Dutch Financial Regulator Preparing Binary Options Ban

The Netherlands Authority for the Financial Markets (AFM) is preparing to introduce a complete ban on binary options and to introduce restrictions on CFD trading.

The measures being proposed by the AFM mirror last year’s decision by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) to renew, for a second time, its temporary ban on binary options and restrictions on the sale of CFDs.

However, the restrictions set to be introduced by the AFM will be of unlimited duration.


Swedish Regulator Issued 116 Licenses

Sweden’s gambling regulator Spelinspektionen has awarded a total of 116 licenses to operate in the country’s re-regulated gaming market.

The regulator issued 62 licenses to offer online casino games, 44 to offer sports betting. The remaining licenses have been issued to land-based operators or the monopoly activities of state-owned Svenska Spel.

As only 72 operators applied for a license, many companies are obviously seeking multiple licenses.

Not surprisingly, TV gambling advertising in Sweden reached record numbers in January, growing 14% across local TV channels.


Gambling Magnates among Forbes’ List of Billionaires

Several representatives of the gambling industry made it to Forbes Magazine’s list of richest people in the world.

The list includes:

  • Sheldon Adelson, Chairman of Les Vegas Sands (no. 24, $35.1bn)
  • Lui Che Woo, chair of the Galaxy Entertainment Group (no. 82, $14.6bn)
  • Johann Graf, owner of Novomatic Group (no. 181; $8.1bn)
  • Denise Coates, CEO of Bet365 (no. 244; $6.5bn)
  • Pansy Ho, chairwoman of Shun Tak Holdings (no. 413, $4.6bn)
  • Mark Scheinberg, co-founder of PokerStars (no. 424, $4.5bn)
  • Paul Gauselmann, founder of the Gauselmann Group (no. 478, $4.1bn)
  • Teddy Sagi, founder of Playtech (no. 546, $3.8bn)


Upcoming Events

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

  • Betting on Football, which is set take place 19 – 22 March 2019 at Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea FC, is the only trade conference that brings together decision makers from international operators to address the recent issues and opportunities in the sports betting industry.
  • Betting on Sports Americais the largest sports betting conference & exhibition in the US, featuring 175 leading industry speakers across 40 sessions. The event is scheduled to take place 23 – 25 April, 2019 in New York/New Jersey.
  • GamblingCompliance Global Regulatory Awards 2019, which celebrate excellence in compliance and responsible gambling initiatives, will be awarded on 1 May, 2019 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in Central London. The event will be hosted by comedian and acclaimed actor Stephen Mangan.
  • 115+ speakers already confirmed their attendance at the World Gaming Executive Summit, 2 – 4 July, 2019 in Barcelona.
  • Betting on Sports 2019, the world’s largest sports betting conference & exhibition, will be held 17 – 20 September, 2019, in London. Betting on Sports 2019 will take place concurrently with CasinoBeats Summit 2019.
  • The International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR)will hold its 2019 Annual Conference in Montego Bay, Jamaica from 30 September to 3 October 2019.
  • The Responsibility in Gaming Conference, taking place 23 – 24 October, 2019 in Brussels, will focus on what operators and regulators can and should do to create an effective and workable responsible gaming policy.


GiG Affiliate Subsidiary Sanctioned by Netherlands Gambling Authority

The Netherlands Gambling Authority issued a cease and desist order to affiliate marketeer Innovation Labs Limited, a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group (GiG), for specifically targeting the Dutch market.

The original order was issued in November 2017, but only made public last week.

According the regulator’s complaint, Innovations Labs-owned affiliate domain www.topcasinobonus.nu was published in the Dutch language. Moreover, visitors of the country-specific www.topcasinobonus.nl domain were (and are) automatically redirected to the dot.nu domain. Currently, the affiliate links have been removed from the website.

As Innovation Labs did not immediately cease redirecting web traffic from www.topcasinobonus.nu to unlicensed online gambling operators, the company was assessed a penalty payment of €21,000.


Other News

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has opened a public consultation on its new guidelines regarding the duty of care of operators toward their customers.


Dutch sports betting operator De Toto launched a new TV ad campaign.


An as of yet unknown entrepreneur is looking to start a casino in the city of Leiden. This, however, would require a modification of municipal regulations.


German legislators have agreed an amendment to the Interstate Treaty on Gambling which would remove the limits on sports betting licenses for the first time.


However, German sports betting operator association Deutsche Sportwettenverband (DSWV) dismissed the amendment as insufficient.


Spanish-licensed online operators achieved a combined GGR of €699m in 2018, a 25.48% increase compared to the previous year. However, the market may soon be reaching its saturation point.


Italian gaming lawyer Giulio Coraggio discusses how EU privacy regulations will impact the affiliate sector.


The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has cancelled gaming licenses for Neptune Entertainment and Triton Gaming with immediate effect, with the pair ordered to shut down all operations as a result.


The Stars Group saw total revenue rise 55% to $2.02bn for 2018, following the acquisitions of Sky Betting & Gaming in the UK and BetEasy in Australia.


The Stars Group is planning to shut the existing Sky Bet Germany site in H2 and migrate customers to the BetStars site which will then be rebranded to Sky Bet, the operator said yesterday.


UK-listed gambling operator GVC Holdingssuffered a double-digit fallin its share price on Friday after the company’s two senior executives sold off the bulk of their stakes in the company.


Following the takeover of Irish operator BetBright earlier in the week, issues have arisen regarding 888 Holdings, as it has been unable to on-board BetBright players onto its platform.


888 has announced a 2% drop in FY18 revenues to $530m, with B2C poker acting as a drag on the group after revenues fell 37% in the wake of a “challenging competitive environment.”


German telecom regulators are clamping down on online casino advertising.


The Irish Minister for Finance, Paschal Donohoe, has rejected claims that lottery betting could harm the country’s national lottery.


Manchester United coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is contemplating taking legal action against operator Paddy Power Betfair for using his image in a recent newspaper advert.


Daily fantasy sports (DFS) is proving to be a key customer acquisition source for regulated US sports betting operators.


As the popularity of voice-activated smart speakers is rapidly growing across the US, the Virginia Lottery decided to introduce an Alexa app.


Billionaire and activist investor Carl Icahn has bought a further 5% worth of shares in Caesars Entertainment, increasing his stake to 15.6%.


The Japanese government said Thursday it plans to ask gambling venues to consider using facial recognition systems to restrict admission of gambling addicts.