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Conferences in Europe

Responsible Gambling & Anti-money laundering with Dan Iliovici (Romanian National Office of Gambling) and Alex Henderson(The Ritz Hotel Casino London)

Zoltan Tundik

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Prague – 25 January 2018 – The leading boutique style gaming conference in Prague has announced more speaker profiles and it looks like the event will cover all hot topics of the industry.

Responsible Gambling is among the most searched topics of the online and land based industry in regulated markets of the European Union and with the Czech market regulation coming into place, the clear path towards an optimal performance has to be enlightened.

We are honored to announce that the Responsible Gambling topic will be covered by Dan Iliovici, the President of the Romanian National Office of Gambling and the panel will feature important industry speakers such as Alex Henderson (The Ritz Hotel Casino London), Martin Arendts (ARENDTS ANWÄLTE), Pieter Remmers (Assissa) and a special guest from Harris Hagan.

In a recent interview, conducted by our team, Alex Henderson was asked about what social responsibilities does preventing money laundering include?

Alex replied the following:  “In many cases, social responsibility and AML go hand in hand. If an operator has good AML processes in place they will often detect problem gambling concerns and vice versa. We have seen in the recent enforcement action that when an operator is punished for their lapses in social responsibility they are also punished for their lapses in AML, this is because operators generally do not do enough to protect their customers. If an operator has done enough to determine a customer’s Source of Wealth (SOW) they should know when that customer is spending more than they can afford. Therefore if that customer is spending outside of their known income, an operator should be doing extra checks to determine if the customer is spending more, because they either have a gambling problem or they are spending more because they also have some illegitimate funds that have not previously been uncovered.”

You can read the full interview here….

With this fresh announcement, we would also like to announce that Anna Wietrzyńska-Ciołkowska (DLA Piper) will join the “Focus on Poland” panel.

Below you will find a few details of the above mentioned speakers, who will be part of the panel discussions designed to bring the latest information at the second edition of Prague Gaming Summi.

Anna Wietrzyńska-Ciołkowska (DLA Piper)

Anna Wietrzyńska-Ciołkowska advises clients on mergers and acquisitions (both share and asset transactions), as a part of which she specialises in coordinating comprehensive due diligence reviews.

She is the head of the Media, Sport and Entertainment sector group in Warsaw, advising both offshore and domestic clients on the legal aspects of gambling, gaming and promotional lotteries. This includes advice on the legality of particular business models in Poland, the compatibility of Polish gambling law with EU law, the process of obtaining a gambling licence, payment solutions and gaming tax. She also  represents offshore gambling operators’ associations in the Polish gambling legislation process.

Anna’s articles are regularly published in the Polish media and in European sector publications. Her opinions are often sought as an expert on Polish gambling law and she frequently participates in panel discussions on the subject. She is also a regular contributor to the DLA Piper blogs All-In and MSE, dedicated to gambling and gaming issues.

Panel: Focus on Poland

Dan Iliovici(Romanian National Gambling Office – ONJN)

Mr. Dan Iliovici is the President of the National Gambling Office ONJN – the Romanian gambling regulator, monitoring and controling authority. During the last six years Mr. Iliovici represented the interests of the gambling operators as executive manager of two of the most important associations of the industry. He was also member of the Consultancy Council from NGO, actively contributing at the new gambling regulatory framework in Romania. Mr. Dan Iliovici is also dedicated to the study of problem gambling, initiating and promoting the most important Responsible Gambling projects in Romania. He participated as speaker at conferences and seminars across Europe and published more articles on responsible gambling topic.

Panel: Responsible Gambling, AML and Gambling Licensing Procedures in the European Union

Alex Henderson (The Ritz Hotel Casino London)

Alex specialises in preventing money laundering in its varying forms and has a very unique insight that is hard to find.

Alex Henderson is the current Head of AML at The Ritz Hotel Casino, one of the worlds most prestigious casinos. Alex has worked for the National Crime Agency (NCA) as part of the AML expert witness team and has been involved in multiple high end money laundering investigations. As well as having worked for several years as part of the NCA’s AML expert witness team, Alex spent much of his NCA career working as part of the covert operations unit (Undercover operations) portraying many different roles, including the role of a high end money launderer. This unique insight into the mind of a criminal allows financial institutions to see the vulnerabilities and risks from a new angle. Alex advises a large number of organisations with regards to their AML compliance programmes and has lectured extensively in the UK and across Europe.

Panel: Responsible Gambling, AML and Gambling Licensing Procedures in the European Union

Pieter Remmers(Assissa)

Pieter Remmers is a veteran in the area of responsible gaming, consultancy and training of gambling industry professionals. He has been involved in projects with the gambling industry already since 1989. Pieter started his career as the director of an outpatient clinic for addiction problems of Jellinek in the early 80’s.

