The Gambling Regulatory Authority seized 54 illegal gaming machines in a recent nationwide raid. This is the second successful move carried out by the Authority in the last four months to combat this type of illegal gambling.
Seized were especially the so-called mining machines and quiz machines. The majority were taken based on searches carried out by inspectors of the Office for the Regulation of Gambling (URHH). “As these gaming machines have not been issued or granted a valid licence, we consider them illegal. Our staff actively monitor these machines’ occurrence; most of them have been seized due to their diligent work. Some have also been seized because of complaints from the players,” said general director URHH, Dávid Lenčéš.
The recent seizures were carried out in all regions in accordance with § 81 article 11 of the Gambling Act in cooperation with the police force. According to the director general of the URHH, the role of the police officers was to maintain public order and security of the employees as public officials, as not every seizure went smoothly. “It has happened in the past that the office staff has faced physical attacks or had to remove some equipment by professional locksmiths. Illegal operators sometimes try to make the seizure impossible by fixing machines firmly against the floor or the wall.”
According to the Gambling Act, small operators, such as pubs, cannot operate gaming machines. The URHH must license each gaming machine since it is the only official body authorised to issue a licence.
However, some speculators try to bypass the law by operating machines that have been “authorised” by other entities or posing as knowledge competitions or cryptocurrency mining machines. In each case, URHH carefully investigates whether a gambling game is taking place on the device, regardless of its name, visual elements, or type of device.
The most significant number of machines was seized in the Bratislava Self-Governing Region, representing half of all. Nine machines were held in the Košice Region, 8 in the Banská Bystrica Region, 7 in the Nitra Region, 2 in the Žilina Region and 1 in the Prešov Region. Among the 54 machines seized nationwide, the majority were cryptocurrency mining.
A “mining machine” is a device that pretends to be used to mine cryptocurrencies, and a “quiz machine” seems to be a knowledge game. In both cases, the game played on these machines fulfils the characteristics of a gambling game. However, on these gambling games, the Authority is not granted an individual licence; if someone is operating them without a licence, it is undoubtedly an illegal activity.
Operating gambling without an issued licence is prohibited in Slovakia.
In many cases, these were premises where illegal technical equipment had been seized. “Their operators are unteachable, as they operate illegal machines again despite previous experience. On the other hand, there are more and more machines whose owners are persuaded by the vision of profit and place unlicensed machines on their premises. According to § 95 article 2 point h) of the Gambling Act, such operators are liable to a fine between 20 000 EUR and 250 000 EUR,” said Dávid Lenčéš. The penalty of up to 500 000 EUR faces the owners of the gambling machines if it is proven that they are operating gambling without an individual licence or a general licence. The sealed gambling machines have been taken to the URHH warehouse, from where they will go to further proceedings.
BMM Testlabs Celebrates the Grand Opening of New Gaming Laboratory in Slovenia
BMM Testlabs, the world’s original gaming test lab, inspection body, and product certification consultancy, is pleased to announce that it is celebrating the grand opening of its new office and product testing laboratory in Ljubljana, Slovenia today. The opening of BMM Slovenia will be hosted by Damjan Semec, Managing Director of Operations, who has over 20 years of gaming laboratory experience.
Martin Storm, Executive Chairman and CEO of BMM International, stated, “BMM Slovenia provides product testing and certification services for games, systems, and associated equipment for the gaming industry across online and land-based gaming. The team in Slovenia works closely with BMM’s successful European gaming labs in Spain, Italy, Poland, and Romania, as well as BMM’s eleven additional locations around the world, continuing to provide its customers access to the global gaming industry.”
Damjan Semec, Managing Director of Operations, commented, “We are pleased to welcome our industry friends and customers to the grand opening of BMM Slovenia. Attendees can expect an afternoon of entertainment with some very special guests and even a few surprises. Our Slovenian team has been servicing local manufacturers and operators for many years, and we are pleased to continue BMM’s reputation as the best gaming test lab in the world. The combination of BMM’s high quality services and our Slovenian team’s longevity and experience will lead to many opportunities throughout the region.”
Storm continued, “I am pleased that Marzia Turrini (Executive Vice President, EURSAM) and I are here in Slovenia for the grand opening event. We are grateful to our customers around the world for the opportunity to grow our business with them, and now extend our services into Slovenia.”
GiG Comply continues to drive compliance with new partner, Merkur
Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (GiG) have today announced a new partnership for its automated affiliate marketing compliance tool GiG Comply, with German based operator Merkur.
