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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
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

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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Compliance Updates

UKGC Temporarily Suspends Operating License of Matchbook

Niji Narayan

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UKGC Temporarily Suspends Operating License of Matchbook
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

The UK Gambling Commission has temporarily suspended the operating license of Sports betting exchange operator Matchbook.

Matchbook’s UK customers reported receiving emails informing them that the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) had “taken the decision to temporarily suspend the operating license of Triplebet Ltd (Matchbook). As a result from 23:59 on 17 February 2020 we will be briefly closed for all betting and casino activity in the United Kingdom.”

Matchbook said it has been in “regular contact” with the UKGC and had “agreed a path forward where it will deliver on a number of conditions.”

Matchbook promised to “be back soon” and assured its UK customers that they would retain access to their online accounts for fund withdrawals and the site would “continue to settle all open positions.”

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Australia

Flutter–Stars Group Deal Gets Approval from Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

Niji Narayan

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Flutter–Stars Group Deal Gets Approval from Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
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Flutter Entertainment has received informal approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for its proposed combination with The Stars Group (TSG).

The approval from ACCC is seen as a milestone in the group’s attempts to merge with Flutter to create what is expected to be one of the world’s biggest betting businesses.

But the company said the proposed deal remains subject to approval by the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board, as well as further international regulatory bodies.

The deal was first announced in October and the combined group will serve customers in more than 100 countries.

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Compliance Updates

Iforium awarded ISO 27001 certification

George Miller

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Iforium awarded ISO 27001 certification
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Industry’s leading aggregator awarded gold standard for data protection and system security

Iforium, the global casino aggregation platform provider, has further established its tier one credentials following ISO IEC 27001 certification for the operations behind its award-winning Gameflex platform.

To receive its certification, Iforium’s internal processes were rigorously tested against the Standard’s strict assessment criteria, ensuring it met the 114 controls and 7 clauses required over a nine-month period.

With a series of internal audits undertaken prior to the certification process, the standard ensures that Iforium’s senior management, as well as all its operations and controls, are fully compliant with the data protection practices and procedures set by the International Organisation for Standardisation and the International Electrotechnical Commission.

As a result, Iforium can demonstrate to its tier one operator partners that its global operations are undertaken with the highest certification available for data protection and system security.

The aggregator will also be able to significantly expand the reach of its Gameflex platform across an even greater range of markets, with regulators such as the Swiss Federal Gaming Board requiring full ISO 27001 compliance prior to entry.

Commenting on its certification, Andrew Cairns, COO at Iforium said:

“We are delighted to be awarded ISO 27001 certification for the operations behind the industry’s largest and most popular aggregation platform. We see this as the perfect endorsement to Iforium’s commitment to the security of its systems and client data reflecting the hard work and dedication by the entire Iforium team in this area.

“By committing ourselves to external audits of both our systems and processes, we are able to highlight our credentials as a forward-thinking supplier, as well as setting the highest standards of compliance we believe all aggregators should adhere to.”

Already the recipient of multiple industry awards, Iforium’s Gameflex combines over 10,000 games from more than 100 gaming vendors and is available to multi-channel operators and suppliers via a single API integration.

Powered by cutting-edge data, operators are also able to create real-time tournaments, missions, achievements and insights from any game and any game provider.

The ISO 27001 certification follows an outstanding year for the industry’s leading aggregator, which saw it expand its regulated European presence, entering the Latam and US markets for the first time following Gameflex platform integration agreements with tier one operators in both Mexico and New Jersey.

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