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What Can European Markets Learn from the Online Casino Industry in New Zealand and Australia?

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It was recently revealed that we may be on the precipice of a crackdown on unlicensed Australian sites, after it was revealed that operators were targeting players without being accredited by The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

However, the really telling number here was the approximate size of the online GGY in the Asia-Pacific region as a whole, with estimates placing this between $65 billion and $90 billion per annum.

This augurs well for markets such as New Zealand and Australia, which are open to operators from across the globe despite prohibiting domestic operators from targeting players. But what lessons can European markets learn from the industry in the Asia-Pacific region?

 

The Importance of a Single Regulatory Framework

Of course, the European iGaming market features the 27 remaining members of the single bloc (amongst others), who despite cooperation on most matters of trade and commerce, operate completely different laws when it comes to online gambling.

In fact, the regulatory frameworks for online gambling are noticeably diverse across the continent, especially when you compare countries in the west with those in the east.

This represents something of a challenge for players and regulators alike, especially when you consider the impact of freedom of movement with the EU. More specifically, the availability of casino games and sports betting varies considerably from one country to another, so those who regularly cross these borders may find it hard to understand their rights and responsibilities as players in real-time.

Conversely, both Australia and New Zealand operate a clear and singular regulatory framework, which is easy to understand for both operators and players alike.

Similarly, these entities are accountable to identifiable and omnipotent regulatory bodies, namely the aforementioned ACMA and the New Zealand Gambling Commission.

At the same time, operators are beholden to clearly-defined and specific laws in the regions, with any licensed online casino in New Zealand subject to the Gambling Act of 2003.

Stakeholders in Australia are also subject to the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 (which was updated in 2017), and the markets in Europe would definitely benefit from this type of single-minded and concise legislative approach.

 

A Clear Approach to the Use of Credit Cards

There’s also no single approach to the use of credit cards by online gamblers, despite calls for all EU member states to follow the example of the UK by banning this practice.

Interestingly, this is also something that the Australian authorities have begun to pursue tenaciously, with the nation’s Parliament hoping to initiate a law that would completely prohibit the use of credit cards and digital wallets for iGaming transactions.

This would extend the provisions already in place in brick-and-mortar casinos throughout Australia, safeguarding vulnerable players and highlighting the adverse effects on consumers across the board.

A thorough investigation is well underway, with the enquiry committee responsible expected to submit its final report by July 30th.

From a European perspective, Germany has already announced a credit card gambling ban, which was approved in 2020 and will prohibit players from funnelling funds in and out of their accounts via this method.

Similarly, Spain appeared poised to amend its own gambling legislation and prohibit the use of credit cards at the beginning of 2020, but the law has yet to be formally enacted and remains at the centre of a debate about how best to protect potentially vulnerable players.

Ultimately, there’s a lack of a clear consensus amongst European markets when it comes to credit card usage, with this partially due to uncertainty and the various counter-arguments put forward by the European Betting and Gaming Association.

This may prove counterproductive over time, with studies highlighting the danger posed by credit cards and the potential for players to accumulate debt relatively quickly.

 

The Last Word

There are some clear takeaways here, with the most obvious being the relatively disorganised regulatory approach in Europe’s iGaming markets and the way in which this contrasts with the legislative measures in Australia and New Zealand.

The lack of a standardised framework in Europe is also at odds with the close and integrated nature of EU member states, which is why the Commission has pledged to help support single bloc countries in their attempts to create far greater cooperation amongst national regulators.

This is perhaps the best lesson that European and EU iGaming markets can learn from Australia and NZ, especially if they want to create a safer and more seamless experience for their players.

 

 

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NGDC Season VI: Special Qualifier announced for Game Wave Festival

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We’re thrilled to announce a special qualification round of the Nordic Game Discovery Contest Season VI, giving Baltic-based developers a unique chance for a seat in the NGDC Grand Finals.

All studios attending the upcoming Game Wave Festival in Tallinn (www.gamewave .eu) can submit their game to the NGDC when they register for the festival. A board of experts will then select the game which deserves the most to be discovered, and it will get status as NGDC Grand Finalist and be among the studios battling for the three seats at the live and hybrid NGDC Final 3 on 28 November.

“We’re very excited to announce this special qualifier”, says NGDC host and Nordic Game Program Director Jacob Riis. “The Baltic region has a great amount of talented developers, and it will be very exciting to see who will be selected as the finalist for the NGDC Grand Finals.” 

We are very happy to welcome NGDC to our event and to have such an important game-related event in the Baltics region. It will draw top game studio attention to our region and inspire new studio development and capacity building of experienced ones.” adds Ints Viksna, head of the Game Wave Festival.

