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Compliance Updates

Spanish Football Clubs Told to End Sponsorship Deals with Betting Companies

Niji Narayan

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Spanish Football Clubs Told to End Sponsorship Deals with Betting Companies
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Spanish football clubs sponsored by gambling firms have been advised to cancel their contracts before the end of the season in anticipation of a new law on gambling advertising, according to a letter sent by a government minister on Wednesday.

The letter, signed by the minister of consumer affairs Alberto Garzon and seen by Reuters, informs the clubs that contracts with gambling companies will be prohibited once the new royal decree is approved by a cabinet meeting and written into law.

The letter added that betting companies sponsoring teams and athletes had “contributed to normalising a practice with serious health and social risks which need to be minimised in the field of advertising.”

It said athletes’ status as role models had led to an increase in gambling among young people aged 18-25, rising from 29% to 40% in the last four years. The amount of money spent by young people on gambling, meanwhile, had risen by 13% annually.

Seven of the 20 teams in Spanish soccer’s top division La Liga are sponsored by gambling companies, including Europa League holders Sevilla and six-times league champions Valencia.

Baltics

Slotmill certified for Estonia and Latvia

George Miller

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Slotmill certified for Estonia and Latvia
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The Slotmill games have been certified to meet the regulation in Estonia and Latvia. The games can be obtained either through a direct integration or via distributors.

Jamie Boyle, Product Manager at Slotmill, said: “We are delighted to have our games approved for these markets thereby extending our reach at the same time as it solidifies our commitment to meet local regulations.”

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Asia

Kerala Government Bans Online Rummy

Niji Narayan

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Kerala Government Bans Online Rummy
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The Government of Kerala has amended the Kerala Gaming Act 1960 and declared online rummy as illegal. The ban will come into force with immediate effect.

The decision comes after the Kerala High Court directive that had urged the state government to take measures against the online rummy business. During the February 15 hearing, the Kerala High Court was told about the online rummy menace. A Public Interest Litigation filed by movie director Pauly Vadakkan had sought action against such sites that hosted the online rummy games. The director in his plea had said that the online rummy gaming business was ruining the youth of the state. The plea had also mentioned a suicide by a young man after he lost a considerable amount due to his habit of playing online rummy.

Kerala is not the first state in India that has banned online rummy. Earlier, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have also amended existing laws or brought rules to declare online rummy gaming as illegal.

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Compliance Updates

Ukraine Sets Flat 10% Tax Rate for all Forms of Gambling

Niji Narayan

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Ukraine Sets Flat 10% Tax Rate for all Forms of Gambling
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Ukraine’s Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy has approved a 10% tax rate for all forms of gambling.

The committee considered bill 2713-d, put forward by committee chair Oleg Marusyak, to complement the Gambling Act that legalised various forms of gambling in Ukraine and was signed into law in August 2020.

This bill initially proposed a 5% GGR tax on bookmaking, 10% for online gambling and for lotteries and 12.5% for slot machines. However, the committee opted for a single rate on all verticals instead.

In addition, gambling winnings of more than eight months’ minimum wage (currently UAH48,000) will be taxed as income.

The country’s Gambling Act had also previously required that online betting and gaming licence fees start out three times higher than normal, and would only be lowered once an online player monitoring system is put in place. However, the new tax bill abolishes that requirement.

The Rada will still have to approve the new tax bill, after which it may be signed into law.

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