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European Gaming Congress announces Dimitrij Piciga (Founder of Diogen, Former CEO of HIT) as speaker

Zoltan Tundik

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Ljubljana – 31 May 2018 – The inaugural European Gaming Congress will be held on the 16th of October at the Grand Union Hotel in Ljubljana and will bring together industry expert from all over Europe to create a platform which will enable both networking and learning at the highest quality.

In order to bring the latest information when it comes to regulation, investing opportunities or particular aspects of the industry, it is best to always get the information from the locals. This has always been our mission. This is why the European Gaming Congress will feature some of the most committed industry experts in special panel discussions.

The Slovenia market update will be given among these panel discussion and the speakers have been carefully selected.

Dimitrij Piciga has a master degree in management and organisation, completed at the University of Ljubljana (Economics). He has worked for a short period at a local Hotel, just before he took over, in 2002, an outgoing department in the Globtour (tourism agency) and from 2003 he continued at the biggest Slovenian tour operator, Kompas Holidays.

Between 2006 and 2010, he was the General Director of the Slovenian tourist board, Slovenian state agency for tourism promotion. Dimitrij later continued as CEO at the largest casino operator in Slovenia, HIT Group. The Hit Group features 11 hotels, 6 gaming and entertainment centres, a camping, a slot hall, 2 casinos and ranges among Europe’s biggest providers of gaming and entertainment.

From 2017 Dimitrij is owner and founder of Diogen which performs casino and tourism consalting, advises on investment projects and is also involved in management outsourcing. Diogen is an indеpendent consulting company for tourism and gambling development.

You can view the full agenda on the following link.

Full detail about the event can be found on the official website of the event: https://europeangamingcongress.com/

Make sure you grab your seat as the seats are limited to 100 registrants!

Register here!

After starting out as an affiliate in 2009 and developing some recognized review portals, I have moved deeper into journalism and media. My experience has lead me to move into the B2B sector and write about compliance updates and report around the happenings of the online and land based gaming sector.

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Baltics

Safe Gambling, AML and KYC with Bogdan Coman(Rombet), Jack Symons(gamban®) and Taivo Põrk(Ministry of Finance, Estonia) at MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit 2019

Zoltan Tundik

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Bogdan Coman (Executive Director at Rombet), Jack Symons (Founder and CEO of gamban®) and Taivo Põrk (Ministry of Finance, Estonia) will join the “Safe Gambling, AML and KYC” panel discussion under the moderation of Pieter Remmers (CEO at Assissa) at the second edition of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit, also known as the Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Summit and Awards.

MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit will take place on the 9th of May at Radisson Blu Royal Astorija Hotel and is gathering the gambling industry from the Baltic and Scandinavian regions for a full day of quality learning and networking with like-minded peers, regulators and representatives of the industry media.

Register here or View the Agenda!

”Safe Gambling” is a new term used in the industry and is a possible replacer for the notion ”responsible gambling”. While the responsible gambling focuses on studying and fighting the negative effects of excessive gambling practice, the broader concept of ”safe gambling”, also contains the prevention area.

It’s been a wild ride for the financial industry in the last years. Companies and executives are on a rollercoaster all year, with constant changes in regulations and sanctions, the introduction of new laws and the removal of old ones.

Financial scandals have also hit new heights and the time has come for banks and regulators alike have to admit a hard truth: not even today’s complex AML and compliance programs are enough to stop criminals exploiting financial platforms and every weak link they can find.

Online gambling is governed by special regulations, such as the Know Your Customer (KYC) standards set out in the EU’s Third Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Directive. This means that handling online transaction processes in the gambling sector is considerably more challenging than it is in other sectors.

On June 19th, 2018, the fifth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (AMLD 5) was published in the official journal of the European Union.

The AMLD 5 entered into force on July 9th, 2018. Member states are obliged to transpose the modified regulations into national law by latest January 20th, 2020.

