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Austria to tighten online regulation

George Miller

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Austria to tighten online regulation
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Internet service providers in Austria could be authorised to block domains of websites that break local laws, such as some international gambling sites.

 

Internationally licensed online gambling sites have proven to be a pain to deal to several countries without proper regulation for the online segment. In order to improve its control over them, Austria is considering to authorise internet service providers (ISPs) to block the domains of websites presumed to be breaking their laws.

As reported by CalvinAyre, plans to amend the Telecommunications Act 2003 to permit local ISPs to take “traffic management measures” in order to prevent “criminal acts” have been recently revealed by the Ministry of the Interior. Despite not being specifically targetted to gambling sites, the Austrian Association for Betting and Gaming (OVWG) has alerted that they could be included if Austrian legislators approve the amendment.

Government’s intentions aren’t a novelty, however, legal challenges at the Court of Justice for the European Union have interfered with their previous efforts to get ISPs to block unauthorised gambling operators’ domains.

Online gambling verticals (excluding sports betting) are restricted in Austria to the Win2Day brand of Casinos Austria and its Austrian Lotteries subsidiary. The OVWG was created to update the current framework in order to make it more EU-compliant.

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GVC Airs Black Market Concerns About New Gaming Legislation in Germany

Niji Narayan

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GVC HoldingsGVC Airs Black Market Concerns About New Gaming Legislation in GermanyQ1 Trading and COVID-19 Planning Update
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Gaming industry leader GVC has issued an early warning about the new gambling law in Germany, which is scheduled to be implemented in July 2021. The new legislation would allow the entry of any number of sports betting providers, virtual slot machines and online poker games. The law will also permit a a limited number of online casino game providers too.

This law results from an agreement signed between federal states, which gives the individual states the power to define the limits on their discretion on many aspects such as the design of gambling products and gambling advertisement.

The law advocates many restrictions too, some of which are the following:

  • A ban of live streaming on betting sites.
  • No commercial advertising on radio and internet for virtual slot machines, online poker and casino games between 6am and 9pm.
  • A one-minute delay for customers when they switch between different games on the same internet domain, such as from sports betting to virtual slot machines.
  • A five-minute delay when switching between different gambling sites.
  • A €1 stake limit on virtual slot machines.
  • In-play sports betting limited to the final score and associated markets..

GVC warns that the provisions in the legislation are inadequate to protect the players’ interests.  They might end up achieving a wholly unfulfilling gaming experience for users, the company suggests.

GVC’s main concern is that this legislation will render licensed products less attractive and less competitive than the unlicensed counterparts. This could result in a huge risk where customers will be attracted to the black market.

As per the new law, the 16 German states can prohibit or allow online casino table games, for example, and impose their own restrictions. According to GVC, this will create an unequal playing field that is in contrast with the EU law.

There is, therefore, a huge risk that customers will move to the black market, where there is zero responsibility, zero protection and zero tax being paid.

The new law requires sharing of player’s personal data between operators and authorities so as to prevent parallel play across providers. This could develop as a breach of EU’s data protection fundamental rights.

 

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Central Europe

RTSmunity strengthen their position on the european market with forBET partnership

George Miller

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RTSmunity strengthen their position on the european market with forBET partnership
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RTSmunity, esports odds and trading provider, continue their expansion on european betting market with new partnership. The new cooperation with polish sportsbook operator forBET comes in a time where many major sports are facing problems, and esports are working as a stable stream of revenue. Customers of forBET will now be able to experience the top esports offer, improved in every measurable aspect – number of markets, uptime, odds.

The partnership between RTSmunity and forBET confirms the strategy that RTSmunity outlined earlier this year, which is continuous expansion on the european market, combined with new partnerships in the US and LatAm region. With many sportsbook operators looking to esports in a new new perspective, forBET demonstrated ability to be fast and agile company, by quickly enhancing their esports betting offer through RTSmunity odds feed.

Pavol Krasnovský, CEO of RTSmunity, said: We are very happy to start a new partnership with forBET. They have been able to succeed in very competitive betting market in Poland, and bringing their esports offer to the top level is the obvious step forward. We are very confident in our solution, and we have demonstrated that we are able to make esports a growing stream of revenue for sportsbook operators.

Petr Pacinek, General Director of forBET, said: The cooperation we have just started is a clear signal of the way we have chosen – continuous improvement of our offer, in order to support growth of our market share. Esports betting is still a developing industry, but already very competitive, and you can’t succeed without having the best offer. That’s why we have chosen RTSmunity to be our new partner, and we count on them to bring us to the top.

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Central Europe

German States in Discussion Over Possible Transition Period for iGaming

Niji Narayan

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German States in Discussion Over Possible Transition Period for iGaming
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Several German states are in discussions over a potential transition period that could allow operators to continue offering online casino products until the vertical is legalised from July 2021.

The exact nature of the discussions and whether this would allow operators to provide online casino without any sort of restriction, is as yet unclear, with reports telling that they do not want to pre-empt the talks.

“The federal states are currently coordinating the extent to which enforcement measures against illegal gambling can be effectively implemented in the transition phase,” a spokesperson for the state government of Nordrhein-Westfalen said.

While other states are yet to respond to requests for comment, local media reports that the chancelleries in Bavaria, Hamburg and Berlin are also involved in the discussions.

The discussions are playing out ahead of the implementation of the Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag (GlüNeuRStV) from 1 July 2021. This revised regulatory model, which is currently subject to a standstill period as it is considered by the European Commission, expands the online market beyond sports betting for the first time.

From July next year, online casino and poker will be regulated, albeit under strict conditions, such as a €1 per spin cap on slot stakes, and table games licences restricted to the number of land-based casinos in each state.

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