Industry media has been all eyes on the recent regulatory changes that came into effect starting 2019 in Sweden, Denmark and are starting to be discussed in Norway as well.
The second edition of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit, also known as the Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Summit and Awards includes a special IMGL MASTERCLASS™ which will explore the recent changes that are happening in the Scandinavian region with an emphasis on Regulatory Trends, IP Blocking and Payment Blocking. The title of the panel discussion lives up to its name, “It’s Hot in the Nordics: IMGL Mega-Panel” will see some of the largest brands of the gambling industry share their knowledge about the market with the presence of Danish regulator, Birgitte Sand (Director of the Danish Gambling Authority).
The special panel will be moderated by Tal Itzhak Ron (Chairman & CEO at Tal Ron, Drihem & Co., Law Firm) and the panelist include generic names of the Scandinavian region such as Morten Ronde (CEO at Danish Online Gambling Association and Managing Partner at Nordic Gambling), Sissel Weitzhandler (Group Compliance Manager at Play’n GO), Gustaf Hoffstedt (General Secretary at the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling) and last but not least, Rolf Sims (Public Affairs Manager for Kindred Group in Norway and Board Chairman of the newly formed Norwegian Trade Association for Online Gambling Companies).
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.
Browse the official event website here: www.marebalticumgaming.com
Latest news about Denmark
It was a couple of weeks ago, that Spillemyndigheden, the Danish Gambling Authority has proposed to amend Danish Gambling Act to restrict the amount of marketing for gambling games, particularly to reduce exposure of children to gambling advertising.
The move is to prevent gambling from evolving from a form of entertainment into a problem. “A new code of conduct should be considered a benchmark and only a minimum requirement for the gambling industry,” said the authority.
The authority also stated that the code of conduct is “an opportunity to set limits and tools in place that go even further than required by law. This includes preparing clear frameworks for game advertising content and ensuring that the amount of advertising is reduced and restrictions are in place.”
The move will affect gambling-related advertising on TV stations.
Earlier this year, the gambling authority of Denmark has censured social media giant Facebook for promoting illegal gambling websites on its platform.
Latest news about Sweden
Sweden’s newly liberalized online gambling market has only been in place for a couple of months, but already it is proving a success. Spelinspektionen (the Swedish Gambling Authority), granted licenses to 60 gambling operators before the new laws were implemented on January 1. It has since approved more operators, bringing the total number of license holders to +70.
However, the fears of the operators have not been cleared yet, as it was just a month ago, that 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.
The act stipulates that all gambling companies operating in Sweden be licensed and that they must ensure gambling advertisements are restrained.
The act also bans direct marketing of gambling companies of individuals who have barred themselves from gambling. Over 20,000 people in Sweden have self-selected to be barred from access to online sites, but the minister noted that these rules were not being complied with across the board.
According to a surprising new study, the majority of people with a gambling addiction in Sweden are women.
The country’s public health authority unveiled that almost two-thirds of the gambling addicts in the country (64 percent) are female. The survey also found that while the overall number of gamblers decreased since the last survey in 2015, the number of problem gamblers rose by 50 percent. Women made up half those considered problem gamblers.
Latest news from Norway
It was just two months ago when the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) has urged the Norwegian government to rethink on the policy of banning payment transactions of six gambling companies. The Norwegian government had asked the banks to block payments to and from accounts identified as being used for processing gambling transactions.
He pointed out the fact that there are currently only two gambling providers authorized in Norway – both state-owned. He termed the present regime not sustainable. He also said that the present system depletes Norwegian state tax revenues and jeopardizes the task of keeping control of the market.
He urged the Norwegian government to develop a regulated market, based on multi-licensing and focusing on a high level of consumer protection.
When it comes to gambling legislation, some European countries give their citizens maximum freedom and others impose maximum restrictions. One country, Norway, fits both descriptions. Despite the best efforts of the Norwegian government to monopolize gambling in recent years, its citizens are free to play online bingo or use online casinos without fear of punishment.
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
Latvian Parliament Approves Higher Gambling Taxes
Saeima, the Parliament of Latvia, has approved a bill that would raise the taxes on some land-based gaming operations within the country. Gambling establishments that offer such games as slot machines, card and dice games, and roulette will be immediately impacted by the new laws.
As part of the new law, the state budget will receive the largest contributions from the nation’s gambling industry. However, local municipalities that host these gambling establishments will also receive a share of the tax revenue.
The annual tax on gambling tables will increase to 28,080 euros ($31,211) from 23,400 euros ($25,878) per table. The tax on slot machines will increase to 5172 euros ($5719) from 4164 euros ($4604).
According to the finance minister of Latvia, the new amendment is intended to shift the tax burden from the labour force to those casino operations. Plus, it should greatly increase the amount of tax revenue the state is receiving, maybe by as much as 75%. According to the new legislation, 90% of the total revenue will go to the Latvian government while only 10% will go to local municipalities.
Latvian Parliament Approves Amendments to Gambling Laws
Saeima, the parliament from Latvia, has approved the amendments in the final reading of the Law on Lotteries and Gambling Fee and Tax. The tax revenue from gambling that the state perceives has increased from 75% to 95%.
The amendments were designed to increase tax revenue for the state and help cover budget gaps. Before the amendments, the state budget received 75% from gambling tax revenue, while 25% went to municipalities’ budget. During the first reading, parliament members suggested to increase the state’s percentage to 90%, but the coalition agreed on 95%.
