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The dates and location for the representatives from 16 The French government has said it wants to
third ECA European Dealer countries took part. The
legalise online gaming and betting in the second
Championship have been organisers are hoping that even half of 2009: sports and horse-race betting are the
announced. The event will take more nations will send their
may finally
principle aim of the proposal, although online
place between 21-22 April leading dealers in 2009. allow roulette, poker and blackjack could also be
2009 at the Casino Cosmopol
Dealer Championship
permitted. The news will be welcomed by France’s
in Stockholm, Sweden. In the
dates announced
largest casino operators Lucien Barrière and
2008 championship, held at Partouche, both of which are ready to go with
the Casinò di Venezia in Venice, online offerings.
titlerace JoaRoyale Poker Tour is nament that allows the best weekly heats on Sunday with The finals phase takes place
FRANCE designed to be flexible and of the players eliminated the the final on the fourth Sunday. between 12-14 June 2009
appealing to players while chance to win a place in the The casinos taking part are from which ten grand finalists
JoaGroupe, France’s third allowing the best to finals. There is also a women- those in Antibes, Ax-les- will be selected to compete
largest casino operator, progress. Tables can take only version of the tour. Thermes, Canet-Plage, for the title on 28 June 2009 at
new poker
which changed its name part with a minimum of five The qualification phase Étretat, Sables-d’Olonne, Antibes and the chance to
from Molifor in March, has players up to the maximum runs from July 2008 to May Luxeuil-les-bains, Montrond- win 100,000, a trip to Las
launched its own brand new ten, while Challenge des 2009, during which there will les-bains, Saint Paul-lès- Vegas for two and the
poker tour. Rois, the Kings’ Challenge, be one tournament per Dax, Santenay and Uriage - $10,000-buy in for the World
Beginning in July, the is a tournament within a tour- month, made up of three half the JoaGroupe estate. Series of Poker.
Swiss casinos
break the 1bn-
franc barrier
bankingit required to implement new
SWITZERLAND anti-money laundering pro-
cedures to bring them into
In the sixth year following line with established interna-
wholesale reform of casino tional norms.
legislation in Switzerland, the In good news for casino
17 casinos in the country operators, the number of
together generated a gross instances of illegal gaming
gaming revenue in excess of taking place outside casinos
Members and delegates of the European Casino Association at the General Assembly meeting at the Grand Casino Basel the 1bn-franc mark bringing fell noticeably in the year. Less
in just under 1.02bn francs good, however, was the news
(€633m) in 2007. The figure is that the Commission has
6.8 per cent up on the previ- adjudged poker, under certain
ous year. conditions, to be a game of
According to figures skill rather than a game of
released by the Federal chance, meaning that tourna-
Casino Commission (FCC), ments can take place any-
the average rate of tax was where, provided they are
group to focus
52.9 per cent, meaning that properly licensed. Under the
554m francs (€344.5m) was rules, individual cantons,
contributed to the national rather than the Commission
social insurance scheme and can authorise such events.
to the cantons, 9.9 per cent In March 2007, the delayed
more than in 2006. review of Swiss casino legis-
on strategy
Five years after most of the lation was finally released by
casinos began operating, the the Federal government:
FCC asked to re-examine the while the recommendation
measures in place to tackle that no further casino
socially damaging aspects of licences should be issued for
gaming. In its statement the the time being was a disap-
The European Casino Association announced the setting up of a new working group at
Commission said: “The results pointment to some, particu-
its General Assembly to delve into all possible issues that will affect the industry at a
of this study were submitted larly those hoping to gain one
to the FCC and after careful for the city of Zürich, the move
European level. Hugh Sorrill reports. analysis, the Commission con- was welcomed by many
tacted the different establish- others. The situation is being
meetingofminds or indirect impact, such as the EU’s ‘TV the three other sectors has already been ments to let them know which kept under review, as are
SWITZERLAND Without Frontiers’ initiative.” released but the casino industry docu- areas could be approved, various other aspects of
He continued: “We work very hard to ment has been delayed for three months requiring them to make the gaming legislation, including
The trade body representing the indus- keep up with the pace of developments and is likely to be published in Septem- necessary changes.” whether to relax the law on
try at the European level, the European at an EU level across the entire gaming ber. We have already commented on the Swiss casinos were also internet gaming.
Casino Association (ECA), has set up a industry and make sure we try and draft proposals.”
group that will work to identify and provide the decision makers with Casinos in Europe are already subject
assess potential issues for casinos. access to all the information they need.” to regulation on money laundering and
The ECA made the announcement The working group will comprise have been for years under their national
following its General Assembly in Basel, members of the board of the ECA plus regulatory authorities. They are also
Switzerland, which saw 21 of the now the association’s consultants in Brus- subject to the Anti-Money Laundering
23 members attend: Lithuania has now sels, Interel, and its legal advisor Directive which now stipulates that
been admitted to the organisation. Philippe Vlaemminck. Any member will operators should find out as much as
Ron Goudsmit, chairman of the ECA, be able to flag up potential issues with possible about customers changing
told Casino Review: “Although the EU the group. Its first meeting will take more than 2,000. The implementation
has elected to leave regulation of the place in early July. of this rule, based on a blanket approach
gaming industry under the jurisdiction The ECA also has a working group rather than the risk-based approach, has
of Member States, it remains a complex looking at all the proposals put forward caused casino operators significant dif-
issue. There is uncertainty in some coun- by the Financial Action Task Force ficulties, especially in Italy.
tries concerning regulation, a fact that (FATF) on money laundering. “When the EU was discussing this
has led to an increasing number of cases The group is led by ECA vice chair- issue several years ago, before ECA
being referred to the European Court of man, Luxembourg’s Guido Berghmans. came into existence, the casino indus-
Justice. The issues are diverse, ranging He told Casino Review: “We have agreed try missed the boat,” said Berghmans.
from regulatory matters or referrals to to contribute to the guidance docu- “We managed to negotiate the thresh-
the ECJ through to smoking bans. We ment on the risk-based approach to old up to 2,000 from 1,000 but
are also tracking initiatives that might anti-money laundering in the gaming now we want a risk-based approach
Still Switzerland’s most successful casino,
not initially seem related to the casino industry, one of four sectors that the to be implemented and for there to be the B-licensed Admiral Casino Mendrisio
industry but could indeed have a direct FATF is working on. The guidance for no threshold.”
4 July 2008 • europeannews
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