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Compliance Updates

EGBA Urges Finland to Fix its Gambling Policy

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EGBA on Finland's Missed Opportunity For Overdue Gambling Reform
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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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Australia

ACMA Reveals Illegal Gambling Crackdown Results

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) revealed the outcome of a crackdown on illegal online gambling services operating around the time of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The report published shows that 200 offshore services were reviewed in the lead-up to and during the event. Of those services, 21 were investigated as they appeared to be directly targeting Australians. As a result, 18 services were found to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

Following notification of the ACMA’s findings, three of those services withdrew from the Australian market, while the remaining 15 services had their websites blocked by internet service providers at the request of the ACMA.

ACMA authority member and online gambling lead Carolyn Lidgerwood said the sites were unlicensed to provide wagering services in Australia and in some cases also offered interactive gambling services such as online casinos and slots or online in-play betting, which are all banned in Australia.

“Illegal gambling operations often take advantage of high-profile sporting events to push their services onto fans. These sites also offer none of the consumer protections that apply to licensed wagering services in Australia. Using these sites is more than a gamble as you have no rights and even if you win, you may never see the money,” Ms Lidgerwood said.

Since 2019, the ACMA has been asking internet service providers to block gambling websites found to be operating in breach of Australian interactive gambling laws. Over that time, more than 900 illegal gambling and affiliate websites have been blocked.

More than 220 illegal services have also pulled out of the Australian market since the ACMA started enforcing illegal offshore gambling rules.

Minimising gambling harm is a current ACMA compliance priority and Australians can check on the ACMA’s online register to see if a wagering service is licensed to operate in Australia.

More information about online gambling is available on the ACMA’s website, including information on how to protect yourself from illegal gambling operators and instructions on how to make a complaint about an illegal site.

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Compliance Updates

Bulgarian Tennis Umpire Receives Lifetime Ban for Breaching Anti-Corruption Programme

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The International Tennis Integrity Agency (ITIA) has announced that Bulgarian tennis official Pavel Atanasov has been banned from the sport for life due to multiple breaches of the Tennis Anti-Corruption Programme (TACP).

Atanasov, a national-level official, initially contested the charges before withdrawing their appeal ahead of a hearing before an independent Anti-Corruption Hearing Officer (AHO). The case was ruled on by AHO Richard Young, who also issued Atanasov a $10,000 fine. The ban is effective from 4 March 2024.

In withdrawing from proceedings, Atanasov effectively admitted liability for numerous TACP offenses between 2019 and 2023, including the manipulation of scoring data of matches for betting purposes, facilitating wagering, conspiring to commit corruption offenses, wagering on tennis matches and failure to report corrupt approaches.

Atanasov, who has officiated at ITF $15K and $25K tournaments in Bulgaria, is permanently prohibited from officiating at or attending any tennis event authorised or sanctioned by the members of the ITIA (ATP, ITF, WTA, Tennis Australia, Fédération Française de Tennis, Wimbledon and USTA) or any national association.

The ITIA is an independent body established by its tennis members to promote, encourage, enhance and safeguard the integrity of professional tennis worldwide.

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Compliance Updates

GoldenRace is now certified in the Netherlands

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GoldenRace is now certified in the Netherlands
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GoldenRace, global provider of award-winning Virtual Sports and betting solutions, has recently obtained a certification for its highly acclaimed Virtual Sports and Games in the Dutch market.

GoldenRace successfully navigated the stringent regulatory landscape of the Netherlands, and now will be providing its impressive betting products into the Online Dutch market, which will be an important advancement in our operational expansion.

The Netherlands betting scene is on the cusp of a substantial growth phase and with GoldenRace’s latest certification, we introduce to the Dutch market a range of highly popular games tailored to desktop and mobile, in both scheduled and on-demand modes.

Among the offer, players will enjoy our most-played Virtual Football line-up – including Football Single, Leagues, World Cup and Euro Champions-, adrenaline-pumping 3×3 Basketball and MMA and top-notch races as Horse Racing, Greyhound Racing and Grand Prix Indianapolis 60. Last but not least, our Number Games, such as Spin2Win. All ready to captivate Dutch players.

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