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Compliance Updates

Swedish Gambling Market Commission Proposes More Restrictions on iGaming

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Swedish Gambling Market Commission Proposes More Restrictions on iGaming
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The Swedish Gambling Market Commission (Spelmarknadsutredningen) has delivered a report on the country’s igaming regulations. Led by special investigator and former MP, Anna-Lena Sörenson, the report has recommended several stricter controls on the market including a proposal that the national regulator Spelinspektionen should implement a risk classification for gambling products.

The report suggests that games classified as the highest risk should be banned from advertising between 6 am and 9 pm. It also proposes that Sweden should make permanent the SEK5000 deposit limit that has been temporarily imposed for online casino games during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Other proposals include the introduction of a law laying out reporting requirements for operators and a relaxation of bonus restrictions for gaming operators that generate funds for charity, such as lotteries, to enable them to better compete against private operators. It also suggests greater controls on unlicensed gaming, which is now subject to a separate enquiry.

The report rejected proposals for statutory levels on horseracing and other sports betting. It also concluded that the Gambling Act was not the correct tool to include controls on loot boxes in video games, which it said should be studied at the European Union level.

“This has been a complex assignment that has touched on a large number of different issues linked to gaming regulation, which in some cases have required difficult trade-offs. I believe that the proposals we come up with today can both contribute to strengthening consumer protection and make regulation more appropriate,” Sörenson said.

“Spelmarknadsutredningen’s report will form an important basis for the Government’s forthcoming measures,” Ardalan Shekarabi, Minister for Social Security, said.

However, the operator association Branscheforenigen för Onlienspel (BOS) expressed alarm at the report’s recommendations.

Gustaf Hoffstedt, secretary-general of BOS, said: “Sweden has invested in a licensing system with 102 operators that offer a high level of consumer protection.

“They pay around SEK4bn annually in gaming tax, invest in workplaces and staff, sponsor Swedish sports and contribute to Swedish technology know-how.

“Banning licensed gaming companies from marketing their services to Swedish consumers while leaving unlicensed companies free to offer their services to Swedish consumers is a bad proposal.

“This only leads to reduced consumer protection and to erode the Swedish gaming market.”

Affiliate Industry

ACMA Blocks Illegal Offshore Gambling and Affiliate Marketing Websites

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The ACMA has requested that Australian internet service providers (ISPs) block more illegal offshore gambling and affiliate marketing websites.

The sites include Casino Moons, Winnerama, Extra Vegas, Win Paradise, LegitGamblingSites and Gamblers Lab.

The ACMA investigated and found these services to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

Website blocking is one of a range of enforcement options to protect Australians against illegal online gambling. Since the ACMA made its first blocking request in November 2019, 568 illegal gambling and affiliate websites have been blocked.

Over 170 illegal services have also pulled out of the Australian market since the ACMA started enforcing new illegal offshore gambling rules in 2017.

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Compliance Updates

Entain to Pay £17M Penalty for Online and Retail Failures

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Entain, the global sports betting, gaming and interactive entertainment Group, has confirmed that it has agreed a regulatory settlement with the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) in respect of alleged historical licensing breaches. The regulatory settlement amounts to £14m in respect of Entain’s digital business and £3m in respect of its retail business.

Entain has entered into the regulatory settlement with the UKGC in order to bring the matter to a close and avoid further costly and protracted legal proceedings. Entain accepts that certain legacy systems and processes supporting the operations of its British business during 2019 and 2020 were not in line with the evolving regulatory expectations of the UKGC in respect to aspects of social responsibility and anti-money laundering (AML) safeguards. However, the Group also notes the UKGC’s statement that it found no evidence whatsoever of criminal spend within Entain’s operations.

The issues raised by the Commission relate to the period between December 2019 and October 2020, which predates the many changes in the area of safer gambling and AML that Entain has introduced. For instance, in 2021 Entain launched its Advanced Responsibility and Care (ARC) programme which, using revolutionary AI technology, operates in real-time and is individually tailored for each customer. The initial trials of ARC in the UK have shown a risk assessment accuracy of over 80%, a 120% uplift in the use of safer gambling tools by those most at risk and a 30% overall reduction in customers increasing their risk levels.

Furthermore, in May of this year, Entain was awarded the Advanced Safer Gambling Standard by GamCare, having evidenced the highest standards of player protection and social responsibility for its online and land-based gambling businesses in Great Britain.

As part of the settlement, Entain has also agreed to appoint a Board sponsor to oversee the implementation of any further improvements identified by the original 2020 compliance assessments and to undertake an independent audit of the relevant policies and procedures at a future date.

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Baltics

PopOK Gaming Has Received a Certificate for Latvia

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PopOK Gaming Has Received a Certificate for Latvia
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The innovative iGaming developer PopOK Gaming is now certified for Latvia. 

Further expanding the scope of its activities, PopOK Gaming also reaches Latvia. 18 of the most beloved games from our portfolio, namely Yummy, Lost Treasure, Diamond Flash, 20 Hot Bar, Sultan’s Tale, Los Apaches, Lucky Jungle and the like, as well as the 4-level Progressive Jackpot are now available for locals to try and delight in the fun environment our games will definitely create. This approval is yet another proof of continual momentum PopOK Gaming has been enjoying, opening new doors for our partners to grow their business and powerfully contributing to their revenue streams.

PopOK Gaming Product Manager, Tsovinar Elchyan, said: “This achievement is another important step forward for PopOK Gaming and an impetus for continuous improvements. After receiving the green light to provide our games in Latvia, we are keen on ensuring a remarkable gaming experience for local players and establishing long-term partnerships with our partners.”

 

PopOK Gaming belongs to Soft Construct (Malta) Limited that holds II Class licence (2239) granted by GLI (Gaming Laboratories International).

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