Finnish Committee Says Gaming Payment Blocks Could Violate Article 15 and 18 of Finland’s Constitution
Along with Norway, Finland is one of the few countries in Europe to retain a state-controlled monopoly system for gaming. However, a government committee has suggested it sees no justification for protecting that.
Analysing a proposed amendment to Finland’s Lotteries Act which would allow for payment blocking against non-licensed operators, the Constitutional Committee has concluded that there are no grounds to protect the monopoly of the state-controlled operator Veikkaus.
The bill filed in September would allow Finland to block payments to all gaming operators other than Veikkaus. Payment providers would have to implement the ban from January 1, 2023.
However, the Constitutional Committee argued that the payment block would be “a far-reaching restriction of fundamental rights” and could not be justified by the argument that it aimed to prevent gambling harm.
It said such a block could violate Article 15 of Finland’s constitution, which covers the protection of property, and Article 18, which guarantees the freedom to conduct business.
The Committee has asked the government to investigate whether “less intrusive methods” could be explored to achieve the desired goals.
The Slovak Gambling Authority’s systematic check activities help reduce the number of illegal gaming devices
In Q1 2023, the Slovak Gambling Authority conducted 2511 compliance checks, which is 201 more compared to last year.
The significant year-on-year increase in the number of checks is due to the restructuring of surveillance and the strategic set-up of the supervision by the Authority's top management.
"I am very pleased that the goals set up by the current management are also successfully fulfilled in the gambling supervision area. Of course, a big thank you to our local supervisors, who actively investigate illegal devices and supervise the fulfilment of all legal requirements by legal operators.
Having gambling under systematic supervision is one of the main missions of the Authority as a gambling regulator," said the Director General at the Office for the Regulation of Gambling (URHH), Dávid Lenčéš.
More than a 45 % increase against the same period last year was recorded in checks focused on the search of illegal gambling establishments. In the first quarter of 2023, supervisors conducted 437 compliance checks focusing on unlawful gambling as mining and quiz machines, intending to prevent further operation. As Director General said, “Increased systematic check activities of illegal establishments has its justification and brings results as, compared to 2022, the number of detected illegal gaming machines on the market is significantly reduced. Searching for illegal establishments and seizing illegal devices has a preventive nature and ultimately protects society, especially at-risk groups and the youth.”
According to the Gambling Act, small operators, such as pubs, can't operate gaming machines. The URHH must license each gaming machine since it is the only official body authorised to issue a license. Operating gambling without a given license is prohibited in Slovakia.
The Gambling Regulatory Authority also carries out surveillance remotely. In the Q1 of this year, we are talking about an almost 90 % increase in on-site checks compared with last year. Thanks to online access to the servers of gambling operators, this form of supervision allows more effective control of many establishments without physically leaving the workplace.
Establishing a specialised online gaming department in 2022 also contributed to the overall increase of supervision effectiveness over 2022-2023. The mission of the specialised department is to supervise licensed online gambling or searching for and restrict access to illegal websites operating or promoting gambling without valid licenses.
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Spinomenal is set for Switzerland after gaining its B2B permit
Spinomenal, the leading iGaming content provider, is set for launch within the Swiss iGaming market after gaining its B2B permit from regulator Eidgenössische Spielbankenkommission (ESBK).
An integral element in Spinomenal being able to enter the Swiss iGaming space was the fact the company already has its ISO 27001 certificate, an international standard for best practices for information security.
Swiss iGaming players will now be able to access Spinomenal’s stunning library of slots content that includes Demi Gods II, Book of Rebirth, Majestic King and Poseidon’s Rising. Further good news for Switzerland’s online casino community is that they will also be able to begin exploring Spinomenal’s epic Universe concept which binds narratives from a wide selection of its most popular titles.
Spinomenal’s CEO, Lior Shvartz, commented: “We’re very happy to be entering the Swiss market riding on the back of our top-class slots portfolio and supported by our ISO 27001 certificate. The regulated Swiss online casino space represents a great opportunity for us as we continue to deliver on our expansive roadmap.”
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