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Compliance Updates

King Billy Casino, a proud holder of MGA license

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One of the world’s most beautiful archipelagos (yes, Malta is not just one island). Set of epic films and TV shows, like Troy, Gladiator and Game of Thrones. A walker’s paradise during almost all seasons of the year, with stunning views from dramatic cliff edges. Fantastic cuisine. Picturesque capital Valetta.

And yet, when it comes to online gaming, there is something more in Malta than the above, something that has turned it into the Mecca of the gambling world. We are talking of course about the Malta Gaming Authority which has become the world’s preferred remote gaming regulator. Don’t get us wrong Curacao license holders, your license is still decent, but Malta is in a league of its own.

How have the Malta Gaming Authority done it? By offering a solid legal framework for service providers, operators and online players. Any company which wishes to obtain the coveted MGA gambling license has to meet a number of strict criteria, ranging from ownership structure and credibility to integrity and competence.

Which brings us to the happy news from the King Billy Kingdom. It was due and it is now a fact, that King Billy Casino, owner of several impressive industry distinctions, awards and trophies in less than 3 years of operations is now also a proud holder of the MGA license.

Good news from the Kingdom, so we reached out to a few key persons of the organization for statements. King Billy Casino CEO Volodymyr Harkusha (and “First Lord” of the Kingdom) explains: “At King Billy Casino, we view our course, so far, as a journey where the destination can only be reached by taking methodical steps. One of these steps, actually a giant leap for us, is our MGA license.”

So, what has changed for King Billy Casino with the new license? Harkusha points out “You know, even before the MGA license, we were implementing a modus operandi at King Billy Casino, exactly as if we had a Malta license. This means a policy of full transparency. We expect that combining this policy with the Malta regulations will make the relationship with our players even more reliable, trustworthy and secure.”

And what about new opportunities? Ruslan Legenzov, King Billy Casino Head of Affiliates (and “Lord of Affiliates” of the Kingdom) shares his thoughts with us: “Plenty of opportunities, which we will try to capitalize at a maximum level. New payment systems, like Trustly, the “darling” PSP of European players will now be available at King Billy, along with tax-free transactions.

Furthermore, our King Billy Casino MGA site will feature a brand new Loyalty Program with a refined bonus system and no less than 7 levels: Citizen, Baron, Earl, Marquess, Duke, Prince, and finally King, next to King Billy himself. Female titles apply too for ladies, so we invite everyone, above 18 years of age for a ride.”

The King Billy Casino CEO compared the casino’s course to a journey. So, what is the destination of the journey? Volodymyr smiles “We are trying to make it the most interesting type of journey – a never ending one!”

We must admit that we like this way of thinking, and for the time being we reckon that “His Majesty King Billy and his faithful servants” could use some rest on this long journey. And what best place to rest than Malta?

MGA, the Malta Gaming Authority, is a Malta-based Gaming Control Board. Its mission, since its inception in 2001, is based on the principle of having a transparent and fair gaming sector in Malta, to safeguard against corruption and crime and offer protection to vulnerable players and minors.

King Billy Casino is a new generation online casino, available in 6 languages (English, German, Russian, Finnish, Norwegian and Japanese) with an impressive record in awards and a remarkable variety of games and features. King Billy has prioritized the creation of a superb user experience focusing on the myth of King Billy and his Kingdom and treats all players with the specialness they deserve.

Compliance Updates

REOPENING OF THE GCB ONLINE PORTAL FOR APPLICATIONS

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GCB Portal Re-Opening

The Curacao Gaming Control Board (GCB) is pleased to announce the reopening of the GCB Portal on July 15th 2024 at 00.01 Curacao time. The portal will once again be accepting applications and processing them under the current NOOGH legislation. B2C, B2B2C and B2B operators may all make applications.

Please be aware that we will continue to prioritise applications submitted on or before the April 30th deadline. While we accept new applications, our primary focus remains on processing those received within the original stipulated timeframe.

Portal and procedure changes

All applicants are referred to the Application Submission Guidelines published in March 2024 on the GCB website and the application manual published on the GCB portal as the general rule with three notes:

1. An account is opened on the portal by an Official Representative of the Curacao entity who becomes the “Portal Admininistrator” and has the authority to assign other individuals “Portal User” or “Licensee Account” roles, each with their own permissions. The Portal User or Licensee Account roles can be held by any person(s) of the entity’s choosing including, for example, internal licensing departments of the operator, CSPs or authorised agents. Either the Portal User or the Licensee Account is permitted to submit the application. The Official Representative should appear in the Curacao Chamber of Commerce excerpt of the company.

