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Compliance Updates

Spain forms new regulatory board to manage the surging online gaming sector

Niji Narayan

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Photo source: climatetracker.org
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Spain has appointed an advisory board comprising industry experts in the gaming industry with the aim of formulating the country’s responsible gaming strategy.

Spain’s official regulatory body, the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ), has established the Consejo Asesor del Juego Responsible (CAJR), which would support the regulator in the development, execution and overall management of policies related to responsible online gaming across Spain.

This November, 25 new members joined the board including representatives from top gaming suppliers Playtech, Tómbola and the European online casino platform, Paf. Alberto Eljarrat, the CEO of sports betting specialists Sportium, and Maria José Gallardo, vice president of the software company R. Franco, are some of the latest members appointed, along with Francisco Feijoo, acting legal counsel for the Luckia Gaming Group. The board has representatives from various fields including psychology, social health and welfare as well as consumer rights. Juan Espinosa García, the current president of the DGOJ regulatory body, is chair of the board.

Online gaming revenue increased by 30 per cent in Spain, year-on-year for Q3 when compared to 2017, totalling €181.8 million at the end of September 2018. The most revenue comes from the sports betting and online casino verticals which many expect to reach a global value of over $74 billion (USD) by the end of 2023.

As per DGOJ, July-September revenues for the casino vertical increased 39.2 per cent to €60.8 million. Player spending within this vertical was also at an all-time high of €2.1 billion with an increase of 35.6 per cent from 2017. The new online poker shared liquidity pool with France and Portugal that Spain established in January of this year also benefited the industry, generating a 35.1 per cent revenue increase to €19.8 million.

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

NH Lawmakers Pass Sports Betting Bill

Niji Narayan

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NH Lawmakers Pass Sports Betting Bill
Photo Source: sunherald.com
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The New Hampshire legislature has passed the sports betting bill and heads it to the desk of Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who has already expressed his support for the bill.

The Senate has made three amendments to the bill. The amendments made it clear that multiple online sports betting operators will be permitted in the space, but will be capped at five. It also capped the retail operators at 10.

The bill creates a subdivision of Sports Wagering within the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, which will act as the regulatory body for the industry.

The bill allows anyone over the age of 18 to wager on professional and collegiate sporting events. Gamblers will not be allowed to wager on New Hampshire colleges or collegiate sporting events in the state. It will not provide the leagues with an integrity fee and does not require operators to use official league data.

It is estimated that the industry will generate $7.5 million in tax revenue for the 2021 fiscal year and $13.5 million two years later.

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Compliance Updates

MGA Cancels the Gaming Licence of Wish Me Luck Ltd

Niji Narayan

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MGA Cancels the Gaming Licence of Wish Me Luck Ltd
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The Malta Gaming Authority has cancelled the gaming licence of Wish Me Luck Ltd.

Wish Me Luck Ltd has thus been directed to proceed with the cancellation process of the authorisation and to suspend all gaming operations with immediate effect.

The Malta Gaming Authority notifies that any websites operated by Wish Me Luck Ltd or associated with Wish Me Luck Ltd and which make reference to the Authority or the above-quoted licence is not approved to be operational by the Authority.

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Compliance Updates

EGBA Brings Case Against Online Payment Blockings In Norway

George Miller

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EGBA Brings Case Against Online Payment Blockings In Norway
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This week the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), along with Entercash payments processor, brought a case against the Norwegian Ministry of Culture in Oslo District Court over the Norwegian government’s policy of seeking to block online gambling payments.

EGBA believes payment blocking infringes on European Union law and the freedom of payment processors to do business across the European Economic Area (EEA).

Instead of enforcing restrictive payment blocking measures to protect the revenues of the state monopoly and fend off outside competition from EU-licensed operators, EGBA urges the Norwegian government to undertake a more fundamental review of how the country regulates online gambling.

The adoption of a multi-licensing regime – like in the vast majority of EEA countries, including those with existing state-owned monopolies – would improve the functioning of Norway’s online gambling market and bring with it several other benefits.

Online gambling is a consumer-driven market – but monopolies naturally restrict consumer choice. This lack of choice available locally might lead some Norwegian players to search elsewhere and play on gambling websites based outside of Norway – which neither apply Norwegian laws nor pay taxes in Norway.

The introduction of a multi-licensing regime would enable a greater variety of products, brands and competition on the Norwegian market to meet existing consumer demand. This would make the local market more attractive to Norwegian players and encourage more of them to play on websites which are licensed and regulated in Norway – and not on websites based outside it.

This is important because it would ensure more Norwegian players are protected by Norwegian laws when they play online and generate greater tax revenues for the state from local gambling activity.

“In today’s digital age it is virtually impossible to enforce national borders on the internet but that’s what the Norwegian authorities are trying to do by introducing payment blockings for online betting.

Rather than being a tool to benefit consumers, such restrictive measures are aimed at protecting the revenues of the state-owned monopoly by cutting off outside competition from reputable EU-licensed operators.

This is not only in breach of the EU’s internal market principles but out of step with the reality of a consumer-driven betting market, where players will inevitably search around the internet for value and choice in the games they play.

This reality is why we’re seeing national gambling monopolies across Europe slowly being replaced by multi-licensing regimes which facilitate better consumer choice and enable better functioning national markets. Norway is one of only two EEA countries which do not have a licensing regime yet – but it is inevitable they will have to confront this decision sooner or later.

The introduction of a multi-licensing regime would be a win-win: it would encourage more effective channelling which would benefit player protection, more effective local control of gambling activity and increased tax revenue for the Norwegian state.” – Maarten Haijer, Secretary General, EGBA.

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