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Compliance Updates

Sweden to execute new licensing scheme

Athira A

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Sweden to adapt new online licensing scheme
Reading Time: 2 minutes

With the standstill period for the European Commission and member states expiring yesterday, a new path has been paved for the execution of a  new licensing scheme in Sweden.

It is anticipated that the online gambling world in Sweden would adapt to the new licensing scheme by January 2019 with the expiration of the standstill period set for legislation review by the European Commission and other member states on March 20. A copy of a draft gambling legislation to the European Commission for vetting was sent by the government of Sweden in mid-December. The three-month window gave the member states the opportunity to comment on the draft and establish if it was in sync with the EU treaties or not.

Back in December, the Swedish government disclosed about its confidence in the new market launch date set for January 1, 2019. Moreover, it said that it could start accepting application for new licenses by July 2018.

Lotteriinspektionen, the Swedish gaming regulator, has been showing for months that internationally licensed online operators have been expanding their services in Sweden and now control one-quarter of the overall gambling market. While the new legislative piece gives the state control over lotteries, land-based casinos and gaming machines, the online sports betting sector, casino, bingo and other online products would be open to applicants that meet the required regulations. The licenses would be valid for five years, and licensed operators would pay 18 percent taxes on gaming revenue.

One of the biggest changes would be that servers must be based in the country, even if some exceptions can be made for those who are in jurisdictions that Sweden accepts. Those who are based outside the European Economic Area have to establish a representative in the country. The opening of the online market comes with a tougher regulations, such as a strengthening on the control, as it is believed that consumers being better protected give more chances of a clean industry: gamblers must be 18 years to participate in wagering, except those who enter land-based gambling facilities, which will be required to be 20 years or above.

Operators that do not meet their license obligations can revise fines totalling as much as 10 percent of their annual turnover. Unauthorised operators offering services to Swedish players, or even those who promote the services, can face higher fines and prison time. The Swedish government also gives the chance to licensed online operators to promote their products without any type of punishment, as long as they are not targeting minors. If an operator signs a sponsorship with a sport team, it has to make sure that the logos and brand names do not appear on products targeted for minors.

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

UK Labour Party Leader Asks UKGC to Cancel the Licenses of Online Gambling Operators

Niji Narayan

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UK Labour Party Leader Asks UKGC to Cancel the Licenses of Online Gambling Operators
Photo Source: independent.co.uk
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

UK Labour Party’s Deputy Leader, Tom Watson, has asked the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) to cancel the gambling licenses of all online gambling operators who got their licenses after 2014. Watson has written a letter to the UKGC CEO, Neil McArthur and Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright, concerning the malpractices in the UK gambling industry.

Tom Watson had warned that problem gambling is an epidemic in disguise. He said that problem gambling is a public health issue and urged for more research into problem gambling and also for “far more specialist treatment for an addiction that ruins lives.”

Watson says that such operators would need to reapply. He believes that would help in making operators more responsible and also would weed out operators that lack professional and social integrity. He is also seeking a revision of the entire 2005 gambling act.

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Compliance Updates

Spillemyndigheden Introduces Whistleblower Scheme

Niji Narayan

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Spillemyndigheden Introduces Whistleblower Scheme
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Spillemyndigheden, the Danish industry regulator, has launched a new whistleblower scheme for the employees of gambling operators who wish to report evidence of money laundering.

Spillemyndigheden has detailed that employees can report a company’s violation or potential violation of the anti-money laundering legislation to the regulator via a dedicated, anonymous contact form which will then trigger a legal investigation. All submissions will be encrypted to ensure that submissions are secure.

In April, Spillemyndigheden has blocked access to 25 gambling websites after petitioning the country’s telecommunications providers. Danish internet providers have now been obliged to block access to ten igaming sites, in addition to 15 skin betting websites.

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Compliance Updates

EGBA Welcomes the Proposal to Introduce Irish Gambling Regulatory Authority

Niji Narayan

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EGBA Welcomes the Proposal to Introduce Irish Gambling Regulatory Authority
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Dr. Katie Hartmann, Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs of the European Gaming and Betting Association has spoken at a stakeholder seminar in Dublin about the proposed changes to the gambling regulations in Ireland.

The seminar was part of the legislative package to regulate gambling activity in Ireland, including the online sector. The new bill foresees the creation of an independent gambling regulator and a number of other changes to Ireland’s gambling framework.

Dr Hartmann said: “We welcome the proposal to establish an independent gambling authority and will follow closely the discussions on how the new regulator will be established and the powers it will have.

It is in the interest of everyone involved in the gambling sector – companies, players and policymakers – to have a well-regulated online gambling market, which provides legal certainty and protects Irish players by ensuring they can play within a regulated environment. To enable this, a Gross Gaming revenue tax, among others, is of crucial importance so that licensed gambling operators can offer a competitive product.

For the law to be a success it should introduce a licensing system which is competitive and establishes a high degree of standards for operators and consumers alike.

All reputable operators already have responsible gaming tools in place, but regulation should make those obligatory for all operators on the Irish market. Likewise, the Irish authorities should consider introducing a self-exclusion register for those who have, or are at risk of, problem gambling behaviour. These punters should be able to exclude themselves from accessing gambling websites if they feel the need to.

We look forward to the finalisation of the draft law and will work constructively with the proposed gambling authority to implement it.”

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