Other amendments, which will come into force with the gambling law in 2020, establish that gambling tax rate for roulette, cards and dice games will rise from €23.4k to €28k a year. Tax for gambling machines will increase from €4.1k to €5.1k.
Registrations are open for the 3rd edition of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit, save the date, 7 May 2020, Tallinn, Estonia
The 3rd edition of the MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit will take place on 7 May 2020 in Tallinn, Estonia.
Our team is excited to announce that registrations are open for the 3rd edition of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit, the leading boutique style gambling industry conference of the Baltic and Scandinavian region.
The conference will take place on the 7th of May 2020 at Radisson Blu Hotel Olümpia Tallinn, and the team is preparing some major updates.
“There is no doubt the MARE BALTICUM has become a tradition in the Baltic and Scandinavian region and we are blessed with the support of open-minded regulators and government officials who are interested in hearing what the industry has to say. In 2020 we will once again bring an interesting lineup of speakers coming from all sides of the gambling industry and of course give the awards for the top companies in the region via BSG Awards” stated Zoltán Tűndik, Head of Business at European Gaming Media and Events.
The MARE BALTICUM platform will continue its mission with which it 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.
After touring Riga and Vilnius, the conference is now heading to another Baltic destination and this time Estonia will take center stage as the host of the yearly gathering.
The agenda will include regulatory focused discussion mixed with trends of the gambling industry and the region, while the selection of speakers will once again include local/experienced speakers. In 2020, the aim is to bring start-up operators to the stage and also continue the panel discussion style with at least one panelist being an operator from the market vs. gambling authority and controlling authority discussing issues and changes in the market
Benefit of the Early Bird rates until 31 December 2019
Here are a few of the testimonials that have left by the attending delegates of the 2019 edition of MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit:
Anastasios (Tassos) Panagiotaros (Sales Director at Golden Race – Virtual Sports & Betting Solutions):
“MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit reconfirmed the Organizers’ efficacy, to bring together the region’s main stakeholders, for structured and multi-faceted interactive discussions. In parallel to the educational aspect, though, it offered the chance of personalized networking, in a relaxed and unpretentious way. I look already forward to the next edition!”
Ineta Mačinskienė (Head of Sales at ConnectPay):
“MBGS is focused on people looking for collaboration with well-known companies in the Gaming industry.”
Lyubomira Petrova (Chief Marketing Officer at UltraPlay):
“I had the pleasure to speak at Mare Balticum Gaming Summit and present why eSports is going to play a key role in the gambling industry in 2020 and beyond. Discussing what the future holds for the industry, we see the tremendous growth of eSports and its importance in terms of betting and player’s engagement.”
Margo Prylypska (Director of International Sales at Hyperion Tech):
“We would like to thank Zoltan and Betty for another great event! The organization was at a very high level, great timing and amazing people attending the event! It is definitely the best place to meet good old friends and partners, as well as find new ones and of course, get insights about things happening in the iGaming industry!”
Jaka Repanšek (Media and Gaming Expert):
“Great event. Great timing. Great location.”
Domenico Mazzola (Commercial Director at Altenar):
“MBGS was a pearl in the sea of so many conferences around the world. Such interesting panels! Zoltan and Betty did a great job inviting so many relevant people from the industry, regulators, and from governments putting all of them together to discuss regulations, exchanging ideas, and solutions on how different countries regulate the gambling sector. A must-attend event!”
Kristina Bučinskaitė (Customer Experience Manager at ConnectPay):
“Well organized, industry-focused event. It is a great opportunity to connect with potential clients, partners and create valuable business relationships. Looking forward to the next year!”
Agnė Galvelytė (Head of Legal and Compliance at Matching Visions):
“Great conference, bringing together regulators, legal specialists, and igaming business professionals. Perfect opportunity to catch up with the latest developments in the region and the industry.”
Dainis Niedra (Regional Director Baltics at Enlabs – Optibet):
“This is a very nice initiative to create and develop such kind of event in the Baltic countries. By working together and establishing a strong base no matter is it compliance or marketing, we build the right environment for the future development of the business and society.
Baltics are small but at the same time are very different in many aspects. It’s becoming challenging to replicate the previous experience in the new markets and such events are here to help us. Organizational wise – on a very high level. It’s hard to say where did we benefit more – from the main event of from the networking parts.”
Sara Urbanovicova (Chief Commercial Officer at Tom Horn Gaming):
“This is a fantastic event and it is sure to establish itself as a must-attend conference in the diary for the online gaming community. Its Baltic and Scandinavian focus, with a careful selection of high-quality speakers on the panels, an amazing location, organizers’ dedication to creating a welcoming and friendly atmosphere, make it a one-of-a-kind event that proved to be really productive for us. We’re sure to return next year!”
Andrius Gabnys (founding attorney at Gabnys Law Firm, Ambassador of the MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit):
“MBGS2 was literally a very pleasing event. Both content-wise and visually. It’s one of those examples when you can feel it goes smooth throughout the whole event, where the interest of the audience is not lost somewhere in the middle, and you don’t find yourself waiting for something else, other than what is happening on stage. It’s where the organizational talent of Zoltan and Betty really kicks in. This second edition proves that the idea of having the Baltics and Scandinavia in a single event is spot on. It was a pleasure to serve as an ambassador of this event and already looking forward to the third edition.”
Andrius Čepkus (Chief Business Development Officer at Ondato):
„The event was very well organized. Especially networking breaks and how participants were seated, which opened many new networking and business opportunities. The content was very up to date and valuable. Thanks again for the great experience!“
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