Published: July 2016Contents
i) What are the hot topics?
There are many hot topics in the world of international gambling at the moment. In some countries, there are incremental refinements in law and regulation, but in others there are full-scale debates about the legality of gambling – India, Russia and several South East Asian jurisdictions. There are also new dynamics in the way that data is being used to track and monetise player behaviour and technological developments bringing gambling to a wider range of devices and more types of social occasion.
ii) Tell us about any key legal developments – recent or pending – and their international impact.
It is difficult to pin down specific legal developments of relevance to all readers that will have a global impact – but probably the best example is Brexit. That is not just a ‘British affair’ but a demonstration of how the EU operates, and the pressures and strains that are going to exist in terms of the relationship of EU Member States with each other and with the wider world. Sometimes the non-gambling developments are more important than those specific to gambling.
iii) What are the biggest opportunities and challenges for practitioners and clients?
One big challenge is simply keeping up with the pace of change – both political and technological. Clients in this field are innovating from a technical perspective, but they are also innovating commercially – finding new commercial arrangements to infiltrate markets by indirect means that might be too difficult to enter directly.
Another challenge that lawyers face is that the world of gambling has become highly international – but regulators still tend to treat the world as divided into neat squares of territory, thinking that it is right or even possible to control gambling by their own particular standards, and often without regard to the traditions and systems that are endemic elsewhere.