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Compliance Updates

Endorhina’s Head of Legal reports on the Netherlands’ new gambling law

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Endorhina's Head of Legal reports on the Netherlands' new gambling law
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Jakub, Endorphina’s Head of Legal, shares his thoughts in a detailed report on the Netherlands’ new gaming application process. We learned that starting October 1st, 2021, the Netherlands will finally release their new law regulation for online gambling!

Jakub explains that the market now becomes open for all types of licenses, like bets on events during a sports match, bets on horse races, and much more. We also hear that there are no limits to the number of accepted licenses, as long as you meet all the requirements.

Dive into Jakub’s full report below:

As of October 1st, 2021, the online gambling market in the Netherlands will finally open. The Dutch Senate approved of the Remote Gambling Act in February of 2019 after years of delays. Before this, the Netherlands tried to fight only the worst offenders in illegal gaming. Nearly two years later, the law is finally scheduled to enter in full force. The online gambling licensing application process began on April 1st, 2021, and now we can finally look forward to its official beginning on October 1st.

The market only opens for the following types of licenses:

  • Casino games in which the players play against the operator;
  • Casino games in which the players play against each other;
  • Bets on events during a sports match or on the outcome of sports matches; and
  • Bets on the results of horse races and harness racing organized by or under auspices of the Dutch Draf

Market surveillance is done by a regulator – the Netherlands Gambling Authority is responsible also for the licensing process. As mentioned above, the licensing process opened on April 1st 2021, therefore from the date of drafting this article, the applications are just being accepted.

There is no limitation on the number of accepted licenses, therefore anyone who fulfills all requirements of the regulator is entitled to receive a license. The duration of the license is 5 (five) years, and the licensing fee is set at EUR 48,000.

Applicants should have their registered office in the EU or the European Economic Area, some exceptions are, however, admissible. Regarding server location requirements, the Control Database Specification document specifies that: “The legislation requires that the CDB final data repository must be located in the Netherlands physically separated from the operators gambling system. Both may be located in the same data centre if an operator chooses to do so, however, data stored in this main the CDB final data repository must be logistically and safely separated from any other data.”

In order to be entitled to receive the license, the decree states that the continuity of a license must be reasonably guaranteed. Therefore, the applicant for the license shall in any case provide among other assurance report confirming that the applicant is not in bankruptcy, under a moratorium of payments or where the applicant’s assets are not subject to an enforceable attachment.

All online gambling applications shall also be assessed against the criteria as per the policy rules which include operating without a permit. No applicants shall operate on the Dutch market in two years and nine months preceding the date on which the application was submitted and during the processing of the application.

Unauthorized operations are deemed when the following criteria are met:

  • The game offer took place on a website whose extension ended in .nl;
  • The game offer was wholly or partly in the Dutch language;
  • The relevant offer or its provider advertised on TV, radio or printed media aimed at the Dutch market;
  • For the games on offer, there was a use of domain name containing terms typical of the Netherlands in combination with the designation of games of chance;
  • The website(s) on which the games of chance were offered contained any features from which a focus on the Netherlands can be deduced; and
  • For the games of chance offered, it was possible to use means of payment that are exclusively or largely used by Dutch people;

 

Taxes are calculated from the gross gaming revenue of the operators currently the taxation is 30.1%. The taxation rate was increased from 29% to 30.1% from January 1, 2018, due to loss of income for the state caused by delays in the adoption of the Online Gambling Act. According to press release from the regulator, the gambling tax will be released back to 29% six months after the entry into force of the Online Gambling Act.

Expectations from this market are rather high. The Netherlands took its time – and at a cost of multiple delays, hopefully, they’ve prepared their regulation for the high demands of the gambling industry.

And that’s a wrap!

We hope you enjoyed reading Jakub’s official report on the Netherlands’ new gambling law. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us anytime. For now, stay tuned to more insights and new releases coming soon!

Compliance Updates

Hellenic Gaming Association Intensifies its Efforts to Combat Illegal Online Gambling

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The Hellenic Gaming Association (HGA) has intensified its efforts against the phenomenon of illegal online gambling, which has reached enormous proportions in recent years with incalculable economic and social impacts.

Following a lawsuit recently filed by the organisation under President Christos Panagopoulos against an internationally active company conducting illegal gambling in Greece without the necessary licensing from the Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC), a new lawsuit targets two well-known Greek influencers. These influencers, through their social media content, promote unlicensed gambling websites.

These internet personalities have posted a series of videos encouraging their mostly young audience, including minors, to visit these sites by sharing how they “managed” to win tens of thousands of euros by betting and playing on these illegal platforms. However, they conceal the fact that these are illegal gambling companies while enticing viewers with the promise of easy money.