His company Assissa Consultancy Europe works/worked on responsible gaming policies and programmes in a number of countries i.e. Netherlands, South Africa, Germany, Switzerland, Luxemburg, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Malaysia, Singapore, Canada, Malta, Sweden and others. Besides Pieter is a consultant world wide for as well as the gambling and betting industry land based and online, casinos, slot machine halls and lotteries and for regulators or other governmental bodies.

He works/worked with companies like: IGT/GTech/Lottomatica, Holland Casino, Unibet, Sun International, Svenska Spel, Gauselmann/Merkur, Betsson, Krijco, Fair Play Casinos, Staatsloterij, Lotto NL, Casino 2000, Cogetech, Betfair, National Lottery and many more.

Panel: Responsible Gambling, AML and Gambling Licensing Procedures in the European Union

Martin Arendts (ARENDTS ANWÄLTE)

Martin Arendts is an expert in gaming law, EU law and securities regulation. He studied law at the universities of Passau, Hamburg, Speyer and St Gallen. In 1995, Arendts founded ARENDTS ANWAELTE, now one of the leading law firms for gaming and betting law in Germany (www.gaminglaw.de). Clients include many private bookmakers and remote gaming operators, licensed in the UK, Austria, Malta or Gibraltar, as well as affiliates and media companies in Germany. Recently, Martin Arendts dealt with several administrative law, constitutional law, criminal law, unfair competition law, trademark and licensing proceedings in connection with sports betting, lotteries and poker.

Martin Arendts regularly writes for national and international legal publications and speaks at conferences. His work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Internet Gambling Report, World Online Gambling Law Report, European Gaming Lawyer, Zeitschrift für Wett- und Glücksspielrecht/European Journal of Gambling Law, MultiMedia und Recht (MMR), Gewerbearchiv, Casino & Gaming International and ISA Casinos.

Panel: Responsible Gambling, AML and Gambling Licensing Procedures in the European Union

Visit the official website of the event for more details or follow this space: https://praguegamingsummit.com/

Don’t forget to follow the event’s twitter feedfacebook page to stay up to date with the announcements or join the LinkedIn Group to start networking straight away.

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Conferences in Europe

Exclusive Interview with Piotr Dynowski (Partner and Head of IP, Media, Tech & Comms practice at Bird & Bird’s Warsaw Office)

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The Polish gambling industry has been the subject of many major changes, however not all of them are clear for the operators and shareholders.

So, I took advantage of the opportunity to catch up with Piotr Dynowski (Partner and Head of IP, Media, Tech & Comms practice at Bird & Bird’s Warsaw Office), who is going to be among the speakers at Prague Gaming Summit 2018 (more details here...), to gain an inside perspective on the Polish gambling market.

I would also like to thank you for following my interview series and for sharing these information with your colleagues and partners. If you would like to be featured in an upcoming interview, please send me an e-mail to reka.szalo@europeangaming.eu and I will happily get back to you!

I would like to thank you for spending time to answer our questions. First I would kindly ask you to shortly introduce yourself.

Piotr: My name is Piotr Dynowski and I’m a partner and head of IP, Media, Tech & Comms practice at Bird & Bird’s Warsaw office. For over 10 years now, as part of my practice, I have advised clients on all aspects of gaming law, in particular online gambling and betting, social gaming and e-sports. I advise on licensing regimes, regulatory issues, as well as advertising and provision of B2B services to gambling operators.

What is your personal opinion about the European gambling industry and could you make a comparison with the market that you know better and the European situation in terms of gaming and gambling?

Piotr: Unfortunately, Poland is still one of the most restrictive markets in Europe with respect to gambling and doing business by gambling operators in Poland is still pretty difficult, but apparently the changes to the Polish gambling regulations introduced last year were quite beneficial to the licensed betting operators and helped them almost double their turnover in comparison to the previous years. In general running gambling business, even in the EU, is very difficult as legal regulations differ significantly from country to country, some are very restrictive, others pretty liberal, and it is one of probably very few industry sectors left in the EU that are still completely unharmonised and where it seems the fundamental freedoms on which the EU is based do not really apply. Gambling industry has also to struggle all the time with negative perception by many governments and sometimes also negative image in the society. Generally gambling is still often perceived as something a little doggy and causing a lot of harm to the society despite all the efforts of the industry towards fraud protection, fighting gambling addiction and other important initiatives to prove that it is not a different industry than  any other entertainment industries.

In several Eastern European countries there are significant regulatory changes concerning online gambling. What advise would you give for the operators; which are the most attractive markets?

