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Compliance Updates

Montenegro’s evolving legal landscape: recent amendments and controversies in games of chance regulation

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Montenegro’s Law on Games of Chance (the “Law”) was enacted in 2004 and has undergone multiple amendments since. The most recent ones came into effect on 1 January 2024.

The aim of the amendments, as stated by the competent authorities, is to ensure a sustainable regulatory system for organising games of chance via the internet or other telecommunication means, as well as to generate additional revenue from these activities. This objective is to be achieved through measures aimed at establishing a variable concession fee for the organisation of online games of chance, a provision not envisaged in the prior legal framework in this area. Another measure to achieve the set goal is to introduce a ban on participation in foreign games of chance via the internet and other telecommunication means for which bets are paid on the territory of Montenegro.

To achieve these objectives through the proposed measures, several amendments to the Law have been proposed and adopted:

  • The concept of organising games of chance through the internet or other telecommunication means has been clearly defined for the first time.
  • A ban has been introduced on participation in foreign games of chance for which bets are paid within the territory of Montenegro, regarding the organisation of internet betting. Therefore, the competent authorities are now obliged to restrict access to the websites of gaming organisers who accept payments for games of chance from players in Montenegro, through the blocking of IP addresses by an independent regulatory body in the field of electronic communications, as well as the prohibition of all types of payments to foreign organisers. Furthermore, the competent authority is required to maintain and publish a list of unauthorised online gaming organisers ex officio.
  • A higher annual fixed fee per casino has been introduced, now amounting to EUR 100,000 instead of the previous EUR 50,000. Additionally, the variable fee for organising games of chance in casinos has increased from 10 % to 15 % of the base.
  • A prohibition on organising games in residential-commercial buildings has been introduced.
  • A new regulatory framework has been established for the organisation of games of chance on the internet. The most significant changes involve defining the conditions and methods of player registration and identification, as well as establishing the obligation to pay the variable portion of the concession fee for organising betting games of chance over the internet, as well as for organising games of chance in virtual casinos and online slot games. The fee is calculated at a rate of 10 % of the base, which consists of the total amount of stakes reduced by the value of payouts and is paid by the fifteenth of the month for the previous month. The fixed part of the concession fee amounts to EUR 10,000 for all the aforementioned types of games of chance organised over the internet. Additionally, with the introduction of the new Article 68f of the Law, it is stipulated that payments for organising games of chance over the internet can only be made through payment cards or at the premises where games of chance are organised in accordance with the Law.

The new legislative solution has not escaped scrutiny from interested market participants, especially regarding the controversial Article 68f. There has been particular attention in the public sphere to the reactions of associations of gaming organisers, which, through various reviews, have questioned the justification, sustainability and legality of the provision stipulating that payments for organising games of chance over the internet can only be made through payment cards or at the premises where games of chance are organised.

In response to the reaction of the association of gaming organisers, a petition was initiated, gathering over 25,000 signatures. An initiative was subsequently submitted to the Montenegrin Parliament to repeal Article 68f. In addition, another initiative was lodged with the Constitutional Court of Montenegro to review the constitutionality of Article 68f.

The competent authorities are currently processing these initiatives. Meanwhile, legal experts and the general public eagerly await more answers to these legally and practically intriguing questions in the coming period.

Source: schoenherr.eu

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Compliance Updates

GoldenRace is now certified in the Netherlands

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GoldenRace is now certified in the Netherlands
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GoldenRace, global provider of award-winning Virtual Sports and betting solutions, has recently obtained a certification for its highly acclaimed Virtual Sports and Games in the Dutch market.

GoldenRace successfully navigated the stringent regulatory landscape of the Netherlands, and now will be providing its impressive betting products into the Online Dutch market, which will be an important advancement in our operational expansion.

The Netherlands betting scene is on the cusp of a substantial growth phase and with GoldenRace’s latest certification, we introduce to the Dutch market a range of highly popular games tailored to desktop and mobile, in both scheduled and on-demand modes.

Among the offer, players will enjoy our most-played Virtual Football line-up – including Football Single, Leagues, World Cup and Euro Champions-, adrenaline-pumping 3×3 Basketball and MMA and top-notch races as Horse Racing, Greyhound Racing and Grand Prix Indianapolis 60. Last but not least, our Number Games, such as Spin2Win. All ready to captivate Dutch players.

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PAGCor Welcomes Lawyer Wilma Eisma as New President and Chief Operating Officer

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The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCor) today welcomed its new President and Chief Operating Officer, lawyer Wilma Eisma, who took her oath of office before Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin in Malacanang this morning.

“We are happy to welcome Atty. Wilma Eisma as PAGCor’s new President and Chief Operating Officer,” PAGCor Chairman Alejandro Tengco said. “We know she will be a great asset and her vast experience in both the government and private sectors will surely be put to good use here.”

Tengco said he witnessed Eisma’s oath-taking in Malacanang this morning. She then immediately joined her first PAGCor board meeting in the afternoon as the agency’s first ever woman President and Chief Operating Officer.

A lawyer by profession, Eisma earned her law degree from the Ateneo de Manila University and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Development Bank of the Philippines before joining the state gaming firm.

Prior to that, she also served as the first woman Administrator and Chairman of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA).

Her private sector stints include leadership roles in PMFTC Incorporated, the Philippine affiliate of Philip Morris International.

She also held key positions at the Department of Trade and Industry where she worked at the Office of the Secretary and in the Office of the Majority Leader in the House of Representatives, among others.

Eisma succeeded Atty Juanito Sanosa Jr who resigned as PAGCor President and Chief Operating Officer last January.

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Compliance Updates

MGA: Update to the Incident Reporting Requirements

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MGA: Update to the Incident Reporting Requirements
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The Malta Gaming Authority would like to inform its licensees of updates made to the Incident Report mechanism available through the Licensee Portal The information hereunder outlines relevant guidance and procedures for the submission of an Incident Report through the updated reporting instrument entitled the ‘Technical – Information Security Incident’.

As mandated by Articles 37(2)(c) and (d) of the Gaming Authorisations and Compliance Directive (Directive 3 of 2018), “Licensees shall notify the Authority forthwith, and in any case no later than three (3) working days after, the following:

(c) Any breach of the licensee’s information security that adversely affects the confidentiality of information relating to players;

(d) Any breach of the licensee’s information security that precludes players from accessing their accounts for a period exceeding twelve (12) hours.”

In this regard, Licensees are obliged to submit an Incident Report in order to notify the Authority of the circumstances relating to an information security breach that meet the above specified criteria. Additionally, Licensees are advised to remain mindful of any further obligations emanating from the General Data Protection Regulation (EU/2016/679) and any relevant legislation.

The Technical – Information Security Incident option will be accessible through the “New/Change” dropdown menu via the Portal. Upon selection, users will be directed to the applicable sections of the ‘Technical – Information Security Incident’ where all compulsory fields and any relevant documentation must be submitted to the Authority.

Upon submission, the Incident Report shall undergo review by the Authority. Any missing information that may be identified by the Authority, shall be requested accordingly from the Licensee. It is imperative that any pending clarifications are addressed in a timely manner.

If no further clarifications are deemed necessary by the Authority, the Incident Report will be closed off accordingly, and any relevant documentation will be securely filed for record-keeping purposes.

Any Incident Reports left in ‘Draft’ form (i.e. opened but not effectively submitted) for a period of ninety (90) days shall be automatically discarded.

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