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The Finnish National Police Board issues prohibition orders and conditional fines of €25k to two Curaçao licenced gambling operators

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The Finnish National Police Board issues prohibition orders and conditional fines of €25k to two Curaçao licenced gambling operators
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Article written by Antti Koivula, consulting legal advisor at Legal Gaming

Two Curaçao based gambling operators, Nordic Tech Services N.V. and Viking Technology N.V. (“Companies”) had been aggressively marketing and selling their gambling products via phone for the Finnish customers, which attracted a lot of negative attention among the Finns. Multiple complaints were made for the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (“FCCA”) and for the National Police Board (“NPB”) starting from April 2020 and in September 2020 the NPB opened administrative proceedings against the Companies.

The NPB’s communication with the Companies was not fruitful with the Companies underlining the fact that none of their operations were performed from Finland and thus the NPB lacked authority. As the scope of the Finnish Lotteries Act covers foreign gambling operators to the extent their services are available in Finland, the NPB proceeded with the case. In the end of January 2022, the case had proceeded to the point in which the NPB issued prohibition orders and conditional fines for the Companies. There were slight delays with the delivery of the formal decisions and thus the prohibition orders entered into force only in May 2022.

The prohibition orders are in force for 12 months period renewable by a maximum 12 months per time. As the PSP-blocking system in Finland is starting in the beginning of 2023, this means that the Companies will be the first ones to be placed on the payment blocking list (“Blacklist”) if they remain uncompliant. As the NPB has currently several pending cases against MGA licenced operators, it remains to be seen who will be first ones to follow the Curaçao competitors to the Blacklist.

The NPB’s public statement is available in English at:
https://poliisi.fi/-/121lotto-ja-365lotto-lottoarvontojen-markkinointi-ja-myynti-kielletty-suomessa?languageId=en_US

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Vote on Macau Junket Bill to Take Place This Month

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Macau’s new junket law is expected to be presented to the Legislative Assembly for its final vote on December 15, after the body debating its conditions signs off on its opinion on December 9.

According to reports, the bill will prohibit junkets, agents or management companies from receiving funds for gaming purposes, subject to administrative penalty, if the funds are not intended for gaming purposes, those involved can face criminal penalties.

Under the new bill, junkets and agents will have to open accounts with the gaming concessionaires, where they can deposit gaming-related cash and chips. However, the funds must be owned by the junket or agent.

Gaming concessionaires will be able to open individual accounts for players to deposit funds and chips, but all transactions must be documented and comply with anti-money laundering legislation.

The new law defines a two to five-year prison sentence for illegal acceptance of deposits.

Under the new junket law, junkets will only be allowed to operate with one of the six concessionaires, while all junket applications will be decided on by the Secretary for Economy and Finance, whereas previously these were handled by the gaming watchdog (DICJ).

The current 46 license junkets are expected to be able to maintain their licenses after the new gaming concessions come into effect on January 1, provided they sign an agreement with a concessionaire. Only companies will be able to obtain junket licenses, whereas previously individuals could also register as junkets. The companies will be required to prove at least MOP10 million ($1.24m) in share capital.

After 2024, the government will decide if it wants to alter the overall number of junket operators in Macau, according to its plans for the development of the gaming sector.

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Compliance Updates

EGBA Welcomes the Publication of Ireland’s Gambling Regulation Bill

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The Irish Parliament has published the long-anticipated Gambling Regulation Bill. The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), representing Europe’s leading online gambling operators, welcomed the publication of the Bill, which marks a significant milestone in the Irish government’s efforts to modernise the country’s gambling regulations.

The Gambling Regulation Bill proposes new regulations for land-based and online gambling in Ireland, including the creation of a new authority to regulate gambling, a social fund to support education and problem gambling treatment, a national self-exclusion register for online gambling, new rules for gambling advertisements and a ban on the use of credit cards for gambling payments. The Bill will now follow the Parliamentary process, with the first reading expected in the Parliament in early 2023. Subject to Parliamentary approval, the Bill is expected to become law in late 2023.

“Today is a significant milestone, and we congratulate Minister Browne and his team for bringing forward the Bill. EGBA fully supports the Irish government’s ongoing efforts to establish modern regulations that fit the digital age and bring the country’s regulatory framework into line with EU member states. We look forward to the finalisation of the Bill and engaging constructively with Irish policymakers to ensure the outcome is a well-functioning system of regulation that protects the interests of the many Irish citizens who gamble safely and recreationally, sets a high level of protection for consumers and those experiencing gambling-related harm, and provides clarity and long-term predictability for the gambling sector,” Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA, said.

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Compliance Updates

END 2 END secures its MGA licence

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END 2 END secures its MGA licence
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END 2 END, part of Neo Games and Aspire Global network, has been awarded a licence by the highly acclaimed Malta Gaming Authority.

Empowered with its MGA licence, the Bingo multiplayer expert is now in position to provide its innovative platform for MGA-licensed operators which is enriched with state-of-the-art real-time Bingo solutions. This latest licence sits alongside the previously secured certifications for several tier-one markets, including Great Britain, Netherlands, Portugal, Denmark, Colombia among others.

END 2 END’s platform offers its network the most advanced technology in real-time Multiplayer Bingo games, including 90 and 75 ball Bingo variants. A modern and intuitive interface allows players to seamlessly enjoy the games across multiple devices, including several features and promotions. The platform empowers operators and aggregator platforms to roll out the products on multiple channels through one single integration.

Alejandro Revich, CEO and founder of END 2 END said: “The Malta Gaming Authority is one of the most trusted regulators in the industry and it’s a proud moment for us to receive our licence. It caps off an excellent year for the business and sets us up perfectly for a strong 2023.”

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