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Compliance Updates

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

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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

ESA Gaming gains ISO27001 accreditation

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ESA Gaming gains ISO27001 accreditation
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Innovative games provider ESA Gaming has been awarded a ISO27001 certification which will enable it to enter additional regulated markets.

The certification underlines ESA Gaming’s commitment to information security standards and will facilitate the supplier’s move into jurisdictions such as Switzerland and Greece which is using it as a regulatory benchmark.

The international certification is awarded when a set level of information security standards are reached, ensuring best practice is observed in this discipline.

The milestone plays an important part in ESA Gaming’s growth strategy which will see the supplier enter new markets and further expand in regulated territories around the globe to offer its portfolio of EasySwipe™ games to new audiences.

The mobile-first games are designed to offer increased cross-sell opportunities to sportsbooks by allowing users to enjoy the best quality casino games without disrupting the sports betting experience.

ESA Gaming’s content is currently certified in Portugal, Italy, and Colombia and the supplier holds a licence in Greece and Malta with more jurisdictions to be announced shortly.

Miroslav Hristodulo, ICT & Security Consultant at ESA Gaming, said: “We are pleased to receive this ISO27001 accreditation following a rigorous certification process to ensure we are compliant with the highest security standards.

“We believe this certification will allow us to expand our global reach, strengthen the relationship we have with partners and further position ourselves as a trusted supplier to the online gaming industry.”

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Australia

LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR A NEW CASINO REGULATOR

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LAYING THE FOUNDATIONS FOR A NEW CASINO REGULATOR
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The Bergin Inquiry’s key recommendation for a standalone casino regulator is well on its way to becoming a reality, with temporary arrangements put in place to support the new structure.

The Independent Liquor & Gaming Authority (ILGA) has announced practical interim arrangements ahead of legislative changes to establish the independent casino regulator.

In August 2021 the Government agreed to support all 19 recommendations from the Bergin Inquiry Report on the regulation of casinos in NSW and the suitability of Crown Resorts to hold a restricted gaming licence.

Work then started to redesign the regulatory structure of NSW casinos, with a view to introducing legislative changes to parliament in mid-2022.

ILGA Chairperson Philip Crawford said until legislative change is finalised, the interim arrangements will enhance the management of existing and emerging risks in the current casino regulatory environment, particularly the risks of money laundering and other financial crimes associated with casino activities.

“We need improved capacity now and that’s what these interim arrangements will provide for,” Mr Crawford said.

It is expected the arrangements will start in February 2022 and include: 

  • Functional separation of casino regulation from liquor and gaming regulation within the current casino regulator, ILGA, including some ILGA members dedicated to the consideration and determination of casino matters.
  • Changing the appointment of the current ILGA chairperson Philip Crawford from part-time to full-time to enable a stronger leadership focus and commitment to casino regulation.
  • Appointment of a new ILGA board member with anti-money laundering expertise.
  • Allocation of additional resources to relevant teams within the Department of Customer Service to better support ILGA’s exercise of its legislative functions and powers.
  • Development of a new Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Customer Service and AUSTRAC to strengthen collaboration and information sharing between the agencies.

The arrangements reinforce the ILGA’s strong commitment to ensuring casino operations in NSW are free from criminal influence, and the potential risks of harm associated with casino activities are adequately monitored and contained.

“ILGA will use the new arrangements to further enhance its ability to identify and address organised crime in casinos and to expand its cooperation with the ACIC, AUSTRAC and the NSW Police Force,” Mr Crawford said.

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Compliance Updates

Soft2Bet secures Danish Gaming licence

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Soft2Bet secures Danish Gaming licence
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Casino and sportsbook platform provider Soft2Bet has obtained licences from the Danish Gambling Authority, Spillemyndigheden, to begin offering a wide range of igaming verticals in Denmark.

The licences cover sports betting, as well as online casino games like roulette, baccarat, punto banco, blackjack, poker, online bingo and slots.

Soft2Bet’s entry into the Danish market is the latest strategic move for the operator group that is currently in the process of expanding its global footprint across several regulated markets.

The move further grows the company’s presence in the Nordics, having secured a licence to operate in Sweden in 2019 from the Swedish Gambling Authority, Spelinspektionen.

The company complied with all the country’s strenuous player safety obligations, proving to be fully compliant with its various regulatory requirements.

Peter Christian Noer, Head of Country Team at Soft2Bet said: “Achieving this licence is a huge moment for Soft2Bet. Our entire team has put in a tremendous amount of effort and worked tirelessly to ensure we met all the requirements and deadlines to achieve this important milestone in our company’s history.

“We now look forward to launching our innovative igaming brands on the Danish market that have proven successful in other jurisdictions because of their state-of-the-art features, unique game supply and strong player protection tools. We only launched in Sweden less than two years ago and have taken significant market shares there ever since. We are convinced that we can do the same on the Danish market before long.

“This massive achievement is the product of uncompromising dedication and one more great accomplishment for our outstanding team to be proud about. It’s also important to thank the Danish Gambling Authority for a positive, collaborative and helpful dialogue throughout the licence application process.”

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