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Advertisement banning trends in the European Union and the Balkans, subject of the IMGL MasterClass in Prague

Zoltan Tundik

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Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

There has been a recent wave that has swept across the gambling industry and had the form of banning gambling related advertisement. This is the case in many European jurisdictions, but we are not excluding that this is a global wave. Media outlets have reported that such bans are scheduled to be included in Asia as well.

In Sweden, new online gambling operators may lose their ability to market their products entirely if the government takes note of new survey results which shows more than half (53%) of Swedes believe gambling advertising should be banned.

The latest survey results are not a surprise and come to complement the Minister of Civil Affairs Ardalan Shekarabi beliefs, who has summoned all 69 Swedish online gambling licensees to a meeting on the 14th of February to discuss their marketing activities. Just earlier, Shekarabi publicly contemplated following the UK’s lead and banning all gambling promos during live sports broadcasts.

About two weeks ago, Niels Folmann, director of the state-run former gambling monopoly Danske Spil, told local media that the Danish government should follow the UK’s lead and enact a blanket prohibition on gambling advertising during televised live sports events.

These subject are among the reasons why we have asked the experts of the industry from IMGL to present a MasterClass during the event which will focus on these aspects and treat the industry is currently facing in several European jurisdictions and also in the Balkans.

You can Register here or View the Agenda

Italy in the focus – Good news and bad news

The Italian gambling authority, Agenzia delle dogane e dei monopoli (ADM), released the list of the approved candidates that will be allowed to operate in the local market. Their licenses will be valid through December 31, 2022. The regulator has awarded 66 concessions and has also issued licenses to four other companies which will treat with reserves for reasons it said it would communicate to the licensees themselves.

Even if the Seria A gambling sponsor ban has been delayed until July, there are still lots of tensions in the “lo Stivale”.  The Italian soccer clubs have been permitted to keep existing betting deals until the end of the season. The extension follows the enforcement of a government-led blanket ban on gambling advertising throughout Italy.

The ban applies to all gambling-related products and services across all media platforms – including television, websites, and radio – and sports clubs are also to be prohibited from carrying sponsors from the industry.

While the delay to the implementation of the ban is a positive for soccer clubs in the country, the move merely marks a delay to a law that could have severe consequences for Italy’s soccer industry.

Operators within the gambling industry have criticized the new measures, warning that prices may rise and the illegal gambling sector could benefit as a result.

In an open letter written in July to Luigi Di Maio, the government’s Deputy Prime Minister who authored the decrees, Italian-licensed gambling operator LeoVegas added that the ban wouldn’t achieve a significant reduction in gambling activity. Rather, he wrote, it would lead to a surge in advertising by gambling operators not holding Italian licenses. (source sportspromedia.com)

Quirino Mancini, the Global Head of the Gaming and Gambling Practice at Tonucci & Partners will take the role to give an in-depth review of the Italian market.

The company he represents, Tonucci & Partners, is a top-ten Italian general practice firm with offices in Rome, Milan, Brescia, Padua, Florence, Tirana, Bucharest, and Belgrade.

Quirino is one of the leading Italian gaming and gambling lawyers with a specialist practice of almost 20 years. He acts for Italian and foreign-based online and land-based companies operating in the Italian gaming market, advising them on legal, licensing, regulatory, day-to-day compliance and any other operational aspects connected to their activities. He also runs a bespoke matchmaking and business strategy service to provide clients with a customized type of assistance that includes also introduction and facilitation of dealings with the local regulatory authorities, banks as well as scouting and suitability checks on potential business partners.

Quirino is a regular speaker at most international gaming conferences and sits in the editorial board of various sector reviews and magazines. Co-founder and editor of www.gaminglaw.eu, a pan-European information and commentary portal focusing on legal and regulatory issues under European and national gaming laws.

Secretary and fellow member of the Leadership Committee of the International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL), a worldwide organization gathering regulators, lawyers and advisors, in-house counsels and educators engaged in the gaming business. A fellow member of the International Association of Gaming Advisors (IAGA)

You can Register here or View the Agenda

Britain to blame for the situation?

