Belgian Government Introduces Severe Restrictions on Gambling Advertising

The Belgian government has banned the advertising of online gaming in the country while also imposing severe restrictions on sports betting advertising, EGR Intel reports:

“Online casino operators are now limited to advertising on their own website.

[…] advertising of online sports betting during live sporting events has been entirely banned, while all other sports betting advertising can only take place after the 8pm watershed. […]

All gambling adverts must now also include warnings about problem gambling, with authorities now being given powers to fine operators for failing to comply. Operators are banned from using athletes or celebrities as part of their marketing materials and from targeting platforms or media accessible by minors. […]

Finally, a new cap on bonuses has been introduced, limiting operators to offering bonuses of a maximum of £240 a month. Players are likewise limited to depositing a maximum of £436   each week on operator sites, with no credit card-based deposits being allowed.”

Operator Kindred Group warned the Belgian authorities thatnew rules restricting gambling advertising risk pushing punters towards unregulated operators.


Swedish Gaming Authority Explains New Regulatory Regime

Swedish gambling authority Lotteriinspektionen has provided a public briefing (available on YouTube), outlining the organizational changes the regulator will implement to service the re-regulation of Sweden’s gambling market from January 1, 2019.

The regulator will be renamed Spelinspektionen (“Gaming Inspectorate”) and will report to the Swedish Ministry of Finance.

The new Spelinspektionen will be led by Director General Camilla Rosenberg, who has expanded the organization’s operational capacity to 50 full-time employees, with further hires anticipated.

Some insiders, however, are saying they expect “chaos” as the regulator lacks the capacity to deal with the current “tsunami” of license applications.


Swiss Online Gaming Market to Open on January 1, 2019

Switzerland’s online casino regime will come into effect at the start of 2019 after vital secondary regulations passed into law last week.

Only around four or five licenses are expected to be granted initially, as the new legislation gives local Swiss casino operators exclusivity in applying for online gaming licenses for six years, barring all international operators.

Furthermore, so-called “good reputation” proposals would stop partnerships between Swiss casino operators and any online provider who has been active on the Swiss market “in a targeted manner” in the past five years.

In addition, the new act requires Swiss ISP providers to block international gambling sites.


Upcoming Events

The following events may be of interest to members of the GiH community.

  • Clarion Gaming has launched ICE Sports Betting USA, a two-day event to be held in New York on 27 and 28 November, 2018.
  • The fifth edition of SiGMA will take place between 28 and 30 November at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre in Ta’ Qali. SiGMA 2018 will welcome over 400 sponsors and exhibitors, 200 industry-leading speakers and a record-breaking 12500 attendees from over 80 countries.
  • The Responsible Gaming Day 2018: Protecting Consumers in a Digitalised World will take an in-depth look at responsible gaming and consumer protection. The event will be hosted by Dita Charanzova MEP and Miriam Dalli MEP, in partnership with Politico and the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), and take place on 4 December 2018, 09:00 – 12:00, European Parliament, Room PHS 5B001, Brussels.


“Increase of Land-Based Sports Betting Tax Will Have No Impact on Remittances to Sports and Good Causes”

In response to questions tabled during legislative consultations on the Dutch government’s Tax Plan 2019, State Secretary Menno Snel of Finance said that the proposed increase in land-based sports betting tax will have no impact on operators’ remittances to sports and good causes.

Although the tax increase will lead to reduced remittances by the affected operators, sports and good causes will be fully compensated through additional contributions by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS).

Additionally, future licensed online operators offering bets on horseracing will face mandatory contributions to the Dutch Horseracing Association (Stichting Nederlandse Draf- en Rensport) in order to maintain funding provided by betting operators at current levels.


Other News

In a recent report, the Dutch Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) argued that it would “not be unreasonable” to give the government a role in deciding the allocation of the remittances of licensed charity lotteries to specific good causes.


Holland Casino is offering a behind-the-scenes look at how its recent series of commercials was made.


Holland Casino Eindhoven has agreed to become the official partner of international light art festival GLOW Eindhoven.


Gaming in Holland founder Willem van Oort discusses the latest regulatory developments in Spain and the “mild chaos” holding back the Dutch industry in the latest issue of Trafficology (pp. 23-24).


The UK Gambling Commission fined online gambling firm Daub Alderney £7.1m for failing to follow rules aimed at preventing money laundering and protecting vulnerable consumers.


UK Gambling Commission CEO Neil McArthur wants UK-licensed gambling businesses to collaborate and focus on three areas: 1) understanding the early signs which could indicate a customer is experiencing or developing problems; 2) interacting with those customers to ensure they can receive support and advice; and 3) rebuilding public trust by changing advertising strategies.


The UK government’s decision not to cut stakes on fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBTs) from £100 to £2 until October 2019 was influenced by a “discredited” secret report commissioned by bookmakers, The Guardian reports.


Meanwhile, the UK government could be forced to implement changes on FOBTs six months earlier than planned after more than 70 MPs from both sides of the House of Commons signed amendments to push the measure through.


Sweden’s gambling market posted modest growth in the first nine months of 2018 as locally licensed operators continued to lose market share to international operators.


France’s online sports betting market posted its biggest growth in eight years thanks to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.


The Spanish government has proposed a €100,000 fine for offering unlicensed online gambling.


Italy’s sports betting market suffered a rare reversal in October, reporting declines in both online and land-based wagering revenue.


The Stars Group has reported a 74% year-on-year increase in Q3 revenue to $571.98m, mainly due to M&A activity.


Sky Betting & Gaming has posted a 31% decline in profits for the third quarter of 2018 after the operator was hit by poor football results and major marketing investments around the start of the new season.


Gaming solutions firm Scientific Games posted a $351.6-million loss for the third quarter, significantly higher than its $59.3-million loss during the same period last year.


NetEnt has agreed a deal with William Hill to offer a range of live casino games to the operator’s customers.


Sportech has seen its share price plummet by around 15% after its failure to secure international sales led to a profits warning.


Sportech CEO Andrew Gaughan has resigned just eight months after he was appointed.


Ladbrokes could be forced to pay out on hundreds of bets which were turned down by its trading team if the UK Independent Betting Arbitration Service (Ibas) finds against the firm in three near-identical disputes over bets which are currently being considered by its adjudicators.


Sportradar has agreed a deal to become the exclusive provider of sports betting data in the US for the MGM GVC Interactive joint venture.