Casino alters regulations after Ecuadorians enjoyed game
In response to the influx of Ecuadorians traveling to Casino Niagara to enjoy gambling, the casino has altered regulations limiting the time slot in which people can gamble.
The change was announced on Tuesday via Facebook, with a post that read: “Casino Niagara would like to advise our guests that, due to unforeseen circumstances, we have had to make some changes to our gaming regulations. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your continued patronage.”
It’s not clear what “unforeseen circumstances” the casino is referring to, but it seems likely they are in response to the large number of Ecuadorians who have been coming to play. In a video from CBC News, one woman said she and her friends had traveled from Ecuador specifically for the opportunity to gamble in Niagara Falls.
The new regulation limits people from gambling between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. On weekdays. The rule does not apply on weekends.
Casino says officials were not notified of change in rules
Leading casino brands have denied allegations by the Australian government that they were not consulted about a change in rules surrounding offshore gambling.
The government has accused unnamed casino operators of failing to inform it of a shift in the way they were processing bets from Australian customers, which saw around Aus$16 million ($11.5 million) in revenue lost to the Treasury in the past financial year.
“The Commonwealth has not been notified by any casino or gaming operator that they have changed their processes for accepting bets from Australians,” a spokeswoman for the Department of Home Affairs said Wednesday.
But representatives from some of the world’s biggest gaming firms including Las Vegas Sands, MGM and Caesars Entertainment told AFP they had all been in touch with Canberra and insisted they were in compliance with the law.
“We have had dialogue with them (the Australian government) for some time now,” said Alan Horn, president of MGM Resorts International. “We are fully compliant with their regulations.”
A spokesperson for Crown Resorts echoed those comments, saying “CrownBet is compliant with all relevant laws and regulations relating to its online operations in Australia.”
The affair has put a spotlight on how Australia’s gambling laws are enforced, with some critics arguing that companies are able to exploit a lack of clarity over what is and is not allowed.
Officials brand casino alteration as unfair
Casino alteration that officials are branding as unfair is seeing some players winning big while others are seeing their bets eaten up by an algorithm that favours the house.
According to The Guardian, casino alteration causing these differential results is being rolled out by a number of operators including the world’s largest, Las Vegas Sands. It is said to use a secret algorithm that gives an advantage to the house by reducing the odds on selected games.
The report states that one player won £1.7m on a £4 bet at London’s Hippodrome Casino, while another lost £73,000 in the same casino on the same day.
The Gambling Commission has confirmed it is investigating complaints from customers who feel they have been unfairly disadvantaged by the new system. A spokesman for the commission told The Guardian: “We can confirm that we are investigating complaints about how different games are played at certain casinos. We will not be commenting further at this stage.”
A spokesperson for Las Vegas Sands told The Guardian: “We absolutely refute any claims of impropriety or wrongdoing. Our practices are fair and transparent and we abide by all regulations.”
But Labour MP Carolyn Harris isn’t so sure, telling The Mirror: “This smacks of manipulation and I will be calling for a full inquiry by parliament into this very worrying development.”
Casino defends alteration, saying it was made to ensure fairness
In a press release issued Wednesday, the management of the casino defended their decision to alter the odds of certain games. The alteration, which took place several weeks ago, was made in order to ensure fairness and equity amongst all players.
The statement read, in part: “We believe that this change will create a more level playing field for all of our guests and we are committed to ensuring that each and every one of them has a positive experience at our casino.”
Some industry experts have speculated that the move may have been made in response to increased competition from new casinos opening in the area. Whatever the reason, it is clear that the casino intends to stick by its decision.
This development is sure to be controversial, with many people arguing that altering the odds in this way is unfair and amounts to cheating. However, others may see it as a smart business decision that gives the casino an edge over its competitors.
Ecuadorian players left disappointed after casino change
Ecuadorian players have been left disappointed after a change in the casino rules which now requires them to have residency permits in order to continue gambling.
The change was announced earlier this year, and came into effect at the start of September. This means that anyone without a residency permit is no longer able to gamble in casinos in Ecuador.
It is thought that the move is an attempt by the government to bring in more revenue, as many of the casino gamblers are not Ecuadorian nationals. However, it has led to a lot of resentment among locals, who feel that they are being unfairly targeted.
Many people have taken to social media to air their grievances, with one player commenting “This country is too costly! First they increase the price of everything, now they make us get residency permits to gamble!!! What’s next?”
Others have criticised the government for not consulting with industry experts before making such a drastic change. One critic said “It’s clear that those who made this decision did not do so in coordination with those who know the sector and its problems… This measure harms tourism and employment in casinos.”
The new rule has also caused confusion among tourists, who are not aware of the change and are still being turned away from casinos. There have even been reports of people being deported from the country for attempting to gamble without a residency permit.
Despite the backlash, the government shows no signs of backing down on the rule change. In fact, officials have recently announced plans to further restrict gambling by introducing new age restrictions on casino entry.