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Gig Workers Don’t Need Lawmakers To Help Them Out Of A Job



It’s a disconcerting time to be a freelancer in the coastal economies. Legislators are enacting laws that limit how much freelancers can work for a company without that company employing them full-time. The idea is that if these companies love freelancers so much, they should put a ring on it and hire them already.

Legislators are playing catch up with the gig economy, but so long as they’re mired in the old ways, they’re going to hurt freelance and gig workers with these new bills. Unable to think of a new way forward, they are relying on past solutions to solve new problems. This won’t work.

City and State hosted a recent talk on New York’s gig economy at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan, with keynote speaker and sponsor of the gig-workers bill in the New York State Assembly, Sen. Diane Savino. Panelists were on hand from the machinists union, Handy, Tech:NYC, the Independent Drivers Guild, and Doordash to speak on the economic ramifications of the gig economy. To talk about protecting workers while building a tech economy were New Jersey Deputy Majority Leader Paul A. Sarlo, the vice president for public policy at Postmates, labor academics from the New School and Cornell, and a rep from the Business Council of New York State.

Notably absent were any actual freelancers or gig workers who could speak to their working conditions, interests, or needs. Instead, lawmakers, employers, and policy nerds congregated to tell the assembled crowd their plans for drastically altering the working landscape for freelancers. The panelists didn’t take any questions, so there was no way to clarify why they thought their top-down approaches would work.

State Lawmakers Are Meddling in the Gig Economy

Bills meant to give gig workers more rights are pending in New Jersey (tabled until Jan. 14, 2020), New York, and Illinois. The impetus for this talk was the outsized upset reaction to new gig-worker law AB5 in California, which plenty of freelancers are heralding as a disaster.

AB5 shows that laws to protect workers may take away more than they give. While lawmakers in New York and New Jersey feel that if they take more time they may be able to make proper adjustments to ensure fairness, these laws designed to protect workers will probably prohibit their free ability to earn a living.

Savino and the panelists were primarily worried about low-skilled workers: house cleaners (Handy), delivery personnel (Postmates), part-time laborers (Task Rabbit), and ride-share drivers (Uber and Lyft). “The average worker has seen tech improve their ability to work, but it’s also changed their ability to manage their time,” Savino said, discussing the prevalence of off-the-clock email checking. She discussed changes to consumer behavior, and the culture of instant, app-based gratification.

Labor-oriented lawmakers, academics, and union reps see low-skilled laborers seeking work in the app-based, gig economy and lament the lack of employment regulations that unionization and even full-time employment used to provide. They want workers to have access to health insurance, unemployment and disability insurance, standardized wages, and work weeks that other employees have.

However, employment scenarios that facilitate regulations on the contract and structure of the employee/employer relationship are not practical in many areas of the tech economy. People work on their own schedules and are not beholden to the apps for anything more than a connection to work.

Creative freelancers and gig workers who will inevitably be caught up in this law may find they are unable to control their own destiny. There is freedom in being able to decide when, where, and how much you work. And app-based gig work is not the only work available. U.S. unemployment rates are surprisingly low, and while those measures are not conclusive, they do speak to a trend.

How to Legislate the Gig Economy

The question that brought Savino to sponsor a law in New York was, “How do we regulate the gig economy in such a way … that workers seem to want now,” with human rights protections, unemployment, and disability? “How do we do that without disrupting the disrupting economy?” She said, “AB5 does not present the comprehensive protections that workers need,” but her reasoning was that the law already has “too many exemptions” and is the subject of pending lawsuits, leaving it unable to be fully implemented.

Ideas mentioned for ways to legislate gig and freelance workers include: state-administered benefits plans employees can access no matter which company they gig for; an hours cap for workers over which they would receive additional benefits; freelance worker unions that would have the power to collectively bargain with all the app companies and make standard agreements; limits based on whether workers are gigging part time or full time.

Lawmakers want to hold the apps accountable for workers’ choices to freelance and gig, with apps as the intermediary to clients and customers. The tech sector wants to operate much as it has been and provide benefits under its own direction. If government wants to provide protections for gig workers, perhaps it should propose programs that will work with gig workers, such as tax breaks for the self-employed and an option for workers to pay into unemployment and disability on their own, without employer sponsorship.

Savino lamented that as things stand, there will be 50 different state solutions. She wants the federal government to weigh in on how much workers are allowed to work, what benefits they are required to receive, and the agreements among apps, outlets, and freelancers.

