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Compliance Updates

Norway to renew war against online gambling sites

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Norway has appointed a new army chief, so to say, in its war against unauthorised online gambling sites. The Norwegian government appointed Gunn Merete Paulset as the new general director of the Lotteri-og Stiftelsestilsynet, which is the Norwegian gaming authority.

Paulset, an industry veteran, takes reigns during a crucial period in evolution of country’s online gambling industry. The government is seeking new measures to curb online gambling, including the power to force local financial institutions to block payments to internationally licensed gambling sites that compete with the state-owned operators Norsk Tipping and Norsk Tikstoto.

Earlier this month, Norway’s government submitted the text (in Norwegian) of its “regulations concerning the prohibition of the processing of payments for gambling without a Norwegian license” to the European Commission for approval. The EC’s mandatory standstill period extends to September 5, and Norway hopes to impose the new rules by January 1, 2019.

Norwegian banks are already prohibited from directly processing payments on behalf of international gambling sites but the new rules make it clear that they are also forbidden from handling “payment transactions to and from companies that carry out payment transactions on behalf of gambling companies.”

In April 2017, the NGA flagged seven companies it accused of processing over $256m worth of online gambling payments for international operators in a single year. In December, the NGA found that at least two of these companies – Trustly and Entercash – had managed to continue their Norwegian operations simply by changing their account numbers.

As a result, the NGA wants the authority to compel banks to block transactions by the name of the company, rather than be forced to file new blocking demands every time a processor changes account numbers.

The NGA also wants the authority to compel banks to turn over data on suspicious transactions, something the NGA claims is necessary if it is to truly understand the scope of the problem. The NGA pinky-swears that it won’t go all Wikileaks with sensitive customer data and that none of its proposals will result in the banks incurring any significant costs.

Norway previously announced plans to restrict unauthorised gambling operators from advertising to local punters, while opposition politicians approved a measure last month that will force the government to impose domain name service (DNS) blocking of unauthorised gambling sites. Typically, the NGA claims all this is necessary due to “public health” concerns and not simply a way of boosting government revenue by forcing traffic to its gambling monopolies.

Source: CalvinAyre.com

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BtoBet Secures Dutch Sportsbook Licence

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BtoBet Secures Dutch Sportsbook Licence
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Leading sportsbook supplier BtoBet has been granted a licence for its sportsbook platform by Dutch gaming authority, the Kansspelautoriteit (KSA).

This means that BtoBet’s Neuron 3 sportsbook platform is now fully compliant with Dutch regulations and thus ready-to-market, allowing local operator partners to provide a tailored betting experience to their players through cutting-edge technology.

“Receiving the Dutch supplier license offers significant growth opportunities for BtoBet, as we seek to bring first-class betting entertainment to players together with local operators. This license, pending our entry in the Dutch market, will help to accelerate our foothold in the mature European market, as we continue to sustain our growth trajectory with a global market expansion strategy. Setting the basis for BtoBet’s entry to yet another regulated market highlights our commitment to strengthen our position as one of the leading sportsbook suppliers to the global industry,” Dima Reiderman, Chief Operating Officer at BtoBet, said.

Gambling in the Netherlands is legalised and regulated by virtue of the Remote Gambling Act. Originally, the Act was set to be enacted on the 1st of July 2020, however, it was officially enacted on the 1st of April 2020 allowing for market opening to take place on the 1st of October, six months thereafter.

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Compliance Updates

UKGC: Licence Suspension and £3.8M Fine for Genesis Global Limited

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Britain’s gambling industry is being warned that the Commission “will use all tools at its disposal to ensure consumer safety” following enforcement action involving suspending an online casino from operating and then fining it £3.8m.

Genesis Global Limited – which runs 14 websites including genesiscasino.com, casinoplanet.com and casinocruise.com – has also been given a warning by the Commission and told it must undergo further extensive auditing.

The operator was suspended from operating in Britain after enquiries revealed significant social responsibility and money laundering failures.

