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Compliance Updates

Finland starts probe into loot boxes

Niji Narayan

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Finland starts probe into loot boxes
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Finland has started an enquiry into practice of using loot box systems in video games. This is following the official sanction and controversy surrounding loot boxes in European countries such as Belgium and the Netherlands.

Here is a brief history of loot boxes for the uninitiated.

Loot boxes have been part and parcel of some video games for over a decade. The early days of these systems were used in free-to-play games and MMORPGs, but the last few years have seen them creep into regular games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS and others.

A number of investigative bodies in different governments have undertaken investigations into the legality of these systems and whether or not they run afoul of gambling regulations. The state of Hawai’i in the United States and The Netherlands have begun movement on some sort of regulation and Belgium’s decisions on the matter have recently caused Blizzard Entertainment to remove the ability to buy loot boxes for Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch in that country. Belgium’s gaming commission has even begun the steps for legal action against Electronic Arts over their decision not to comply with the ruling of loot boxes as gambling. Finland appears to be the next country to begin investigating these practices.

According to a statement from Finland’s Lotteries Administration supplied to Helsingin Sanomat, four conditions must be satisfied for a loot box system to be considered gambling in that country:

Loot boxes can be purchased partly or entirely with real-world money.

Players do not know what they will receive from the box (that is, they’re random).

The box or its contents can be exchanged for real-world money either through the game’s publisher or through a third party.

The publisher of the game does not have a lottery license.

In short, it seems that the primary condition for these systems to run afoul of the law in Finland is the ability to make real-world money on them. Going by my interpretation of these conditions, a game where you cannot sell the boxes or their contents back to the publisher or to a third party like Overwatch would likely not be in breach of the law but games like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS may indeed be illegal under those regulations.

Ultimately, whether or not loot box mechanics are legal in Finland is a matter that will have to be decided by the courts interpreting the law as its written. At this point in time, no precedent has been set in this particular area of law. However, the first few complaints have been filed and we may see some decisions coming down in the near future if they advance to a trial.

 

Source: TechRaptor

Compliance Updates

FANDOM SPORTS Retains Segev LLP as Lead Counsel for Global iGaming Licensing

Niji Narayan

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FANDOM SPORTS Retains Segev LLP as Lead Counsel for Global iGaming Licensing
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FANDOM SPORTS Media has retained Segev LLP as lead counsel for all endeavours pertaining to global iGaming licensing. The Company will be undertaking a strategic review to prioritise jurisdictions that will enable the firm to expand its regulatory footprint efficiently and at scale.

Segev LLP employs a strong iGaming team with corporate, commercial, IP commercialisation, M&A, private equity finance, public markets finance, privacy and data, and regulatory and compliance experience.

In advance of the iGaming initiative, the Company has also secured a domain and brand identity surrounding the betting platform. www.gamersatodds.com unifies the business plan and opportunity that the Company will be executing upon.

“We are pleased to take definitive steps towards accelerating our dual initiatives of the all ages Esports engagement platform and the pure play regulated Esports betting platform. Regulated Esports betting is now a mainstream business opportunity and there is an implied quantifiable value for these types of businesses. We look forward to accelerating our licensing initiatives and building a true global Esports betting brand that is fully regulatory and compliant,” David Vinokurov, CEO and President of Fandom Sports, said.

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Compliance Updates

MGA Publishes Consultation Paper on Suspicious Betting Reporting Requirements

Niji Narayan

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MGA Publishes Consultation Paper on Suspicious Betting Reporting Requirements
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The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has published a consultation paper on suspicious betting reporting requirements and other sports integrity measures.

In August 2019, the Malta Gaming Authority announced the establishment of a Sports Integrity Unit. It is the Authority’s intention to implement a set of Suspicious Betting Reporting Requirements, which will oblige B2C licensees offering betting on sporting events to inform the Authority of any instance of suspicious betting.

Prior to bringing into force these requirements, the Authority is reaching out to stakeholders for feedback on the proposed mechanisms for due consideration. In consolidating perspectives of interested parties through public consultation, the Authority is better placed to implement effective and efficient regulatory processes around suspicious betting in the sports betting sector.

In addition, the Authority is also interested in initiating a dialogue with B2B licensees to consider what their contribution towards sports integrity can look like in terms of detection and exchange of information with either B2C licensees, or the Authority itself.

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Compliance Updates

G2 Esports Partners with Brandgenuity to Expand Global Licensing Efforts

Niji Narayan

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G2 Esports Partners with Brandgenuity to Expand Global Licensing Efforts
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G2 Esports has partnered with Brandgenuity to strategically expand its global licensing efforts. Brandgenuity is a leading global independent brand licensing agency headquartered in New York.

“G2 is building a lifestyle and entertainment empire. We have designed and developed streetwear-inspired collections and merchandise that sell out almost instantly thanks to the #G2ARMY and we want to continue to bring our fans merchandise that makes them proud to rep G2. The Brandgenuity team demonstrated that they understood both our brand and our dedication to entertain at all costs and we know they will propel us forward in our global licensing efforts,” Carlos “ocelote” Rodriguez, Founder and CEO of G2 Esports, said.

“We are thrilled to be working with G2 Esports, who are one of the most dominant teams in the world, and the undisputed leaders in fan engagement and world-class entertainment. This brand has everything we look for to build a great licensing program; double-digit growth trajectory, a distinctive personality and truly passionate fans,” Teri Niadna, Managing Director of Brandgenuity Europe, said.

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