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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

Michigan Sports Betting Legislation to be Ready by Super Bowl

Niji Narayan

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Michigan Sports Betting Legislation to be Ready by Super Bowl
Photo Source: engadget.com
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

Michigan State Rep. Brandt Iden, R-Kalamazoo, an active force behind the drive to legalize sports betting in the state following the U.S. Supreme Court order, has said he aims to complete the legalities by the Super Bowl. He said: “My goal is to have this up and running by the Super Bowl. Casinos are moving forward because they know it’s going to come to fruition at some point. If we don’t do this, we will continue to lose consumers to other states.”

Thirteen states and the District of Columbia have approved sports betting in their states since the court order. Michigan lawmakers are following suit by resurrecting an old plan.

Even though the bills had widespread support in the Legislature, they were vetoed by former Gov. Rick Snyder, who opposed the expansion of gambling in the state and feared a loss of revenue for the state lottery, from which revenues are funneled to schools.

Iden is hoping for a different outcome with a new governor in office.

The bill calls for an 8% tax on sports betting, which would generate between $8.7 million to $11.2 million in tax revenues. That’s based on a sport betting market in Michigan, both in the casinos and online, of up to $225 million.

The bill comes as the U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for legalized sports betting across the nation last year. The justices ruled that a 25-year-old federal law that has effectively prohibited sports betting outside Nevada is unconstitutional. The ruling set the stage for other states to expand legalized gambling as a source of government revenue.

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Compliance Updates

UKGC: £1.8m fine for Silverbond Enterprises

George Miller

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UKGC: £1.8m fine for Silverbond Enterprises
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A land-based casino has received a £1.8m fine, an operator licence warning and had additional conditions added to its licence for social responsibility and money laundering failings.

Silverbond Enterprises Limited received the penalties following a Gambling Commission investigation into its Park Lane Club in Mayfair.

Social responsibility failings included not recognising the indicators of potential problem gambling such as a customer displaying violent behaviour which included threatening staff and damaging of property, a customer asking for his winnings to be transferred to his personal bank account to prevent him playing further, and a customer of the casino asking to increase the maximum amount that could be deposited by cheque.

Money laundering failings included the operator’s compliance procedures not detailing how anti-money laundering policies were to be implemented and failing to carry out enhanced due diligence on 61 customers.

Two personal management licence holders at Park Lane Club have also received formal warnings and informed they must improve their record on protecting players and preventing money laundering.

Read the Silverbond Decision Notice here for more information.

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Compliance Updates

Norsk Tipping Issues Warning on Local Polls Betting

Niji Narayan

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Norsk Tipping Issues Warning on Local Polls Betting
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Norsk Tipping, the state-owned gambling operator in Norway, has warned against betting on the results of the country’s local elections. The company argues that it encourages manipulation of the polls.

Following a warning from the country’s gambling regulator Lotteri-og stiftelsestilsynet (Lottstift) regarding press coverage of odds offered by offshore operators, Norsk Tipping stated it would not provide markets on the municipal elections.

Norwegians across the country’s 11 municipalities are going to the polls today (9 November) to elect representatives to the country’s municipal and county councils. These bodies are responsible for education, public transport, health and elderly care and the collection of certain taxes in each jurisdiction.

Norsk Tipping claimed that with due to certain municipalities and counties being sparsely populated, the chance to win money based on certain candidates winning could lead to tactical voting or corruption.

“It would be possible to [offer odds on the elections], but there are many good reasons not to,” the operator’s director of communications Tonje Sagstuen explained. “The most important thing is that if money is at stake on the outcome of local elections, it can affect both the election and its result in a number of ways.

“It could affect how you vote yourself [and] it allows for […] manipulation,” Sagstuen said. “In other words, gambling can affect, directly or indirectly, who gets into power in your municipality.”

 

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