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Compliance Updates

How New Gaming Legislation Affects Gaming at Online Casinos

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How New Gaming Legislation Affects Gaming at Online Casinos
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When most people place a bet at online blackjack, they expect a winning hand. Slot fans want to hit the jackpot while roulette players hope the wheel stops at their predicted number. Unfortunately, new online gamine legislation doesn’t always deliver a winning hand to the casino industry.

This article explores how the series of new gaming laws around the world have been affecting how people gamble online.

Credit Card Ban in the UK

Last year, the UK government enforced a law to ban online gamblers from using credit cards at iGaming websites. The ban applies to all forms of online gambling, from playing slots to buying lottery tickets.

The UK banned credit cards because they “can lead to significant financial harm.” That’s according to Neil McArthur, the CEO of the UKGC. According to McArthur, 22% of problem gamblers in the UK use credit cards for payments.

In that case, banning credit cards could lower the number of problem gamblers in Britain. However, it also means British gamblers will need to rely on money in their banks to play slots and card games.

New Lottery Laws in Finland

Finland is the latest country in Europe to strengthen its online gambling laws. Like the UK, Finland is introducing new gambling laws with an intention to protect its citizens from problem gambling.

The new Finnish gambling law, also known as arpajaislaki in Finnish, is comprehensive and has far-reaching consequences. It affects how Finns deposit money to foreign casinos, how operators advertise and verify their customers. To be clear, players in Finland can still gamble through offshore casinos. But they have to follow the new rules introduced under the lottery law.

Legal Sports Betting in Canada

After years of debates in parliament, Canada finally legalized single-sports betting June this year. In the past, Canadians had to place parlays if they wanted to predict sports outcomes. Now, they can wager on a single team like the rest of the world.

Canadian provinces will make the blueprint on how to run online sports betting websites. Ontario has already launched a fully-fledged online sportsbook while more provinces are in the same process.

In case you’re wondering, Canada is yet to legalize online casinos at a federal level. Presently, the country’s laws allow provinces to regulate online casinos. But the national government is yet to create laws that could bring legal iGaming to everyone in the country.

Online Gambling Legalization in the US

For a long time, most Americans felt like legal online gaming would never come to fruition. Then the Department of Justice allowed states to run online casinos in 2011. Four states created online casino laws but most states remained opposed to legalized online gambling.

In 2018, the US Supreme Court created leeway for states to legalize sports betting by striking off the PASPA Act of 1992. Within three years, more than 20 states permit sports gambling of some form: Online or in-person.

Increased legalization of iGaming in the US is a blow to offshore casinos that target American gamblers. But it’s a boon to everyone who’s always wanted to gamble legally. In New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and West Virginia, you can gamble at both online casinos and sportsbooks.

The Swedish Gambling Act of 2019

Two years ago, Sweden joined the growing list of countries with legal iGaming legislation. Its newest law aims at encouraging offshore casinos to acquire licenses from the Swedish gambling Authority.

By doing so, Sweden can control the iGaming industry and increase its revenues. The law has few implications to gamblers. They can play at their favorite online casinos, like they’ve always done.

However, offshore casinos can no longer advertise on Swedish media unless they’re licensed. Additionally, they need to adhere to standard procedures of fairness and data protection to maintain their business permits.

Monopoly Law in Norway

Before 2017, Norway was like many countries in Europe. It lacked definitive iGaming laws. In 2017, the Nordic nation introduced a controversial law that appointed Norsk Tipping to be the only online gambling company in the country.

Additionally, Norway ordered banks to stop processing payments to offshore casinos. This second effort didn’t succeed in its goal of stopping Norwegians from gambling through overseas websites.

For starters, many online casinos don’t use gambling related terms in their bank account names. As such, banks in Norway can’t tell whether a deposit is headed to a casino site or a shopping website.

On the flip side, there’s no particular law that says a Norwegian citizen can’t bet at a foreign gaming site. This ensures players in Norway can access better quality casino services offshore without facing legal consequences back home.

The Gaming Act of 2018 in Malta

Although Malta has been regulating online casinos for a long time, it introduced a new act to government modern casino sites in 2018. The new act is a consolidation of all gambling-related laws in the country.

Under the new act, Malta has 12 subsidiaries. Basically, the laws are related to what investors need to submit to acquire and maintain a license in Malta. To be clear, Malta has some of the best online gambling laws in Europe.

In fact, it’s the go-to jurisdictions for many investors in the iGaming sector, from software providers to betting companies.

New Laws in Curacao

Before 2015, Curacao was the leading regulator of online gambling. But after years of criticism by governments and players for not holding casinos accountable, Curacao lost its appeal. Instead, new gambling companies began to acquire licenses in Europe.

Curacao is presently changing its laws to make the tougher for applicants. It’s also restructuring its tax policy to attract more casinos. Considering Curacao is a constituent nation of the kingdom of Netherlands, it’s also need to follow the new gaming laws introduced in Holland.