Piotr: Yes, we have seen recently some major changes to the gambling regulations in several Eastern European countries, but unfortunately most of them did not have too much impact on the situation of the private operators. Either they aimed at expanding and strengthening of the state monopoly like in Poland or Hungary or in theory created new opportunities for private operators to apply for new licences, but in practice turned out to be impossible to complete as in the Czech Republic. It seems that only Romania with its relatively liberal regulation in the region sees a major growth of its gambling market. The next big thing in Europe will most probably be Sweden which after years of strict monopoly will open soon to private operators. Taking into account that already a big number of companies in gambling industry are in fact of Nordic origin, the opening of the Swedish market will create enormous opportunities.

I would like to ask you to speak about the recent updates of the Polish gambling market. What can be expected in 2018 in terms of regulations, changes in this particular industry in Poland?

Piotr: Unfortunately, I’m afraid, there no major changes with respect to gambling regulations in Poland that we can expect in 2018. In my view any major future changes will depend on how successful the new online casino operations of the state monopoly will be, but there are delays with the launch of it, so it will take still some time to see how they are doing. If it is successful, the Polish government will have no incentive to liberalise the regulations and to let the private operators compete with the monopoly. But if it is a failure, they may reconsider whether it is not better to allow private operators to operate more freely and generate revenue for the state from the taxes. The only area where there may potentially be some changes in the foreseeable future is lowering slightly the taxes on gambling in Poland as they are currently very steep and one of the reasons many operators do not even try to apply for a licence here. Such change would certainly be welcome by the industry and could generate some more action on the market.

To hear more about the subject and meet Piotr in person, make sure you register and attend Prague Gaming Summit 2018, held on the 29th of March at Andel’s by Vienna House Prague.

Interviewee profile:

Piotr is one of the leading Intellectual Property, patent and IP litigation lawyers in Poland.

Piotr advises on all aspects of gaming law, in particular online gambling and social gaming. His expertise covers licensing regimes, regulatory issues as well as advertising and provision of services such as electronic payments in relation to gambling products.

In 2011, as the Polish expert he participated in the research conducted by Cambridge Health Alliance together with Harvard Medical School and Harvard Law School, investigating associations between European gambling regulations and the actual gambling behavior of players.

In 2011, he represented the two largest European online gambling industry organisations in complaint proceedings against Poland to the European Commission for violation of the EU law by Polish gambling regulations, which resulted in the European Commission launching proceedings concerning violation of the EU law by Poland at the end of 2013 which terminated only in January 2016 after a number changes to the Polish gambling regulations were introduced.

He is a legal expert of the Polish Chamber of Commerce

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Conferences in Europe

Exclusive interview with Tom Edmonds (Harris Hagan), speaker at Prague Gaming Summit 2018

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It was my pleasure and honor to conduct the below interview with such a experience professional of the gambling industry.

I would also like to thank you for following my interview series and for sharing these information with your colleagues and partners. If you would like to be featured in an upcoming interview, please send me an e-mail to reka.szalo@europeangaming.eu and I will happily get back to you!

My current interviewee is Tom Edmonds (Harris Hagan), who is going to be among the speakers at Prague Gaming Summit 2018 (more details here...)

We are very grateful for your generosity to answer our questions. First I would like to ask you to shortly introduce yourself and tell us when and why you started working in this industry.

Tom: My first taste of working in the gambling industry was advising on the sale of a major gambling company, when I worked at Travers Smith (a UK firm specialising in corporate transactions).  This gave me an appetite to work in the industry and I moved in-house to Betgenius, a B2B sports betting provider.  I then continued my journey into the world of gambling when I joined the specialist gambling law firm Harris Hagan in 2014.

Before joining Harris Hagan in March 2014, you worked at Betgenius as an in-house solicitor. Which are those professional experiences or which is the knowledge you accumulated there and proved to be useful in your present job?

Tom: It was valuable to develop a detailed understanding of the sports betting sector, as well as a general overview of the rest of the industry.  This has enabled me to better assist clients by anticipating issues which a client has not necessarily considered but which I’m aware will come into play.

You advise clients on regulatory requirements from a gambling law perspective, product classification and on making operating license applications in the UK. Which are the most common problems your clients ask your help in and what are your most important suggestions?

Tom: We regularly assist clients with applications for a Gambling Commission licence.  At the outset this involves dealing with the fundamental question of which company/ companies need to be licensed and which licences they need to hold – a question which you might imagine to be simple, but which can be complicated and which is vital to get right.

We then work with clients to ensure they remain compliant with the requirements of holding a Gambling Commission licence and, if they should breach such requirements, assisting them in finding the best resolution.

