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Germany Approves Controversial iGaming Tax Bill

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Germany Approves Controversial iGaming Tax Bill
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The controversial “GlüNeuRStv” (Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag) which is the new German state treaty on gambling was approved by the Finance Committee last week.

The bill was put together by the Bundesrat which is the Federal Council in Germany and it received a lot of opposition from online casino stakeholders as they felt the bill was unfair to the iGaming market.

State legislators were confident that even though there was opposition to the bill from online casino stakeholders, they would get the necessary floor vote to pass the bill and that is exactly what happened.

The main point of contention in this new bill is that it looks to impose a 5.3% betting tax on online casino and online poker games. The Finance Committee pointed out that this 5.3% tax will not only be applicable to licensed gaming operators but also unlicensed gaming operators.

Top iGaming operators in Germany like LeoVegas claim that the new regulations which they have been trying to comply with are significantly hurting their bottom line. One of the new regulations will limit each spin on an online slot game to €1.

This is a big blow to online casino operators in Germany as they tend to make over 50% of their gross gaming revenues via online slot games. By putting a cap on the spending limit for each spin, online casino operators would lose a lot of money. These new regulations will come into effect on July 1.

Central Europe

Responsible Gambling in the Czech Republic

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Responsible Gambling in the Czech Republic
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The unceasing European trend in emphasizing the policy of reducing the harms of gambling and the principles of responsible gambling was also an inspiration for the Czech Republic, and it has been following this trend since last week.

The Institute for Gambling Regulation (IFGR), which represents 95% of the legal gambling market in the Czech Republic, with 35 members including both online and land-based operators, test laboratories as well as manufacturers, introduced last week a unique comprehensive project called “Responsible Gambling”.

As part of this project, the Institute prepared “Code of Responsible Conduct of Operators”. The gambling operators have undertaken to abide by its partial rules, which go beyond the already strict Czech regulation, which will contribute to a safer gambling environment, that is through responsible behaviour and conduct towards players. “Code of Responsible Advertising and Marketing” is also included.

The Code of Responsible Conduct of Operators contains very specific 26 obligations, which are divided into 4 areas:

  1. Raising Awareness of Responsible Gambling
  • For example, there is the obligation to inform customers about responsible gambling immediately after registration on the website, by e-mail or by an annual notification of the possibility of setting limits

 

  1. Prevention Of High-Risk Behaviour
  • Early detection of high-risk gambling using a mathematical algorithm for finding high-risk players and early targeted intervention and assistance to these players

 

  1. Training of Employees in The Field of Responsible Gambling
  • Basic (so that everyone is aware of responsible gambling)
  • Special (employees in selected positions, e.g., RG specialists, VIP marketing, employees in the premises)

 

  1. Responsible Marketing and Advertising
  • Suspension of marketing to high-risk players, persons registered in the Register of Excluded Persons and persons under 18 years of age

 

As part of the Responsible Gambling project, the Institute, in cooperation with operators and the National Institute of Mental Health, is creating a predictive mathematical model that will evaluate real-time changes in the behaviour of a gambling game participant. The created software will be able to recognize the moment when a player starts betting risky and immediately alert the player to this fact. In cooperation with leading Czech scientific experts, the subsequent intervention and immediate assistance which shall help the player regain the lost control over their gambling is then provided.

The uniqueness of this project lies in the fact that it will not only be the implementation of the created software at the level of individual operators, but there is an agreement that in the future, a single “bar” will be set for all involved operators. Therefore, once the software indicates a player’s risky gambling with one of the operators, the others will perceive the player’s gambling the same.

In order to provide high-risk players with adequate help, we are building a training centre for employees and the professional assistance network consisting of addictologists, financial and legal advisers in cooperation with experts.

On Thursday, 16 September 2021, a ceremonial presentation of the Responsible Gambling project took place; participants included the director of the IFGR, Mgr. Jan Řehola, Ph.D., Simo Dragicevic (researcher dealing with player behaviour and predicting its riskiness, founder of Bet Buddy), PhDr. Ladislav Csémy (National Institute for Health Choking), doc. MUDr. Viktor Mravčík, Ph.D. (National Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Addictions (NMS) at the Secretariat of the Government Council for the Coordination of Drug Policy at the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic) and representatives of state administration and addictology organizations.

As part of the ceremonial presentation of the Responsible Gambling project, representatives of the four largest online operators in the Czech Republic, namely FORTUNA, CHANCE, TIPSPORT and SAZKA, signed the Code of Responsible Conduct of Operators.

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Central Europe

STS seals long-term official data and trading partnership with Genius Sports

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STS seals long-term official data and trading partnership with Genius Sports
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STS, the leading betting operator in the regulated Polish market, has announced a new official data and trading partnership with Genius Sports to drive the expansion of its in-play offering.

STS will utilize Genius Sports’ award-winning LiveData and LiveTrading solutions, delivering official data and pinpoint live pricing across thousands of sporting events per year. Included in this partnership is Genius Sports’ extensive portfolio of premium official data rights, comprising Euroleague Basketball, Ekstraklasa and Polish Basketball League.

STS is not only the largest Polish bookmaker, but we are also one of the biggest technology and data-driven companies in the iGaming industry,” said Mateusz Juroszek, CEO of STS. “One of our advantages is our own technology and the ability to easily implement the most attractive tools from the best suppliers. This is one of the reasons why we generate 46% of turnover in the Polish sports betting market. We are constantly improving the customer journey at STS, and in-play odds, powered by Genius Sports will be a pillar of this.”

