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Compliance Updates

Digitain primed for Romanian expansion with new ONJN licence

George Miller

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Digitain primed for Romanian expansion with new ONJN licence
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Key approval follows further upgrades made to market-leading platform

Leading sports betting and casino platform provider Digitain has received certification from the Romanian National Gambling Office (ONJN) for its award-winning platform, allowing the company to expand its global footprint into another established gaming market.

The Class 2 licence, recognising the highest standards as both a platform and software provider, allows Digitain to roll out its full range of services across Romania’s regulated space. Consequently, licensed digital and retail operators in Romania can now enjoy full access to Digitain’s entire product portfolio.

Following the integration of new software, including the latest state-of-the-art Random Number Generator (RNG) from ID Quantique, into its gaming suite, the Digitain platform guarantees fair play and peace of mind between regulators, operators and their players across new and mature markets.

Romania, where online gambling has been legal for three years, mandates that both its suppliers and operators must pass stringent vetting procedures to obtain the requisite certification. Accordingly, Digitain’s Class 2 licence now enables it to sign strategic alliances with certified operators and deliver its market-leading content to Romanian players.

Suren Khachatryan, Digitain CCO, said: “This new licence grants us deeper access to the Eastern European market, affording more and more sports fans the opportunity to enjoy our innovative sportsbook and play our exciting stable of games. Requests for proposal from licensees in the market have been strong and we expect to announce a raft of partnership deals in due course.

“Class 2 certification from Romania marks another important milestone for the company, enabling us to bring our award-winning platform to even more operators and their players across the planet. Approval from the ONJN bolsters Digitain’s ability to enter new markets with assurance as part of our wider expansion strategy. Additional key gaming licences are also currently being processed, notably in Malta.”

Digitain’s signature sportsbook product covers 65 sports, 7,500 leagues, and offers more than 3,000 betting markets. It also offers odds on 35,000 live events each month, while its casino solution has 3,000-plus games from major casino suppliers (such as Novomatic, Microgaming, NetEnt and Playson).

Compliance Updates

UK House of Lords Calls for Urgent Regulation of Loot Boxes

Niji Narayan

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UK House of Lords Calls for Urgent Regulation of Loot Boxes
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The House of Lords Gambling Committee has urged the UK government to classify video game loot boxes as “games of chance.” The recommendation came as part of a wide-ranging report in which the committee suggested a number of changes to the gaming industry.

“If a product looks like gambling and feels like gambling, it should be regulated as gambling. The government must act immediately to bring loot boxes within the remit of gambling legislation and regulation,” the report says.

Loot boxes have long been controversial in video games. They offer players a chance at a randomised reward when opened. To further complicate matters, boxes can often be bought for real money, and the rewards can sometimes be traded.

Lord Grade, chairman of the committee, said that lots of other countries have already started to regulate loot boxes because “they can see the dangers” which is teaching “kids to gamble.”

He said the Gambling Act was “way behind what was actually happening in the market” but he added that the “overwhelming majority” of the report’s recommendations “could be enacted today” as they do not require legislation.

The Lords report is wide-ranging, covering the entire gambling industry, but focuses in part on new forms of gambling, and those targeted towards children.

“There is academic research which proves that there is a connection, though not necessarily a causal link, between loot box spending and problem gambling,” it says.

The Lords report concludes that ministers should make new regulations which explicitly state that loot boxes are games of chance. It also says the same definition should apply to any other in-game item paid for with real money, such as FIFA player packs.

The government told the committee that its planned future review of the Gambling Act would focus on loot boxes. But the Lords report warns: “This issue requires more urgent attention.”

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Compliance Updates

Norway to Consolidate Gambling Laws Under Single Legislative Banner

Niji Narayan

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Norway to Consolidate Gambling Laws Under Single Legislative Banner
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The Norwegian Ministry of Culture is going to launch a consultation on unifying the country’s gambling laws into a single piece of legislation. The new bill would bring together the existing Lottery Act, Gambling Act and Totalisator Act under a group of gambling laws that would apply to the entire Norwegian market.

The consultation will run through to September 29, with a range of stakeholders invited to give their opinions on the proposals.

“The purpose of the bill is to improve responsible gaming [standards] and to prevent problems and other negative consequences of gambling,” Minister of Culture and Gender Equality Abid Q. Raja said.

“We still want voluntary and non-profit purposes to benefit from the profits that gambling generate, and the bill facilitates this, but at the same time also demands more efficiencies from Norsk Tipping,” Raja added.

Among the key proposals in the bill are for Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto to retain the exclusive right to offer gambling. Both operators would be subject to strict state control, including the government having a final say on board appointments to each business.

The bill would also have the Ministry of Culture assume responsibility for all elements of the gambling market, including rules governing the horse racing sector, which is currently overseen by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

The country’s regulator Lotteritilsynet would also be given more power to ensure that gambling is taking place legally. This would include ordering internet service providers to notify users that when they see marketing from offshore operators, this is both unlicensed and illegal.

Aside from traditional gambling, the consultation will also gather opinions on loot boxes in video games and whether these features should be covered by the new set of laws.

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Compliance Updates

GiG Secures Sports Betting License in Colorado for WSN.com

George Miller

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GiG Secures Sports Betting License in Colorado for WSN.com
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Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has further expanded its presence in the United States after receiving a Vendor Minor sports betting license for its flagship affiliate site WSN.com from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission.

GiG Media is now active in seven US states through its flagship US-facing sports betting website World Sports Network (WSN.com).

GiG was granted its first affiliate vendor registration in January 2019 for the state of New Jersey. This was followed in December 2019 by a certificate of registration for sports wagering in Indiana. In February 2020, GiG secured authorisation from the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board to provide affiliate services in the Keystone State.

Jonas Warrer, Managing Director of GiG Media, said “We are delighted to further strengthen our position in the US with this latest license approval. WSN.com continues to gain momentum in the US market and Colorado provides us with an even greater opportunity to convert visitors into players as legal sportsbooks begin accepting customers in the state.”

Colorado became the 18th state to legalise online sports betting in the US in May 2020. The online sports betting market in the centennial state is estimated to reach approximately $200 million in annual revenue at saturation, according to H2 Gambling Capital.

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