Netherlands Gambling Authority Warns Consumers over Facebook Lotteries

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has issued a warning over so-called “dipping” lottery games on Facebook.

Most dipping lotteries are offered in closed Facebook groups. Participants can usually enter a draw for only a few euros, but as these lotteries are wholly unregulated, it is unclear whether the advertised prizes and announced winners are real, the regulator warned.

“Despite an earlier warning, dipping seems to be gaining popularity,” Netherlands Gambling Authority board member Bernadette van Buchem said. “We also have the impression that the prizes are becoming bigger in order to entice as many consumers as possible to participate.”

The Dutch regulator has launched an investigation into these lotteries.

 

LeoVegas Announces Cost-saving Measures

LeoVegas has ditched its planned move to upgraded offices in Malta as part of strategic cost-saving measures which could cost the operator more than €6m.

The cost-saving strategy was implemented by LeoVegas management after stricter compliance demands and higher gambling taxes negatively impacted UK performance.

Earlier, the operator pulled its Royal Panda brand off the UK market, recognizing a €10m loss on its 2017 acquisition.

Royal Panda – which has struggled with weak performance in the UK but has performed well in other markets – can now focus fully on growth outside of the UK and also launch the brand in a couple of new markets in and outside of Europe,” LeoVegas CEO Gustaf Hagman said.

 

Upcoming Events

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

  • GamblingCompliance Global Regulatory Awards 2020, which celebrate excellence in compliance and responsible gambling initiatives, will be awarded on 22 April, 2020 at the De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms in Central London.
  • The World Gaming Executive Summit will return to Barcelona from 30 June – 2 July, 2020. Key themes on the agenda include AI, the future of land-based gaming, CSR, sustainable marketing, regulation updates, fantasy sports, and emerging marketing opportunities.

 

Netherlands Gambling Authority Chairman Calls on Industry to Demonstrate Responsibility

Speaking at the 16th Kalff Katz & Franssen/IMGL Annual Gaming Industry Event, Netherlands Gambling Authority chairman René Jansen called on operators to demonstrate “responsibility” when the regulated Dutch online market opens.

Future licensed operators should not just follow the letter of the law, they are also expected to obey its spirit, Jansen warned: “Of course, it goes without saying that you should comply with laws and regulations. However, there is also such a thing as taking responsibility. Taking actual responsibility goes beyond being compliant with legislation.”

During his talk, Jansen also announced progress on the Dutch self-exclusion register CRUKS. No further clarity was given, however, on possible changes to the cooling-off period.

Jansen subsequently followed up these comments in a separate speech at the ICE trade show by stating that future license applicants “better be honest” in revealing any previous targeting of Dutch customers.

Besides René Jansen’s keynote speech, the KKF/IMGL Annual Industry Event also featured a panel discussion with Jason Chess (Wiggin), Paul Leyland (Regulus Partners), Eric Olders (JVH Gaming) and Peter-Paul de Goeij (Speel Verantwoord), moderated by Dr Jörg Hofmann (Melchers).

While introducing the panel, Dr Hofmann managed to get everyone laughing by showing off his (unsuspected) rhyming skills, adding some much-appreciated levity to the discussion:

Regulation à la Dutch
Will we like it very much?
What’s considered to be new?
Now we’re going to review

 

Other News

Due to recent court ruling, Holland Casino will be forced to close its smoking areas on April 1, 2020. The complete smoking ban is likely to negatively impact the operator’s revenues.

 

Janshen-Hahnraths Group is looking to hire an in-house lawyer.

 

Europe’s online gambling market grew 11% – from €20 billion gross gaming revenue (GGR) in 2017 to €22.2 billion GGR in 2018 – according to market data published by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) in partnership with H2 Gambling Capital.

 

The recent draft of a new German state regulation for iGaming has been hailed as a first step towards a modern, market-compliant gaming regulatory environment, but in its current form affiliates stand to lose out in a big way.

 

Germany’s banks have received fresh warnings from government authorities that they are not allowed to process payments for international online gambling operators.

 

Despite the change in government, Juan Garcia Espinosa will maintain his position as Director-General of Spanish gambling regulatory authority – Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ).

 

The long-awaited Spanish Royal Decree on the regulation of online gambling advertising appears to be almost finished.

 

The UK Gambling Commission has partnered with Twitter to help people reduce the amount of gambling-related content they see on the platform.

 

William Hill-owned MRG has ordered its UK affiliates to cease promotions for its Mr Green UK casino and live casino products with immediate effect.

 

Nasdaq Stockholm-listed Scout Gaming Group has won a tender to supply its fantasy sports solutions to Norwegian gaming monopoly Norsk Tipping.

 

Unibet has signed a global sponsorship agreement with the world’s best chess player, Magnus Carlsen, making Unibet Carlsen’s main sponsor in 2020 and 2021.

 

Rank Group reported a 10% year-on-year lift in net gaming revenue (NGR) for the second half of 2019, buoyed by a double-digit rise in its digital business.

 

Ukrainian sports betting operators could be taxed at rates varying between 0% and 25% of gross gaming revenue (GGR) under four different bills being considered by Ukrainian parliament.