House of Delegates re-introduced and passed an online gaming bill that it introduced during the 10th OEK, proposing to sell licenses for online gaming such as eCasino, online sports betting, internet lottery and others. The bill is to be called “Offshore Internet Gaming Business”.
The bill was the exact proposal that was introduced previously but did not pass before the 10th government term expired.
Again, the bill proposes to issue 30 gaming licenses to include E-Casino, Lottery Business, Sports Betting business, Virtual Pachinko and “other businesses that allows people not physically present within the territorial jurisdiction of the Republic to place, receive and otherwise knowingly transmit a bet or wager by any means which involves the use of internet.”
The fees anticipated include $150k non-refundable fee for application, $750k for a concession agreement and $250k per year concession fee.
The bill also allows for increase in number of licenses based on resolution by the OEK.
The measure also creates an Offshore Internet Gaming Commission, made up of 3 people, 2 appointed by President and approved by the Senate and the Minister of Finance as ex-officio member to manage and regulate the industry.
The “Offshore Internet Gaming Commission” is tasked to conduct criminal background checks of operators, monitor operators, provide reports, review and execute Concession Agreements among others.
The bill creates a different labor contracting process for employees of the “Operators”, with fee of $1,000 per person and allows for “temporary employees” working for up to 90 days and “who are not employees of operators”.
Despite Palau having a Constitutional mandate prohibiting gambling, the bill insists that it is not a gambling proposal and that it is merely an amendment of an existing law that allows for Panchinko and Internet Gaming.