In particular, the AMLD5

  • extends the scope to virtual currency platforms and wallet providers, tax related services and traders of art
  • grants access to the general public to beneficial ownership information of EU based companies
  • makes it an obligation to consult the beneficial ownership register when performing AML due diligence
  • obliges member states to create a list of national public offices and functions that qualify as politically exposed (PEP)
  • introduces strict enhanced due diligence measures for financial flows from high-risk third countries
  • ends the anonymity of bank and savings accounts, as well as safe deposit boxes and creates central access mechanisms to bank account and safe deposit boxes holder information throughout the EU
  • makes information on real estate holders centrally available to public authorities
  • lowers thresholds for identifying purchasers of prepaid cards and for the use of e-money
  • further enhances the powers of the FIUs and facilitates cooperation and information exchange among authorities

The experts of the panel discussion will share their knowledge on how these directives have shaped the industry and what is yet to come with AMLD6 on the horizon.

About Bogdan Coman

Bogdan Coman is the Executive Director of ROMBET and has a rich activity in the gambling industry, which he joined once graduation from the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, Bogdan Coman contributes to the good work of the Rombet Association through the experience of planning and organizing activities in the field of gambling. He built national projects, led complex teams, and was responsible for meeting performance indicators in the companies he worked for or collaborated with.

 

 

About Jack Symons

Jack Symons is the founder and CEO of gamban®. Formed as a result of his own experience with problem gambling and his dissatisfaction with existing self-exclusion options, Jack brought the most affordable, effective and lightweight gambling-blocking software to the market. The aim is help individuals stop gambling and organisations (businesses, operators and education institutions) improve sustainability.

 

 

About Taivo Põrk

Taivo Põrk has been responsible for designing and executing national gambling policy in Estonia through legislation since 2011, as part of his duties in Ministry of Finance. He has also been a member in Expert Group on Gambling Services since its inception by the European Commission in 2012.

 

 

 

About Pieter Remmers

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 ’80s.

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 worldwide 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.

He is a member of the Executive Committee and serves as secretary general/conference organizer of the European Association for the Study of Gambling (EASG). He is also a shareholder/board member of HANDS (Human Assistance Network for Daily Support, telephone counseling services).

In 2003 he was the initiator of G4 (Global Gambling Guidance Group). G4 deals with an International Accreditation System on responsible gaming for the gambling, betting and lottery industry land-based and online. At present, he is the Chair of the Board of G4.

Since 2009 he is a member of the Responsible Gaming Committee of IMGL (International Masters of Gaming Law).

He is also a member of the Spielerschutzkommission (Responsible Gaming Commission) of the Gauselmann /Merkur Group, Germany, a member of the Advisory Council of the AWI in Germany and a member of the International Advisory Panel of the Ministry of Health in Singapore.

Pieter is a very regular speaker at many conferences all over the world.

He is also a freelance correspondent for the magazine European Casinos The Elite and the Casino Inside magazine (Romania).

At present, he is involved in the development and carries out of online education programmes (e-learning) on problem gambling and responsible gaming and responsible gaming solutions to support players’ gaming decisions and online treatment modules.

Make sure you take advantage of this unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in the Baltic and Scandinavian region via the MARE BALTICUM Gaming platform which has been launched in 2018 and is committed to bringing together industry shareholders and government officials from the Baltic and Scandinavian region on a yearly base.

Browse the official event website here: www.marebalticumgaming.com

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Baltics

D-A-CH region oriented panel discussion to be moderated by Dr. Joerg Hofmann (Partner, MELCHERS LAW) in Vilnius

Zoltan Tundik

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There is plenty of news surrounding the German-speaking region when it comes to online gambling, however, it is mostly shut down when things get interesting.

On the gambling industry’s media outlets, the business is booming in Germany, with Scientific Games bringing next-generation Lottery Technology to Germany’s Lotto Brandenburg, Kambi Group powering the re-launch of Mybet sportsbook, or GeWeTe adding charm to Merkur Casino Halle.

However, when it comes to regulations, the recent news was both hot and cold.

On March 21, the Minister-Presidents of Germany’s 16 federal states have ratified the third amended State Treaty on Gambling, paving the way for operators to apply for sports betting licenses in the market, while Schleswig-Holstein will be allowed to run its own, liberal regulatory regime.