For example, casinos licensed in Curacao will no longer accept players who live in countries where gambling is illegal. This includes customers from the Netherlands. The new laws are new, so only time can tell how they will impact the iGaming industry in Curacao.

Compliance Updates

MGA: Update to the Incident Reporting Requirements

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MGA: Update to the Incident Reporting Requirements
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The Malta Gaming Authority would like to inform its licensees of updates made to the Incident Report mechanism available through the Licensee Portal The information hereunder outlines relevant guidance and procedures for the submission of an Incident Report through the updated reporting instrument entitled the ‘Technical – Information Security Incident’.

As mandated by Articles 37(2)(c) and (d) of the Gaming Authorisations and Compliance Directive (Directive 3 of 2018), “Licensees shall notify the Authority forthwith, and in any case no later than three (3) working days after, the following:

(c) Any breach of the licensee’s information security that adversely affects the confidentiality of information relating to players;

(d) Any breach of the licensee’s information security that precludes players from accessing their accounts for a period exceeding twelve (12) hours.”

In this regard, Licensees are obliged to submit an Incident Report in order to notify the Authority of the circumstances relating to an information security breach that meet the above specified criteria. Additionally, Licensees are advised to remain mindful of any further obligations emanating from the General Data Protection Regulation (EU/2016/679) and any relevant legislation.

The Technical – Information Security Incident option will be accessible through the “New/Change” dropdown menu via the Portal. Upon selection, users will be directed to the applicable sections of the ‘Technical – Information Security Incident’ where all compulsory fields and any relevant documentation must be submitted to the Authority.

Upon submission, the Incident Report shall undergo review by the Authority. Any missing information that may be identified by the Authority, shall be requested accordingly from the Licensee. It is imperative that any pending clarifications are addressed in a timely manner.

If no further clarifications are deemed necessary by the Authority, the Incident Report will be closed off accordingly, and any relevant documentation will be securely filed for record-keeping purposes.

Any Incident Reports left in ‘Draft’ form (i.e. opened but not effectively submitted) for a period of ninety (90) days shall be automatically discarded.

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Australia

VGCCC Fines BlueBet AU$50,000 for Gambling Advertising Breaches

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BlueBet has been fined AU$50,000 by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) for breaching gambling advertising regulations.

The company was found guilty of 43 charges related to displaying gambling advertisements on or above public roads, contravening the Gambling Regulation Act 2003.

The charges stemmed from an investigation initiated by VGCCC, following a complaint from a member of the public. The breaches occurred over a two-week period in August and September 2022, with BlueBet’s gambling advertisements appearing on digital billboards at various locations, including Point Cook, Laverton, Rockbank and Ravenhall.

Magistrate Greg Thomas, overseeing the case, expressed scepticism about BlueBet’s defence that it was unaware of the breaches, given the strategic placement of the billboards to target males aged 15-54 years old. While no conviction was recorded, Magistrate Thomas noted the high degree of negligence exhibited by BlueBet.

VGCCC CEO Annette Kimmitt AM said: “Gambling advertising has no place on public roads where it is readily visible to children and other vulnerable groups. These places are especially difficult to avoid as part of day-to-day activities. This decision sends a clear message to wagering providers that flout these protections for our community.”

Although Magistrate Thomas considered imposing a higher fine and recording a conviction, he took into account BlueBet’s guilty plea, cooperation with VGCCC and measures taken to prevent future breaches. BlueBet has implemented changes to prevent similar incidents and has cooperated with VGCCC throughout the process.

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Compliance Updates

MGA: Updated Non-Profit Tombola and Lottery Application Requirements

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The Malta Gaming Authority has published updated documents outlining the application process and requirements. This includes the revised list of documents required as enclosures with the application for the Non-Profit Tombola, as well as for the Non-Profit Lotteries, which can also be found in the “documents” section on the permits application page.

The revised documents include more detail on the application process, what the Non-Profit Lottery Terms should consist of, as well as a detailed list of enclosure documents.

Although applicants are urged to refer to the revised requirements at the earliest, these requirements will come into force from 1 May 2024. Hence, any applications submitted following this date will need to abide by the revised requirements. Any applications submitted after 1 May 2024, which are not submitted in full and do not include the proof of payment or the signed declaration, will be set to a one-time “Incomplete” mode for sixty (60) days. If the application is not resubmitted in full, whereby any missing sections and/or documents are filled in and/or uploaded successfully within this period, the application will be rejected and will be closed off. Applications submitted or re-submitted less than seven (7) days prior to the commencement of the tombola session/s will incur the additional twenty-five Euro (€25) non-refundable late application fee.

The Non-Profit Tombola and the Non-Profit Lottery Permits will only be issued upon successful review of the application. Sale of lottery tickets or Tombola sessions cannot be held without the relevant Permit.

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