In several Eastern European countries there are significant regulatory changes concerning online gambling. What is your opinion about the European market in general? What advise would you give for the operators; which are the most attractive markets?

Tom: In general, Europe is moving towards ‘point of consumption’ licensing regimes, as in Great Britain, where operators need a licence in each country from which they take play.  As a result, operators must be prepared to spend increasing amounts of time and money on compliance as they have to deal with the requirements of more licensing regimes.  Conversely, and with regards to the most attractive markets, there are still unregulated markets which may prove more profitable but which also carry a higher risk profile.

You are particularly interested in areas of this industry where sports and gambling meet. How would you characterize this area of the gambling industry and which are the new trends, important changes that you would like to speak about?

Tom: There has been a significant tightening of the rules regarding advertising of gambling, including those adverts shown around televised sporting events.  At the time of writing (mid-February 2018), the advertising regulator in Great Britain has just issued wide ranging new guidance that is intended to have a substantial impact on the content (and tone) of such adverts.  Adverts will have to change but we wait to see how significantly operators will change their adverts and what action is taken against non-compliant operators.

To hear more about the subject and meet Tom in person, make sure you register and attend Prague Gaming Summit 2018, held on the 29th of March at Andel’s by Vienna House Prague.

Interviewee profile:

Tom works in the Gambling Group and specialises in regulatory, commercial and corporate matters.

Before joining Harris Hagan, Tom worked as an in-house solicitor at Betgenius, a technology company which provides sportsbook solutions to bookmakers. At Betgenius, Tom gained first-hand experience of the online industry and advised on a broad range of commercial contracts and regulatory matters. Prior to working at Betgenius, Tom trained and worked for four years at Travers Smith where he specialised in M&A, including advising on the sale of a large gaming company.

Tom joined Harris Hagan in March 2014 and deals with all aspects of gambling law including advising major land based casino operators, online B2B and B2C operators and start up companies. Tom regularly advises clients on regulatory requirements from a gambling law perspective, product classification and on making operating licence applications in the UK. Tom has a particular interest in areas where there is a cross-over between sport and gambling including sports betting, advertising gambling at sports events and spot-the ball competitions

In his spare time, Tom enjoys playing or watching sport, planning adventures overseas and having the occasional flutter.

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Conferences in Europe

New speakers added at Prague Gaming Summit 2018, Tal Zamstein (Fortuna Group) and Jakub Kolomicenko (Endorphina)

Zoltan Tundik

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Prague – 13 February 2018 – As organizers of the leading boutique style gaming conference in Prague we gathering new and old faces of the industry in order to highlight the trending topics for the attending delegates.

Following the latest statements of the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, who stressed on the fact that 30 million crowns are needed this year to prevent gambling addiction, the event registrations have grown significantly.

Babis has also stated that Labour and Social Affairs Minister Jaroslava Nemcova has been tasked to find out whether the sum can be drawn from the EU money that has been designated for the Czech Republic but still remains partly unused.

Seven centres of gambling prevention operate in the Czech Republic. Babis said such centres should be in each of the country’s 14 regions.

There are several sources which point towards the fact that a debate might be launched on raising the tax on alcohol, tobacco and gambling.

These statements leave the gambling industry related debate open in terms of profitability and clear vision to setting an optimal market for operators and players.

We are honored to announce our latest speakers who will join the “Focus on Czech Republic (panel discussion)” which is going to be held between 10:30 – 11:30 AM (Prague Local Time) at the second edition of Prague Gaming Summit. (more details about the agenda can be found here…)

Tal Zamstein (Group Head of Gaming at Fortuna Group)

Tal is an extraordinary manager with excellent leading skills. He is an experienced professional and well known for his innovative work within the gaming industry. Tal believes and drives his team to better achievements. He encourages his team by supporting them in all their endeavors. An outstanding manager, who creates a calm and professional work environment.

 

Jakub Kolomicenko (Endorphina)

Jakub started his practice as a corporate lawyer and member of Czech Bar Association but then he changed his focus and as an in-house counsel specializes on IP law and all aspects of gaming law namely licensing, regulations and compliance.

He can be reached at legal@endorphina.com or skype legal.endorphina

 

 

To meet Tal and Jakub in person, make sure you register and attend Prague Gaming Summit 2018, held on the 29th of March at Andel’s by Vienna House Prague.

More speaker profiles will be announced soon, but you may want to check the already confirmed line-up of speakers and register in time. The event is limited to 125 seats.

Visit the official website of the event for more details or follow this space: https://praguegamingsummit.com/

Don’t forget to follow the event’s twitter feedfacebook page to stay up to date with the announcements or join the LinkedIn Group to start networking straight away.

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