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Compliance Updates

UKGC: Personal licence holders at Caesars Entertainment held to account

George Miller

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UKGC: Personal licence holders at Caesars Entertainment held to account
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The Commission has taken action against Personal Management Licence (PML) holders at Caesars Entertainment.

In April 2020 the regulator announced that Caesars Entertainment UK Limited will pay £13m (opens in new tab) and implement a series of improvements following a catalogue of failures including those involving ‘VIPs’.

The investigation into PML holders was launched because there were concerns they had failed to take all reasonable steps to ensure the way in which they carry out their responsibilities in relation to licensed activities does not place the holder of the operating or any relevant premises licence in breach of their licence conditions.

As a result of the investigation:

Seven PML holders receiving licence warnings issued
Two PML holders receiving advice to conduct letters
Three PML holders surrendering their licence following notification that their licence had been placed under review.
In addition:

One PML holder surrendered their licence whilst subject to investigation but prior to notification of a licence review
One PML holder who was under investigation was subject to revocation due to non-payment of licence fees
Eighteen PML holders received an advice to conduct letter outside the review process.
In a separate incident, one Caesars’ PML holder had his licence revoked following an altercation with a guest at his place of work.

The Commission’s sanctions register (PDF opens in new tab) has been updated to reflect the regulatory decisions.

Richard Watson, Commission Executive Director, said: “All personal licence holders should be aware that they will be held accountable, where appropriate, for the regulatory failings within the operators they manage.”

Compliance Updates

GambleAware Calls for Mandatory Levy in Gambling Act Review Consultation

Niji Narayan

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GambleAware Calls for Mandatory Levy in Gambling Act Review Consultation
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GambleAware has published its submission of Call for Evidence to the Department of Digital Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in response to the Gambling Act review.

The submission outlines ongoing issues in the gambling sector found by GambleAware, with a particular focus on the prevention of gambling harms and research to inform policy.

It comes in response to the UK government’s December 2020 review of the 2005 Gambling Act. As part of the review, the DCMS launched a call for new evidence to investigate issues such as spend limits and how gambling affects young adults.

The findings are intended to inform changes to the 2005 Gambling Act.

Most prominently, GambleAware continued its advocacy for a mandatory levy to fund research, education and treatment (RET) related to gambling and gambling-related harm.

Currently, British gambling law requires licensed British operators to donate a portion of funds to responsible gambling initiatives, but there is no minimum on how much should be donated.

GambleAware reported that in the last twelve months, it received £15.6m in voluntary donations, a rise from £11m the previous year. In June 2020 the Betting and Gaming Council pledged £100m to GambleAware on behalf of the 4 largest gambling operators in Britain: Bet365, GVC Holdings, Flutter Entertainment and William Hill.

“The voluntary nature of the current arrangements results inevitably in uncertainty of funding year to year and to significant variations in cash flow within the year,” the submission reads.

“This unpredictable funding model represents a significant challenge given that a key function of GambleAware as a commissioning body is to provide assurance to funded services about recurrent income streams so that expert clinical teams can be established and sustained to provide treatment and support for those who need help.”

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Baltics

Lithuanian Regulator Issues Fine for Illegal Ads on Basketball Website

Niji Narayan

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Lithuanian Regulator Issues Fine for Illegal Ads on Basketball Website
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Lithuania’s Gambling Supervisory Authority has fined an employee of a digital media business for placing illegal gambling ads on basketball news and information website Krepšinis.net, after a court confirmed its authority to take action.

The site was found to be hosting gambling ads with slogans and animated backgrounds, and featuring promotional bonuses, all of which are prohibited under Lithuanian regulations. These ads also lacked the mandatory warnings required in gambling ads.

The regulator said that Krepšinis.net had been a “refuge for illegal gambling advertising for several years.” This, it explained, was due to the site being registered outside of Lithuania, making it difficult to enforce advertising regulations.

However, the Vilnius City District Court ruled that advertising gambling in a way that contravenes Lithuanian law on the site is not permitted, as the site targets Lithuanian customers.

“With gambling advertised on Krepšinis.net, law-abiding Lithuanian portals found themselves in an unequal situation, and citizens were illegally encouraged to participate in gambling,” the regulator explained.

After conducting an investigation, the Gambling Supervisory Authority determined that the ads were placed by a business named UAB All Media Digital, which provides advertising services for websites. As a result, the employee responsible for placing the ads was fined €1500.

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Asia

Kerala High Court Refuses to Stay Ban on Online Rummy

Niji Narayan

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Kerala High Court Refuses to Stay Ban on Online Rummy
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The High Court of Kerala has rejected a petition from online gaming companies to stay the ordinance that makes playing online rummy for stakes a punishable offence.

The state of Kerala is sticking to the online rummy ban introduced in February despite complaints from gaming companies who note that land-based play of rummy is not banned.

Online gaming companies also noted that rummy is a game of skill and the amendment of section 14A of the Kerala Gaming Act of 1960 only covered games of chance, not skill games.

According to local media, although the Kerala High Court stated that it does not agree with the complaint, it asked the Kerala Government to present a statement by May 29.

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