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Slovakia plans on adopting a new gambling law

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Slovakia plans on adopting a new gambling law
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Slovakia has recently submitted a new draft legislation to the European Commission that aims to introduce some major changes in the way the country regulates the gambling industry. Joining the recent trend that has swept throughout Europe, Slovakia aims to liberalize the gambling market with the new draft and effectively make it easier for international companies to offer their services to the Slovakian market. The draft Act on Gambling was submitted to EC by the Slovak Ministry of Finance on July 25, 2018. EC has three months to review the proposal, during which time the draft will be in a standstill, meaning it will not be able to take effect.

The new draft lets the state keep monopoly over some gambling activities while allowing international companies to enter the market in others

As reported by Casinopånett.eu, similarly to what Sweden is planning, Slovakia will allow the national provider – Tipos, to maintain its monopoly in certain parts of the industry, like the provision of online lottery and bingo. On the other hand, international companies will be able to offer the customers online casino games but to do so they will have to obtain licenses from the regulators. The authorities have been open about the fact that they are actively studying the experience of other European countries with similar matters to base their decisions on. Representatives from the government commented that the regulators want to take “the technological progress and the findings of regulatory authorities in other European countries into account more fully.”

Some of the other changes considered in the draft include allowing Slovak municipalities more authority when it comes to regulating gambling activities. It will be up to the judgment of local authorities to determine whether to allow land-based gambling activity on their territories or not. This piece of legislation might appease the critics of the gambling industry. Furthermore, the draft proposes establishing a separate regulatory body to oversee the gambling industry. The Regulatory Office of Gambling will be tasked with this as well as issuing the licenses to the companies.

The authorities see the deregulation as a second wave after the country cracked down on illegal gambling providers. Peter Papanek, who is the head of the Association of Betting Companies of the Slovak Republic commented: “The state began blocking illegal companies. But that was only the first step. Now comes the second, clear rules for everyone – anyone who wants to offer online casino games will be able to do so if they meet the prescribed conditions.” Furthermore, he emphasized the need of liberalization as a means to stifle the illegal activities saying: “Experience from abroad shows that, if the state wants to intervene against tax evasion and illegal gambling, it must go through the liberalisation of the market and the setting of fair conditions, inter alia, to motivate operators to operate legally.”

The Remote Gaming Association criticizes the new draft

RGA has openly expressed that the new draft will attract more international operators, which is good for the industry. On the other hand, the organization would have liked the draft to go even further with its liberal approach. For example, RGA commented that the proposed licensing fees would be almost ten times higher than those of the neighboring countries, which would put Slovakia at a competitive disadvantage and discourage many international operators from entering the market. Furthermore, the organization criticized the fact that the issue of sports betting licenses is delayed for a year after the rest of the market is deregulated. “We argue that this provision is discriminatory against European companies, is not based on sound public-policy objectives, and is effectively aimed to protect local sports betting licensees from competition,” – Pierre Tournier, the RGA’s director of government relations commented on the issue.

Full article available here: https://casinopånett.eu/nyheter/slovakia-planlegger-ny-gamblinglov/

Central Europe

Ever more people 60 years and older are gaming

George Miller

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Ever more people 60 years and older are gaming
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  • More than 34 million Germans play computer and video games
  • Over 5 million seniors are gamers
  • Average age of gamers increases to 37.5 years

Ever more seniors are discovering an affinity for games. Over 5 million people 60 years or older in Germany currently play computer and video games – an increase of around 700,000 players compared to the figure of about 4.4 million in 2019. A total of more than 34 million people play computer and video games in Germany. These are the numbers released today by game – the German Games Industry Association, based on data collected by the market research company GfK. As in all other age groups, players over 60 are equally divided between women and men. Seniors most often reach for their smartphone or tablet to play; around 50 per cent of players in this age group make use of these devices for gaming.

‘For many people 60 years and older, a virtual round of skat, a construction simulation or a crossword puzzle is just as much a part of everyday life as reading the newspaper or watching the news,’ says game Managing Director Felix Falk. ‘Games often open the door to the digital world for older people. They don’t merely entertain; they make possible digital participation. The ongoing corona crisis brings into even sharper focus just how important access to the digital world is for older people too.’

