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Compliance Updates

Regulator-Issued Sanctions to Gambling companies in Q1 2021 Exceed First Half Total of 2020

George Miller

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Regulator-Issued Sanctions to Gambling companies in Q1 2021 Exceed First Half Total of 2020
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A New report from gambling compliance tracker website GamblingIndustryfines.com has tracked over £24m / $33m in gaming operator fines for the first quarter of the year.

The report shows that European and UK gambling regulators Issued more fines to gambling companies in the first quarter of 2021 than they levied in the first half of 2020

Between them, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), Swedish Gambling Authority (Spelinspektionen) and the Netherlands’ Kansspelautoriteit issued sanctions to thirteen online and land-based gambling operators in Q1 of 2021 – which included financial penalties and warnings.

The largest financial sanctions so far in 2021 came in March when the UKGC fined online casino firm Casumo £6,000,000 ($8.2M) for breaching anti-money laundering rules and failing to ensure that players were gambling responsibly.

Gambling companies hit by regulatory settlements included White Hat Gaming, Virtual Coin Gaming, Hajper Ltd, ComeOn Sweden, Casinostugan, Hillside Sports, Clockfair, Shaftesbury Casino, Les Croupiers Casino, Double Diamond Gaming.

Key failings by gambling companies fined in 2021 included:

  • Anti money-laundering failings
  • Social responsibility failing
  • For Offering Odds on a Match Featuring Underage Players
  • Offering bonuses in breach of local gaming laws
  • Failure to prevent Overspending & placing limits on accounts
  • Operating unlicensed domains
  • failing in identifying customers at risk of gambling related harm
  • Not having appropriate Anti-Money Laundering (AML) measures.

The increase in fines & gambling-industry regulations worldwide by governments and regulators could make 2021 a record-breaking year for compliance-related gambling industry fines.

To view detailed information for all fines issued to gambling companies in Q1 2020, see the full Q1 2021 report at Gamblingindustryfines.com.

Compliance Updates

Relax Gaming Gibraltar Ltd secures coveted UKGC licence

George Miller

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Relax Gaming Gibraltar Ltd secures coveted UKGC licence
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Relax Gaming, the igaming aggregator and supplier of unique content, has seen its Gibraltar company, Relax Gaming Gibraltar Ltd, approved by the UK Gambling Commission, signalling further growth opportunities in one of the world’s strongest markets.

The approval will see Relax’s roster of quality casino games made available to UK operators through its Gibraltar arm. Another milestone in the company’s impressive recent growth, Relax has already successfully transferred operator partners Boylesports, 32Red and BetVictor onto its Gibraltar network, with Entain’s UK brands, including Ladbrokes and Coral, amongst the next to follow suit.

The new licence is the company latest, following its approval from the Gibraltar licensing authority and in parallel of the group other companies licences with the Malta  Gaming  Authority, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission and the Romanian National Gaming Office, multiplying the points of supply for the regulated markets.

The expansion further into the UK comes as Relax continues to strengthen its position in regulated markets including the Nordics, another key market renowned for its discerning player-base. Its performance there was recognised earlier this year with an EGR Nordics Casino Content Supplier award, further highlighting Relax’s status as an in-demand provider in regulated territories.

Commenting on the acquisition of the UKGC licence, Tommi Maijala, Relax Gaming CEO, said:

“Following a fruitful relationship with the UKGC through our Malta-based company, having all our products and services approved for our Gibraltar branch is another major commercial highlight for us. Its significance will be felt across the business, including by our valued third-party partners.

“This licence acquisition represents fresh opportunity in our drive to deliver excellence and growth across all regulated markets.”

Relax Gaming has an established reputation as one of the industry’s leading B2B suppliers, providing its partners with an award-winning portfolio of more than 2000 online casino games.

As well as featuring headline slots from its in-house studios, Relax Gaming also offers a vast collection of content aggregated through its Silver Bullet and Powered By Relax partnership programmes.

