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Compliance Updates

EGBA Urges Finland to Fix its Gambling Policy

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The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has urged the Finnish government to “fix” its gambling policy by bringing an end to Veikkaus’ monopoly in the country. EGBA pointed out Finland is the only European Union member state that still maintains a gambling monopoly.

“Yet these days you are more likely to hear criticisms of Veikkaus and its prevalence across Finnish society,” Maarten Haijer, secretary-general of EGBA, said.

Haijer said its slot network was so large that for every one ATM in the country, there were ten slot machines, something Veikkaus is looking to address by taking 8000 machines out of service by the end of the year.

However, this is accompanied by public opinion shifting in favour of an end to the monopoly, as evidenced by a widely circulated 2019 survey from affiliate Kasino Curt.

This growing demand for alternative forms of gambling, Haijer explained, was largely down to the fact it is simply impossible to enforce a monopoly system online.

“This means that more choice or alternatives to Veikkaus can easily found on the internet with international betting websites. A recent survey showed that last year 16.4% of Finland’s online gambling revenue, equivalent to €105m in taxable revenue, was spent by Finns on international betting websites which pay their taxes elsewhere,” he said.

These sites, he said, offer better returns, higher winnings and a wider selection of products.

“Replacing the monopoly with an open-licensing system is not about getting more people in Finland to gamble, nor is it about killing off Veikkaus,” he said. “Rather, it is the sensible way to meet the demands of those Finnish gamblers who seek an alternative to the monopoly and currently gamble on international gambling websites – and to regulate and tax this activity.

“Introducing open-licensing for online gambling is not revolutionary, it is evolutionary, and will ensure that most Finns gamble in a regulated and protected environment. But adapted to the realities of our times.

“All other EU countries have already done this, it makes sense, and it’s time for Finland to do the same.”

 

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Compliance Updates

Lady Luck Games awarded multiple market certification

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Games from Swedish slots specialist Lady Luck Games have been certified in five of Europe’s most important regulated markets.

Players favourites like Valhöll: Hall of the Slain, Valley of the Muses and Alchemister will join new release Rooftop Fight on the roster of online casinos in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

The certification, via iTech Labs, will now allow their high-quality artwork and engaging maths models to be enjoyed by millions of new customers at some of the industry’s leading operators.

Lady Luck Games co-founder and CEO Mads Jorgensen said the regulatory approval would provide a significant commercial boost to the studio in its quest for international expansion.

He added: “We are very confident that our games portfolio has universal appeal and having this certification is an important step in proving that. Access to market is hugely important for any company in any industry and we now have a real opportunity to take great strides as a business.”

Lady Luck Games recent acquired fellow provider Spigo ApS’s operations in Denmark, including the studio’s casino games, eight customer integrations and Spigo Station, the supplier’s Denmark-certified platform.

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Compliance Updates

UKGC Receives Four Applications for National Lottery Licence

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The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has received four final applications for the Fourth National Lottery licence competition.

The competition for the fourth licence was launched in August 2020 and now moves into the final stage with four applicants submitting their applications for final evaluation. This is the highest number of final applications received since the first licence was awarded in 1994.

“We are delighted by the final number of applications we have received, which is unprecedented since the start of the National Lottery. The Commission will now evaluate these applications in a clear and robust process. Our job is to run the best competition we possibly can – one that is open and fair and results in the best outcome for players and good causes. We look forward to appointing a licensee that will build on the National Lottery’s legacy and maximise the opportunities for innovation and creativity whilst protecting the special status of the National Lottery,” Fourth National Lottery Licence Competition (4NLC) executive director John Tanner said.

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Compliance Updates

MGA | Updates to the Gaming Authorisations and Compliance Directive & Key Function Eligibility Criteria Policy

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MGA | Updates to the Gaming Authorisations and Compliance Directive & Key Function Eligibility Criteria Policy
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The Malta Gaming Authority is hereby publishing a series of amendments to the Gaming Authorisations and Compliance Directive (Directive 3 of 2018). The amendments mainly relate to the following:

  • The overall number of key function roles and their underlying responsibilities;
  • The deadlines by when certain key function requirements are to be observed;
  • The persons who shall shoulder responsibility in the absence of duly appointed key function holders;
  • The manner and form in which declarations and assurances are to be made by auditors on behalf of licensees during submission of audited financial statements; and
  • The applicability of suspicious betting reporting requirements.

These amendments are being published together with a Policy on the Eligibility and Ongoing Competency Criteria for Key Persons. This Policy is intended to revise and collate the existing eligibility criteria while also introducing authorisation renewal requirements related to continuous professional development for existing key persons. Moreover, the Policy clarifies the MGA’s position regarding the compatibility of key function roles with each other in light of the amendments to the Directive.

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