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Compliance Updates

Norway’s Lottstift Warns Newspapers

Niji Narayan

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The Norwegian gambling regulator Lotteri-og stiftelsestilsynet (Lottstift), has issued a warning which targets the local newspapers. The regulator said that many Norwegian newspapers included in their articles odds offered by unlicensed operators, which is illegal.

According to local laws, in order to protect Norwegian gamblers, those companies are not allowed to market or offer gambling in the country. “One part of our job is to help ensure that Norwegian laws and regulations are known in society,” the regulator said.

“Getting Norwegian newspapers to write about their gaming offers is one of the methods illegal gambling companies use to gain publicity and create a brand. We also saw this in the 2015 elections. We will not intervene in editorial decisions, but we will urge Norwegian editors to be aware of this, and critical when they write cases that deal with illegal gambling companies,” Henrik Nordal, department director of the regulator said.

“Earlier this year, we oversaw two Norwegian press release services, and we concluded that extensive publication of this type of press release from various illegal gambling companies violated the prohibition on marketing and dissemination of gambling. We are concerned that gaming companies are using new marketing methods that at the same time challenge the distinction between editorial content and advertising. It will be more difficult for readers to discover if they are exposed to attempts at being influenced by the gaming companies,” Lottstift said.

“When the media writes these cases, they help to legitimise illegal gambling companies their illegal activity aimed at Norwegians. The company is mentioned without the reader being informed that they are illegal players in Norway, and it is already true that 6 out of 10 Norwegians do not know or are unsure of who can offer money games in Norway and not,” Lottstift added.

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Central Europe

Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling Calls for New Online Gambling Licensing System

Niji Narayan

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Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling Calls for New Online Gambling Licensing System
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The Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling (OVWG) is calling for the creation of a new online gambling licensing system. OVWG says a modernised national licensing system for sports betting and online gambling could generate up to €50m in revenue for sports clubs.

Claus Retschitzegger, president of the OVWG, said: “Austrian sport is one of those areas of society and the economy that have been hardest hit by the Corona crisis.

“The current infection figures in Austria and the resulting tightening of restrictions give cause for concern that the economic situation for Austrian sport will continue to deteriorate in the coming months.

“Austrian sport and the gaming and betting providers have always been important business partners, which is why we want to support them in this difficult situation.

“A permanent way to make more money for sport is to introduce a contemporary online gambling licensing system.

“With additional taxes and license fees, €30m to €50m can be earned and dedicated to Austrian sport.

“This would help them – in addition to the existing sports funding and sponsorship services – without further burdening the state budget which is already strained by COVID-19.

“The idea of ​​the OVWG is to replace the long outdated monopoly in the online area with a licensing system.

“In the future, licences should no longer be limited in terms of quantity but should be linked to compliance with high player and youth protection standards. Only those companies that meet these high standards and submit to state control should receive a licence.”

“A modern licensing system, as almost all EU countries already have, would bring further added value to Austria and ensure the attractiveness of the business location,” Retschitzegger added.

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Asia

IEC Secures Casino Licence in Manila

Niji Narayan

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IEC Secures Casino Licence in Manila
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Hong Kong-based International Entertainment Corporation (IEC) has obtained a provisional licence to operate a casino in Manila.

In June the firm, which operates New World Manila Bay Hotel and Casino through its subsidiary Marina Square Properties (MSPI), said it planned to redevelop an unnamed existing hotel to create a new integrated resort (IR) in the capital.

In a filing on Friday, it confirmed it has received a letter from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp (PAGCOR) conditionally approving the issuance of a provisional licence.

The firm said: “MSPI and PAGCOR will further negotiate for the terms of the provisional licence agreement to be entered into between PAGCOR and MSPI in relation to the grant of the provisional licence.

“As and when there is further development in relation to the provisional licence agreement, the company will comply with all relevant requirements, and where necessary, make further announcements in accordance with the Listing Rules as and when appropriate.”

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Compliance Updates

Stoiximan and Betano Awarded eCOGRA Safe and Fair Seal

Niji Narayan

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Stoiximan and Betano Awarded eCOGRA Safe and Fair Seal
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Stoiximan and Betano, two well-established online casino and sportsbook brands operated by Kaizen Gaming, have been certified as “Safe and Fair” by the independent testing agency eCOGRA.

Shaun McCallaghan, chief executive of eCOGRA, said that the Greece-based Kaizen Gaming joins an outstanding group of online gambling operators that have demonstrated a practical commitment to higher standards of responsible conduct, fair gaming, integrity and player service through the awarding of eCOGRA’s Safe and Fair seal, which Stoiximan and Betano are now entitled to display on their websites.

“Our onsite review covering key elements of governance, information security, finance and gaming operations revealed an internal control environment that fully supports the underlying principles of eCOGRA’s Generally Accepted Practices (eGAP). We are particularly proud to have these deserving brands display the eCOGRA Safe and Fair seal,” McCallaghan said.

“The achievement of eCOGRA’s Safe and Fair seal is a recognition of our commitment to be a global leader when it comes to safe and responsible gambling. One of our most important priorities is to provide responsible products to our customers,” Panagiotis Skyrlas, Head of Information Security and Compliance for Kaizen Gaming, said.

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