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Compliance Updates

Paf Supports Call for Regulatory Overhaul in Finland

Niji Narayan

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Paf Supports Call for Regulatory Overhaul in Finland
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Paf, the Åland Islands-based gaming operator, has announced its support for an overhaul of gambling regulation in Finland, urging the authorities to introduce a new igaming licensing system to help clamp down on illegal operators.

Currently, the state-owned Veikkuas holds a monopoly in Finland’s online gambling market, with no other operators legally permitted to offer igaming in the country. However, authorities have faced calls to end the Veikkaus monopoly in order to open up the market and allow other operators to legally access the country.

Paf chief executive Christer Fahlstedt has now spoken out in support of an end to the monopoly, pointing out that all countries in the European Union have a gambling licensing system in place, with the exception of Finland.

“Finland could build a regulated licensing system that serves Finnish society and enables gamblers to exclude games and gambling ads. With a licensing system for online gaming, Veikkaus would have an equal competitive position in online gaming as other foreign competitors, who would be subject to the strict regulation in Finland,” Fahlstedt said.

Fahlstedt acknowledged a number of regulatory changes that are already set to come into effect, including mandatory identification requirements that will see players have to identify themselves before being permitted to gambling at retail venues from 2023.

However, Fahlstedt noted that with the measures set to cut Veikkaus’ revenues by around €150m per year, this will have an impact on the organisations that the monopoly supports, such as social, sports and youth bodies.

Instead, Fahlstedt said that introducing a licensing system would allow authorities to impose new social responsibility requirements on operators.

“It would be possible to include a loss limit for all gaming operators within the licensing system. The system could also restrict advertising in media as well as outdoors and at different events, in particular, to protect minors. This would be a significant improvement for gambling addicts compared to the current situation, where it is impossible to avoid gaming advertising in everyday life,” Fahlstedt said.

Asia

ASCI Publishes Guidelines on Advertising Real Money Games

Niji Narayan

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ASCI Publishes Guidelines on Advertising Real Money Games
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The Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) has published its first set of guidelines on advertising real-money gaming.

ASCI advised its members to exercise caution when promoting real money games, an advertising segment deemed to be high-risk by the watchdog.

ASIC guidelines state that members must ensure that real-money advertisers cannot promote games or services “depicting any person under the age of 18 years” – a requirement enforced across all mediums.

All real money gaming adverts must carry a “Please Play Responsibly” disclaimer, warning consumers of the associated financial risks and potential addictions – with warnings implemented across audio and video platforms.

Also, Indian broadcasters and media owners must ensure that participation in real money games is not depicted as an “income opportunity or employment option.”

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Compliance Updates

Invitation BOS webinar on bonus regulation

George Miller

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Invitation BOS webinar on bonus regulation
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Learn all about the Swedish bonus regulations! The do’s and don’ts of what gambling companies can offer their customers under the regulations. Welcome to a BOS webinar in cooperation with law firm Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå on the theme: Bonuses on the gambling market – what is the legal position in Sweden?

Thursday December 3, 11 am-12 pm CET

The Administrative Court in Sweden rendered verdicts in four cases earlier this year on the rules in the Gambling Act of what constitutes a bonus and the dividing line between lawful welcome bonuses and unlawful bonuses. At least three additional cases will be examined by the Court in the near future. Two of the cases have been appealed to the Administrative Court of Appeal. An additional case has been examined by the Patent and Market Court regarding the legal restrictions on the marketing of bonuses. The case partly confirms and partly contradicts what the same court stated in the first judgment on the issue last year.

We bring clarity to the courts’ reasoning and verdicts with support from Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå and its lawyers Stefan Widmark, Bodil Ehlers, Petter Larsson and Josefine Lindén. They will guide us towards an increased understanding of the regulations on bonuses, conditions for bonuses such as requirements on use, time limits, including the admissibility on, inter alia, the following offers:

  • VIP-schemes
  • Loyalty programs
  • Recurring deposit bonuses
  • Offers of recurring bonuses when depositing funds
  • Offers of recurring cashbacks
  • Weekly free games
  • Recurring free spins

In addition – as a bonus – we offer concluding reflections from the CEO of Åland based gambling company Paf Christer Fahlstedt. Paf operates in many jurisdictions. How well does the Swedish bonus regulation work compared to other jurisdictions? Has Sweden found the perfect balance between costumer protection and profitability?

The webinar will be held in English. RSVP no later than December 2 to [email protected]

The webinar is not exclusive for BOS members but open to all interested. A link to the webinar will be distributed on December 2.

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Compliance Updates

Italian Court Rules in Favour of Operators in License Extension Dispute

Niji Narayan

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Italian Court Rules in Favour of Operators in License Extension Dispute
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Recently, several operators have headed to the Italian court to launch appeals concerning extensions for their expiring licenses. Now, the Lazio TAR Administrative Court has returned its verdict in favour of operators.

This rules against the ADM Customs and Monopolies Agency, Italy’s gambling regulator and the ones who initially declined to grant extensions to the licenses.

Betway, Nexigames, Snaitech and Sportpesa filed separate appeals against the end of their licenses. These licenses were due to expire at the end of October.

The court ruled that the ADM should give a one-year extension to each operator which would become effective immediately. They also ruled that the government would not be able to deny license extension requests regardless of the potential upcoming reforms.

With a new Budget Law being signed at the end of December, the TAR also advised that the government should include some clear conditions for online gambling concessions.

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