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Compliance Updates

German Court Orders Suspension of Sports Betting Licensing Process Until Further Notice

Niji Narayan

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Germany: Gaming PCs and peripherals in high demand
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The Darmstadt Administrative Court in Germany has ordered to suspend the nationwide sports betting licensing process until further notice. The move came after an Austrian betting operator, which is not a member of the German Sports Betting Association (DSWV), claimed that the licensing procedure was not transparent and non-discriminatory.

“The decision of the court is a big blow to our members. Even though we were promised concessions by the legislator back in 2012, an early approval, which should have been made possible by the State Treaty on Gaming, which has been in effect since the beginning of the year, is now once again in the stars,” Mathias Dahms, President of DSWV, said.

“It is particularly annoying that there could have been permits for a long time. The Gambling Council (Glücksspielkollegiums) has not been able to reach an agreement for weeks, even though decisions were all set to be made. This body of 16 competent officials from the state ministries is responsible for the final release of the permits,” he added.

“Sports betting providers in Germany are once again denied access to a regulated market and thus legal certainty. The applicants have once again invested a lot of effort and energy into the process and prepared for the regulated market. I also feel sorry for the employees in the Hessian Ministry of the Interior and the Darmstadt Regional Council, who have been very committed in the past few months to finally make the approval process a success. We hope the authorities can continue to issue permits quickly,” Dahms added.

Compliance Updates

Norway’s Stortinget Passes Gambling Advertising Amendment

Niji Narayan

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Norway’s Stortinget Passes Gambling Advertising Amendment
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The Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) has approved a legislative amendment aimed at preventing offshore gambling operators from advertising their services to consumers in the country via the internet.

The amendment grants the Norwegian Media Authority (Medietilsynet) the power to order internet service providers and media companies to prevent access to illegal marketing.

“This [amendment] will reduce the scope of gambling advertising, and may in turn help reduce the number of problem gamblers,” Abid Q. Raja, Minister of Culture and Gender Equality, said.

“[Previously] we have not had the necessary tools to enforce the advertising ban on foreign operators. But with this provision, the Media Authority is empowered to impose a duty on internet owners and distributors to prevent access to advertising for illegal gambling,” Raja added.

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Compliance Updates

Sweden’s Spelinspektionen Submits Match-fixing Regulations for EC Approval

Niji Narayan

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Sweden’s Spelinspektionen Submits Match-fixing Regulations for EC Approval
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Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen has submitted new rules on match fixing to the country’s National Board of Trade, for the board to notify the European Commission of the changes, and has conducted an impact assessment of the rules.

The new rules would limit betting to the top four divisions of football. Also, betting on Swedish Cup would be limited to matches featuring teams from the top four tiers. Markets for matches involving foreign clubs would only be permitted when each participating team is from the top four tiers of each country’s footballing pyramid. Operators would only be able to take bets on international matches from under-21 level upwards.

Last month, when it announced the plans to ban betting on lower-league matches, Spelinspektionen also proposed banning betting on training matches or friendlies entirely, but opted to continue to allow international friendlies.

In addition, betting must not be offered in the event of a rule violation such as a yellow card or penalty in football, while betting must not be offered on individual performance of anyone under 18 years of age.

Also, licensees will be required to produce annual reports on potential match-fixing activity.

The new rules on match fixing can only take effect after the EU Commission has given its opinion, which takes just over three months. Spelinspektionen said the rules could come into effect no earlier than the end of 2020.

“Match fixing is considered as one of the biggest threats to sports today and as a result of this as well against betting and the companies that provide betting. There are, as far as can be judged, great risks in offering bets on games at low divisions in football,” Spelinspektionen said.

“Monitoring from both sports federations and the media is lower and the athletes do not make money and are thus more vulnerable. There is also a risk of athletes or whole associations coming in contact with match fixing at lower levels and then taking the problem up through the pyramid with any sporting success,” it added.

Spelinspektionen also said it was aware of the risk that the restrictions could apply in encouraging more players to play on unlicensed sites.

“The unlicensed gaming market is never further away than a click on your computer or phone,” it said.

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Australia

Australia’s ACMA Moves to Block 10 More Illegal Gambling Websites

Niji Narayan

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Australia’s ACMA Moves to Block 10 More Illegal Gambling Websites
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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is set to request Australian internet service providers (ISPs) to block 10 more illegal offshore gambling websites.

The sites to be blocked are Grand Fortune Casino, Raging Bull Casino, True Blue Casino, Free Spin, Two Up Casino, BoVegas, Cherry Gold Casino, Slots Empire, Red Dog Casino and Wild Joker.

ACMA received over 30 complaints about these services that are accessible in Australia. ACMA’s investigations found that these sites breach the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

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