Let Freelancers Do What They Do Best

With a background in labor, Savino’s model is the industrial economy. But that model is gone, and it’s not coming back. Basing new laws for worker protections on old models will harm workers, as it’s doing in California, where freelancers are being let go by the boatload.

The tech industry touts flexibility as the main thing workers want, while labor academics and lawmakers are worried most about leveling the playing field for workers and companies, creating portable benefits, and making sure standards don’t fall. Lawmakers worry low-skilled workers will be exploited and think that if they were employees, they would face less risk. Of course, employers exploit low-skilled workers all the time. With apps, workers take back some of their power.

While Savino and her counterparts in state legislatures across the country weigh their options, they should do what City and State absolutely did not — invite the workers in, hear from them, and find out what makes them eschew the traditional labor market in favor of their own hustle. It’s not enough to speak to industry leaders about what they think should happen or concessions they are willing to make. We need to hear from the millions of people that gig economy laws will displace.

Instead of regulating the relationship between freelancers and their clients, governments should work directly with freelancers to facilitate their ability to keep earning on their own terms, rather than creating obstacles for them to work. If legislators can’t do that, they should leave freelancers to do what they do best: work, hustle, and sort their own work/life balance.

The gig economy is not as broken as lawmakers believe it is. For many freelancers, it gives them exactly what they want.

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The Gig Economy Gets It Together




Anyone who’s ever done gig work – from rideshare drivers to freelance writers – experiences moments of doubt. At those times, it’s easy to believe that no one is thinking about your value as a worker, or how to protect you in the most basic ways that full-timers might take for granted.

Rest easy, gigsters: Someone is thinking about you, starting with governments around the world that suddenly seem aware of how big of a deal gig work has become in the past 10 years. The February 2020 Gig Economy Tracker, powered by Tipalti, analyzes recent trends and headlines in the mushrooming gig belt, which will comprise some 75 million Americans by the end of this year. Put another way, that’s closing in on half the U.S. workforce. It’s also revising long-held definitions of “workday” and “payday” as gig work (and gig workers) proliferate.

Another thing freelancers know about are all the ways payments can go wrong. They’re experts on the many snags that prevent gig folk from getting paid in time to make rent. But that situation is giving way to more enlightened and humane ways of getting freelancers their money, as industry and government finally face gig economics they’ve been ignoring.

As Manish Vrishaketu, COO at payment services provider Tipalti, notes in this latest Tracker, “Gig and marketplace partner payments are integral to the business model and require careful consideration. Ineffective payments can literally hurt the business, because the supply chain is so closely tied to performance and success. An unhappy provider – who likely is customer-facing — may taint your reputation with customers. Gig payments are mission-critical.”

Who Am I?

Much of the gig economy talk these days has to do with California’s Assembly Bill 5 – known simply as AB5 – which is essentially forcing large gig economy players like Uber to start treating their gig workers more like team members and less like expendable cogs in a machine.

California’s legislation set off a wildfire of sorts, with U.S. cities and states – as well as nations including India – announcing laws similar to AB5, at least in spirit. Some actually go quite a bit further into fairly draconian territory as governments set things right for gig workers – whether gig workers want the help or not.

Many are unhappy with how the new laws are written, and how they recategorize freelancers. U.S. legal maneuvering over gig work is far from over, as New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation that reclassifies certain freelancers. And the wrangling has just begun.

Legal standing hasn’t stopped companies from snapping up gig workers, though. Package delivery service Amazon Flex debuted in Australia in January, and could be coming to a city near you soon.

The Gig Grows Up

India has proposed one of the more interesting takes on this. The country’s Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade wants only licensed professional freelancers to do gig work. They would be issued a kind of vendor ID number under the plan – but it’s not a done deal.

In fact, when it comes to the gig economy, very little has been settled, from regulation to the legal status of “workers” to who’s responsible for what under these agreements. It promises to be a rollicking year as these laws (and their court challengers) zero in on what “gig” means.


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GiG platform to power new lottery business




After securing a license from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), lottery newcomer, Megalotto, has gone live across multiple markets in its effort to “redefine” the online lottery experience of its customers.

Backed by venture capital company Optimizer Invest, the new online lottery and gaming business will launch its mobile-first lottery product on the Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) (GIG:Oslo) platform.

Megalotto will give millions of players access to lotteries on a global scale in a mobile-first environment.