If you have read the intro part of this article, you will find one common fact. In each situation, the UK gambling ban is cited. It seems everyone is following the idea of the advertisement ban which has been sparked last year.

UK press has just announced that it has been decided that gambling adverts will no longer be allowed to appear on websites or in computer games that are popular with children, under new rules designed to stop irresponsible gambling.

Bookmakers will be required to use every targeting tool possible to ensure online gambling promotions are not seen by under-18s. They will also have to avoid placing gambling adverts on parts of websites that are popular with children and stop using celebrities or other people who appear to be under 25 in their promotions. (source: theguardian.com)

Coming into force on 1 April, the guidelines devised by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP), which is responsible for writing and maintaining the UK advertising codes, will prohibit online ads for gambling products being targeted at individuals likely to be aged under 18. These standards cover all digital media including social networks and other online platforms.

This complements many other banning procedures, as you may know, from July 2018, the British betting industry has implemented a “whistle-to-whistle” ban on all TV betting adverts during pre-watershed live sports programming, with the exception of horse and greyhound racing.

William Hill has become the first UK-listed operator to call for a media strategy review in 2019, with competitors likely to follow suit as betting leadership adjusts to new advertising realities.

Russell Mifsud (Gaming industry specialist – Associate Director at KPMG Malta) will take on the role to discussing these aspects and how will report how operators are taking steps in order to comply while also keeping an eye on the brand strategy and business run.

Russell is an Economist and Associate Director at KPMG, who leads the firm’s gaming department. Russell provides insight on the industry externalities and commercial strategy for KPMG and our clientele across the board. He also helps drive a core group of professionals who specialize in gaming within the KPMG network globally. Russell also sits on the board of the Malta Remote Gaming Council and Silicon Valletta. He works closely with the KPMG Audit, Tax & Advisory teams locally and internationally in order to assist network with identifying risks and opportunities, with a view to adding strategic insight and guidance to clientele across the board.

Russell Mifsud and Quirino Mancini will be joined by leading experts from Central Europe, the Balkans and Germany to complement advertisement banning procedures which are being implemented or discussed in their jurisdiction.

Jaka Repanšek (Media and Gaming Expert), Zlatan Omerspahić (Data Protection and Compliance Lawyer at NSoft) and Martin Arendts (Founder of ARENDTS ANWAELTE) be the experts taking on this role while the MasterClass will be moderated by Dr. Matthias Spitz (Senior Partner, MELCHERS LAW)

Do not miss this opportunity to attend the IMGL MasterClass presented by members and non-members of the International Masters of Gaming Law at Prague Gaming Summit 3!

You can Register here or View the Agenda

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Balkans

Delasport signs a major sponsorship with the Balkan International Basketball League (BIBL)

George Miller

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Delasport signs a major sponsorship with the Balkan International Basketball League (BIBL)
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

The now official Delasport Balkan League is set to kick-start it’s new 13th season this October with their new sponsor and partner Delasport. The advanced sportsbook and iGaming solutions provider has come forward to become a major part in the international league, instilling anticipation for the new horizons set to come.

The announcement was made by Dany Nachmias, Managing Director at Delasport. “We have long awaited our partnership with BIBL as we share many of the same values that keep our company pushing ever forward! As a European based company, Delasport is in a keen position to exemplify the BIBL tradition with this new partnership.”

Since its founding in 2008, The Balkan International Basketball League (BIBL) has been growing to include teams from the entirety of the Balkan Peninsula. With an intricate round robin style competition, the BIBL includes contenders from Bulgaria, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, and Albania.

Most recently the league itself expanded it’s reach to include 12 teams to join the competition from Israel. With revitalized rosters and a new major partner, the DELASPORT Balkan League is set to hit the ground running with their new season eagerly awaited by fans across the globe.

The BIBL Sports Director Shay Shtriks commented: “The Balkan League is happy and proud to welcome Delasport to our basketball family and to be called DELASPORT Balkan League. I am sure this multiyear partnership will bring great benefits not only to both sides but will also contribute to the quality and popularity of the Balkan basketball and around Europe, in these indeed controversial times for us all. We are looking forward with big joy to sharing the love of the game with likeminded fans. We expect a great season going forward with our new friends joining us off the court as well as on it.”