Three months later (14 October 2020) the suspension was lifted following significant compliance improvements but the Commission’s investigation continued and now concluded with a £3.8m fine, a warning and an additional licence condition demanding further auditing.

Helen Venn, Commission Executive Director, said: “All gambling businesses should pay very close attention to this case.

“The Commission will use all tools at its disposal to ensure consumer safety and that extends to stopping a business from actually operating.

“Failing to follow rules aimed at keeping gambling safe and crime-free will never be a viable business option for gambling businesses in Britain.”

Social responsibility failures included:

  • not carrying out any meaningful responsible gambling interactions with, or placing any effective restrictions on the account of, a customer who spent £245,000 in three months. Three days into their relationship Genesis knew the customer was an NHS nurse earning £30,000 a year
  • not carrying out any meaningful responsible gambling interactions or establishing affordability of a customer who lost £197,000 over six months. The same day the customer closed her account, stating she wanted to spend more time with her family, she was allowed to open another account with the business and deposit £200
  • not carrying out any meaningful responsible gambling interactions or establishing affordability of a customer who lost £234,000 in a six week period.

Money laundering failures included:

  • requested source of funds only after one customer had lost £209,000. Prior to this Genesis had estimated the customer was earning £111,000 a year because the consumer had told them they were a director and this was the average salary of directors in London. The operator failed to take into account the company was dormant and that there would be a wide range of director salaries. Genesis also failed to verify information supplied by the customer to substantiate the level of spend
  • a customer was allowed to deposit over £1,300,000 and lose £600,000 before carrying out sufficient source of funds checks. The customer provided Genesis with documentation including a bank statement which showed deposits into the account to the value of £23,000 and payments out to the value of £27,000 – clearly not enough to support the level of gambling
  • a customer was allowed to lose £107,000 over six months without carrying out sufficient source of funds checks. Genesis relied on assertion that the customer’s money came from an allowance from parents who owned factories overseas and failed to verify this information. The customer provided a number of bank statements, however, they did not evidence any source of income but did show transactions with other gambling operators.
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Compliance Updates

Stats Perform Retains IBIA Data Standards Accreditation

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Stats Perform, the sports tech leader in data and AI technology, has renewed its accreditation of the International Betting Integrity Association’s (IBIA) Data Standards, following an independent audit by eCOGRA.

In early 2021, Stats Perform was the first sports data business to be awarded the accreditation. The renewal highlights Stats Perform’s unwavering commitment to the integrity and quality of its data, which is used by leading betting operators around the world and helps ensure the accuracy and veracity of sports competitions and the betting markets that cover them.

Stats Perform’s dedication to being the leading supplier of both high-integrity and high-quality sports data is recognised by its clients. Being able to display the standards badge over the past 12 months and now into a second year means Stats Perform’s customers have independent assurance and further sets the business apart in what is becoming a more crowded marketplace.

“Having been a consistent advocate for the highest standards of integrity and quality in sports data, Stats Perform was proud to become the first company to champion and receive the accreditation. To successfully renew the accreditation is testament to the ongoing quality and integrity efforts of our sports data operations teams. Stats Perform’s Betting and Opta sports data is chosen by the world’s leading rights holders, sportsbooks and pricing providers to power exceptional in-play betting experiences for millions of global sports bettors,” Andrew Ashenden, Chief Betting Officer at Stats Perform, said.

“Stats Perform’s successful renewal of the Data Standards accreditation demonstrates the importance of the requirements, and the value betting data providers see in them. This is reflected in the outlook of the IBIA’s membership, which views the Data Standards protocols as an essential initiative and one which has a positive impact on the sports betting environment,” Khalid Ali, CEO at IBIA, said.

“Stats Perform has consistently been dedicated to having a positive influence and impact on the sport integrity ecosystem and its support of the Data Standards accreditation is a key component. In addition to raising standards around data supply, we are proud to be working closely with the IBIA and its members on complimentary projects in intelligence and risk assessment to deepen our commitment to the betting industry and the protection of sport,” Jake Marsh, Global Head of Integrity at Stats Perform, said.

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