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Compliance Updates

PopOK Gaming Has Received a Certificate in the UK

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PopOK Gaming Has Received a Certificate in the UK
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PopOK Gaming, a modern iGaming content developer, has successfully implemented all the technical improvements required by the UK market regulator and has been certified to provide its games in the region.

Continuing its extension with colours flying, PopOK Gaming is now launching a range of games for local operators. 18 of its top-performing games, including the much-liked Yummy, Lost Treasure, Diamond Flash, 20 Hot Bar, Sultan’s Tale, Los Apaches, as well as the popular gamification tool, 4 level Progressive Jackpot, are now available in the market. This will certainly have a huge positive impact on player engagement and the prosperity of the UK operators’ business.

PopOK Gaming CEO, Karen Gulkanyan, said, “We are extremely happy to enter the UK market and deliver cost-effective PopOK games to the operators in the region. Though the market is quite competitive, we have no doubt that this certification obtained will be an incentive for them to move up to the top charts and flourish their business.”

This achievement is a huge step forward in the iGaming industry. The integration of PopOK games by operators is a solid foundation and a high promise for mutual cooperation and greater accomplishments.

 

Compliance Updates

How Curacao new AML requirements differ from other flexible license jurisdictions

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How Curacao new AML requirements differ from other flexible license jurisdictions
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By: Dmitry Hotsyn, Senior Consultant and Head of CIS Desk at 4H Agency

Discussing Anti-Money Laundering (AML) rules in a way that keeps everyone awake is a real challenge. The iGaming industry often overlooks anything filled with jargon like KYC, AML, CDD, and SoWs—terms that just breed myths and misconceptions about jurisdictions supposedly having lax AML standards and low compliance burdens. For a while, Curacao was viewed as one of these almost mythical places.

Not anymore.

A significant shake-up has occurred with Curacao’s latest overhaul of its AML regulations, set to take effect on September 1, 2024. This update has triggered quite a bit of debate among gambling operators who view these new rules as unwelcoming, especially since Curacao is known for its sluggish pace in updating its gambling regulations.

But may it really be as bad as Curaçao’s deadline management?

Curacao’s AML Regulatory Changes: An Overview

Curacao is continuously revamping its regulatory frameworks, taking a page from Malta’s book — Maltifying the industry may work best to describe this process. The new AML rules, while perceived as burdensome, are in fact a balanced update alligning the Curacao practices with generally acceptable standards. Key aspects of the new regulations include:

  • Clear Customer Due Diligence (CDD) thresholds: Operators must conduct CDD at the earliest practical time, but no later than when a player engages in a transaction amounting to approximately EUR 2200;
  • Sanction and Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) Screening: Mandatory for at least EU, US and UN sanctions lists;
  • High-Risk Indicators: A detailed list of indicators for high-risk cases has been provided, noting that the use of cryptocurrencies increases risk, though it is not outright prohibited;
  • AML Officer Role: Each operator shall have a dedicated AML officer, equipped with sufficient resources and headcount to manage risks effectively;
  • Policies and Guides: Ah year, more internal docs, rules and practice guides are expected from the operators holding licences in Curacao.

Despite the extensive nature of Curacao’s new rules, in essence, they closely resemble those enforced in Malta and other EU countries, as well as competing jurisdictions offering flexible licenses. The upcoming webinar hosted by 4H Agency and Hipther Agency will delve into these comparisons, focusing on jurisdictions like Anjouan, Kanawake, and Tobique, alongside Curacao.

Key Insights on AML Across Jurisdictions

  • Detailed AML Frameworks: Curacao and Tobique lead with the most comprehensive AML regulations. Kanawake’s requirements are also robust albeit not as detailes as Curacao rules;
  • CDD Thresholds: Similar financial thresholds exist across these jurisdictions (approximately EUR 2000), with varied stipulations on the timing of CDD post-player registration (again, Curacao is not the leader here);
  • Outsourcing AML Functions: All jurisdictions permit outsourcing some AML activities to third-party providers, providing flexibility in compliance strategies;
  • Stringency of Regulations: Tobique’s regulations are notably stringent, casually requiring additional checks like adverse media searches to identify higher risk profiles;
  • Anjouan the Outlier: Anjouan stands out for its outdated AML framework, lacking specific provisions for the gambling sector. For now, this could attract operators seeking more AML-friendly environments. However, Anjouan will inevitably follow the Curacao’s reformatory steps if the country intends to make iGaming an important factor of the now-struggling economy.

