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Compliance Updates

Isle of Man GSC introduces software suppliers’ licence

Zoltan Tundik

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Flag of the Isle of Mann - Source: wikimedia.org
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In a move that is set to make life simpler for gaming operators and suppliers on the Island, the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission is introducing a licensing scheme for software suppliers that will go hand-in-hand with the creation of a centralized software database.

The Isle of Man has announced that it will shortly be rolling out a brand-new software suppliers’ licence that will make it easier and quicker for operators to launch new products from trusted firms.

Under the new rules, B2B firms now have the option to apply for a licence which will allow them to list their games and software on a register of pre-approved products. Rather than having to produce specific certification for a new slot or third-party product, the Island’s gaming operators can refer to the register to see which products they are able to deploy immediately.

The move promises to streamline processes for both regulators and B2Cs on the Island, offering an innovative way to deliver efficiency to the gaming community, while maintaining high regulatory standards.

Mark Rutherford, deputy chief executive of the Gambling Supervision Commission, said: “Over the years we’ve had a number of software developers come to us and ask us if the Isle of Man was considering licensing their business model, so this year at ICE, for the first time, we’re delighted to be able to say ‘yes’.

“The benefit for the Isle of Man operators – the B2Cs – is that they get to see what products they can deploy straight away, secure in the knowledge that the GSC has already approved them, and it’s possible, with a following wind, that it’ll become a sort of directory of games.

“We’re not expecting everyone to want to jump on straight away, but so far, we’ve had an immensely positive reception from operators. We also recognise that for suppliers, the register may have the benefit of making their games and products more prominent, although that’s not its primary purpose.”

Commenting on the application process for suppliers, he added: “It’s essentially the same law that we’ve used for B2Cs, so the process in essence is the same, but without actually having control over players an awful lot of our consumer-protection law doesn’t really apply. So, while we will be still be as thorough with our diligence as we are with our B2Cs, software suppliers will need to supply a lot less information and therefore the application process should be swifter.”

Software suppliers who want to take advantage of the new register will be able to apply for a licence from the 22 February.

Isle of Man eGaming will be exhibiting at ICE Totally Gaming in London ExCel Centre from 5-7 February at Stand N6-220, N7. Contact Tony Jones on [email protected] or stop by the stand to arrange a meeting. 

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Compliance Updates

EU Report Suggests Consumer Protection Approach to Tackle Loot Boxes

Niji Narayan

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EU Report Suggests Consumer Protection Approach to Tackle Loot Boxes
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A report commissioned by the EU Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee has recently come to the conclusion that the EU should stop approaching loot boxes as a gambling issue and treat the practice as a consumer protection issue.

The report concludes that while the problematic practice can be dangerous due to the way that it can prey on obsession and addiction, especially in younger players, gambling can only be regulated on a country to country basis. This would leave the rule of law for loot boxes and gambling in gaming fragmented among the Member States that make up the EU as each country will be allowed to create there rules separate from the others.

“Since gambling is a national competence of the Member States, approaching the issue from this angle may lead to a fragmented market for video games within the EU… It is therefore recommended to tackle problematic game designs from a wider consumer protection perspective,” the report said.

As a result of this report, the recommendation has been made that loot boxes and problematic game designs be treated as a consumer protection issues, which the EU has the power to set standards for across all Member States. This conclusion comes from the risks that loot boxes can pose to vulnerable and younger players who either may build addictive behaviours, or not understand the true values of their purchases.

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Compliance Updates

Gaming Innovation Group receives CSIE license in New Jersey, USA

George Miller

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Gaming Innovation Group receives CSIE license in New Jersey, USA
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Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) is pleased to announce its subsidiary, iGaming Cloud Inc., has today been granted a permanent casino service industry enterprise license (CSIE) from the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) in New Jersey, USA. The application was filed back in June 2018, and GiG has supported Hard Rock International’s casino operations in New Jersey under a so-called transactional waiver pending the final approval.

The license is granted for five years and gives GiG a permanent license to provide its real-money online casino platform solution to operators in the state of New Jersey.

Richard Brown, CEO of GiG says: “We are delighted to receive the CSIE license after a long and comprehensive process. This is a great achievement for GiG and gives us a solid confirmation that our platform, procedures and operations are meeting the highest standards out there.”

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Compliance Updates

Smarkets introduces betting exchange to Swedish market

George Miller

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Smarkets introduces betting exchange to Swedish market
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Betting exchange Smarkets has launched in Sweden after receiving approval from the national regulator. The London-headquartered company operates one of the world’s leading peer-to-peer platforms for trading on sport, politics and current affairs, and it is now available to users in Sweden at smarkets.com.

Smarkets will become the second licensed betting exchange in Sweden, where online gaming and betting operators reported revenues of SEK14bn (£1.2bn) in 2019, according to figures from regulator Spelinspektionen and the Swedish Tax Agency.

As well as its UK base, Smarkets also has offices in Los Angeles and Malta, and is one of the industry’s only operators to own its full technology stack.

Jason Trost, Smarkets CEO/Founder, said: “We know that customers in Sweden have been eagerly anticipating us going live, so I’m very excited to launch the Smarkets exchange there.

“I am confident that our market-leading prices and superior product will appeal to Swedish customers. The fact that we own our tech stack is one of the reasons we are able to offer the best pricing in the industry, and I’m really looking forward to growing our user base in Sweden.”

Sweden is the second new market in which Smarkets has recently launched. Whilst Swedish customers will be able to use the Smarkets betting exchange, the company also introduced its SBK sportsbook app to bettors in the US state of Colorado in June, and plans to release SBK in Indiana before the end of the year. Smarkets has been available to users in the UK and Ireland since 2010.

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