Current Monopolist Svenska Spel Welcomes “Level Playing Field” in Sweden

Sweden has issued its first 18 licenses for the re-regulated market that is to launch on January 1.

The current list includes state-owned Svenska Spel and ATG, international giants Bet365 and Bwin, and Swedish operators Unibet, LeoVegas and Betsson.

Current monopolist Svenska Spel is eager to debut its online casino after being named among the first licensees for the re-regulated market, the firm’s chief compliance officer Helene Cedertorn said:

“We are of course happy to have been awarded licenses. It means we can continue our preparations for the new Swedish gambling market according to plan, and that we will finally be able to compete on equal terms.

It also means that we will have licenses for games that we have not previously been able to offer to our customers, such as online casino and horse race betting.

Above all, the new gambling legislation means we are at last getting an orderly gambling market in Sweden. We will have a level playing field for gambling operators, increased revenues for the state, and clear rules to protect customers against excessive gambling      thanks to stronger and better consumer protection.”

 

Online operators contribute €325m to European sports, sustain 33,000 EU jobs across 14 member states

European online gambling operators are contributing €325m to sports and employing 33,000 workers across the European Union, according to new data released by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA).

Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA:

“Europe’s online gambling sector is a growing and popular form of digital entertainment – but with this growth comes responsibility to ensure that people are kept safe while playing on online gambling websites. This new data shows EGBA members are at the forefront of             the sector’s development, interacting with millions of customers and processing nearly a million payment transactions each day.”

For additional key figures about the EU-28 online gambling market, see here.

 

UK Gambling Commission Fines Operators

The UK Gambling Commission has taken action against several online casino companies as part of an ongoing investigation into the way the industry combats problem gambling and money laundering:

“Following licence reviews, the Commission has ordered Daub Alderney to pay a financial penalty of £7.1m (as previously announced) and Casumo  has been ordered to pay a financial penalty of £5.85m. Videoslots will pay £1m in lieu of a financial penalty.

Another company – CZ Holdings – will no longer be able to provide gambling services to consumers in Britain as it surrendered its licence after a licence review had been commenced. Nine other operators have been issued with Advice to Conduct letters and a further six are still under investigation.”

 

Upcoming Events

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

 

Report: The Netherlands Has Failed to Protect Consumers of Online Gambling

The Netherlands has failed to introduce protections recommended by the European Commission for consumers of online gambling, Dr Margaret Carran, Senior Lecturer at City University London, said yesterday at the Responsible Gaming Day 2018: Protecting Consumers in a Digitalised World.

The event, which was hosted by Dita Charanzova MEP and Miriam Dalli MEP, in partnership with Politico and the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA), focused on various aspects of consumer protection and responsible gaming.

At the event, Dr Carran presented a review of the implementation of the provisions across various Member States of the European Commission’s Recommendation 2014/478/EU on the principles for the protection of consumers of online gambling services.

Dr Carran found that “[i]n the main, the primary objective of the Recommendation has not been achieved,” as “[t]he legal regulation of online gambling and their practical interpretations continue to substantially diverge between Member States, exposing online players to various levels of protection.”

Speaking of the Netherlands, Dr Carran noted that online gambling continues to be prohibited. Accordingly, none of the Commission’s recommendations have been implemented.

However, as the prohibition against online gambling in the country is not enforced against individual consumers, specific and recommended player protections, such as player identification and verification, age restrictions, and self-exclusion, are left entirely to other jurisdictions.

Among the Member States that have legalized online gambling, there also exists a lack of consensus “as to what measures, if any, should be required to ensure effective protection,” Dr Carran further notes.

As a result, Dutch consumers making use of remote operators licensed in other EU jurisdictions may not necessarily be afforded an adequate level of protection.

According to a recent poll, a plurality (39%) of respondents in the Netherlands wrongly believe that online gambling is already legal, while 22% don’t know.

 

Other News

Holland Casino Nijmegen has won OneTime’s 2018 Best Casino of the Netherlands Award.

 

Over 12,500 visitors participated in SiGMA 2018, which included a successful IMGL Masterclass on regulatory developments across the EU, as well as the KPMG eSummit, which featured a session on the changing iGaming landscape in Germany and the Netherlands. Last but not least, if you managed to attend the Gaming in Holland and Leaseweb dinner at SiGMA 2018, thank you for joining us!

 

Dutch TV host Alberto Stegeman has won this year’s Master Classics of Poker Main Event at Holland Casino Amsterdam.

 

The Malta Gaming Authority has published its Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Directive.

 

Spain’s online gambling market generated €181.7m gross gaming revenue (GGR) for Q3, rising 30% year-on-year.

 

Poland has issued two more approvals for online sports betting operators, bringing the market’s total number of licensees to 14.

 

Playtech has partnered with Betclic and Unibet in France, and bet365, Betfair, Casino Barcelona and Sportium in Spain to launch its shared-liquidity iPoker network in France and Spain.

 

Norway’s gambling regulator has defended a rise in television advertising by the country’s licensed gaming operators, claiming it is necessary to beat offshore rivals.

 

William Hill has made dozens of staff in its digital team at risk of redundancy as part of a group consultation that will see more than 100 roles in London, Leeds and Gibraltar put under review.

 

Ireland’s tax hike for betting operators will go ahead as planned on January 1, while the government conducts its review of the hike’s impact.

 

Kindred Group has through its Unibet brand signed a global partnership with the leading esports organization Astralis.

 

Kindred Group is aiming to launch in New Jersey’s regulated sports betting market in the first quarter of 2019, after expanding its existing supply deal with Kambi.

 

MGM Resorts International is stepping up its search for potential sports betting partnerships with tribes across the US.

 

Governments across Australia are formally committed to the National Consumer Protection Framework for online wagering, expected to be rolled out in the next 18 months.