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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.

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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Canada Amends the Criminal Code Offence of Money Laundering

Niji Narayan

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Canada Amends the Criminal Code Offence of Money Laundering
Photo Source: theguardian.pe.ca
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

The Government of Canada has amended the Criminal Code offence of money laundering. The regulation changes criminalise moving money on behalf of someone despite money laundering suspicions.

“This change modernises Canada’s money laundering criminal offences to be consistent with key allies (e.g. U.K. and Australia) and provides an additional tool to disrupt and more effectively investigate and prosecute money laundering, particularly when dealing with sophisticated actors such as professional launderers,” Finance Department spokesman Greg Sommerville said.

Canada also considers other recommendations produced in the past 18 months. 120 recommendations were filed, but only 19 have been approved so far.

“Canada has fallen so far behind for so many years, we’re playing catch-up,” James Cohen, executive director of Transparency International Canada said.

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Compliance Updates

Spain Approves the Creation of Commission to Combat Sports Manipulation

Niji Narayan

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Spain Approves the Creation of Commission to Combat Sports Manipulation
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The Ministry of the Presidency in Spain has approved the creation of a national commission to combat match-fixing and betting-related fraud.

According to the Ministry, the commission will “develop action plans [and] recommendations or diagnoses to detect, prevent and combat illegal actions in the field of sports competitions and fraud in betting.”

Members of the commission will include representatives of Spain’s gambling regulator (DGOJ), the National Police, the Civil Guard, the Higher Sports Council and persons related to sports competitions and the betting sector. The Commission will be chaired on a rotating basis by the head of the DGOJ and the Directorate General of Sports.

The commission’s first task will be to develop a new early warning system developed by the DGOJ, which is intended to act as a point of communication to prevent match-fixing and fraud.

“Corruption linked to the manipulation of sports competitions and betting-related fraud are two of the greatest threats to sport and horse racing, as it undermines each sport’s core values ​​and ruins the experience for fans and spectators. For this reason… the Government has considered it necessary to establish at the national level a formalised channel of dialogue and cooperation between public authorities, sports organizations, organizers of competitions sports and representatives of the gaming sector,” the Ministry said.

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Compliance Updates

Sports Betting Becomes Legal in New Hampshire

Niji Narayan

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Sports Betting Becomes Legal in New Hampshire
Photo Source: reviewjournal.com
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

New Hampshire has become the latest U.S. state to legalise sports gambling. Gov. Chris Sununu signed into law a measure that legalises betting on professional sports and most Division I college sports, excluding games involving New Hampshire schools. The state Lottery Commission will regulate the new industry.

“We can do it with a lot of confidence because it’s being done responsibly, and it’s being done with an organization here at the lottery that just knows what they’re doing. They know how to get this stuff off the ground,” Sununu said.

Opponents had argued sports betting would continue the state’s reliance on problematic revenue sources, including alcohol and cigarettes, the so-called “sin taxes.” But supporters argued legalising of sports betting will bring black-market activity to the surface and provide support for problem gamblers through a new organisation focused on education, prevention and treatment.

“I’m happy we’re bringing an illicit activity into the light for our citizens of New Hampshire and allowing for some consumer protections,” Rep. Timothy Lang said. He called it a win for residents, communities, the state and public education.

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