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Compliance Updates

Widespread UKGC regulator action results in further £4.5m in penalties for online gambling sector

George Miller

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Widespread UKGC regulator action results in further £4.5m in penalties for online gambling sector
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Four gambling businesses are to pay a total of £4.5m in penalty packages as part of the Gambling Commission’s ongoing investigation into the online casino sector.

InTouch Games Limited will pay £2.2m, Betit Operations Limited will pay £1.4m, and MT Secure Trade will pay £700,000 in lieu of financial penalties, and BestBet will pay a financial penalty of £230,972.

The penalty packages relate to the businesses failings to put in place effective safeguards to prevent money laundering and keep consumers safe from gambling harm.

The penalty packages form part of an ongoing investigation into the online casino sector. Over the last 18 months the regulator has conducted assessments of, or engaged with, 123 online operators – and of the 45 told to submit an action plan to raise standards 38 have already showed signs of improvement. A further 34 were compliant with standards expected by the Commission or had minor issues which have been, or are in the process of being, remedied.

Since the investigation began five operators have surrendered their licence and can no longer transact with consumers in Britain. In November 2018 three companies paid nearly £14m in penalty packages as result of their failings to put in place effective safeguards to prevent money laundering and keep consumers safe from gambling-related harm.

Richard Watson, Gambling Commission Executive Director, said: “We have been working hard to raise standards in the online industry to ensure that gambling is crime-free and that the one in five people in Britain who gamble online every month can do so safely.

“But our work will not stop here. As a regulator, we will continue to set and enforce standards that the industry must comply with to protect consumers.

“We expect operators to know their customers and to ask the right questions to make sure they meet their anti-money laundering and social responsibility obligations.”

Read InTouch Games Limited public statement

Read Betit Operations Limited public statement

Read MT Secure Trade public statement

Read BestBet Limited public statement

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Asia

Government Delays the Issuance of Casino Regulations in Japan

Niji Narayan

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Government Delays the Issuance of Casino Regulations in Japan
Photo Source: nikkei.com
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Japanese government has delayed the establishment of Casino Management Board and issuance of the more specific IR bidding regulations in Japan. It is widely assumed that having public attention focused on the IR issue will negatively impact the electoral prospects of the ruling conservatives.

The ruling party now looks inclined not to take up the IR issue until early 2020, seriously impacting the schedules of some local governments. Such a delay may be the death blow for Osaka’s plans to have its anticipated Yumeshima IR opens its doors ahead of the 2025 World Expo, although that remains to be seen.

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Compliance Updates

Nintendo to Shut Down Loot Box Enabled Mobile Games in Belgium

Niji Narayan

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Nintendo to Shut Down Loot Box Enabled Mobile Games in Belgium
Image Source: ign.com
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Nintendo is going to shut down two of its popular mobile games, Fire Emblem Heroes and Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, in Belgium due to the nation’s anti-gambling laws aimed at loot boxes.

From August onwards, both the games will not be available to download or play. Players who have Orbs or Leaf Tickets can still use them until the game’s removal. Due to the law, Nintendo also will not release any future games with similar earnings models in Belgium.

Belgium passed a law last year that banned video game loot boxes, which allow players to pay cash to unlock rewards. The nation’s gambling commission ordered several popular games that came with in-game revenue models, including Overwatch, Counterstrike: Global Offensive, and FIFA 18 to remove their loot boxes in Belgium.

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Africa

Nairobi High Court Suspends Ban on Gambling Ads

Niji Narayan

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Nairobi High Court Suspends Ban on Gambling Ads
Image Source: shutterstock.com
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Nairobi high court judge James Makau has suspended the ban on gambling ads after the musician Muriji Kamau Wanjohi complained that the ban robbed him of his right to make celebrity endorsements.

Wanjohi argued that the ban deprived him of income since he “earns a living thorough endorsement of products and services due to his influence and celebrity status”.

The government brought in a raft of new regulations earlier this month – including bans on such endorsements and advertising on social media – saying the rapidly growing industry was harming the young and the poor.

According to the interior ministry, the gaming industry in Kenya has grown substantially over the last five years, to 200 billion shillings ($1.98 billion) from 2 billion.

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