“Partnering with STS, the leading operator in the Polish betting market is further validation of our global commitment to official sports data,” said James McKiernan, Head of Commercial, EMEA at Genius Sports. ”With access to the fastest, most accurate and reliable live betting content, STS will deliver Polish players with best in-class betting experiences on the biggest sports leagues.”

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Central Europe

CEEGCVirtual – Final agenda and meet the sponsors

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The virtual CEEGC is taking place on 22 September in a virtual layout.

The team at Hipther Agency is excited to announce the final agenda of one of the most important conferences in the Central and Eastern European region, the CEEGC.

The yearly Central and Eastern European Gaming Conference was launched in 2016 and is the crown event for the gambling industry professionals that are looking to dive into quality discussions about the CEE, CIS, and Balkans.

Register here for free | View the agenda

The focus in 2021 is on industry updates from Romania, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and the final agenda looks the following way:

22 SEPTEMBER 2021 – All times CEST (Central European Summer Time)

– 9:30 – 10:15 – INDUSTRY UPDATE: ROMANIA
Moderated by Andrius Gabnys – Founding Attorney at Gabnys.Gabniene
Panelists:

  • Nicola Longmuir – Chief Commercial Officer at Push Gaming
  • Cosmina Simion – Managing Partner at Simion & Baciu
  • Dan Iliovici – Vice President at Rombet

– 10:15 – 11:30 – INDUSTRY UPDATE: CENTRAL EUROPE
Moderated by Andrius Gabnys – Founding Attorney at Gabnys.Gabniene
Panelists:

  • Dr. Robert Skalina – Senior Advisor at WH Partners
  • Helembai Gabor – Senior Associate at Bird & Bird Budapest
  • Dr. Jan Rehola – Director at IFGR and Partner at PS Legal
  • Aleksej Mišković – Senior Partner at Law Firm Glinska & Mišković Ltd.
  • Jaka Repansek – Media and TECH Law Expert
  • Piotr Dynowski LL. M. – Partner/Attorney at Law/Head of IP/Media/Tech&Comms Practice at Bird & Bird Poland

– 11:30 – 12:30 – CEE AND CIS AS THE MOST IMPORTANT HUBS FOR ESPORTS
Moderated by Lyubomira Lazarova – Chief Marketing Officer at UltraPlay
Panelists:

  • Anton Janér – Founder & CTO at Abios
  • Vlastimil Venclik – Founder and CEO of Oddin.gg
  • Peter Ivanov – Head of Trading at UltraPlay
  • Alexandr Iaroshenko – CEO at Betbazar

– 12:30 – 13:15 – INDUSTRY UPDATE: D-A-CH
Moderated by Dr. Simon Planzer – Partner at PLANZER LAW
Panelists:

  • Dr. Christian Rapani – Attorney at Law at Dr. Christian Rapani
  • Dr. Holger Jakob – Senior Lawyer at MELCHERS LAW

– 13:15 – 14:00 – INDUSTRY UPDATE: BALKANS
Moderated by Joe Ewens – Managing Editor of Vixio
Panelists:

  • Lazar Miuchin – VP of Strategic Partnerships at NSoft
  • Luka Popović – Partner at BDK Advokati

– 14:00 – 15:00 – INDUSTRY UPDATE: CIS
Moderated by Dr. Simon Planzer – Partner at PLANZER LAW
Panelists:

  • Tamar Jikia – Senior Associate at MG Law Office
  • Araksi Sargsyan – Head Of Business Development at DS Virtual Gaming
  • Ilya Machavariani – CEO and Senior Partner at 4H Agency

If you haven’t already registered, make sure to register here for free.

The conference is sponsored by UltraPlayNordic Gambling, and PLANZER LAW.

UltraPlay is a multi-awarded betting provider, founded in 2010, offering a turn-key iGaming platform to online operators worldwide. The company focuses on sports and eSports betting, live betting, white-label, online casino, and blockchain technology.

Assembled by a team of iGaming professionals with vast experience in betting product development, operations, eSports, and marketing, UltraPlay is a trusted partner for delivering superior sports betting software and odds products to its customers.

Learn more about the company here: www.ultraplay.co

Nordic Gambling is the only legal firm in the Nordic countries that specializes in gambling-related law such as licensing, compliance advice, and public affairs.

They have gained extensive experience in the industry from working with operators, suppliers, service providers, and government regulators. Their team has been closely involved in the development of the law and regulation in a number of European jurisdictions, including Denmark and Sweden.

The partners of Nordic Gambling are recognized among the leading legal experts in the gambling industry and are qualified to assist you with whichever legal issue you may encounter.

The team at Nordic Gambling is also very pleased to announce that they have contributed a section on Sweden, first published in the latest version of the International Comparative Legal Guide to Gambling 2020. You can read that chapter here.

Visit https://www.nordicgambling.com/ for more details.

PLANZER LAW is a law firm specializing in gaming & entertainment and technology & online businesses. Its team notably provides strategic, regulatory and legal advice on all matters relating to EU/EEA and Swiss gaming regulation. PLANZER LAW enables and facilitates business development and compliance programs. Clients profit from an unrivaled global network and highly specialized expertise.

Dr. Simon Planzer, founding partner of PLANZER LAW has been recognized by the leading ranking by Chambers & Partners as a global gaming law expert. He has been endorsed by interviewees as “absolutely excellent” and “the top Swiss lawyer” for gaming.

For more details visit https://www.planzer-law.ch/en/

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