Switzerland’s federal regulatory authority for gambling, Eidgenössische Spielbankenkommission (ESBK), has named Fabio Abate as its new president.
Abate is a Swiss politician and member of the Liberal-Radical Party. He sat on the National Council from 2000 to 2011, and has been on the Council of States since 2011.
Abate will replace Hermann Bürgi, who will step down at the end of December. Bürgi has served in his role at the ESBK since February 2013.
Gauselmann Group Granted Licence for Virtual Slots in Germany
The Gauselmann Group is one of the first providers to be granted a licence to operate virtual slot-machine games in Germany. Since the beginning of August, the Eastern Westphalian company has been authorised to offer its popular and successful slot-machine games online in Germany under the domain www.merkur-spiel.de and thus legally provide first-class gaming fun on the worldwide web.
The Gauselmann Group filed the application for permission to offer virtual slot-machine games with the Saxony-Anhalt State Administration Office back in July 2021.
“We have been waiting in the wings for some time with our range of virtual slot-machine games under the ‘Merkur Spiel’ brand. So we are all the more enthusiastic that we can now offer our online players the chance to enjoy the same Merkur classics that have been played millions of times at our bricks-and-mortar venues. This approval is an important and big step for us towards becoming the best omnichannel provider in the whole of Europe,” said Markus Ettlin, Management Spokesperson of Merkur Sportwetten GmbH.
The development of games content for both the land-based and online segments has been one of the core competencies of the Gauselmann Group for many years. At a total of 13 locations worldwide, gaming specialists develop highly innovative games and game systems based on current market and customer trends, thus always striking the right cord with gaming enthusiasts. While international gaming has long been at home in the digital world, now the German online gaming market is also able to benefit from the innovative games developments of the Gauselmann Group.
The offering of virtual slot-machine games on the Internet complies with the legal requirements set out in the State Treaty on Gambling. The licence certifies that the family-run corporate group fully complies with the regulatory and statutory requirements governing the operation of virtual slot-machine games.
Spinomenal secures B2B UKGC licence
Spinomenal, the leading iGaming content provider, has secured its B2B licence from the UKGC to open further opportunities within one of the world’s premium markets.
Spinomenal’s rich roster of slot games is now readily available for UK operators, which includes Lucky Jack – Lost Jungle, Wolf Fang, Demi Gods III as well as the revolutionary shared Spinomenal Universe.
The star content provider now boasts gaming licences for a wave of the most highly coveted regulated territories. The UKGC licence joins approval from the Malta Gaming Authority, Sweden, Netherlands and Romania.
Retro Gaming, a classic slots studio powered by Spinomenal, is now also in position to extend its reach and allow partners to diversify their offering with nostalgic entertainment.
Spinomenal’s Head of Partnerships Olga Sirokha, commented: “Securing our UK gaming licence is a huge moment as it allows us to share our outstanding slots library with partners working in this prestigious market. Our Retro Gaming project is gaining momentum all the time and we expect this to accelerate now we’re able to target UK-licensed operators with its range of classic entertainment products.”
Smarkets Fined £630,000 for AML and Social Responsibility Failings
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has handed a £630,000 fine to betting exchange Smarkets after identifying a series of anti-money laundering and social responsibility failings, including letting a player deposit a six-figure sum without appropriate checks.
According to UKGC, Smarkets allowed customers to gamble without carrying out sufficient source-of-funds checks, while the operator was also found to have failed to identify and interact with customers at risk of experiencing harm.
Specific examples published by the Commission included one customer being allowed to deposit £395,000 during a four-month period, without appropriate source of funds checks being carried out by Smarkets.
The Commission also highlighted a case where an individual was able to transfer significant levels of funds between accounts without scrutiny or source-of-funds checks.
Sarah Gardner, Commission Deputy CEO, said: “This case was identified through compliance checks and once again highlights how we will take action against gambling operators who fail their customers.
“Our investigation into Smarkets unearthed a variety of failures where customers were put at risk of gambling harm.
“It was obvious that poor systems and processes were in place which contributed to these breaches, driven by the company’s failure to effectively implement its policies and controls.”
The operator has also received a formal warning and will undergo an audit to ensure it is effectively implementing its anti-money laundering and social responsibility policies, procedures and controls, in line with section 117(1)(b) of the Gambling Act 2005.
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