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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.

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Compliance Updates

Norwegian Government Introduces New Legislation to Crack Down on Unlicenced Operators

Niji Narayan

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Norwegian Government Introduces New Legislation to Crack Down on Unlicenced Operators
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The Norwegian government has introduced new legislation to crack down on unlicenced operators and affiliates promoting them.

The new legislation unifies the country’s previous Lottery Act, Gambling Act and Totalisator Act while maintaining the market monopoly shared by Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto by “strengthening the exclusive rights model”.

The new gambling law was first proposed in June 2020, before the government notified the European Commission of the proposal in August of the same year.

Minister of culture and gender equality Abid Raja said the law would specifically crack down on operators who are not permitted to offer gambling in Norway.

“I am pleased to finally be able to present the new gambling law, which is a milestone in the government’s work to prevent gambling problems and ensure responsible gambling.

“We are tired of foreign gambling companies that do not respect Norwegian law, and that do not operate with proper accountability measures. Therefore, the new law provides the Norwegian Lotteries Authority with new tools for detecting, reacting to and sanctioning violations of the law.”

Under the new law, marketing gambling without a Norwegian licence is prohibited. The government said that this would apply not only to operators, but also to those who “pass on” customers, such as affiliates.

“Violation of the ban can result in punishment,” the government said.

Furthermore, marketing gambling to children will be a criminal offence, and there is a blanket ban on gambling with credit cards so as to promote responsible gambling habits.

Any operators are also obliged to introduce accountability measures, and any marketing to self-excluded gamblers will be a criminal offence. Marketing must also “not go beyond what is necessary to attract players to the legal gaming offers”.

Raja added: “Things are happening in the gambling field in Norway. The government has worked consciously for many years with gambling policy and this is yielding results.

“Foreign gambling companies and their payment intermediaries are withdrawing from the Norwegian market, their turnover is declining and advertising is no longer as easy to reach.”

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Evoplay secures certification with GLI to enter Lithuania

George Miller

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Evoplay secures certification with GLI to enter Lithuania
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Game development studio Evoplay has just been awarded certification with Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) for its library of proprietary slot titles to be used in the Lithuanian market as the studio continues to grow out its European foothold.

The news will see Evoplay bring 40 of its high-quality games to the Lithuanian market following its full certification to the standards set by the country’s regulator, the Gaming Control Authority (GCA), including popular releases Rise of HorusFruit Super NovaForest Dreams, Candy Dreams, Elven Princesses and many more.

The sought-after certification comes as an important recognition of the quality and security offered by Evoplay’s titles, allowing operator partners to feel more secure than ever.

Evoplay has made a name for itself as one of the industry’s most exciting game suppliers, providing partners with an unrivalled portfolio of slot, table and instant games.

The developer has also secured a loyal following of fans from the online streaming community off the back of a successful year in 2020, contributing to the creation of a safe and regulated gaming environment for players and operators alike.

Commenting on the new certification, Ivan Kravchuk, CEO at Evoplay, said: 

“We have unveiled a packed roster of fresh content since the start of the New Year, so it’s great to see all of our hard work being rewarded with this essential certification.

“At Evoplay, we offer some of the most immersive gaming experiences on the market, and we can’t wait to provide Lithuania-based operators with our innovative slot games.”

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Compliance Updates

EGBA Supports Gambling Authorities’ Request to Re-establish EU Expert Group on Gambling

Niji Narayan

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EGBA Supports Gambling Authorities’ Request to Re-establish EU Expert Group on Gambling
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René Jansen, Chairperson of the Dutch Gambling Authority, has said that a group of gambling authorities from 14 EU Member States have written to the European Commission to formally request the re-establishment of the Commission-mandated EU Expert Group on Gambling.

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) fully supports re-establishing the Expert Group to help encourage and support more common and joined-up approaches towards regulating Europe’s gambling market.

The Expert Group provided a platform for gambling regulators to exchange information, share best practices and work together on joint initiatives, such as the European Commission’s 2014 Recommendation on consumer protection in online gambling. The group consisted of representatives from the EU’s gambling authorities but was disbanded by the Commission in 2018 despite most gambling regulators considering it to be a success.

“There is currently no EU framework for gambling regulators to even communicate, let alone to jointly tackle the big issues affecting Europe’s online gambling sector. Most of these issues are cross-border in nature and require common solutions. We therefore welcome the strong commitment to regulatory cooperation and call to action from the majority of Europe’s gambling regulators. The message to the European Commission is clear: both gambling regulators and the sector itself are united in support of the Expert Group and call upon the Commission to reinstate the Expert Group,” Maarten Haijer, Secretary-General of EGBA, said.

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