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Compliance Updates

GSA brings on board a new technical committee devoted to blockchain use

Athira A

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While commemorating its 20th anniversary at the ICE Totally Gaming 2018, the Gaming Standards Association (GSA) and the Gaming Standards Association Europe promulgated the birthing of a new Technical Committee devoted to blockchain use. Blockchain technology is poised to revolutionise data sharing and security and holds the potential to provide unparalleled levels of transparency to the regulatory authorities. GSA’s new Blockchain Technical Committee will collaboratively address the technology and advise on possible areas where standards could be fostered.

The GSA President Peter DeRaedt said: “GSA was created to help drive innovation in the gaming industry for the benefit of manufacturers, suppliers, operators and regulators. By creating a new Blockchain Committee, we are once again proving how, by creating a standard way to use technology, GSA is achieving our mission.”

While GSA Europe Managing Director, Mark Pace stated: “Many industries are evaluating how the blockchain technology can enhance data sharing security and increase operational transparency. GSA will launch this new committee and evaluate the creation of a gaming industry standard. This is very timely and may have a significant impact on how companies can achieve GDPR and AML requirements.”

GSA standards are created through a collaboration between volunteer representatives of its members. Over the past 20 years, more than 1,600 volunteers from more than 190 companies have contributed their expertise to create 15 GSA standards in nine committees. GSA’s award-winning standards are in use around the world, driving the industry to innovation and growth.

GSA was born out of a globally recognized need to streamline processes and create standards that would spur growth, innovation and revenue. Gaming manufacturers, suppliers, operators and regulators have benefitted from GSA’s mission to facilitate the identification, definition, development, promotion and implementation of standards to enable interoperability, innovation, education and communication for the benefit of the entire industry.

Athira is a self-described “logophile” – a lover of words. She loves updating her vocabulary and playing around with words, to frame a sensible world of letters. Letters come alive when they become words and when words become sentences. And that’s her job, to put them together in a meaningful way without loosing its essence. She has written content for websites, articles and poems for an international magazine, and press releases as well. She also loves writing on social media. She holds a Masters degree in bio-technology, but she has always been interested in the organic farming of words. Besides writing content for our daily news feed, she is also working as staff writer/editor with Impressions Content Management, based in Kerala, India, which offers writing and editing services to clients around the world.

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Compliance Updates

Voting differed on Remote Gaming Bill in the Netherlands

Niji Ng

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Voting differed on Remote Gaming Bill in the Netherlands
Image Source: slate.com
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The voting on the Remote Gaming Bill in the Dutch parliament has been postponed. It will now take place on February 19.

The bill has been under development since 2015. MPs debated the Bill and the Casino Reform Bill in the Senate this week also, but the all-important vote has been postponed to February 19.

At present, judging from the tone and content of the debate on parliament, the Bill is likely to be passed.

Sander Dekker, Minister Justice, said about the concern of MPs was whether operators who had operated illegally in the Dutch market would be allowed to gain a license:: “A license applicant who has actively offered online gambling services in the past will be able to remove doubt regarding its future reliability by showing good behavior during a consecutive period prior to the license application. During the debate on February 5, I have called this a “cooling down period.”

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Compliance Updates

Bacta meet with the Minister and explore industry road map

George Miller

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Bacta meet with the Minister and explore industry road map
Bacta meet with the Minister - (L-R): Bacta President elect James Miller, Gambling Minister Mims Davies and Bacta’s National President Gabi Stergides
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A senior Bacta delegation, comprising National President Gabi Stergides, President elect James Miller and CEO John White met last week with the Gambling Minister Mims Davies and her Civil Service advisers. The meeting, which took place on Wednesday 6 February, was held at Portcullis House and followed the Minister’s attendance at November’s Bacta Parliamentary Reception.

Gabi Stergides said: “When we met in November, the Minister had only recently taken charge of the gambling and amusements portfolio following the resignation of Tracey Crouch, over the proposed delay in implementing the £2 FOBT stake that was subsequently rescinded.

“Last week we took the opportunity to provide a more detailed perspective of the amusement industry and what it contributes to national, regional and local economies, set out our plans for developing a road map of the changes we wished to see alongside appropriate player protection measures and to demonstrate the reasons why player tracking is not appropriate for our sector.

“Discussions surrounding social responsibility featured prominently and we explained the ways in which we are working with and advising the pub sector on age verification as well as expanding on the success of Bacta’s first Social Responsibility Exchange and how we want to extend its scope and influence moving forward. We also took the opportunity to express our views more generally about the importance of keeping the industry competitive in what is a fast moving world of digital entertainment, the role of the Gambling Commission as both regulator and facilitator and potential mergers which may take place among UK trade bodies and associations.”

“It was a very positive exchange and I look forward to the Bacta leadership team developing a progressive and open relationship with the Minister.”

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Compliance Updates

Ireland moves closer to banning loot boxes in video games

Niji Ng

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Ireland moves closer to banning loot boxes in video games
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Ireland could become the next country to ban lootboxes in video games, following the footsteps of countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands. The Dáil, the lower house of parliament in the Republic of Ireland, is discussing the legality of loot boxes.

Loot boxes are popular among the players. They are also a major source of revenue for game manufacturers, as loot boxes are often sold for real money.

However, it has also forced many governments look critically at the practice.

David Stanton, the current Minister of State responded that if any video game was offering a product that was considered gambling under Irish law, they must obtain a license for it. According to Stanton, no video game manufacturer has sought out a license in Ireland or another EU member state for loot boxes.

Minister Stanton repeated the concerns of the Gaming Regulators European Forum that certain video games were offering products that could be considered gambling under some national laws in the EU. Heydon used examples to outline how loot boxes worked and why they were viewed as gambling products.

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