It is important to highlight that their audience includes minors, who find an open door in the unlicensed environment where there are no controls or restrictions, unlike legal online companies where one must be at least 21 years old to open an account and play.

Besides the two Greek influencers, the association is planning to file reports to social media platforms and online services hosting ads and promoting unlicensed providers. Initially, they will approach the relevant departments of these organisations, and they may even take the matter to prosecutorial authorities. The initiatives undertaken by the HGA to combat illegal gambling often aim to fill the void left by the State, which is fundamentally responsible for addressing this open wound with appropriate actions, rather than a private entity.

The massive scale of illegal gambling in Greece was confirmed by a recent official survey conducted by the HGC in collaboration with KAPPA Research, shedding light on the hidden side of this illicit activity. According to the survey, 900,000 Greeks, or nearly 1 in 10, participated in illegal gambling at least once in the past 12 months, with an estimated astronomical expenditure of 1.7 billion euros in the unlicensed environment.

Of the total 1.7 billion euros, 1.1 billion was spent on illegal online games, and the remaining 600 million euros were associated with money spent in physical networks, such as unlicensed clubs and casinos. The average annual amount spent per player online reached approximately 1200 euros, while for land-based gambling, the corresponding amount was 738 euros.

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Compliance Updates

Rightlander enhances Soft2Bet’s marketing compliance across multiple jurisdictions

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Rightlander enhances Soft2Bet’s marketing compliance across multiple jurisdictions
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Partnership will strengthen marketing compliance in key markets including Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Romania and Ontario.

Soft2Bet, a leading provider of iGaming turnkey solutions, is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Rightlander, a leading provider of compliance and monitoring solutions for the iGaming and affiliate marketing industries.

The partnership will strengthen Soft2Bet’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of marketing compliance across key markets such as Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Romania, Ontario, Greece and Ireland.

Under the terms of the partnership, Rightlander will deploy its advanced compliance monitoring technology to ensure Soft2Bet adheres to affiliate and iGaming marketing regulations in those jurisdictions. Rightlander’s comprehensive suite of services will include website and social media monitoring and will provide Soft2Bet with robust tools to detect and manage compliance risks effectively.

This proactive approach will help identify and rectify any non-compliant content swiftly, ensuring Soft2Bet’s operations remain within regulatory frameworks.

The partnership will concentrate on ensuring compliance in key markets where regulatory scrutiny is particularly stringent. Rightlander’s expertise in these jurisdictions will provide Soft2Bet with the assurance that it is meeting all local regulatory requirements.

Jonathan Elkin, Sales Director, Rightlander, commented on the partnership: “We are thrilled to partner with Soft2Bet, a company that shares our commitment to high compliance standards. Our technology will provide Soft2Bet with the tools needed to navigate complex regulatory environments effectively and maintain their reputation for integrity and trustworthiness.”

David Yatom Hay, General Counsel of Soft2Bet, added: “Ensuring compliance is a core component of our business strategy as we expand into new markets. Partnering with Rightlander gives us confidence that we can uphold these standards across all our operations, delivering a safe and secure experience for our customers.”

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Compliance Updates

eGaming Integrity Launches to Enhance Compliance for OGRA Licence Holders and CSPs

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We proudly announce the official launch of eGaming Integrity, a specialised compliance services provider exclusively dedicated to protecting OGRA licence holders and the CSPs that support them.

Our mission is to enable online gambling operators, and the CSPs that support them, with the tools they need to thrive in the Isle of Man, ensuring integrity, transparency, and adherence to industry standards.

The Isle of Man eGaming sector continues to grow at a rapid pace, with the number of OGRA licensees more than doubling in recent years. With the sector having grown so quickly, it has led to a shortage of highly qualified, well trained, and egaming experienced compliance and AML professionals locally. This skills shortage presents a significant challenge for online gambling operators licensed here.

With our team of industry experts and former regulators, eGaming Integrity enables businesses to remain compliant with the stringent regulatory requirements under the Isle of Man licence through our tailored services which include mock audits, remediation, and internal audits.

Speaking about the requirement for such services, Emma Shilling, eGaming Integrity director said “licensed online gambling operators and local Corporate Service Providers have been looking for a credible provider to offer specialist services beyond day-to-day compliance. We’ve already helped several CSPs navigate the sector in previous roles, where eGaming isn’t always the primary area of expertise so businesses have sought our experience and industry knowledge to help them service their clients more effectively.”

Fellow director, Nick Bowden added “our in-depth evaluations prepare operators for regulatory visits, remediation support to bring businesses back into good standing with the regulator, and independent assurance makes sure risk management, governance and internal control processes are operating effectively.

eGaming Integrity are now working with a number of OGRA licence holders and local CSPs, providing customised compliance and regulatory advisory services that align with business objectives and operational intricacies.

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