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Compliance Updates

Evolution Gets CMA Approval for NetEnt Acquisition

Niji Narayan

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Evolution Reports Strong Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2020 Results
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Evolution Gaming has received approval from the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) for the acquisition of slot giant NetEnt.

This was the final competition approval needed for the deal. The Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority has already approved the acquisition in September.

The CMA launched its investigation of the proposed SEK19.6bn ($2.26bn) deal in September to assess whether it would reduce competition in the British igaming market, and has now approved the deal. CMA is yet to publish its full ruling explaining the decision.

The acceptance period for NetEnt shareholders to accept the bid will expire on November 20.

Asia

Melco becomes first in Macau and the Philippines to receive esteemed third-party Responsible Gaming accreditation RG Check

George Miller

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Melco becomes first in Macau and the Philippines to receive esteemed third-party Responsible Gaming accreditation RG Check
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Melco Resorts & Entertainment announces it has become the first integrated resort operator in Macau and the Philippines to achieve the esteemed international third-party responsible gaming accreditation RG Check, with its entire integrated resort portfolio including Altira Macau, City of Dreams Macau, Studio City and City of Dreams Manila receiving the certification. Developed by the Responsible Gambling Council, RG Check is the world’s most comprehensive and rigorous responsible gaming accreditation program. It is designed to meet or exceed all existing responsible gaming regulatory requirements and is valid for three years. Accreditation is reviewed by a prestigious and independent panel of responsible gaming specialists.

Mr. Lawrence Ho, Chairman & CEO of Melco, said, “Responsible gaming continues to be at the core of our commitment to society as we continue to offer the highest standards of service whilst striving to ensure the provision of a safe and fair gaming experience for all our valued guests. We are committed to the development and maintenance of a culture of responsible gaming in every jurisdiction in which we operate, respecting and fully cooperating with international government and gaming regulators. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the organizers and our many dedicated colleagues who made this achievement possible.”

Ms. Shelley White, CEO of Responsible Gambling Council, said, “We commend Melco on demonstrating their commitment to responsible gaming and being the first operator to achieve RG Check accreditation for venues in Macau and the Philippines. RG Check is an important tool for continuous improvement, helping operators manage risk and increase the effectiveness of their RG programming. RGC is proud to be able to support Melco’s efforts in player education, employee training and harm minimization with evidence-based best practices in areas of responsible gaming.”

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Compliance Updates

Casino Cosmopol Receives New Five-year Licence

Niji Narayan

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Casino Cosmopol Receives New Five-year Licence
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Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen has awarded a new five-year licence to Svenska Spel’s land-based casino subsidiary Casino Cosmopol.

The licence renewal, effective from this year, comes despite the fact that Casino Cosmopol has been un-operational for more than a year owing to the closure of its casinos due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Svenska-Spel, Sweden’s state-owned former gaming monopoly, which still has a monopoly over land-based casinos, closed all four of its Casino Cosmopol venues in March 2020.

At the time, the brand had casinos in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Sundsvall. Svenska Spel has since decided to close the Sundsvall casino permanently. The venue had been billed as Sweden’s first international casino when it opened in 2001.

As a result of the closure of venues, Spelinspektionen did not inspect the Casino Cosmopol as part of the licence renewal process.

The Swedish press has also reported that the gaming regulator did not examine whether Casino Cosmopol had correctly amended its money-laundering controls following a fine issued in 2018.

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Compliance Updates

GambleAware Calls for Mandatory Levy in Gambling Act Review Consultation

Niji Narayan

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GambleAware Calls for Mandatory Levy in Gambling Act Review Consultation
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GambleAware has published its submission of Call for Evidence to the Department of Digital Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in response to the Gambling Act review.

The submission outlines ongoing issues in the gambling sector found by GambleAware, with a particular focus on the prevention of gambling harms and research to inform policy.

It comes in response to the UK government’s December 2020 review of the 2005 Gambling Act. As part of the review, the DCMS launched a call for new evidence to investigate issues such as spend limits and how gambling affects young adults.

The findings are intended to inform changes to the 2005 Gambling Act.

Most prominently, GambleAware continued its advocacy for a mandatory levy to fund research, education and treatment (RET) related to gambling and gambling-related harm.

Currently, British gambling law requires licensed British operators to donate a portion of funds to responsible gambling initiatives, but there is no minimum on how much should be donated.

GambleAware reported that in the last twelve months, it received £15.6m in voluntary donations, a rise from £11m the previous year. In June 2020 the Betting and Gaming Council pledged £100m to GambleAware on behalf of the 4 largest gambling operators in Britain: Bet365, GVC Holdings, Flutter Entertainment and William Hill.

“The voluntary nature of the current arrangements results inevitably in uncertainty of funding year to year and to significant variations in cash flow within the year,” the submission reads.

“This unpredictable funding model represents a significant challenge given that a key function of GambleAware as a commissioning body is to provide assurance to funded services about recurrent income streams so that expert clinical teams can be established and sustained to provide treatment and support for those who need help.”

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