The face of online gambling is rapidly changing. Although there are many companies that have been in the industry for more than a decade, there are still mergers, law changes, and continual developments.Sometimes these instances have little or no effect on the individual member at an online casino, simply because the well-established companies do so well following the ebb and flow of events and new legislation. However, there are a few things happening through the world today that tie into larger events and if you have a curious mind, you might like to follow along and see what develops. The UK Earlier this year, the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014 was passed. As part of the legislation, online casinos that permitted players from the UK were required to pay a hefty 15-percent pointof consumption tax (POCT), regardless of where the casino was based. The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) challenged the act, but failed. Considering that the new tax could likely put some of the smaller casinos out of business and make it far less profitable for the larger ones to stay, some websites have closed their doors to UK residents, while others have set up websites for them alone. The GBGA came up with a new plan of attack and is now challenging the POCT itself. Reports indicate that it’s likely a hearing will occur early in 2015. In the meantime, The Isle of Man is offering a tax cut to operators in an effort to help their licensees remain in business, despite the UK’s POCT. Considering that the Isle of Man obtains 13-percent of its gross domestic product from their 56 licensed operators, it’s essential that their casinos stay open and can continue to serve UK clients. The UK’s prior legislation which forced domestic operators to pay a heavy tax caused an exodus of companies, as they escaped fees by migrating to overseas establishments. The new POCT, which began on December 1, 2014, is also having a ripple-effect. At this point, nothing is certain, so it will be interesting to see what comes out of the hearings and how operators continue to manage the loss of income. The US The US Treasury Department’s anti-money laundering unit has concerns that billions of dollars are circulating through the system as a result of unlawful sports bets. They believe that offshore entities are placing massive and illegal bets with US sportsbook companies to balance their own bets. It’s quite likely we will be seeing new legislation come from this in the near future. America has also stood firm on keeping certain kinds of gambling out of the country, or at least out of specific states. New Jersey operators were recently told again that sports betting will remain illegal. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California recently ruled that a Native American tribe could not open an online bingo parlor to serve California residents. The Santa Ysabels’ Desert Rose Bingo website was ordered to be shut down and the prospects of their poker site appear grim as well. Typically, tribal land is considered a sovereign nation, which allows Native Americans to have their own casinos. However, online gambling caters to people outside of those lands, so tribes have been unable to open online casinos thus far. The Czech Republic It appears that The Czech Republic’s Finance Minister, Andrej Babis, has not been following the UK’s casino news. Reports from Czech Republic news entities say that Babis plans to raise casino taxes to anywhere between 30 and 40-percent. Rates will be determined on a sliding scale based on the type of wager being placed, whether it’s for a game of chance or a skill-game. As of now, operators already pay a corporate tax rate of 19-percent and the new taxes will be on top of that. Fixed-odds games will be closer to the 30-percent mark, while options like slot machines will cost operators 40-percent. It’s estimated that these hikes will bring in approximately 6 billion Czech crowns, or roughly 270 million dollars. The Philippines In recent years, the Philippines have become a hub for business process outsourcing. Many companies have turned to the country for basing their call centers, rather than in India, to help manage their customer service needs, especially their Asian markets. One main caveat of outsourcing to the Philippines is that gambling operators are not allowed to serve local residents. Over the last few months, these call centers have been repeatedly raided by government officials. Although nothing has been found, some companies are choosing to pull up stakes and regroup elsewhere. William Hill, who had a call center raided in November, is among the companies moving. There are also some developments in China regarding gambling regulation, as well as crackdowns throughout Asia. For the stories covered here, as well as those happening through Asia, we’ll just have to wait and see what comes of things.