Newly Merged Nederlandse Loterij Is Hiring
Nederlandse Loterij, the new lottery brand of recently merged Staatsloterij and De Lotto, has been advertising a large number of job openings, mainly in their marketing department, suggesting that a new, aggressive approach with regard to advertising and customer acquisition will soon be launched.
The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) Issues Warning against Binary Options
In its latest newsletter, the Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) is warning private investors against contracts for difference (CfD’s) and binary options.
Malta Set to Become First European Country to Regulate Daily Fantasy Sports
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) announced that DFS operators will be exempt from requiring a gambling license. Instead, the regulator will create a specific skill game license, the framework of which is expected to be passed by the end of this year.
“Malta being the first major European country to offer a skill game license means it will attract the attention of the entire European DFS market and place itself firmly at the forefront of the DFS revolution,” Valery Bollier, CEO of fantasy operator Oulala, said. Bollier also spoke on this topic during this year’s edition of the Gaming in Holland Conference.
Gaming lawyer Frank Tolboom of Amsterdam-based attorneys Kalff Katz & Franssen commented:
“This is great news for the DFS industry. DFS cannot be treated as gambling and cannot simply be covered by existing betting or gaming licenses. The MGA has taken a very sensible approach by thoroughly studying this topic, putting out a market consultation and publishing a position paper. Any form of regulation should in my opinion be evidence-based and should not go beyond what is necessary to ensure a safe and fair environment for consumers. A tailor-made licensing framework for DFS is in the best interest of the consumer, the operator and the regulator. As we have seen before the MGA has set the example in Europe and hopefully many other regulators will follow suit, including the Netherlands.”
German Remote Gaming Regulation in Limbo as Total Ban “Contravenes EU Law”
Although the German federal states are currently considering regulatory reform of the sports betting market, online casino regulation is at the moment not on the agenda. According to attorney Dr. Jörg Hofmann, this situation will soon have to be remedied:
“The total ban on online casinos, however, acts as the best example to illustrate why German gambling regulation cannot be found to be compatible with EU law. The total ban is justified by its supporters with gambling addiction arguments. It is argued that is prevents gambling addiction. This would be true if the total ban, which prohibits all kind of online casino gambling, were indeed able to achieve that no online casino offering exists and nobody can participate in prohibited online casino games.
Evidently, as the last ten years very clearly demonstrate, the total ban has 100% failed to achieve this. The online casino market is constantly growing and millions of German players are confronted with an unregulated and (from the states’ perspective) uncontrollable online casino offering on a daily basis. As a result, the German states fail to prevent gambling addiction and to ensure player protection in this sector, i.e. the goal which they set out to achieve.
Restrictions of the European freedoms, however, have to be justified in order to be compatible with EU law. We may therefore expect the European Commission to initiate formal infringement proceedings against Germany unless the German states have the current regulation undergo a true and complete reform.”
Swedish Operators Losing Market Share to Unlicensed Competitors
Could the situation in Sweden be indicative of market developments in the Netherlands?
While Swedish state-licensed operators reported H1 sales of SEK 8.2bn, up 4% year-on-year, unlicensed international online operators grew no less than 12% to SEK 2.3bn.
Another notable development was the overall decline of land-based sales while online sales grew. The Swedish Postcode Lottery was the lone outlier, reporting a land-based gain of 12% to SEK 1.2bn while online sales fell 41% to just SEK 19m.
Sweden is currently preparing to open up its online market to international operators. Draft legislation will reportedly be finished by the end of 2017.
Land-Based Operator Fair Play Casino Reports 3% Growth in Visitors
Janshen-Hahnraths Group, owner of Dutch land-based gaming arcade operator Fair Play Casino, has reported a 3% increase in its number of visitors in 2015.
As a result, turnover increased to €73.9, up €1m compared to the previous year. EBITDA increased 9% to €11.4m.
CEO Jan Schiffelers said the financial results were significantly impacted by “substantial investments and start up costs” related to the development of a remote gaming platform ahead of the opening of the regulated Dutch online market, which is now expected for the second half of 2017.
The UK Gambling Commission declares bitcoin a cash equivalent, allowing punters to wager the virtual currency on licensed platforms.
Regulated DFS has come to France.
GVC has been granted a full and permanent ten-year license to operate sports betting and casino games in Romania, via its subsidiary, Headlong Limited.
Speaking of Romania, 888 has announced that it is to launch its online gambling services in the country, while International Game Technology (IGT) has been granted two licenses.
Evolution Gaming has agreed a deal to launch an online live casino service with the Hippodrome Casino in London, UK.
GVC has developed an exclusive online slot for Danske Spil.
The London Affiliate Conference is set to join ICE at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre.
What lessons can the iGaming industry learn from Pokémon Go?
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