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Compliance Updates

High 5 Games Now Ready for Italy and Spain

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High 5 Games Now Ready for Italy and Spain
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High 5 Games (H5G), the industry’s largest independent casino games provider, has received certification for a range of its slots by Spanish regulator DGOJ and Italian authority AAMS, further extending the company’s presence across Europe.

The approval ensures H5G games to go live with a number of the company’s operators that are available in Spain and Italy, including The Stars Group’s PokerStars Casino. Overall, 50 H5G titles will roll out to these regulated markets, with about four game releases per month. The titles coming out in the next few months include Triple Double Da Vinci Diamonds, Secrets of the Forest, The Green Machine Deluxe Power Bet, and monthly releases of upcoming key titles, such as Joker’s Riches 2, FoxFire, and Platinum Goddess Extreme.

H5G’s entry into Italy and Spain continues to build on the company’s recent European expansion and follows its successful launches in Denmark and Sweden. Alongside these regions, the company also holds licenses and game certifications in the UK, New Jersey, Gibraltar, and Malta.

Anthony Singer, CEO of High 5 Games, said: “We are delighted to move forward with our approval to go live in two of Europe’s biggest regulated markets. These certifications will bring us another step closer to further establishing our global presence. We are excited to see how new customers from Italy and Spain enjoy the H5G hits, along with some brand new original games!”

Compliance Updates

Norwegian Government Submits New Gambling Act for Consultation

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Norway’s Ministry of Culture and Gender Equality has launched a consultation on the country’s new proposed Gambling Act. The new Gambling Act will replace the Lottery Act, the Totalizator Act and the previous Gambling Act.

The draft legislation is open to comments from stakeholders until 5 August. While much of the law simply consolidates aspects of the previous three acts in place, it does come updated enforcement rules.

Among the most significant parts of the new act is the introduction of “infringement fees” for operators that violate the Gambling Act, including those who target the country without a licence. In Norway, only monopolies Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto may offer online gambling.

The Norwegian Industry Association for Online Gaming had criticised the bill when it was introduced for keeping the monopoly model in place.

Regulator Lotteri-og Stiftelsestilsynet (Lotteritilsynet) may require operators to pay up to 10% of turnover – before winnings are paid out – if they break the rules laid out in the Act.

In deciding the size of the fine, Lotteritilsynet may consider its preventative effect, the “gravity and duration” of the infringement, the financial capability of the offender, the degree of cooperation with the authorities and any previous violations.

If approved, the rules are set to come into force on 1 January 2023.

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Compliance Updates

Swedish Court Rejects Mr Green Appeal Over €3.1M Fine

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The Administrative Court in Linköping has rejected Mr Green’s appeal against a sanction for breaches of the Money Laundering Act and Gambling Act.

The gambling regulator Spelinspektionen had issued Mr Green with two warnings and fines totalling SEK31.5m (€3.1m) in August due to breaches of know-your-customer (KYC), anti-money laundering (AML) and responsible gambling rules.

The Administrative Court has ruled that Mr Green’s routines on money laundering were lacking and that it violated the Money Laundering Act’s rules on customer knowledge. It found that the two warnings issued by Spelinspektionen were “sufficient” and the penalty fees “proportionate”.

The largest fee of SEK30m relates to breaches of the operator’s duty of care on responsible gambling. A second warning and related penalty of SEK1.5m were issued for AML and KYC failings.

Spelinspektionen launched a review of Mr Green’s AML measures after receiving complaints in November 2019. It inspected 15 customer accounts, including accounts belonging to customers that Mr Green had reported to Sweden’s financial police.

Spelinspektionen said the fact that Mr Green had reported the accounts showed the operator had suspicions about possible money laundering.

The regulator noted that one customer had made deposits totalling SEK39.3m and had lost SEK3.2m despite having a declared income that hardly covered the loss. However, Mr Green had decided not to take further action to investigate possible money laundering after the customer stopped playing.

Spelinspektionen also audited five customers due to responsible gambling measures. It found that Mr Green had attempted to contact all five by email or phone due to increases in their gambling activity but that one customer had made several deposits per day on multiple occasions and had lost more than their announced taxable income for several years.

Mr Green eventually closed these customers’ accounts, but Spelinspektionen said the operator had not made sufficient contact with them to ensure they were gambling with their own funds and doing so responsibly.

Mr Green responded that some customers suspected of money laundering had not been identified due to technical problems with a new detection system that had failed to issue warnings over high-risk customers. It said the new automated system had identified a larger number of customers than expected and had placed customers in a queue according to level of risk, resulting in delays.

It added that it was now using a better case management system to help perform risk assessments and that it has increased its number of money laundering investigators to manage the increase.

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Macau Gaming Law Amended to Help Satellite Casinos

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Macau’s draft gaming law has been amended to help satellite casinos, which will now be able to operate for longer than the original three-year transition period, but without revenue sharing.

The original version of the law stated that all satellite casinos must be operating out of property owned by one of the six concessionaires. They were given the three-year timetable to comply. It was one of the most contentious areas of the gaming law, due to the potential impact on employment in Macau were they to cease to do business.

There are about 18 satellite casinos in Macau, out of a total of 40. Though some have already announced plans to close since the gaming law was published at the beginning of this year.

The amended law was presented to the commission evaluating the legislation on Friday, local media reports, citing commission head, legislator Chan Chak Mo. The new version states that even if the property where the casino is based is not owned by the concessionaire, it can continue operating as a managing entity if a contract is established with the operator.

They will only be able to charge management expenses and not share a percentage of gaming revenue.

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