During the Minister-Presidents’ Conference, the lawmakers agreed to sign the Treaty, with licenses to come into force from January 1, 2020 and run until June 30, 2021. This will effectively act as a placeholder, with a view to a complete overhaul of Germany’s gambling regulations by 2021.

As mentioned earlier, the news was considered by some as a “breakthrough”, while others have been disappointed by the “missed opportunity”.

You can read more about the statements and quotes by industry experts from the region on the following link.

During the second edition of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit, also known as the Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Summit and Awards, Dr. Joerg Hofmann (Partner at MELCHERS LAW) will take on the role of moderating the D-A-CH region oriented panel discussion and will add his opinion to the Germany market update along with Martin Arendts (Owner at ARENDTS ANWÄLTE – gaminglaw.de).

The “Gambling industry updates from the D-A-CH region” compliance panel discussion will focus on shedding light on the status of the gambling industry in the German-speaking markets such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland and also an exclusive update on Liechtenstein.

MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit will take place on the 9th of May at Radisson Blu Royal Astorija Hotel and is gathering the gambling industry from the Baltic and Scandinavian regions for a full day of quality learning and networking with like-minded peers, regulators and representatives of the industry media.

Register here or View the Agenda!

About Dr. Joerg Hofmann

Dr. Joerg Hofmann is a Past President of the International Masters of Gaming Law (“IMGL”) and group leader of the Gaming & Betting Law Practice Group of Melchers Law Firm.  He has been practicing gaming law since the mid-90s and Melchers’ legal advice is highly valued by global market leaders in all sectors of the gaming industry.  A highly recognized expert in the field, Joerg has been consistently ranked as a leading individual and expert in gaming law by prestigious legal directories including Chambers Global and Best Lawyers for many years.

Make sure you take advantage of this unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in the Baltic and Scandinavian region via the MARE BALTICUM Gaming platform which has been launched in 2018 and is committed to bringing together industry shareholders and government officials from the Baltic and Scandinavian region on a yearly base.

Browse the official event website here: www.marebalticumgaming.com

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Baltics

Sweden and Norway in the focus with Gustaf Hoffstedt (BOS.nu) and Rolf Sims (Kindred Group) at MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit 2019

Zoltan Tundik

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Gustaf Hoffstedt (General Secretary at the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling) and Rolf Sims (Public Affairs Manager for Kindred Group in Norway and Board Chairman of the newly formed Norwegian Trade Association for Online Gambling Companies) to share their views from all angles about the Swedish and Norwegian gambling industry at the second edition of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit, also known as the Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Summit and Awards.

MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit will take place on the 9th of May at Radisson Blu Royal Astorija Hotel and is gathering the gambling industry from the Baltic and Scandinavian regions for a full day of quality learning and networking with like-minded peers, regulators and representatives of the industry media.

Register here or View the Agenda!

Sweden has been at the forefront of the gambling industry news for the past 6 months and has been often cited as a “newly liberalized online gambling market”.

Spelinspektionen has been handing out new licenses at a rate of more than one a week since the new year, with no signs of a slowdown any time soon.

Prior to the new laws, Sweden’s gambling market was essentially a state monopoly. Unlicensed gambling operators were accepting Swedish customers, but without going through the proper legal channels. In 2018, foreign gambling sites accounted for 29% of Sweden’s $2.5 billion gambling market, up from 24% the previous year.

Sweden’s new gambling laws were designed to give the state more control over the market. The fact that 73 companies have already jumped on board shows the new laws are having their intended effect.

However, it’s not all pink for the enthusiast operators, just two months ago, Sweden’s Minister on Public Administration, Ardalan Shekarabi said the government will be making more stringent regulations on gambling advertisements. He also summoned representatives of the gambling industry to parliament for a discussion on this topic.

At MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit, Gustaf Hoffstedt (General Secretary at the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling) will take part in a special IMGL MASTERCLASS™ which is titled “It’s Hot in the Nordics: IMGL Mega-Panel”, giving you the opportunity to hear first-hand the updates from the Swedish gambling industry and the outcome of the harsh measures.

