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Compliance Updates

Belgium launches criminal investigation on EA’s FIFA loot boxes

Niji Narayan

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Belgium launches criminal investigation on EA’s FIFA loot boxes
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The Belgian government has initiated a criminal probe into the lootboxes bundled with Electronic Art’s (EA) FIFA game. The government had earlier declared loot boxes to be a form of gambling. However, EA, as the publisher of FIFA, has refused to modify the randomised card pack loot boxes in accordance with the country’s gambling laws, effectively triggering the probe.

Here is a short history of what led to this development. Back in April, Belgium’s Gaming Commission determined that loot boxes found in FIFA 18, Overwatch, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive were an “illegal game of chance,” and thus subject to Belgian gambling laws. Failure to adhere to these laws – which include ensuring that minors are unable to access the gambling elements within a game – is illegal.

Following the ruling, Blizzard, Valve, and 2K Games all elected to disable loot boxes in their games in Belgium. EA, however, has done nothing, and as a result (according to Belgium publication Metro, via Google Translate) is now the subject of a criminal investigation by the Brussels public prosecutor’s office. If it decides to prosecute, the case will go to court.

The Belgium government’s Gaming Commission considers loot boxes to be a game of chance because players do not know exactly which items a box may contain when purchasing it.

EA, however, says otherwise, stating in April that its games were “developed and implemented ethically and lawfully around the world” and that it did not agree that its games could “be considered as any form of gambling.”

This, said EA CEO Andrew Wilson in May, is because “players always receive a specified number of items in each pack” and because it doesn’t “provide or authorise any way to cash out or sell items or virtual currency for real money.”

Compliance Updates

UK Advertising Standards Authority Bans Coral Ad

Niji Narayan

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UK Advertising Standards Authority Bans Coral Ad
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The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned a gambling ad from Coral.

The complaint against Coral is related to a social media post which the company used to promote betting on the Cheltenham Festival horse racing meet. The social media post was with the caption “Have Another Go,” which showed a punter’s disappointment turn to a smile after receiving a free bet.

The company posted the video on Twitter with the text: “We’re as passionate about the bet as you are. So, get your stake back as a free bet if your horse fails to finish.” It also broadcast a similar ad on television. The complaint argued that the ad encouraged players to make repeat bets.

Coral said that the promotion was a “form of insurance” on a bet that is common in the industry and was not designed to encourage repetitive play.

It said the tweet had “aimed to highlight the prize of the promotion, while keeping within a certain character count and without encouraging socially irresponsible behaviour,” and said it would not use the ad or the “Have Another Go” tagline again.

The ASA ruled the commercial broke the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct and Promotional Marketing (CAP), which states that advertisements must not “portray, condone or encourage gambling behaviour that is socially irresponsible or could lead to financial, social or emotional harm.”

It said: “We considered that the claim ‘Have another go,’ together with the video ad which featured a man whose mood was instantly lifted following a free bet back, gave the impression that the decision to gamble had been taken lightly and was therefore likely to encourage some consumers to take up the offer repetitively.”

Coral was told it must not use the ad again in its current form and must avoid presenting promotions in ways that were likely to encourage repetitive gambling.

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Compliance Updates

Golden Race Receives ISO 27001:2013 Certification

Niji Narayan

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Golden Race Receives ISO 27001:2013 Certification
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Virtual Sports and Betting Technologies provider Golden Race has received the ISO 27001:2013 certification.

This certification assures that the Information Security Management System of Golden Race is compliant with the standard of ISO 27001:2013.

“This is another great step in reassuring our commitment with the highest international quality standards in information security. We are very proud of obtaining such an important certification, as a reaffirmation for the trust that our partners, customers and workers have on us,” Martin Wachter, CEO and Founder of Golden Race, said.

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Compliance Updates

GGPoker Network Granted B2B License By The Malta Gaming Authority

George Miller

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GGPoker Network Granted B2B License By The Malta Gaming Authority
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License to facilitate continued expansion of world’s biggest online poker network

Swatar, Malta – June 4, 2020: GGPoker Network today announces that it has been awarded a Type 3 Gaming Services license by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). The B2B License will enable the online poker network to continue its expansion into new markets.

GGPoker Network also holds a license awarded by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). After inking deals in recent months with a range of partners, including TotoGaming and OlyBet, the MGA license allows the network to target further expansion over the course of 2020.

“It’s always a good sign and an honor to receive a license from Malta Gaming Authority and we could not be more enthused. We look forward to signing new partnerships to continue making Online Poker available all around the world.” said Jean-Christophe Antoine, Head of GGPoker Network.

About GGPoker:

GGPoker Network is the world’s largest online poker network and offers a range of innovative games and features such as Jackpot Sit & Go Tournaments ‘Spin & Gold’, Fast-Fold Poker Rush & Cash, Tournament Staking… all designed to enhance gaming experiences and make poker more fun than ever. In May 2020, GGPoker hosted the WSOP Super Circuit Online Series, an online poker tournament series that featured hundreds of events and awarded over $134 million in cash prizes.

 

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