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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

Niji Narayan has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. He reports gaming industry headlines from all around the globe.

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Compliance Updates

Swedish Court Reduces Casino Cosmopol’s AML Penalty

Niji Narayan

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Swedish Court Reduces Casino Cosmopol’s AML Penalty
Photo Source: casinocosmopol.se
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Sweden’s Administrative Court has reduced the penalty issued to Casino Cosmopol in 2018 from SEK8m to SEK3m.

The fine was issued by Lotteriinspektionen in relation to systematic deficiencies in Casino Cosmopol’s policies related to money laundering and terrorist financing in November 2018.

Casino Cosmopol submitted an appeal against this in December 2018, which was heard in Sweden’s Administrative Court last week. The hearing found that while the court agreed that the casino had breached its licence conditions, there should be a reduction in the penalty fee paid.

In response to the ruling, Lotteriinspektionen has said it will consider launching an appeal of its own against the Administrative Court decision.

“Casino Cosmopol AB has applied for a license to operate games when the new Gaming Act comes into force at the turn of the year. The Lottery Inspectorate has now informed Casino Cosmopol that they need to supplement their application with a description of the measures planned to comply with the money laundering regulations,” the regulator said.

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Compliance Updates

MGA publishes Guidelines on the Impact of the UK’s Exit from the European Union

George Miller

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MGA publishes Guidelines on the Impact of the UK’s Exit from the European Union
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The Malta Gaming Authority is publishing a guidance note on the impact of the UK’s Exit from the European Union in consideration of the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union. The contents of the guidance note relate solely to regulatory affairs within the remit of the MGA, and operators should also be aware of ulterior consequences resulting from Brexit, including but not limited to data protection, immigration, employment, duty, and copyright considerations.

The contents of this guidance note are of particular importance to entities established in Malta and operating in the United Kingdom, or entities established in the United Kingdom providing services and supplies within Malta, and it also details transitory measures in place for operators to ensure readiness and avoid regulatory disruption.

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Compliance Updates

iSoftBet awarded Malta B2B supplier licence

George Miller

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iSoftBet awarded Malta B2B supplier licence
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More than 100 proprietary games certified – all new titles to be offered to tier one brands in rapidly growing jurisdiction

 iSoftBet, the leading online and mobile casino content provider, has been awarded a B2B software licence from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) enabling it to offer more than 100 of its best performing games to a host of tier one brands.

iSoftbet is certified in 16 of the world’s largest regulated and emerging territories and provides brands with the highest quality casino games and maximum speed to market.

The supplier’s MGA B2B licence is a key regulatory landmark for the business with a host of well-known brands investing heavily in the rapidly growing jurisdiction, looking for a combination of proven and fresh content during the busiest period of the year for the iGaming industry.

Among the 100 iSoftBet games certified for Malta include classic titles such as Hot Spin, Vegas High Roller, and Wild Ape.

iSoftBet has a reputation for being at the forefront of slot development, performance, product diversity and innovation with a portfolio of more than 150 proprietary titles and more than 4,500 games on its Game Aggregation Platform (GAP). The software providers available on iSoftBet’s GAP will continue to supply their content if they hold a MGA Gaming Licence or letter of recognition.

Mark Halstead, Compliance Manager at iSoftBet, said: “We are one of the most certified and compliant suppliers in the iGaming industry. Malta is a key milestone for iSoftBet, and we’re delighted to have gone through the licensing process with flying colours.

“This enables us to both extend our relationships with existing tier one customers as well as gain access to a wealth of potential new clients. Malta is attracting an increasing number of well-known operators and we’re excited about what the future holds there.”

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