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Compliance Updates

Euroconsumers calls Nintendo to solve its “Joy-Con Drift” probl

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Euroconsumers calls Nintendo to solve its "Joy-Con Drift" probl
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The new version of the Nintendo “Switch” console, the Switch OLED, expected on October 8th 2021, shows an unsolved technical problem with its controllers – an issue commonly called “Joy-Con Drift” –  that prevents players from playing the game properly. Nintendo is quite aware of this flaw. Yet it still plans to roll out the new Switch with the old problem. Euroconsumers calls Nintendo to account.

“Joy-Con Drift”

The flaw in the controllers manifests itself after a couple of months, falsely reading input from the controller stick, as if the user has their thumb pressed down on the controller, causing the game character to move without the player even touching the device. This prevents the player from playing the game as intended. This issue is not new: it was already denounced extensively by users of the current Nintendo Switch, IFixit and multiple consumer organisations.

Nintendo’s inaction

This flaw has previously been raised with Nintendo. Firstly in January 2020, Test Achats/Test Aankoop, Euroconsumers’ Belgian national organization, sent a letter of formal notice to Nintendo Europe GmbH calling on the company to repair all the defective products free of charge and to publicly communicate about the defect.

In January 2021, BEUC, the European umbrella group for 46 independent consumer organisations, launched an external alert to the CPC network about a widespread infringement with Union dimension of EU consumer law, related to the premature obsolescence of the Nintendo Switch.

On top of this EU action, two class actions have been launched in the US, and a Canadian firm has filed an application to begin a class action.

Nevertheless, Nintendo has taken no actions to remedy the flaw or alert consumers. It even issues a new Switch OLED with the exact same Joy-Con design, with the exact same inescapable defect. Meanwhile Nintendo keeps on putting a great deal of emphasis on the quality and versatility of the Joy-Con in its advertisements t.

This early obsolescence is not only unfair and harmful to consumers, but also affects the environment, creating a pile of unnecessary and extremely polluting electronic waste.

Euroconsumers’ call on Nintendo

In a letter Euroconsumers has confronted Nintendo with the above,  asking them to:

  1. Adequately inform consumers of the existence of the “Joy-Con Drift” and its impact on the expected lifespan of the Nintendo controllers on the packaging of the product.

  2. Fully respect provisions on the legal product guarantee, without imposing any burden of proof on consumers or charging them with any costs to repair or replace their Switch controllers.

  3. Provide clear contact details at Nintendo for consumers to report and resolve Joy-Con problems, and for Euroconsumers and its national organisations to address problems to that regard.

  4. Resolve the technical “Joy-Con Drift” flaw and ensure a more sustainable version of the controllers. Euroconsumers, and its national organizations stand ready to deploy decades of technical and testing experience to support finding solutions.

Euroconsumers is available and willing to launch a dialogue with Nintendo in order to establish the best way to satisfy the above requests.

“Nintendo has a duty to its customers to provide functioning devices,” said Marco Scialdone, Head of Litigation and Academic Outreach at Euroconsumers. “To knowingly continue selling these game consoles when they are defective is a breach of EU consumer law. We expect Nintendo to do the right thing and work with us to find a solution for consumers.”

“While on one hand Nintendo pretends to commit to the green transition and serve consumers, its continued distribution of faulty electronic devices shows it’s true lack of genuine commitment,” said Els Bruggeman, Head of Policy and Enforcement at Euroconsumers. “Early obsolescence results in more electronic waste, which is particularly difficult to dispose of. This shows a regrettable lack of respect for both the environment and  consumers.”

Compliance Updates

Sports Betting Ads in Florida Are Now Forbidden By Google Ads

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Sports Betting Ads in Florida Are Now Forbidden By Google Ads
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In the future, sports betting ads and services will be banned and not allowed for promotion on Google Ads in Florida. This update by Google Ads was addressed after a federal judge in Washington DC overturned a Gaming Compact called the Florida-Seminole Tribal Gaming Compact.

Google does not support some sort of gambling advertising since the company promotes safe and responsible gambling that respects the standards of the gambling industry and the local gambling laws.

Every commercial about online casinos or gambling must abide by the rules and regulations of the country and target only countries that have an approved status. Also, logically, they mustn’t be promoted to underaged people and, of course, children. Therefore, all gambling commercials must have a link to a page that shows how to gamble responsibly. And on the support page, you need to get a list of the local rules and regulations that apply to that area.

Lastly, gambling ads can’t be promoted through Gmail, shopping ads, customer ratings annotations, and reservation display commercials and ads.

The disapproval of any extensions or ads that do not follow Google’s regulations is a distinct possibility. And if an ad is disapproved, it will not be suitable and used until the policy violation isn’t looked into and the ad is made applicable to be used and displayed.

Another option that is also available is that if users violate the rules more than once, there can be a suspension of their accounts. Depending on the situation, the user’s account may be suspended after a significant violation or even after a series of several small branches.

After this, all ads that are suspended will be terminated because of this action and all related accounts as well, permanently. Of course, all new accounts made during the account setup procedure will be suspended automatically.

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Balkans

Spinomenal bolsters expansion plans with Bosnian iGaming certification

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Spinomenal bolsters expansion plans with Bosnian iGaming certification
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Spinomenal, the leading iGaming content provider, has bolstered its expansion plans within the Balkan region after being granted its Bosnian certification. The latest Certification means that operators in the country can now access Spinomenal’s wide selection of top-performing HTML5 slots titles.

The Bosnian certification adds momentum to Spinomenal’s growth strategy that focuses on making its content available for the world’s leading iGaming jurisdictions. Among Spinomenal’s large library of games are the classics Majestic King, Demi Gods II and Colossus Fruits.

Bosnia joins an impressive list of iGaming certifications that has most recently seen Spain, Croatia and Belarus added.

Spinomenal’s CEO, Lior Shvartz, commented: “We’re thrilled to be granted our Bosnian iGaming certification and to have the opportunity to share our slots content with a new audience. The Spinomenal portfolio has been carefully curated and will suit the local audience perfectly.”

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Australia

Catherine Myers Resigns as CEO of Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation

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The chief executive of Victoria’s gaming watchdog has resigned amid a major overhaul of the embattled regulator, which has been widely criticised over its lax oversight of Crown casino.

Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation chief executive Catherine Myers abruptly ended her role with the Commission on November 19, after more than seven years in the position.

Her departure follows a tumultuous period for the VCGLR, which will be replaced next year by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission and a new regulator for liquor licensing and compliance.

Ms Myers said it was appropriate to leave before the establishment of the new regulators, according to a statement on the VCGLR website on November 10.

The decision by the Andrews Government to restructure regulation of the gaming industry followed a litany of legal and ethical breaches by Crown Resorts, initially exposed in reports by The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and 60 Minutes in 2019, and later by an NSW inquiry and a royal commission in Victoria.

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