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Australia

BERGIN REPORT UPDATE RE CROWN’S BARANGAROO CASINO

George Miller

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BERGIN REPORT UPDATE RE CROWN’S BARANGAROO CASINO
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The NSW Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority has reached agreement with Crown Resorts on several matters regarding operation of the Barangaroo casino.

Crown has agreed with the Authority to:

  • pay a proportion of the costs of the Bergin Inquiry,
  • immediately commence payment of the Casino Supervisory Levy,
  • not operate any international junket operations,
  • make all gaming in its casinos cashless with card technology linked to identity and a recognised financial institution, and
  • phase out indoor smoking at its Australian resorts by December 2022.

The agreement was reached following discussions between the regulator and Crown Resorts about issues identified in the Bergin Report concerning the future management and operation of Crown’s Barangaroo casino.

In separate discussions, The Star has also agreed to cease all international junket operations and work with the Authority in moving towards cashless gaming, using a card linked to identity and to a recognised financial institution.

In seeking to establish that it is suitable to hold a casino licence in NSW:

Crown has undergone significant Board renewal,
All senior executives, against whom concerns were raised by Bergin, have left,
All senior executive positions are being filled by candidates with relevant expertise and experience, and
Independent audits are well under way on several aspects of Crown’s operations.

ILGA chair Philip Crawford said Crown was making significant progress in addressing the serious concerns raised in the Bergin Report.

“Crown, through its Executive Chair Helen Coonan, is addressing many of the issues which caused Commissioner Bergin to find that it was unsuitable to hold a casino licence in NSW,” Mr Crawford said.

“The Authority has also entered into an agreement with CPH to address issues around its influence and control over the management of Crown.”

Mr Crawford said an Independent Monitor is being appointed to report back to the Authority on several of Crown’s structural changes, with particular focus on its corporate governance, anti-money laundering measures and culture.

“The Authority will await the report from the Independent Monitor, and the result of the financial accounts audit, before making a final decision on suitability,” he said.

“Any changes to Crown’s ownership structure, including takeover or merger proposals, require the Authority to consider a range of issues including undertaking full probity assessments of any new entrants, how a merged entity would operate, and the extent to which any existing agreements with Crown would need to be reviewed.

“Any concerns around monopolies would be a matter for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission,” Mr Crawford said.

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Compliance Updates

Maxima Compliance launches multi jurisdiction compliance safe solution

George Miller

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Maxima Compliance launches multi jurisdiction compliance safe solution
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Full-service compliance provider Maxima Compliance has launched Maxima DataVault, a proprietary multi-jurisdictional “SAFE” solution through which operators will be able to comply with the requirements of several European regulated markets.

Maxima DataVault platform allows operators and suppliers to send raw XML or JSON data that Maxima adapts into the required regulators’ format in order to record and store gambling transactions.

Via an easy-to-use customer console, users can retrieve the latest API documentation, transparent spend and invoices, the amount of data transferred, and a variety of usage reports.

The service launches for regulated jurisdictions including the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Romania, Greece, Portugal and Spain.

Maxima DataVault comes with free support for system certification, and the option for additional support with set-up – particularly useful when entering new jurisdictions.

Antonio Zanghi, CEO of Maxima Compliance, said: “Maxima DataVault is a state-of-the-art technology platform designed to fit all types of clients, from the small operator to the largest. Its multi-jurisdictional approach enables operators to conduct a single integration for multiple jurisdictions as well as providing a very clear and simple pricing model, saving time and money.

“With a 99.8 percent uptime guaranteed, analytics to ensure consistency of the data and dedicated technical account management team, Maxima DataVault brings peace of mind to an area we know causes concern for many operators.”

Maxima DataVault is the latest product from Maxima Compliance. In March, the provider announced the launch of Maxima Quality Assurance, a new QA service to help suppliers eliminate the risk of software or compliance issues and delays as games are certified.

And last year saw the creation of Complitech, the world’s first technical compliance database for the global gaming industry.

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