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Compliance Updates

BGC Welcomes Labour’s Election Victory

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The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has welcomed Labour’s General Election victory and committed to working with the new government to deliver a world class betting and gaming industry.

Labour secured a landslide victory after the nation went to the polls on Thursday, July 4.

BGC Chair Michael Dugher said: “On behalf of our members, the 110,000 people whose jobs rely on the regulated betting and gaming industry, and the 22.5 million people who enjoy a bet each month, we welcome Labour’s victory and its commitment to continue working with the industry.

“On hard-pressed high streets through bookmakers, in the leisure and tourism sector through casinos and bingo halls and in tech, where our members are genuine world beaters, this is a sector ready to contribute on growth, jobs and investment in the economy. We are investing in virtually every constituency in the land and we look forward to working with all the newly elected Members of Parliament.

“BGC members are currently in the midst of the biggest regulatory changes in a generation following the publication of the White Paper, which Labour supported, and much of this work will carry on now the election is complete. Our members have the much needed political certainty they need to plan and invest for a sustainable future.

“This work is backed up by the industry’s own significant efforts to drive world-class standards and protections for the vulnerable, which has transformed the sector in recent years and stands in marked contrast to the dangers posed by the unsafe, unregulated black market online.

“The BGC and our members remain committed to working with Labour to implement the evidence-based, proportionate, regulatory changes outlined in the White Paper, ensuring those measures get the balance right between protecting the vulnerable, while allowing the vast majority of punters who enjoying betting responsibly to continue doing so without unnecessary intrusion.

“The BGC had long treated Labour as a Government in waiting, working closely with shadow ministers in recent years, on behalf of our members and their millions of customers.

“Our work to drive up standards and champion a world leading British industry carries on and we look forward to partnering with Labour – as they have pledged – in this vitally important work.”

Compliance Updates

REOPENING OF THE GCB ONLINE PORTAL FOR APPLICATIONS

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GCB Portal Re-Opening

The Curacao Gaming Control Board (GCB) is pleased to announce the reopening of the GCB Portal on July 15th 2024 at 00.01 Curacao time. The portal will once again be accepting applications and processing them under the current NOOGH legislation. B2C, B2B2C and B2B operators may all make applications.

Please be aware that we will continue to prioritise applications submitted on or before the April 30th deadline. While we accept new applications, our primary focus remains on processing those received within the original stipulated timeframe.

Portal and procedure changes

All applicants are referred to the Application Submission Guidelines published in March 2024 on the GCB website and the application manual published on the GCB portal as the general rule with three notes:

1. An account is opened on the portal by an Official Representative of the Curacao entity who becomes the “Portal Admininistrator” and has the authority to assign other individuals “Portal User” or “Licensee Account” roles, each with their own permissions. The Portal User or Licensee Account roles can be held by any person(s) of the entity’s choosing including, for example, internal licensing departments of the operator, CSPs or authorised agents. Either the Portal User or the Licensee Account is permitted to submit the application. The Official Representative should appear in the Curacao Chamber of Commerce excerpt of the company.

An Authorisation Letter is no longer required, however the GCB retains the right to conduct due diligence on the Portal User or Licensee Account.

2. Applicants are advised that the registration of “Qualifying Persons” on the portal has been updated. Additional information must be submitted in order for the Personal Account Number (“PAN”) to be issued.

3. Applications on the portal contain real-time checklists which clarifiy the outstanding documentation of information required by the GCB to progress or complete the licensing process. Operators are advised to check the portal on a regular basis, and for expediency should upload documents on the relevant section of the portal, rather than submit them by email or messaging system.

Depending on the nature of the issue, the GCB may either proceed with the application while addressing the matter or pause it until a satisfactory resolution is received. In certain cases, these issues may result in specific licensing conditions.

Master License Expiry.

The GCB wants to remind users that none of the the Master Licenses will be renewed after their expiration dates. The first expiration date is in August 2024, and the last is in January 2025. If the LOK is enacted before any of these expiration dates, the Master License will automatically end on the enactment date.

Certificate of Operation

Sublicensees that have applications in progress but have not yet been granted a direct license at a time that their associated Master License expires will be offered a “Certificate of Operation” as a temporary measure to facilitate continuation of operations.

Certification of Operations will not be provided to current sublicensees whose Master License expires but do not have fully completed applications registered on the portal.

The GCB is diligently processing all licenses as quickly as possible to optimise the timing of direct license issuance in line with the order of Master License expiration. If operators have not yet received a direct license direct license at that time, the domain token will direct to the Certificate of Operation and Orange Digital Seal rather than the Green Digital Seal.

The Green Digital Seal will be issued once a direct license has been granted.

Domain management

The User Manual on the home page of the portal explains in detail how to add, remove and transfer domains. Please consult this manual as to the actions that must be taken.

Domains are accepted with proof of domain ownership from a registry and any sale/transfer documentation if applicable.

Once a domain is added, the GCB is notified automatically and a manual verification is performed. The domain verification processwill take some days to be completed, after which the Digital Seal may be added to the domain.

Domains that are associated with an application company, but not under the governance of the Master License(s) listed on the application may be added to that application (Orange Digital Seal) but do not fall under the responsibility of the Master Licensor.

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Compliance Updates

Spillemyndigheden Calls Attention to FATF’s Updated Lists of High-risk Jurisdictions

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The Danish Gambling Authority has called attention to FATF’s (Financial Action Task Force) updated lists of high-risk jurisdictions: the Grey List (jurisdictions under increased monitoring) and Black List (call for actions). Among other things, gambling operators must include FATF’s lists of high-risk jurisdictions when assessing players’ risk.

Jurisdictions listed on the Grey List are Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Croatia, DR Congo, Haiti, Kenya, Mali, Monaco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Venezuela, Vietnam and Yemen.

Jurisdictions listed on the Black List are the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Iran and Myanmar.

Gambling operators are required to conduct enhanced customer due diligence (EDD) pursuant to section 17(1) of the Danish AML Act, if a player is assessed to impose a higher risk of the gambling operator being misused for money laundering or terrorist financing.

Gambling operators shall conduct this risk assessment based on Annex 3 to the AML Act (high-risk factors) which includes the FATF high-risk country lists (the so called black list and grey list).

It is not required that gambling operators perform EDD if a country is listed on the FATF’s list. EDD are only a requirement for players from jurisdictions listed in the EU Regulation of High Risk Third Country list pursuant to 17(2) of the AML Act.

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Compliance Updates

Finland: EGBA Welcomes Essential Step Towards Meaningful Gambling Reform

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On July 3, Finland’s Ministry of the Interior published draft legislation outlining the country’s new gambling framework. The draft law is now open for consultation until August 18, 2024. Currently, Finland is the last EU country with a comprehensive monopoly on online gambling. The proposal aims to introduce competition by licensing various online gambling and betting verticals.

Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA, said: “The publication of the draft legislation is a welcome and essential step towards meaningful gambling reform in Finland. This signals the end of comprehensive online gambling monopolies in the EU, as Finland is the last member state that still has a monopoly for online gambling. We look forward to reviewing the draft legislation over the coming weeks and engaging in continued dialogue with the Finnish Government and local stakeholders as the regulatory discussions progress.”

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