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Compliance Updates

Habanero seals Romanian licence

George Miller

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Habanero seals Romanian licence
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Supplier granted coveted accreditation by national regulator

Premium slots and table games provider Habanero has been awarded an online licence to supply Romanian-based operators with its immersive content offering.

Following its accreditation by the Romanian gambling regulator (ONJN), the games studio can further expand its commercial footprint within the territory, where online gambling has been regulated since 2016.

The 69+ newly-licensed games in Habanero’s highly regarded portfolio include widespread player favourites such as Wizards Want War!, Egyptian Dreams Deluxe, Happiest Christmas Tree and 5 Lucky Lions.

Habanero’s latest certification follows on from its recent acquisition of an MGA licence, paving the way for it to secure new partnerships, in addition to those already signed.

Commenting on the accreditation, Arcangelo Lonoce, European Head of Business Development at Habanero, said: “We are thrilled that the team’s consistent diligence has been recognised by the regulatory body in Romania, a market which we believe to be one of the most interesting and dynamic in Europe.

“The news will help us further extend our ever-growing customer reach within the region, following on from a series of high-profile commercial agreements with a succession of Southern Europe’s foremost operators.” 

Ready to build on an outstanding 2020, the studio has continued its rapid growth across Europe and South America by creating some of the industry’s highest quality content.

Asia

Kerala Government Bans Online Rummy

Niji Narayan

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Kerala Government Bans Online Rummy
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The Government of Kerala has amended the Kerala Gaming Act 1960 and declared online rummy as illegal. The ban will come into force with immediate effect.

The decision comes after the Kerala High Court directive that had urged the state government to take measures against the online rummy business. During the February 15 hearing, the Kerala High Court was told about the online rummy menace. A Public Interest Litigation filed by movie director Pauly Vadakkan had sought action against such sites that hosted the online rummy games. The director in his plea had said that the online rummy gaming business was ruining the youth of the state. The plea had also mentioned a suicide by a young man after he lost a considerable amount due to his habit of playing online rummy.

Kerala is not the first state in India that has banned online rummy. Earlier, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have also amended existing laws or brought rules to declare online rummy gaming as illegal.

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Compliance Updates

Ukraine Sets Flat 10% Tax Rate for all Forms of Gambling

Niji Narayan

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Ukraine Sets Flat 10% Tax Rate for all Forms of Gambling
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Ukraine’s Committee on Finance, Tax and Customs Policy has approved a 10% tax rate for all forms of gambling.

The committee considered bill 2713-d, put forward by committee chair Oleg Marusyak, to complement the Gambling Act that legalised various forms of gambling in Ukraine and was signed into law in August 2020.

This bill initially proposed a 5% GGR tax on bookmaking, 10% for online gambling and for lotteries and 12.5% for slot machines. However, the committee opted for a single rate on all verticals instead.

In addition, gambling winnings of more than eight months’ minimum wage (currently UAH48,000) will be taxed as income.

The country’s Gambling Act had also previously required that online betting and gaming licence fees start out three times higher than normal, and would only be lowered once an online player monitoring system is put in place. However, the new tax bill abolishes that requirement.

The Rada will still have to approve the new tax bill, after which it may be signed into law.

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Compliance Updates

Merkur Gaming Signs MoU with Ukraine’s Gambling and Lotteries Regulation Commission

Niji Narayan

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Merkur Gaming Signs MoU with Ukraine’s Gambling and Lotteries Regulation Commission
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Merkur Gaming has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ukraine’s gaming regulatory body, the Gambling and Lotteries Regulation Commission.

The signing of MoU between Ukraine’s Expert Advisory Council of Gambling and Lotteries Regulation Commission (EAC GRLC) and adp Gauselmann GmbH (Merkur) allows Merkur to bring its more than 60 years of experience and achievement in both manufacturing and operations in gaming to help and assist Ukraine in its creation of a strong, socially responsible, and well-regulated gaming industry within its borders.

Athanasios ‘Sakis’ Isaakidis, Chief Executive, International at Merkur Gaming, said: “This is truly an exciting time and a great opportunity. Coming as it does in the current pandemic climate of Covid-19, the news from the Ukraine is inspiring for us and for the entire gaming industry. Historically, difficult times have always also created opportunities and that is clearly the case here. Merkur Gaming is absolutely committed to bringing its huge experience – as both a manufacturer and as a successful operator – to work alongside the authorities in creating a new market opportunity that will create many new jobs, create new wealth and which will be, by law, a socially responsible gaming environment within the Ukraine.

“The overwhelming feeling, the aura as we call it, is already hugely positive and that will increase as actual operations are seen to open up. There are still many challenges to be addressed but we look forward to assisting in the process of those challenges being met. As has been said many times, to make the best result from new opportunities it is necessary to always be in the right place and at the right time. Merkur Gaming is achieving that and will continue to do so in the future as we actively co-operate in making Ukraine’s new gaming future become a resounding success.”

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