The average age of gamers in Germany continues to increase

Currently, around 34 million people play computer and video games in Germany. Half of these players are women (about 48 per cent). The average age of gamers in Germany has increased compared to last year, from 36.4 years in 2019 to 37.5 years currently. This is in part a result of the continual increase in the numbers of gamers in the 50–59 and 60-plus age groups in Germany. In part, it is due to the fact that many long-time players have remained true to the medium and are now in these age categories.

About the market data

Please note: for the first time, the current market data includes analyses for the 60-plus age group. This data is visualised in the corresponding market data graphic.

The market data is based on statistics compiled by the GfK Consumer Panel and App Annie. The methods used by GfK to collect data on Germany’s digital games market are unique in terms of both their quality and their global use. They include an ongoing survey of 25,000 consumers who are representative of the German population as a whole regarding their digital game purchasing and usage habits, as well as a retail panel. The data collection methods provide a unique insight into the German market for computer and video games.

game – the German Games Industry Association:

We are the association of the German games industry. Our members include developers, publishers and many other games industry actors such as esports event organisers, educational establishments and service providers. As a joint organiser of gamescom, we are responsible for the world’s biggest event for computer and video games. We are an expert partner for media and for political and social institutions, and answer questions relating to market development, games culture and media literacy. Our mission is to make Germany the best games location.

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Central Europe

Scientific Games Signs Technology Deal with LOTTO Bayern

Niji Narayan

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Scientific Games Signs Technology Deal with LOTTO Bayern
Photo Source: abendzeitung-muenchen.de
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Scientific Games Corporation, the US-based provider of gambling products and services, has inked a new four-year systems technology deal with Staatliche Lotterieverwaltung (LOTTO Bayern), the state lottery operator for the German Province of Bavaria.

As per the deal, Scientific Games will migrate LOTTO Bayern’s existing gaming system to the Company’s advanced “SYMPHONY” technology over the next year.

SYMPHONY is Scientific Games’ latest digital lottery business platform and games technology designed to support new channels and easily integrate third-party solutions through secure, open interfaces.

Scientific Games will also supply retail technology, instant games, sports betting and other online services to LOTTO Bayern.

“For more than 25 years, LOTTO Bayern has trusted Scientific Games to provide best-in-class lottery products and solutions to serve its retailers and entertain players. Our new SYMPHONY open-architecture gaming system advances LOTTO Bayern’s operations and helps drive maximum profits for beneficiaries,” Pat McHugh, Group Chief Executive, Lottery for Scientific Games, said.

“It’s important for Scientific Games to provide our lottery customers with market-driven, cloud-ready and ultra-reliable systems, like SYMPHONY,” Matthias Müller, VP Sales and Marketing International Lottery Accounts for Scientific Games, said.

“SYMPHONY accelerates time-to-market for new products and services while integrating new solutions to implement new games, providing LOTTO Bayern players with the latest state-of-the-art technology,” Matthias Müller added.

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Central Europe

Polish Bookmakers Association Calls for Government Help

Niji Narayan

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Polish Bookmakers Association Calls for Government Help
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The Employers and Employees of the Bookmakers Companies Association in Poland have called for government help to avoid significant job losses as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The association said it has seen the number of bets placed drop by around 60% due to the cancellation of sports across the globe. This decline is particularly after the retail bookmakers in Poland closed from 14 March.

As a result, bookmakers have seen customer spending disappear, meaning they are losing money, with no way to mitigate the shut-down.

The association said this would result in efforts to reduce fixed costs, including mass redundancies, with many operators now facing bankruptcy. The situation could result in most of the 5000 staff employed in betting shops, not to mention head office staff, risk losing their jobs, it warned.

The regulated Polish gambling industry has an annual turnover estimated at PLN7bn, of which at least PLN820m goes to the state through gambling and lottery taxes.

To avoid job losses and protect the state’s tax revenue, the association urged the Polish government to reduce gambling tax rates from 12% to 10% of turnover at least until August this year. The association also asked the government to delay the deadline for paying these taxes to September.

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