An Authorisation Letter is no longer required, however the GCB retains the right to conduct due diligence on the Portal User or Licensee Account.

2. Applicants are advised that the registration of “Qualifying Persons” on the portal has been updated. Additional information must be submitted in order for the Personal Account Number (“PAN”) to be issued.

3. Applications on the portal contain real-time checklists which clarifiy the outstanding documentation of information required by the GCB to progress or complete the licensing process. Operators are advised to check the portal on a regular basis, and for expediency should upload documents on the relevant section of the portal, rather than submit them by email or messaging system.

Depending on the nature of the issue, the GCB may either proceed with the application while addressing the matter or pause it until a satisfactory resolution is received. In certain cases, these issues may result in specific licensing conditions.

Master License Expiry.

The GCB wants to remind users that none of the the Master Licenses will be renewed after their expiration dates. The first expiration date is in August 2024, and the last is in January 2025. If the LOK is enacted before any of these expiration dates, the Master License will automatically end on the enactment date.

Certificate of Operation

Sublicensees that have applications in progress but have not yet been granted a direct license at a time that their associated Master License expires will be offered a “Certificate of Operation” as a temporary measure to facilitate continuation of operations.

Certification of Operations will not be provided to current sublicensees whose Master License expires but do not have fully completed applications registered on the portal.

The GCB is diligently processing all licenses as quickly as possible to optimise the timing of direct license issuance in line with the order of Master License expiration. If operators have not yet received a direct license direct license at that time, the domain token will direct to the Certificate of Operation and Orange Digital Seal rather than the Green Digital Seal.

The Green Digital Seal will be issued once a direct license has been granted.

Domain management

The User Manual on the home page of the portal explains in detail how to add, remove and transfer domains. Please consult this manual as to the actions that must be taken.

Domains are accepted with proof of domain ownership from a registry and any sale/transfer documentation if applicable.

Once a domain is added, the GCB is notified automatically and a manual verification is performed. The domain verification processwill take some days to be completed, after which the Digital Seal may be added to the domain.

Domains that are associated with an application company, but not under the governance of the Master License(s) listed on the application may be added to that application (Orange Digital Seal) but do not fall under the responsibility of the Master Licensor.

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Compliance Updates

Spillemyndigheden Calls Attention to FATF’s Updated Lists of High-risk Jurisdictions

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The Danish Gambling Authority has called attention to FATF’s (Financial Action Task Force) updated lists of high-risk jurisdictions: the Grey List (jurisdictions under increased monitoring) and Black List (call for actions). Among other things, gambling operators must include FATF’s lists of high-risk jurisdictions when assessing players’ risk.

Jurisdictions listed on the Grey List are Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Croatia, DR Congo, Haiti, Kenya, Mali, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela, Vietnam and Yemen.

Jurisdictions listed on the Black List are the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran and Myanmar.

Gambling operators are required to conduct enhanced customer due diligence (EDD) pursuant to section 17(1) of the Danish AML Act, if a player is assessed to impose a higher risk of the gambling operator being misused for money laundering or terrorist financing.

Gambling operators shall conduct this risk assessment based on Annex 3 to the AML Act (high-risk factors) which includes the FATF high-risk country lists (the so called black list and grey list).

It is not required that gambling operators perform EDD if a country is listed on the FATF’s list. EDD are only a requirement for players from jurisdictions listed in the EU Regulation of High Risk Third Country list pursuant to 17(2) of the AML Act.

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Compliance Updates

Finland: EGBA Welcomes Essential Step Towards Meaningful Gambling Reform

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On July 3, Finland’s Ministry of the Interior published draft legislation outlining the country’s new gambling framework. The draft law is now open for consultation until August 18, 2024. Currently, Finland is the last EU country with a comprehensive monopoly on online gambling. The proposal aims to introduce competition by licensing various online gambling and betting verticals.

Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA, said: “The publication of the draft legislation is a welcome and essential step towards meaningful gambling reform in Finland. This signals the end of comprehensive online gambling monopolies in the EU, as Finland is the last member state that still has a monopoly for online gambling. We look forward to reviewing the draft legislation over the coming weeks and engaging in continued dialogue with the Finnish Government and local stakeholders as the regulatory discussions progress.”

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