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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

Smarkets Fined £630,000 for AML and Social Responsibility Failings

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The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has handed a £630,000 fine to betting exchange Smarkets after identifying a series of anti-money laundering and social responsibility failings, including letting a player deposit a six-figure sum without appropriate checks.

According to UKGC, Smarkets allowed customers to gamble without carrying out sufficient source-of-funds checks, while the operator was also found to have failed to identify and interact with customers at risk of experiencing harm.

Specific examples published by the Commission included one customer being allowed to deposit £395,000 during a four-month period, without appropriate source of funds checks being carried out by Smarkets.

The Commission also highlighted a case where an individual was able to transfer significant levels of funds between accounts without scrutiny or source-of-funds checks.

Sarah Gardner, Commission Deputy CEO, said: “This case was identified through compliance checks and once again highlights how we will take action against gambling operators who fail their customers.

“Our investigation into Smarkets unearthed a variety of failures where customers were put at risk of gambling harm.

“It was obvious that poor systems and processes were in place which contributed to these breaches, driven by the company’s failure to effectively implement its policies and controls.”

The operator has also received a formal warning and will undergo an audit to ensure it is effectively implementing its anti-money laundering and social responsibility policies, procedures and controls, in line with section 117(1)(b) of the Gambling Act 2005.

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Openbox Gaming offers gateway to Asia

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Openbox Gaming offers gateway to Asia
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New provider will deliver fresh content opportunitues to both operators and suppliers

Openbox Gaming, a fast-growing distributor of iGaming content across Asia and other markets, has been issued an IOM OGRA Software Supplier licence by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC).

Having secured the Software Supplier licence, one of the industry’s newest iGaming distributors with a unique USP will be in a position to supply a portfolio of online casino games from a variety of internal and external suppliers, to licensed B2B gaming partners and B2C operators.

Richard Hogg, CEO of Openbox Gaming, commented: “We are excited to be able to continue in our mission to deliver gaming content to regulated jurisdictions worldwide and see this as a major step in achieving those objectives. We selected the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission due to its established and proven reputation and its robust licensing process, which provides the ideal platform for our expansion into regulated markets.”

Tony Ure, Head of eGaming, Digital Isle of Man added: “It is a pleasure to welcome Openbox Gaming to the Island. Ensuring that the Island has a supportive ecosystem for gaming companies to operate their business, whilst maintaining our reputation as a highly regulated jurisdiction that prides itself on player protection is key to continuing the growth of this sector on the Isle of Man. I wish Openbox Gaming every success with their future ventures.”

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Compliance Updates

PopOK Gaming Has Received a Certificate for Georgia

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PopOK Gaming Has Received a Certificate for Georgia
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The innovative iGaming developer and service provider PopOK Gaming is now certified to offer its games in Georgia.

PopOK Gaming now extends its iGaming activities to Georgia as well. This way, local players will have access to our engaging games already loved by many. 18 games, such as Yummy, Lost Treasure, Diamond Flash, 20 Hot Bar, Sultan’s Tale, Los Apaches and others, will bring a breath of fresh air to all players and make their leisure more colourful, tasty and enjoyable.

PopOK Gaming’s local partners will surely get a lot of benefits from this, being able to deliver certified games to their customers. The gain is totally worth it, with the clear potential to drive high traffic to operators’ websites and greatly contribute to their business growth.

Regarding this certificate acquisition PopOK Gaming CEO, Karen Gulkanyan said, “Since iGaming is regulated strictly in Georgia, it’s a huge step forward to deliver our games to the Georgian audience. The path is not easy, yet we are full of hope that our lucrative solutions will immediately appeal to the regional players and increase business revenue for partners, laying the foundation for long-term cooperation”.

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