regulate online poker.

According to Fahrenkopf, the association would like federal legislation that permits states to make the decision whether or not to offer poker to its residents and prevents children from gambling online.

Cirsa to be provided with Gaming Software from Microgaming

Popular Spanish online casino operator CIRSA has been licensed by world leading online gaming software provider, Microgaming, and will in future offer Microgaming’s top quality portfolio of casino games.

CIRSA is one of Spain’s most popular online gaming operators and the site’s target audience is the Spanish market.

The Spanish online casino operator is expected to launch its Microgaming-powered online gaming site on the domain which will feature online casino, online bingo games and online poker. The new site will also offer online sports betting with a Spanish focus in an attempt to target Spanish online gaming fans.

Leading online casino and gambling operators who are looking to expand further into Europe are finding the recently regulated Spanish online gambling market a huge attraction.

CIRSA signed a sponsorship agreement with Spanish La Liga football club earlier this year and therefore already has a presence in the Spanish gambling market. The online casino operator is aiming to make a name for itself as a leader in the entertainment and gaming sector in the regulated Spanish online gambling market.

A spokesperson for CIRSA revealed that they had chosen Microgaming to power their new online casino, bingo and poker site due to Microgaming’s world-wide reputation for innovative and high quality online gaming content. He added that Microgaming’s experience offered them a very attractive proposition and that the opportunity to offer Microgaming content to their players is very appealing due to the fact that their ground breaking software is unparalleled within the industry.

Roger Raatgever, CEO for Microgaming, said that they were thrilled to be working with CIRSA who is a well known name in the gaming industry.