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Compliance Updates

Voting differed on Remote Gaming Bill in the Netherlands

Niji Narayan

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Voting differed on Remote Gaming Bill in the Netherlands
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The voting on the Remote Gaming Bill in the Dutch parliament has been postponed. It will now take place on February 19.

The bill has been under development since 2015. MPs debated the Bill and the Casino Reform Bill in the Senate this week also, but the all-important vote has been postponed to February 19.

At present, judging from the tone and content of the debate on parliament, the Bill is likely to be passed.

Sander Dekker, Minister Justice, said about the concern of MPs was whether operators who had operated illegally in the Dutch market would be allowed to gain a license:: “A license applicant who has actively offered online gambling services in the past will be able to remove doubt regarding its future reliability by showing good behavior during a consecutive period prior to the license application. During the debate on February 5, I have called this a “cooling down period.”

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Compliance Updates

UKGC Issues £3M Penalty to Mr Green

Niji Narayan

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UKGC Issues £3M Penalty to Mr Green
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The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has sanctioned gambling operator Mr Green with a £3m penalty, as part of the regulatory body’s ongoing investigation into the online casino sector.

The operator is the ninth gambling business to face action as part of a regulator probe that has led to more than £20m in penalty packages since 2018.

Since the enforcement activity began, six operators have surrendered their licence and can no longer transact with consumers in Britain. During the course of investigations into the nine most serious operating licence cases, the Commission examined the actions of 22 individual Personal Management Licence holders. Of these, six surrendered their licence, six received a formal warning, one received an advice to conduct, seven are still ongoing and no further action was taken against two.

As part of today’s penalty package, Mr Green will pay £3m to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms because it failed to have effective procedures aimed at preventing harm and money laundering.

“Our investigation uncovered systemic failings in respect of both Mr Green’s social responsibility and AML controls which affected a significant number of customers across its online casinos. Consumers in Britain have the right to know that there are checks and balances in place which will help keep them safe and ensure gambling is crime-free – and we will continue to crack down on operators who fail in this area,” Richard Watson, Gambling Commission Executive Director, said.

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Compliance Updates

European Court of Justice Rejects Challenge to Italian Gambling Taxes

Niji Narayan

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European Court of Justice Rejects Challenge to Italian Gambling Taxes
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The European Court of Justice has ruled that Italian gambling taxes do not constitute discrimination against companies based in other countries.

The case involving one of the EU’s largest betting companies, Stanleybet, was sent to the European Court of Justice by Italian tax authorities after the British company complained that an 8 million euro tax bill was illegal.

The Luxembourg-based court held Wednesday that because the tax “applies to all operators who manage bets collected on Italian territory, without making a distinction on the basis of the place of establishment of those operators…the imposition of that tax on Stanleybet Malta cannot be regarded as discriminatory.”

Founded in Northern Ireland in 1958, Stanleybet operates so-called data transmission centres, or DTCs, in Italy. In Italy, gamblers can place bets at licensed betting shops and also at DTCs, which operate essentially as internet cafes where gamblers can place bets online.

One of the principal legal concepts of the 27-member political and economic union is that it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of nationality. However, member states are allowed to impose taxes as they see fit, so long as the assessments comply with EU law.

According to the five-judge panel, countries are not obligated to alter their own systems to ensure double taxation within the EU doesn’t occur.

The taxation case will now be returned to the Italian national courts for a final ruling.

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Affiliate Industry

Gaming Innovation Group and PokerStars join forces to further strengthen affiliate marketing compliance

George Miller

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Gaming Innovation Group and PokerStars join forces to further strengthen affiliate marketing compliance
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Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (GiG) and PokerStars have signed an agreement where GiG will supply its proprietary affiliate monitoring and compliance software, GiG Comply, to PokerStars’ affiliate operations worldwide.

In a continuation of PokerStars’ efforts to stay at the forefront of responsible gaming, GiG Comply will become a key component in ensuring that members of Stars Affiliate Club, the affiliate programme for PokerStars, meet heightened advertising criteria across regulated markets.

GiG Comply’s proprietary self-service technology scans and analyses thousands of web pages to ensure affiliates continue to meet advertising regulations, as well as the standards set out by the operator. The technology also provides detailed reports, including links, brand mentions and images, keeping the operator’s affiliate department continuously up to date on the content delivered to their affiliates’ audiences.

“We work closely with our affiliates to ensure that the content delivered to their audiences is compliant and responsible, and meets the same high standards expected of the PokerStars brand,” said Rebecca McAdam Willetts, Associate Director, Group Public Relations at The Stars Group. “GiG Comply adds a new dimension to those relationships and controls, and we look forward to seeing the technology in action.”

Richard Brown, chief executive officer at GiG, says: “ We are very pleased to have signed PokerStars to our portfolio for GiG Comply.  Assisting them in compliance efforts ensures they remain at the forefront of responsible gaming.”

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