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Compliance Updates

Sweden’s Spelinspektionen Fines Bet365 Over Bets on Football Friendly

Niji Narayan

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Sweden’s Spelinspektionen Fines Bet365 Over Bets on Football Friendly
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The Swedish gaming regulator Spelinspektionen has fined Bet365 operator Hillside Sports SEK1m (€98,000) and issued it a warning for offering bets on a football friendly in which most players were aged under 18.

Bet365 had offered odds on a training match played between Kronängs IF and Mariedals IK on March 28, 2020.

Spelinspektionen’s review of the match found that 24 of the 34 participants were under 18, meaning that Bet365 breached Chapter 8 section 2.2 of the Swedish Gambling Act, which prohibits betting on sports events when the majority of participants are under 18 years of age.

Hillside said it had believed it could offer bets because the fixture was not specifically an underage match. It said it took immediate action to avoid offering odds on similar matches in the future, which included a decision to stop offering bets on lower-division friendlies.

It said: “The fact that a majority of the players then turned out to be under 18 years was an unfortunate coincidence that could have occurred in any senior league at any time and which could not be foreseen.”

Bets on the match in question had been voided, it said.

Spelinspektionen said the Swedish Gambling Act clearly prohibited betting on the match and that the breach was serious but accepted that it was a one-off incident that the operator had sought to correct.

Hillside argued that any fine be based on its Swedish revenue, but Spelinspektionen insisted that the penalty should be based on its stakes from Sweden, which totalled SEK11.2m for 2019.

Compliance Updates

Norwegian Government Introduces New Legislation to Crack Down on Unlicenced Operators

Niji Narayan

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Norwegian Government Introduces New Legislation to Crack Down on Unlicenced Operators
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The Norwegian government has introduced new legislation to crack down on unlicenced operators and affiliates promoting them.

The new legislation unifies the country’s previous Lottery Act, Gambling Act and Totalisator Act while maintaining the market monopoly shared by Norsk Tipping and Norsk Rikstoto by “strengthening the exclusive rights model”.

The new gambling law was first proposed in June 2020, before the government notified the European Commission of the proposal in August of the same year.

Minister of culture and gender equality Abid Raja said the law would specifically crack down on operators who are not permitted to offer gambling in Norway.

“I am pleased to finally be able to present the new gambling law, which is a milestone in the government’s work to prevent gambling problems and ensure responsible gambling.

“We are tired of foreign gambling companies that do not respect Norwegian law, and that do not operate with proper accountability measures. Therefore, the new law provides the Norwegian Lotteries Authority with new tools for detecting, reacting to and sanctioning violations of the law.”

Under the new law, marketing gambling without a Norwegian licence is prohibited. The government said that this would apply not only to operators, but also to those who “pass on” customers, such as affiliates.

“Violation of the ban can result in punishment,” the government said.

Furthermore, marketing gambling to children will be a criminal offence, and there is a blanket ban on gambling with credit cards so as to promote responsible gambling habits.

Any operators are also obliged to introduce accountability measures, and any marketing to self-excluded gamblers will be a criminal offence. Marketing must also “not go beyond what is necessary to attract players to the legal gaming offers”.

Raja added: “Things are happening in the gambling field in Norway. The government has worked consciously for many years with gambling policy and this is yielding results.

“Foreign gambling companies and their payment intermediaries are withdrawing from the Norwegian market, their turnover is declining and advertising is no longer as easy to reach.”

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Evoplay secures certification with GLI to enter Lithuania

George Miller

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Evoplay secures certification with GLI to enter Lithuania
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Game development studio Evoplay has just been awarded certification with Gaming Laboratories International (GLI) for its library of proprietary slot titles to be used in the Lithuanian market as the studio continues to grow out its European foothold.

The news will see Evoplay bring 40 of its high-quality games to the Lithuanian market following its full certification to the standards set by the country’s regulator, the Gaming Control Authority (GCA), including popular releases Rise of HorusFruit Super NovaForest Dreams, Candy Dreams, Elven Princesses and many more.

The sought-after certification comes as an important recognition of the quality and security offered by Evoplay’s titles, allowing operator partners to feel more secure than ever.

Evoplay has made a name for itself as one of the industry’s most exciting game suppliers, providing partners with an unrivalled portfolio of slot, table and instant games.

The developer has also secured a loyal following of fans from the online streaming community off the back of a successful year in 2020, contributing to the creation of a safe and regulated gaming environment for players and operators alike.

Commenting on the new certification, Ivan Kravchuk, CEO at Evoplay, said: 

“We have unveiled a packed roster of fresh content since the start of the New Year, so it’s great to see all of our hard work being rewarded with this essential certification.

“At Evoplay, we offer some of the most immersive gaming experiences on the market, and we can’t wait to provide Lithuania-based operators with our innovative slot games.”

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Compliance Updates

EGBA Supports Gambling Authorities’ Request to Re-establish EU Expert Group on Gambling

Niji Narayan

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EGBA Supports Gambling Authorities’ Request to Re-establish EU Expert Group on Gambling
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René Jansen, Chairperson of the Dutch Gambling Authority, has said that a group of gambling authorities from 14 EU Member States have written to the European Commission to formally request the re-establishment of the Commission-mandated EU Expert Group on Gambling.

The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) fully supports re-establishing the Expert Group to help encourage and support more common and joined-up approaches towards regulating Europe’s gambling market.

The Expert Group provided a platform for gambling regulators to exchange information, share best practices and work together on joint initiatives, such as the European Commission’s 2014 Recommendation on consumer protection in online gambling. The group consisted of representatives from the EU’s gambling authorities but was disbanded by the Commission in 2018 despite most gambling regulators considering it to be a success.

“There is currently no EU framework for gambling regulators to even communicate, let alone to jointly tackle the big issues affecting Europe’s online gambling sector. Most of these issues are cross-border in nature and require common solutions. We therefore welcome the strong commitment to regulatory cooperation and call to action from the majority of Europe’s gambling regulators. The message to the European Commission is clear: both gambling regulators and the sector itself are united in support of the Expert Group and call upon the Commission to reinstate the Expert Group,” Maarten Haijer, Secretary-General of EGBA, said.

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