The igaming industry in Germany is a robustly regulated marketplace, which helps make compliance a priority for operators like Merkur, placing an emphasis on the need to protect their brands. GiG Comply is an automated marketing compliance solution that scans web pages for content including links, iGaming code red words and regulatory requirements across multiple jurisdictions. It works by using its rules engine to analyse real snapshots from affiliates’ campaigns and provides operators with the promotional content that is being used in their brands’ promotions.
It is a flexible tool, which allows operators to set-up their own criteria and checklist parameters and can be tailored to cover any market-specific requirements, helping to ensure that operators remain compliant in multiple jurisdictions.
Jonas Warrer, Chief Marketing Officer at GiG, said: “It’s important that GiG Comply will continue to help Merkur, as it does our other partners, to remain proactive and in control of its marketing compliance. We’re delighted to be able to ensure affiliates are fully aligned with their brand and responsible gaming requirements.”
Martin Collins, Affiliate Lead at Merkur, said: “With everything we do here at Merkur Partners we aim to do it right, especially when it comes to compliance. All our brands are operated by local licenses both on and offline and where we abide by the rules. Having GiG Comply on board as a strategic partner is a great starting point as both sides come with a vast knowledge of the igaming world, and with ever changing regulations, we will make a great partnership.”
Jokerstar Casino operated by Kling Automaten GmbH goes live in Germany
Pragmatic Solutions is very proud to announce, that Jokerstar Casino (www. jokerstar .de) is live in the regulated German online gaming market.
Kling was established in 1954. The third-generation family-run company operates 165 Joker casino arcades across Germany. One of the casino operator’s highest values is offering its customers the best quality. Therefore, both Joker arcades and their well-trained staff stand out compared to all their competitors. Germany-wide, around 1000 employees contribute to the casino operator’s success. Over the past decades, the company has continued to grow steadily on its solid foundation and is currently the sixth largest land-based operator. Kling is always seeking new opportunities and is therefore now boldly expanding Jokerstar into the regulated online market.
The establishment of the new regulatory regime in Germany to license and regulate online gaming presented an opportunity for Kling to expand their land-based business into the online sector. After a comprehensive vendor evaluation process, Kling chose Pragmatic Solutions to provide the platform technology to support this exciting new phase and ensure local regulatory compliance.
After many months of collaboration with Kling, Pragmatic Solutions implemented all the necessary regulatory controls to enable Jokerstar to meet the strict conditions of the German locally regulated casino market. These measures included enforcement of deposit and betting limits, implementation of problem gambling controls including the “panic button” 24-hr instant cool-off period, integration with the OASIS national self-exclusion database, integrations with the LUGAS central monitoring database, and numerous additional operational and player-experience feature enhancements to give Kling a real advantage in the market.
Pragmatic Solutions is the platform technology sister-company of the industry content leader, Pragmatic Play. The company provides iGaming operators with enterprise platform technologies built around a core Player Account Management (PAM) platform. The Pragmatic Solutions PAM is designed using a modern microservices architecture and contains a player account, wallet, CRM tools, bonus management tools, payment tools, KYC/AML and fraud-prevention services, and is underpinned by rules-based automation throughout. In addition to the PAM, Pragmatic Solutions provides a Content Management System to power the gaming brand frontend clients and an Integrations Hub to connect the operator to many third-party content, payment gateways and services.
For Kling, Pragmatic Solutions presented a full-stack solution to accelerate their time to market and provide a solid technological foundation for Jokerstar.
Juergen Kling, CEO of KLING AUTOMATEN GmbH, explained their choice of Pragmatic Solutions by saying, “We are very excited about the new online opportunity for Kling, and we have ambitious plans for Jokerstar online casino. We have a long-term vision and need a technology partner that can help us enter the market successfully today and provide ongoing innovation and development support in the future to ensure that Jokerstar casino becomes a dominant player in the regulated German market. After a comprehensive evaluation process, we found Pragmatic Solutions to have the right technology, experience in regulated markets, and a strong commitment to supporting our business as we expand into online gaming. We are very excited and proud to announce the launch of Jokerstar.de and the next phase of our partnership with Pragmatic.”
Ashley Lang, Pragmatic Solutions’ CEO, commented on the announcement, “We are delighted to be working with Juergen and the team at Kling in this exciting project. We believe established land-based operators have great potential to lead in regulated markets and to support Kling we have made significant developments to the platform to ensure that it is fully compliant with both the transitional German regime that began on 15 October 2020 and the new Interstate Treaty on Gambling that came into force from the 1 July 2021. We could not be more pleased or proud to be supporting Kling in the launch of Jokerstar casino.”
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