Fans will be able to get their Basketball fix for some time to come with the League starting soon in mid-October. With a large portion of major leagues and tournaments finding it difficult to keep an adequate runtime, the new season of the now Delasport Balkan League is sure to provide ample entertainment even for the most avid watchers. With a total of 18 teams competing for the title, along with their new major partner, the 2020-2021 season of the Delasport Balkan league is looking to be their most dynamic and engaging season till date!

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Balkans

EGDF continues to expand as Serbian Games Association joins EGDF as its member

George Miller

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EGDF continues to expand as Serbian Games Association joins EGDF as its member
Hendrik Lesser, EGDF President.
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

The European Game Developers Federation (EGDF) continued its expansion, as SGA – the Serbian Games Association, joined EGDF.

“The addition of Serbian Games Association to EGDF is highly important for our mission of building a strong voice in Brussels for European game developers. We want to unite, to share best practices, learn about common challenges and help game developers to grow the identity of the European game industry. It is crucial that game developers from all European countries, EU members or not, have full access to global markets and that any restrictions to their freedom of expression and arts and freedom of movement are minimized.”, stated Hendrik Lesser, president of EGDF.

The Serbian Games Association is the 19th member of the Federation that has been steadily expanding its activities especially in Central and South-East Europe during the last years. Serbia is one of the countries currently negotiating for EU membership and EGDF will provide a way for Serbian game developers to make their voice heard in EU decision making when the policies shaping their digital future are built up.

“Operating on a national level, gaming associations are an essential part of the ecosystem – making it easier for new projects to emerge and providing a platform for the community. But without broader cooperation on a European level, no important victories can be won. That is why we considered it paramount to be part of the EGDF. Together, we can push for meaningful policy changes, better conditions for all companies, studios, and teams, and of course exchange experiences, hard-earned knowledge, and brand new ideas. We strongly believe that the future brings an enormous boost to the gaming industry. Collaboration with the amazing EGDF board and all of their members can help us navigate the coming changes.”, stated Kristina Jankovic, Administrative Manager at SGA.

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Balkans

Gaming Innovation Group signs final agreement with LeGrand Casino and new SaaS agreement with Dunder

George Miller

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Gaming Innovation Group signs platform agreement with Bet Seven Online Ltd.
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Reference is made to the announcement on 17 July 2020, where Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (GiG) announced it had signed a heads of terms agreement with K.A.K. DOO Skopje, Hospitality, tourism and services company (K.A.K.).

K.A.K. is one of North Macedonia’s leading leisure groups with two premium casino resorts, LeGrand Casino Skopje and LeGrand Casino Bitola, along with four hotels (Hotel Epinal in Bitola and hotels Sport, Bistra and Lodge in Mavrovo) and the Mavrovo Ski Resort.

GiG has signed the final agreement with K.A.K for the provision of GiG’s platform, front-end development and managed media services to launch their digital operation in the regulated North Macedonian market. The agreement has a combined fixed fee and revenue share structure, and the casino offering is expected to go-live by Q1 2021.

Having traditionally been a closed market to online operators, the Macedonian government is now allowing land based operators to apply for online licenses that must directly reflect their offline offering. Through their LeGrand casinos, K.A.K. will therefore be one of a handful of operators in North Macedonia to offer table games to online players along with a complete slots portfolio.

GiG has also signed a new agreement with Dunder, replacing the existing white label agreement with a new software-as-a-service agreement (SaaS). Dunder was launched as a new brand on GiG’s platform back in 2016, and has successfully grown since then. The new agreement is on a fixed fee basis and has a minimum term of two years, and will commence in November 2020.

The new Dunder agreement is part of GiG’s strategy to move successful clients away from the white label model and over to SaaS agreements. The shift to SaaS reduces operational complexity and overheads for GiG, and the reduced risks strengthens overall sustainability.

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