According to a recent press release

…the St. Julian’s-headquartered business will be a unique brand within the online lottery vertical as its product is a departure from traditional transactional lottery products while its interface is intuitive for ease of use.

In addition to offering the largest jackpots from top lotteries around the world, Megalotto will also have on offer scratchcards, slots and instant win content, from well-known third-party suppliers.

“We are delighted to be going live with our new venture and to get our product in front of customers, said Megatotto’s Chief Executive Officer, Grant Williams.

“Our vision from day one has been to design and build an innovative and disruptive lottery product, and we believe we are on track to do just that. We have recruited a high quality, experienced management team to lead the launch of this new Optimizer Invest backed product, matching the ambitious plans we have in place for the markets we will be targeting, added Williams.”

Also commenting on the recent tie-up, Chief Executive Officer for Optimizer Invest, Petter Moldenius, said…

“The innovative Megalotto product is the result of a successful partnership between two of our portfolio companies, bringing a world class, truly customer friendly experience. Megalotto will give millions of players access to lotteries on a global scale in a mobile-first environment that is pushing the envelope for innovation of iGaming experiences on-the-go.”

Betsson acquisition:

In related news…

…Swedish holding company, Betsson AB (BETSB:Stockholm), has reportedly acquired Gaming Innovation Group subsidiary Zecure Gaming Limited, which operates its inhouse brands in Sweden.

The approximately €31m (US$33.6 million) deal, which consists of a €22.3 million cash payment, plus a prepaid platform fee of €8.7 million, has seen the transfer of GiG brands – Guts, Kaboo, Rizk and Thrills – to the Stockholm-headquartered company. The brands operate under licenses held in Malta, UK, Sweden and Germany (Schleswig-Holstein).

According to the press release, the Rizk brand will be launching under licenses held in Croatia and Spain. In addition to gaining opportunities with other brands in the two European countries, Betsson plans to integrate its own payment platforms and proprietary sportsbook with the GiG platform. The move will allow the holding company to offer its advanced technologies to potential B2B clients of the platform.

Growth potential:

Commenting on the acquisition, Chief Executive Officer for Betsson AB and Group President, Pontus Lindwall, said…

“Betsson’s ambition is to outgrow the market in the long term, organically and through acquisitions. This acquisition confirms that Betsson is a driver of the consolidation of the market. We believe this deal offers a good opportunity for Betsson to consolidate, at good value, where we can create synergies and apply our core B2C skills and marketing insights to scale these assets to their true potential. The agreement with GiG further strengthens and expands Betsson’s outreach and growth potential for its proprietary sportsbook and payments platforms in the B2B market. As one of the largest European operators, Betsson is well positioned to continue building on its strategic position.”

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Gig Based Business Market Projected to Witness Vigorous Expansion by 2019-2025 – Jewish Market Reports




In this report, the global Gig Based Business market is valued at USD XX million in 2019 and is projected to reach USD XX million by the end of 2025, growing at a CAGR of XX% during the period 2019 to 2025.

For top companies in United States, European Union and China, this report investigates and analyzes the production, value, price, market share and growth rate for the top manufacturers, key data from 2019 to 2025.

The Gig Based Business market report firstly introduced the basics: definitions, classifications, applications and market overview; product specifications; manufacturing processes; cost structures, raw materials and so on. Then it analyzed the world’s main region market conditions, including the product price, profit, capacity, production, supply, demand and market growth rate and forecast etc. In the end, the Gig Based Business market report introduced new project SWOT analysis, investment feasibility analysis, and investment return analysis.

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The major players profiled in this Gig Based Business market report include:

The key players covered in this study
Favor Delivery

Market segment by Type, the product can be split into

Market segment by Application, split into
Independent Contractor
Project Worker

Market segment by Regions/Countries, this report covers
North America

The study objectives of this report

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The study objectives of Gig Based Business Market Report are:

To analyze and research the Gig Based Business market status and future forecast in United States, European Union and China, involving sales, value (revenue), growth rate (CAGR), market share, historical and forecast.

To present the Gig Based Business manufacturers, presenting the sales, revenue, market share, and recent development for key players.

To split the breakdown data by regions, type, companies and applications

To analyze the global and key regions Gig Based Business market potential and advantage, opportunity and challenge, restraints and risks.

To identify significant trends, drivers, influence factors in global and regions

To analyze competitive developments such as expansions, agreements, new product launches, and acquisitions in the keyword market.

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