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Compliance Updates

Lotteritilsynet to Fine SEOButler

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Lotteritilsynet to Fine SEOButler
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Lotteritilsynet, the gambling regulator of Norway, is to fine the SEO service provider SEOButler NOK2000 (€198) per day for promoting illegal gambling websites.

The regulator has previously issued warnings to SEOButler. It first ordered the company to cease promoting unlicensed gambling websites on its platforms in December.

It followed that in March with a warning that it would issue a fine if SEOButler didn’t cease to market the sites.

SEOButler responded by claiming that access to its sites was blocked for Norwegian IP addresses, but in a review carried out last month, the Norwegian regulator found that four sites had dot.no domains and were available to users in the country.

While many SEOButler sites were indeed blocked to Norwegian users, Lotteritilsynet found that Tjenpengeronline.no, Fotballreisetips.no, Finnstilling.no and Startsidendin.no were operational and promoting unlicensed gaming.

Lotteritilsynet said: “SEOButler has on a number of occasions been made aware of breaches of the marketing and dissemination ban.

“Lotteritilsynet takes a serious view of repeated breaches of the regulations, especially after the actor is made aware of which specific cases are considered to be breaches of the rules.

“Furthermore, SEOButler has in several cases given the impression that it has complied with the orders to stop its illegal business.”

It will fine the company to the tune of NOK2000 (€198) per day as of May 25, up to a maximum of NOK200,000 (€19,800).

The Norwegian Lotteries Act 1998-99 states that a fine should be large enough “that it eliminates the benefits the offender may have by continuing the illegal activity” but “should not be unreasonably high”.

Compliance Updates

UKGC Fines Betway £400,000 for Marketing on Children’s Webpages

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Online gaming operator Betway has been fined £408,915 by the UK Gambling Commission for marketing on the children’s pages of West Ham United Football Club’s website.

Commission enquiries revealed that between 14 April 2020 and 6 November 2021 the operator’s gambling logo, which linked to its website, was displayed on a webpage offering the opportunity to print a teddy bear for children to colour in.

Enquiries also revealed a logo with a link to the operator’s webpage featured on the “Young Hammers at Home” webpage between 24 October 2021 and 15 November 2021.

Both advertisements breached Commission rules stating gambling advertising must be socially responsible.

Leanne Oxley, Gambling Commission Director of Enforcement, said: “Protecting children from gambling harm is at the heart of what we do.

“Although there is no suggestion that the operator was deliberately targeting children, or that children had been allowed to gamble, we take the breach of any rules aimed at protecting children extremely seriously.

“We note the remedial actions since taken by licensee but advise all operators to learn from this case and ensure that they take responsibility and have the correct processes in place so that websites directed at children do not include advertisements for gambling.”

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Compliance Updates

STATEMENT FROM LIVESPINS

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Twitch’s statement banning remote licensed gambling sites from being streamed has made waves across the industry today. At HappyHour, we’ve long anticipated such news and what is certain is that gambling on mainstream media platforms will be volatile. We believe that the industry itself needs to take control of the space and provide a healthy, sustainable and highly engaging offer.

We foresee community and social experiences will be the future of online casino, which is why we invested heavily into Livespins.

Livespins gives the operators themselves the power to host a fully certified turnkey streaming platform on their website with the rigor and player protection lacking on mainstream media. Livespins offers players the ability to view and play the games they love, with reliable idols, through the account and balance they have created – where age checks, responsible gambling tools, and general safe play policies and processes are already in place.

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Compliance Updates

Swedish Gambling Regulator Orders Unlicensed Casineia to Exit Market

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Casineia operator Ease Gaming NV has been banned from offering games of chance in Sweden following a decision by Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen.

Casineia is an online casino operated by Ease Gaming, which is based in Curaçao. The operator does not have a Swedish licence and so, according to Sweden’s 2019 Gambling Act, is ineligible to operate in the Nordic country. Despite this, an investigation by Spelinspektionen found that the site was available to and aimed at Swedish consumers.

Ease Gaming will also be prohibited from offering gambling activities in the country on its other websites: Slothive, Gamblii and Jinxcasino.

Spelinspektionen said: “The Gambling Act applies to games provided in Sweden, with specifically stated exceptions. It is a prohibitive legislation that is based on the principle that everyone who acts on the Swedish gaming market must have a licence. It is therefore not permitted to provide games without a licence when one is required.

“The purpose of the new regulation is for gambling to be channeled to offers from responsible, reliable and controllable players. The regulation is based on the fact that everyone who acts on the Swedish gambling market must have a Swedish gambling licence and that other actors without a licence must be shut out.

“Spelinspektionen considers that, with regard to consumer protection and to guarantee gaming safety, it is important that the decision is complied with immediately.”

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