The selected game will win a seat in the NGDC Grand Finals throughout November, as well as prizes from Tencent Games, Nordic Game, and PR specialists Games Branding.

Apply now! 

Are you developing or have you already developed a game that deserves more attention than it’s received so far? And are you attending the Game Wave Festival? If so, submit your game and prepare to participate in the special qualifying round of NGDC Season VI – and maybe go all the way to the Grand Final 3 Final on 28 November.

Here’s the submission form for the NGDC Season VI qualifier: https://forms.gle/bjpURRjV8pMgVAsk7Deadline is 14 October 2022

NGDC Season VI is sponsored by Tencent Games, and Nordic Game Ventures, in partnership with Games Branding.

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Selecting esports titles to be played in MSSA Provincial and National Championships

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Selecting esports titles is always an emotive issue.

All esports athletes have strong likes and dislikes, gamers always want their favourite esports titles to be given preferential treatment.

In order to make the process more objective and reduce the influence of any one member club and/or individual, Mind Sports South Africa (MSSA) has a policy in place in order to ensure that there is a due process as well as a fair system in place in order to ensure that the correct titles are selected.

However, it should be noted that MSSA currently only selects 10 titles to be played at Provincial and National Championships.

Priority is given to the esports titles that are played at IESF’s World Championships and Global Esports Federation’s Global Esports Games (GEG) in order to assist MSSA deliver a national team.

Even though only 10 titles are so selected, that does not mean that the other titles cannot be held at MSSA events.

However, it should be noted that any approved title may be played at an official MSSA Regional Championships. In fact, it is at such Regional Championships that the popularity of various esports titles is tested in order to evaluate whether such titles should, in future, be included in MSSA’s Provincial and National Championships.

The full rules on how titles are selected are as follows:

Schedule 3: SELECTION OF TITLES FOR PROVINCIAL AND NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
  1. The periods (titles) selected shall be decided upon by the Annual General Meeting.
  2. Not more than ten (10) titles shall be selected every year from nominations received.
  3. The titles played at the most recent IESF World Championships shall automatically be selected.
  4. The remaining titles may then be selected.
  5. Should IESF introduce new titles into its World Championships which have not been selected by MSSA, then the least popular game in its genre (excluding titles that are being played at IESF’s World Championships) shall immediately fall away in favour of the new title.
  6. The popularity of a period (title) shall be based on attendance at MSSA events.
  7. Should IESF introduce new titles into its World Championships which have not been selected by MSSA, and no MSSA event have been held in such period (title) then the Board of Control shall decide which period (title) falls away in such genre (excluding titles that are being played at IESF’s World Championships).
  8. Should IESF introduce new titles into its World Championships which have not been selected by MSSA, and there are no other periods (titles) within its genre, then the least popular game (excluding titles that are being played at IESF’s World Championships) shall immediately fall away in favour of the new title.
  9. For any period to be nominated, such period (title) shall have been played at any two Regional Events at which there were at least three teams per event.

All proposals for titles must be submitted to MSSA by 1 November 2022 for inclusion in the Agenda for the 2022 Annual General Meeting (AGM).

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PAGCOR extends cash aid to kin of five fallen Bulacan rescuers

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THE Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) on September 30, 2022 extended financial assistance worth P100,000 to each of the families of the five rescue workers in Malolos, Bulacan who perished recently in the line of duty at the height of Super Typhoon Karding.

PAGCOR provided the cash aid in recognition of the heroism of Narciso Calayag, Jr., Jerson Resurreccion, Marby Bartolome, George Agustin and Troy Justin Agustin. The victims drowned in floodwater when a wall collapsed on them while performing rescue duties last September 25, 2022.

Apart from providing financial assistance to the families of the five fallen rescue workers, the state-run gaming firm joined hands with the Bridges of Benevolent Initiative Foundation, Inc. (BBFI), the charitable arm of The Midori Clark Casino operated by BB International Leisure and Resort Development Corp. (BBI), in conducting relief operations for the typhoon victims in the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga.

The recipients in the towns of San Miguel and Sto. Nino, Pampanga received 400 and 150 food relief packs, respectively, while a total of 300 families in Hagonoy, Bulacan, were also provided relief items. Each relief pack contained rice, instant noodles, coffee, and canned goods.

As of September 30, 2022, PAGCOR and its licensees have distributed 4,700 relief packs in different areas in Luzon affected by the recent typhoon and are set to conduct more distributions in the upcoming days.

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