The evolution of AML regulations in Curacao represents a predictable shift towards more robust regulatory environment, aligning more closely with global standards. While initially perceived as onerous, these changes are in line not only with international practices, but with the rules already in force in a competing jurisdaction.

Our upcoming webinar will further explore these developments, providing attendees with comprehensive insights into flexible licensing options in 2024.

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Compliance Updates

Dutch Regulator Warns JOI Gaming Over Use of Celebrities

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JOI Gaming, the operator of gambling brand Jacks in the Netherlands, has been warned it could face a maximum penalty of €1m if it repeats a violation of breaches of the ban on role models in gambling marketing.

The Dutch gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), said that at the Jack’s Racing Day event in 2023, role models for the operator signed caps with the event logo and the Jacks brand name.

Meanwhile, role models posing with hostesses wearing corporate clothing with the Jacks logo were pictured and posted on the Jack’s Racing Day website and on social media.

“These posts were still available when the order was imposed. If JOI Gaming does not remove these statements immediately, the company must pay a penalty of €50,000 per day,” the KSA said.

If the violation is repeated in the run-up to or during future editions of Jack’s Racing Day, JOI Gaming must pay a penalty of €200,000 per day with a maximum penalty of €1m, the regulator said.

Jack’s Racing Day 2024 is set to be held on August 2-4 at TT Circuit Assen. “To protect vulnerable groups such as young people and risk and problem gamblers, strict rules apply to the use of role models for gambling advertising,” the KSA said in a statement.

“Role models include celebrities, (former) professional footballers, influencers and models. The use of role models is prohibited for high-risk gambling, such as casinos and online gambling.

“For lower-risk gambling, such as lotteries, they may be used under strict conditions.”

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Compliance Updates

Danish Authorities Form Agreement to Tackle Illegal Gambling Marketing

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In a new agreement between the Consumer Ombudsman, the Gambling Authority and the Gambling Board, the authorities and the board will coordinate their efforts when they have to take action against gambling companies’ illegal marketing of games in Denmark.

Gambling companies’ marketing can cross jurisdictions. Therefore, the Consumer Ombudsman, the Gambling Authority and the Spilreklamenævnet have just entered into a cooperation agreement with a view to avoiding duplication of effort and strengthening the overall coordinated effort when it comes to the regulation of gambling companies’ marketing in Denmark.

The Gambling Advertising Board will forward cases to the Consumer Ombudsman or the Gambling Authority if gaming companies do not comply with the board’s criticism, or if the board finds violations of the authorities’ rules by a company.

Conversely, the Consumer Ombudsman and the Gambling Authority will inform complainants of the possibility to complain to the Gambling Advertising Board if a company breaks the industry’s code of conduct, but not the rules handled by either the Consumer Ombudsman or the Gambling Authority.

The Consumer Ombudsman and the Gambling Authority oversee various areas in relation to the marketing of games. The Consumer Ombudsman is responsible for the supervision of gambling companies’ compliance with the Marketing Act, as well as other consumer protection rules, while the Gambling Authority supervises compliance with the rules on the marketing of games in section 36, subsection of the Gambling Act. 1, as well as the rules on sales promotion measures in relevant gaming announcements.

The Gaming Advertising Board, which is a board set up by players in the gaming industry, handles complaints about gaming companies’ marketing that is in breach of the industry’s code of conduct. The purpose of the code is to strengthen the social responsibility of the industry’s marketing towards vulnerable groups and children, as well as to limit gambling addiction.

It has been agreed that the Consumer Ombudsman, the Gambling Authority and the Gambling Advertising Board will regularly inform each other of relevant cases, as well as hold annual meetings.

Consumer Ombudsman Torben Jensen said: “Our new cooperation agreement with the Gambling Authority and the Gambling Advertising Board strengthens our supervision of gambling companies’ marketing. The agreement involves better internal communication, ensures coordination and prevents duplication of work, which benefits consumers.”

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