A dispute is brewing in The Philippines between local and national authorities as to who has the right to issue online gambling licenses.
The quarrel is between the Zamboanga City Special Economic Zone (ZSEZ) And Freeport Authority and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor).
The Special Economic Zone is located about 15 miles from Zamboanga on the southern island on Mindanao, and is managed as a separate customs territory. It offers incentives for would-be investors to generate local economic activities serving as a springboard for the promotion of trade, investments and tourism throughout the region.
The Presidential Assistant on Trade and the Vice Chair of ZSEZ, Christopher Arnuco, said that issuing licenses for gambling operations inside the Zone was covered by a legal opinion from Philippines Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, and confirmed that licenses had already been issued to Philippine E-Gaming Jurisdiction Inc (PeJI), which maintains an office in the Zone to control iGaming and other related activities.
Under the license, PeJI is empowered to receive and process all applications for and award e-gaming licenses to business operators. Yet PAGCor says that PeJI’s operation is illegal and has ordered ZSEZ authorities to stop the operation. This directive has been ignored as ZSEZ asserts that it is also authorized under law to issue licenses.
However, possible legal action could result in this power being overturned by the Department Of Justice due to the language of the legal opinion.
Antigua Demands $3.4 billion Payoff from US
Antigua and Barbuda is pushing for $3.4 billion in sanctions against the United States, for each year it fails to comply with the World Trade Organisations ruling that its online gambling laws violate the free trade agreements.
The Caribbean country is also asking the WTO for authorisation to target US trademarks and copyrights if it refuses to alter legislation and allow foreign gambling websites to operate in the States.
- Errol Cort, Antigua’s Finance Minister, said that there was no other choice in the matter.
“Until such time as the United States is willing to work with us on achieving a reasonable solution to this trade dispute,” he added, “we will continue to use every legitimate remedy available to protect the interests of our citizens.”
The EU announced this week that it too wanted compensation for the US ban on foreign online gambling sites.
NETeller Resumes Togel Singapore Trading at LSE
Favorite online gambling payment processor NETeller re-emerged onto the London Stock Exchange yesterday after six months of uncertainty and announced that its shares rose ten pence following early morning deals.
NETeller shares were suspended voluntarily on January 16 pending clarification after former Directors and founder shareholders Stephen Lawrence and John Lefebvre were investigated by US authorities in the wake of America’s Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) legislation with its first-quarter performance being impacted ‘to a material extent’.
Last week, NETeller entered into a $136 million Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York (USAO) following its admission of guilt, which saw a resolution of the investigation into the company.
The company said that it plans to return around $94 million to US customers with American investors learning more about the return of their funds by Monday.
NETeller also announced its 2006 financial results and issued a trading update for this year. While the 2006 results show strong profit growth, NETeller has since pulled out of the American and Canadian markets along with the smaller markets of Turkey and Israel.
‘While 2007 will require a restart in terms of revenue growth, the group has many strengths and a successful track record,” said Ron Martin, Chief Executive Officer for NETeller.
“The online payments space remains a rapidly growing, highly desirable market and NETeller is committed to taking advantage of these opportunities. Despite the challenges we face, I remain optimistic about the potential for further success and stability well into the future.’