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Compliance Updates

Russia Intensifies Crackdown on Illegal Gambling

Niji Narayan

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Russia Intensifies Crackdown on Illegal Gambling
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Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered the Federal Tax Service to place bets with bookmakers, casinos and betting shops to identify illegal operators. He believes that placing bets with those operators, as well as buying lottery tickets is a good strategy to identify illegal gambling and lotteries organisers.

The strategy established by the government sets that three Federal Tax Service employees must make at least three bets. The employees can keep their wins, but it is expected that they will be paid into the strategy budget. If the Federal Tax Service finds an illegal operator, it will first block the website and add them to a blacklist of illegal lotteries and operators. The list already features more than 40 offshore companies.

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Compliance Updates

Videoslots statement regarding Swedish Gambling Authority injunction

George Miller

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Videoslots statement regarding Swedish Gambling Authority injunction
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A spokesperson for Videoslots said: “Videoslots notes the decision made by the Swedish regulator and is pleased that it confirms compliant implementation of the bonus, deposit and time limits put in place by the Swedish government to counter a perceived increase of risks during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“According to the decision, these regulations also prohibit the withdrawal-related functionality which remained in question. We will comply and remove this functionality, having already offered to do so during the assessment.

“We do not, however, believe that we were in breach of the COVID-19, or any other regulations, and call for greater clarity to aid responsible operators like ourselves. Furthermore, we maintain our position that these regulations are both unreasonable and unjustifiable.

“Not only are they contradicted by facts and damaging to licensed operators, they are also completely counterproductive to their declared aim of player protection and push players into the arms of illegal operators. We will therefore continue to challenge these regulations.”

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Central Europe

Czech Government Prevails in Latest Casino Kartáč Case

Niji Narayan

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Czech Government Prevails in Latest Casino Kartáč Case
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The Czech government has claimed a victory in a legal dispute with land-based operator Casino Kartáč Group, in relation to the operation of interactive video lottery terminals (VLTs).

Casino Kartáč had issued a claim for €53.8m in compensation for lost profit, alleging that the Ministry of Finance’s procedure for issuing permits for VLTs was incorrect.

However, during a hearing in District Court in Prague 1, legal representatives of the Office for Representation of the State in Property Matters (ÚZSVM) argued that the Ministry had acted in accordance with national law.

The District Court agreed with the ÚZSVM and dismissed the compensation claim from Casino Kartáč.

“The internal legal team did an excellent job again and has already defended many billions of crowns in the state in protracted lawsuits with this company,” Finance Minister Alena Schillerová said.

“The courts have repeatedly ruled in our favour, which confirms our strong legal position. In addition, by managing these disputes without the involvement of external law firms, we save the state considerable financial resources,” the Minister added.

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Compliance Updates

Netherlands’s Kansspelautoriteit Clarifies Licence Application Deadlines

Niji Narayan

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Netherlands’s Kansspelautoriteit Clarifies Licence Application Deadlines
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Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has clarified its rules around the submission of documents for prospective online licensees, announcing that certain documents required to receive a licence may be submitted later than the application.

KSA clarified that, as long as the application is submitted by April 15, the documents will not be required until July 1 in order to grant a licence on the market’s October 1 opening date.

The October 1 launch date was announced last week by Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker in the third delay to regulated igaming in the country. Dekker said a slower implementation of the laws may create a stronger environment of regulation when he pushed back the start date again.

Online gambling in the Netherlands was initially scheduled to launch on 1 January 2021, but in November 2019, the KSA pushed back the launch date to 1 July 2021.

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