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Compliance Updates

Ukraine’s SBU Closes More Than 30 Illegal Gambling Operations This Month

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Ukraine’s SBU Closes More Than 30 Illegal Gambling Operations This Month
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Ukraine’s Security Service (SBU), in collaboration with the nation’s Commission for Licensing of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL), has shut down more than 30 illegal casinos and gambling venues across the country this month alone.

The regions in which they were shut down included Kiev, Odessa, Donetsk and Zhytomyr, as well as some others, with some of these venues being run by groups categorised as terrorist organisations by the security service in the country.

The local security services were able to get hold of more than 600 units of computer equipment, 5 roulette wheels, some playing chips, cards, 14 poker tables, cash, video recorders and much more during an inquiry.

As of this moment, the possibility of the involvement of some law enforcement officers in these illegal operations is being investigated.

The SBU went on to say that it found out that a portion of the funds that were acquired through these operations were used in the financing of some self-proclaimed states within the country, such as the Luhansk People’s Republic (LPR) and Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR).

Ukraine sees both of these “states” as being terrorist organisations, despite the fact that most other countries (such as the US and Russia) and international organisations do not use this label for these groups.

Asia

Indonesian Govt to Form Task Force to Tackle Online Gambling

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Indonesian President Joko Widodo has chaired a limited meeting which discussed the efforts taken to eradicate online gambling in the country on Thursday 18 April, at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta. Minister for Communication and Information Technology Budi Arie Setiadi, in his press statement after the limited meeting, said that the Government will form a task force to counter online gambling.

“It has been decided that within a week, we will formulate measures to form an integrated task force in order to eradicate online gambling,” Budi said.

Minister for Communication and Information Technology mentioned that forming a cross-ministries/institutions task force is aimed to handle online gambling more thoroughly, collaboratively and efficiently.

“Gambling is an illegal act based on regulations. So, we need to impose measures effectively to settle it,” Budi stated, adding that his ministry will focus on handling online gambling websites and contents, while the law enforcement officers will enforce the law.

“Our authority is only to take down the websites, while the Financial Services Authority (OJK) blocks their financial accounts, and then followed by law enforcement officers, police officers, and the public prosecution service officers,” he remarked.

Similarly, OJK’s Chairperson of Commissioner Board Mahendra Siregar also highlighted the importance of holistic measures in eradicating online gambling in Indonesia.

“Some online gambling activities are not conducted in Indonesia, some are cross-borders, some do not use bank accounts, some needs to be tracked and traced through bank accounts, including transfers and so on. So, the next layers must also be addressed, and that way it leaves no empty rooms,” Mahendra explained.

Mahendra said that according to the institution’s authority, from the end of 2023 to March 2024, OJK has blocked around 5000 bank accounts that indicate its relation to online gambling.

“So far, we have cooperated closely with Communications and Information Technology Ministry. So, if we receive a list of bank accounts suspected to be used or are being used in online gambling activities, we immediately block them, and it has reached up to 5000 bank accounts,” Mahendra mentioned.

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Compliance Updates

BC.GAME Secures New Curacao LOK License, Enhancing Legal Compliance and Global Reach

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BC.GAME has secured a new gaming license that fully complies with Curacao’s updated regulatory framework, the National Ordinance for Games of Chance (LOK). This achievement reaffirms BC.GAME’s unwavering commitment to providing a secure and legally compliant gambling environment for its global user base.

Jack Dorsey, CEO of BC.GAME, said: “We are immensely grateful for Curacao’s robust regulatory framework, which has been pivotal in the gambling industry. Obtaining this license is a vital milestone in BC.GAME’s ongoing development and our commitment to providing a trustworthy and secure gambling experience.”

The introduction of the LOK legislation, designed to replace the previous National Ordinance on Offshore Games of Hazard (NOOGH) framework, has set a new precedent in the gambling license domain. Under the NOOGH regime, BC.GAME operated under a sub-license issued by Curacao Interactive Licensing NV (CIL). The new LOK framework, however, brings about significant changes, including the discontinuation of new sub-license issuance and stringent requirements for existing licensees seeking renewal.

Curacao was one of the pioneering nations in establishing regulations for gaming activities. Consequently, this small Caribbean island nation has become a hub for gaming businesses worldwide aiming to adhere to the country’s comprehensive gaming legal framework. BC.GAME has set up a local office to ensure compliance with regulations and to offer support to fulfill the requirements of the local gaming ecosystem.

Acquisition of the license, specifically designed for LOK services, coincides with BC.GAME’s efforts to enhance user trust, forge new partnerships and broaden the accessibility of its comprehensive gaming services. Obtaining licenses and ensuring compliance are crucial steps in solidifying BC.GAME’s position as a dependable and well-regulated global online gaming platform.

“Curacao is an essential first step in our broader global strategy. As we continue to accelerate our expansion, expect more exciting developments and good news in the near future,” Jack Dorsey said.

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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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