About Gustaf Hoffstedt

Gustaf Hoffstedt is the Secretary-General of BOS, the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling since January 2015. Among the association’s members are all major operators and suppliers that operate with a license inside the European Union, but outside of Sweden. Prior to joining BOS, Gustaf served as a Member of the Swedish Parliament for the Moderate party, and as vice mayor and chairman of the Social board in his constituency Gotland before that.

Gustaf has fought for the abolition of the Swedish gambling monopoly and the implementation of a licensing system for more than a decade. He is pleased to see that things currently appear to be moving in the right direction.

Gustaf resides in Uppsala with his wife Caroline, who serves as vice mayor in the municipality for the Social Democratic party – the traditional rival of Gustaf’s own party. In their leisure time, they enjoy hiking in the mountains of northern Scandinavia.

When it comes to the Norwegian gambling industry, it is certainly a different situation.

This year, the online gambling operators in Norway have formed a new association to press the government to rethink its restrictive gambling policy.

The online gambling operators Betsson, ComeOn, GiG, and the Kindred Group announced the formation of the Norwegian Industry Association for Online Gambling (NBO).

The new association will urge Norway’s government to abandon its monopolistic stance in favor of a liberalized regime that would allow internationally licensed online gambling operators to apply for local licenses.

Carl Fredrik Stenstrøm, Rikstoto former commercial director and secretary-general at NBO, noted that he helped lead Rikstoto’s responsible gambling initiatives and his experience taught him that such efforts are not much use if they ignore the vast segment of the market over which the government has no control.

Stenstrøm said the regulatory regimes in Denmark and Sweden recognize that regulating “all the serious companies under one, responsible license model” is the proper way to go.

The Norwegian industry update will be part of the IMGL MASTERCLASS™ which is titled “It’s Hot in the Nordics: IMGL Mega-Panel”, giving you the opportunity to hear first-hand the of the Norwegian gambling industry and what changes are expected in the next period from Rolf Sims (Public Affairs Manager for Kindred Group in Norway and Board Chairman of the newly formed Norwegian Trade Association for Online Gambling Companies).

About Rolf Sims

Rolf Sims graduated with a law degree from the University of Oslo in 1995, specializing in intellectual property and international human rights. He has previously worked on land concessions and area planning at the Ministry of Agriculture and legislation and individual cases related to oil pollution in the North Sea at the Norwegian Pollution Control Authority.

Between 1998 and 2018 he worked as a gaming regulator, first with the Ministry of Justice and Police, and from 2001 with the Ministry of Culture. The Ministry is responsible for the regulation of all gaming in Norway except gaming connected to equestrian activities. His scope of work encompassed EU/EEA-law, all aspects of legislation connected to gaming machines, I-gaming, bingo, provisions and regulations on lotteries and sportsbetting. He has also supervised the administration of Norsk Tipping, the Norwegian state-owned gaming company, as well as the Norwegian Gaming Authority. He was particularly involved in the Norwegian Slot machine case and Ladbrokes case which questioned the compatibility of Norwegian gaming law to EU/EEA-law. Rolf also participated as the Norwegian Government`s representative in the European Commission’s Expert Group on Gambling Services, which provides the Commission with advice and expertise in relation to the preparation of policy initiatives and facilitates the exchange of regulatory experience and good practices between EEA Member States. He was also a director on the board of the Gaming Regulators European Forum. In August 2018 Rolf took up a new position as public affairs manager for Kindred Group in Norway.

In January 2019 Rolf was elected board chairman of the newly formed Norwegian Trade Association for Online Gambling Companies.

 

Make sure you take advantage of this unique opportunity of learning and networking with the gambling industry in the Baltic and Scandinavian region via the MARE BALTICUM Gaming platform which has been launched in 2018 and is committed to bringing together industry shareholders and government officials from the Baltic and Scandinavian region on a yearly base.

Browse the official event website here: www.marebalticumgaming.com

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