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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

Spain Moves Forward on Gambling Ads Ban

Niji Narayan

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The PSOE minority government in Spain is going to accept all the recommendations of Ombudsman Francisco Fernández Marugán to ban gambling advertising.

The Ministry of Finance has accepted the Ombudsman’s recommendations. That way, departments would have to enforce new restrictions on the gaming industry. The authorities will soon draft a Royal Decree to establish restrictions on gambling advertising in Spain.

The Ombudsman filed his recommendation with the ministries of Treasury and the Health, Consumer and Welfare. Within the filing, he asked for a complete ban on gambling advertising in Spain.

“kids’ viewing time needs to be clean of gambling ads and no celebrities should be shown advertising gambling,” he said.

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Compliance Updates

Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft to Disclose Loot Boxes Odds

Niji Narayan

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The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has revealed that the console makers are working on policies that will require disclosure on loot boxes odds. Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft are working on policies that would require a loot boxes disclosure on their systems.

“These required disclosures will also apply to game updates if the update adds new loot box features. The precise timing of this disclosure requirement is still being worked out, but the console makers are targeting 2020 for the implementation of the policy,” Michael Warnecke, ESA chief counsel of tech policy said.

The list of member companies that committed to implementing the changes include: Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Bethesda, Bungie, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Wizards of the Coast.

“I’m happy to announce this morning that Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony indicated to ESA a commitment to new platform policies with respect to the use of paid loot boxes in games developed for their platform. Specifically, this would apply to new games and game updates that add loot box features. And it would require the disclosure of the relative rarity or probabilities of obtaining randomised virtual items in games that are available on their platforms,” Warnecke said.

“The major console makers are committing to new platform policies that will require paid loot boxes in games developed for their platforms to disclose information on the relative rarity or probability of obtaining randomised virtual items,” Warnecke added.

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Compliance Updates

Green Jade Games Secures Malta Licence

Niji Narayan

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Green Jade Games Secures Malta Licence
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Green Jade Games has secured a supplier licence from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). The licence will allow Green Jade Games to offer its online casino games to the operators in regulated markets across Europe and further afield. The MGA licence comes just a few weeks after Green Jade Games secured a supplier licence from UK Gambling Commission.

Green Jade’s games combine gambling and skills to create games that allow players to determine the course of the narrative and the outcome of the game. The deeply entertaining games of Green Jade allow players to improve their skills at deploying game features while also having the opportunity to win potentially large cash prizes from relatively small stakes.

“Obtaining our licence from the Malta Gaming Authority is the next step in our plans to provide our games to all of the major online casino operators in regulated and regulating markets around the world. Our games are truly unique and genuinely innovative and now that we hold an MGA permit we can offer them to more operators, and players, than ever before. It also proves that we are meeting the highest possible standards when it comes to responsible gambling and protecting players,” Benedict McDonagh, CEO of Green Jade Games said.

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