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Compliance Updates

France’s ANJ Flags Concerns Over Licensees’ Player Protection Strategies

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France’s ANJ Flags Concerns Over Licensees’ Player Protection Strategies
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L’Autorité nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has approved or suggested improvements to player protection plans licensees were ordered to submit as part of the French gambling regulator’s increased focus on social responsibility.

 The regulator examined action plans from all operators active in the country, including the two former monopolies, La Française des Jeux (FDJ) and Pari-Mutuel Urbain (PMU).

 As well as approving 96 plans, the ANJ said it may make decisions later on some land-based casinos which may only open at a later date because of restrictions related to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

 There was no indication that any plan was rejected outright.

 The ANJ said it prioritised four main issues: prohibiting minors from gambling, allowing for self-exclusion and other checks, identifying and supporting potential problem gamblers and having a general policy that focused on protecting these groups.

 Examining the plan of FDJ, the regulator approved the plan with no further conditions. It said the lottery operator “reflects the operator’s desire to meet” the French government’s objectives regarding protecting minors and problem players.

 “It is distinguished in particular by the setting up of an ambitious program aimed at guaranteeing the ban on gambling by minors on all game types, innovative prevention initiatives, diversified and adapted to the profiles of players, and the existence of an advanced player identification and support system for pathological gamblers,” the regulator said.

 For PMU, however, it raised some concerns and thus added further conditions.

 “Further progress is expected from the operator to fully achieve the objective of preventing excessive or pathological gambling,” ANJ said.

 In particular, it said tools and resources for problem gamblers were not easily available, while identification of problem gamblers and training of employees were also not up to standard.

 While the ANJ approved this plan, it told the operator it must improve these areas. This included providing technical specifications of its system to recognise problem gamblers, taking the effort to strengthen its training system and ensuring the accessibility of RG tools.

Compliance Updates

A suite of the mobile-first developer’s top performing slots have been certified for the newly regulated Dutch market

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Betixon, the mobile first developer at the cutting-edge of online casino content and gameplay, has had a selection of its top-performing games certified for launch in the newly regulated Netherlands online gambling market.

The certification means that operators can add more quality and diversity to their game lobbies with titles such as Boots of Luck, Wild Wolf, Book of Sheba, Vampire Call, Age of Halvar and Reign of Zeus, with each slot designed and developed to deliver a highly engaging experience on mobile.

Securing certification in the Netherlands forms part of the developer’s wider plans to make its content available to operators in key regulated markets across Europe and beyond. Its titles are already live in the UK, Lithuania, Estonia, Italy, Colombia and Romania.

The developer has quickly established itself as a leading provider of mobile-first casino content with each slot combining striking design with authentic sound and thrilling gameplay delivered via a range of exciting bonuses and features.

Its latest game mechanic, PowerUpSpins™ where a number of power ups are being triggered during gameplay to provide extra excitement for players. The PowerUpSpins™ line will see its first 3 games in the series during December 2021 and Q1 2022 naming Expedition, Lucid Fruits and Magic Lamp.

Betixon also pushes boundaries in terms of the features it offers across its suite of games. This includes spinXP, a social feature that takes engagement to the next level by allowing players to share wins in real time and interact with others.

The developer has already lined up a number of strategic partners in the Netherlands and will be rolling out its games across their lobbies shortly. It is also in discussions with other operators in the market with plans to offer exclusive and branded content in due course.

Lior Cohen, Chief Executive Officer at Betixon, said: “The Netherlands is one of the most important markets in Europe and we believe that it will grow at a rapid rate in the coming months and years now that a proper regulatory framework is in place.

“Our slots have been designed to deliver an exceptional player experience on mobile and each game is packed with eye-catching graphics and animations that we combine with smart math and mechanics to ensure players are entertained with every spin.

“We will be going live with our first operators shortly and looking forward to partnering with more as we establish Betixon as a leading content provider in the Dutch market.”

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Compliance Updates

UKGC: Jail for man who misused lottery profits

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UKGC: Jail for man who misused lottery profits
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A man who deprived a charity of £285,000 as he ran a lottery on its behalf has been jailed for three months.

Simon Rydings, 50, of Edinburgh, will also pay £1,000 compensation to Sheffield Hospitals Charity within 18 months of leaving prison.

Birmingham Magistrates’ Court heard how Rydings failed to pass on £285,000 of lottery proceeds to the charity whilst he was Chief Executive Officer of Capen Limited – a gambling operator with an external lottery manager licence.

In a case prosecuted by the Gambling Commission Rydings admitted misusing lottery proceeds (under the 2005 Gambling Act) between 1 January 2018 and 31 March 2020.

Rydings told the court he had spent all the money on other costs running the business and that he did not have the funds to return all £285,000.

Helen Venn, Gambling Commission Executive Director, said: “Lotteries in this country can only be run for good causes – charities and other non-commercial organisations who run lotteries rely heavily on the income they receive from lotteries to support the important work they do.

“Simon Rydings completely failed as the CEO of a company with a Gambling Commission licence (ELM) and is now paying the price.

“Consumers in this country deserve to know that when they enter a lottery they are helping support their chosen cause – and we will not hesitate to take action against individuals who misuse funds in the way Rydings did.”

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Compliance Updates

HITSqwad secures UK Gambling Commission licence

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HITSqwad secures UK Gambling Commission licence
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Developer of innovative jackpot games given the green light to launch its content in the UK market with its debut set for early next year

HITSqwad, an innovative new game studio on a mission to become a leading provider of jackpot games, has been granted a Remote Gambling Software Licence by the UK Gambling Commission allowing it to make its online games available to operators in the UK market.

Securing this licence forms part of wider plans to launch its cutting-edge jackpot games in core regulated markets around the world, with its first titles set to debut to players in the UK via Playzido early next year.

HITSqwad is run by a team of experienced industry experts that have identified a gap in the market for flexible and customisable jackpot games that are fully compliant with regulatory requirements in each of the jurisdictions that its operator partners wish to target.

The provider is developing a series of jackpot themes, each of which will have a family of associated games. This will ensure its portfolio is varied while also allowing operators to identify the themes and brands their players engage with and then add more titles.

Each title will be developed with a mobile-first approach and will deliver unrivalled player engagement by providing a range of exciting features to trigger each jackpot.

Charl Geyser, CEO of HITSqwad, said: “Securing our UK Gambling Commission licence is a milestone moment for HITSqwad. Not only is it our first major licence, but it allows us to launch our content into one of the world’s largest online gambling markets.

“Our strategy going forward is to now secure additional licences in other key regulated markets with the objective being to provide as many operators and their customers with access to our innovative and exciting jackpot games as possible.

“Our games and platform have been built to be flexible and customisable, allowing us to easily ensure they meet the rules and regulations in each of the markets we target. The UK is a significant market for us and the wider industry, and we are thrilled to have been given the green light to enter the fray.”

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