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Compliance Updates

Norsk Tipping Issues Warning on Local Polls Betting

Niji Narayan

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Norsk Tipping Issues Warning on Local Polls Betting
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Norsk Tipping, the state-owned gambling operator in Norway, has warned against betting on the results of the country’s local elections. The company argues that it encourages manipulation of the polls.

Following a warning from the country’s gambling regulator Lotteri-og stiftelsestilsynet (Lottstift) regarding press coverage of odds offered by offshore operators, Norsk Tipping stated it would not provide markets on the municipal elections.

Norwegians across the country’s 11 municipalities are going to the polls today (9 November) to elect representatives to the country’s municipal and county councils. These bodies are responsible for education, public transport, health and elderly care and the collection of certain taxes in each jurisdiction.

Norsk Tipping claimed that with due to certain municipalities and counties being sparsely populated, the chance to win money based on certain candidates winning could lead to tactical voting or corruption.

“It would be possible to [offer odds on the elections], but there are many good reasons not to,” the operator’s director of communications Tonje Sagstuen explained. “The most important thing is that if money is at stake on the outcome of local elections, it can affect both the election and its result in a number of ways.

“It could affect how you vote yourself [and] it allows for […] manipulation,” Sagstuen said. “In other words, gambling can affect, directly or indirectly, who gets into power in your municipality.”

 

Niji Narayan has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. He reports gaming industry headlines from all around the globe.

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Compliance Updates

MGA Cancels Gaming Service Licence of Betixx

Niji Narayan

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MGA Cancels Gaming Service Licence of Betixx
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The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has cancelled the gaming service licence of Betixx Limited, after ruling that the operator breached a number of regulations.

According to the MGA, Betixx breached paragraphs B and E of the Third Schedule to the Gaming Act. Paragraph B refers to the failure to submit specific documents to the regulator. Paragraph E is in reference to the failure to pay, in a timely manner, licence fees, gaming tax and compliance contributions to the MGA.

The MGA has now ordered Betixx to cease gaming operations, while it will not be permitted to register new players or accept new customer deposits. Betixx must also provide all registered players with access to their accounts and refund any remaining balances to customers.

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Latvian Parliament Approves Amendments to Gambling Laws

Niji Narayan

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Latvian Parliament Approves Amendments to Gambling Laws
Photo Source: saeima.lv
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Saeima, the parliament from Latvia, has approved the amendments in the final reading of the Law on Lotteries and Gambling Fee and Tax. The tax revenue from gambling that the state perceives has increased from 75% to 95%.

The amendments were designed to increase tax revenue for the state and help cover budget gaps. Before the amendments, the state budget received 75% from gambling tax revenue, while 25% went to municipalities’ budget. During the first reading, parliament members suggested to increase the state’s percentage to 90%, but the coalition agreed on 95%.

Other amendments, which will come into force with the gambling law in 2020, establish that gambling tax rate for roulette, cards and dice games will rise from €23.4k to €28k a year. Tax for gambling machines will increase from €4.1k to €5.1k.

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Compliance Updates

Swedish Government may Implement New Restrictions on Loot Boxes

Niji Narayan

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Swedish Government may Implement New Restrictions on Loot Boxes
Photo Source: thelocal.se
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Swedish Consumer Agency Konsumentverket has submitted a report that warned of the video game feature’s potential risks for children and the vulnerable to the country’s Gaming Market Commission Spelmarknadsutredningen. The report compiles a series of recommendations for reducing the negative effects of gambling in the country.

In its report, the Konsumentverket acknowledged that many had highlighted the similarity between loot boxes and real-money gaming. While it said the mechanic of buying an item without knowing what it was did not constitute gambling, it noted that if that item could then be exchanged for cash, this could fall under the remit of the Gaming Act.

“It is difficult to estimate the extent of any consumer problems caused by loot boxes in the Swedish market. There are individual cases that have attracted attention from the media both in Sweden and abroad, where adults or children have spent large sums on the purchase of loot boxes. Neither the Konsumentverket nor the Swedish Gaming Authority (Spelinspektionen), however, have received more than a few notifications or questions from the public regarding loot boxes. Various factors highlighted as similar are imagery and sound effects, high availability, the ability to play alone at home, the short time between betting and outcome and the fact players can easily get stuck in the game and lose all sense of time and money being spent,” the report said.

Sweden’s Minister for Social Security Ardalan Shekarabi said it was important to ensure that consumers were properly protected.

“The fact that computer and video games are of great interest to children and young people makes the issue extra important,” Shekarabi said.

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