Netherlands Gambling Authority to assist municipalities in checking slot machine compliance in catering venues

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has developed a new approach to assist municipalities in ensuring that slot machines in catering facilities comply with regulations to protect minors.

Slot machines in venues that also cater to minors must be clearly separated from the remainder of the establishment’s interior. Spot checks carried out in late 2018 found that this rule was not always respected, especially in venues with layouts that had changed over time.

EGBA, MGA dismiss need for emergency gambling measures during pandemic

Both the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) claim that there is currently no evidence to indicate that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has led to a notable increase in problematic gambling behavior.

Yanica Sant, head of EU affairs and policy at the MGA:

“B2C sports betting operators registered a significant decrease in generated revenue, which was to be expected in light of the fact that most sporting events were cancelled or postponed. On the other hand, B2C operators that offer online casino games registered a slight increase in gaming revenue. While an increase was expected, as more people were spending time inside their homes, the increase in revenue generated by remote casino games turned out to be less than what could have been expected. In fact, just over a third of operators registered an increase in revenue, while a third actually registered a decrease.”

Maarten Haijer, Secretary-General, EGBA:

“The data available shows there has actually been a significant decline in online gambling during the coronavirus lockdowns – mainly due to the cancellation of major sports. According to the respective national authorities, in Belgium there has been a 38% decline in traffic to licensed gambling websites, in Denmark there has been a 60% drop in online gambling and in Sweden, there was a 6% decrease in online gambling. The UK authority also found that 67% of citizens have not gambled during the coronavirus and, of those that had, three quarters had not spent more time or money on online gambling.”

Swedish regulator maintains criticism of weekly deposit limits

Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen has warned the government that it may be difficult to meet the 2 July deadline to implement the weekly casino deposit limits that were proposed last month by Minister of Health Ardalan Shekarabi.

Spelinspektionen said that applying the deposit limits exclusively to casino games would pose significant challenges. The regulator also reiterated its position that the proposed rules would only have a marginal effect on player protection, while potentially benefitting unlicensed operators.

Sharing the regulator’s criticism of the announced deposit limits, nine CEOs of Swedish-licensed operators proposed a seven-point alternative plan to make gambling safer in Sweden.

Upcoming events

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

Events

Due to current events, most events that were to take place before the summer have been postponed. However, the following events are still on track to take place later in the year.

  • The 2020 Gaming in Holland Conference has now been scheduled on September 22, one day prior to iGB Live in the Amsterdam RAI. Combine two events with one visit!
  • The Gaming in Germany Conference has now been scheduled to take place on October 19, 2020 in Berlin – one day prior to iGB Berlin 2020. More details to follow soon. Save the date!
  • Betting on Sports America, the largest dedicated sports betting trade show in the world, returns to Meadowlands, New Jersey from 1 – 3 December.
  • The World Gaming Executive Summit will return to Barcelona from 7 – 9 December. Key themes on the agenda include AI, the future of land-based gaming, CSR, sustainable marketing, regulation updates, fantasy sports, and emerging marketing opportunities.

Webinars

  • Tune in on Thursday, June 11 at 17:00 CET for the next installment of the IMGL webinar series. Tomorrow’s episode will focus on market developments and the importance of sports data.

Dutch Lower House to debate secondary legislation Remote Gaming Act

Last week, the Permanent Committee for Justice and Security of the Dutch Lower House decided to schedule a plenary debate on the response by the Ministry of Justice to questions on the Remote Gaming Act’s secondary legislation.

This debate has been scheduled for next week. A specific date and time have yet to be announced.

The fact that there will be a plenary debate indicates that the Lower House will table one or more motions on the Remote Gaming Act’s secondary legislation.

At this point, it appears not unlikely that the Lower House will support a brief delay in the implementation of the Remote Gaming Act. Unfortunately, we won’t know for certain until next week.

Other news

The Danish Online Gambling Association (DOGA) is the third national online gambling association, along with the associations in the Netherlands (Speel Verantwoord) and Belgium (BAGO), to endorse EGBA’s new code of conduct for responsible advertising.

France’s online gaming revenue for Q1 2020 grew 22% year-on-year, despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic from mid-March.

Sportradar will be offering Simulated Reality matches for all 51 games of the postponed UEFA Championship tournament.

UK betting shops will be allowed to reopen from June 15, but land-based casinos will have to wait until July 4.

Genting Casinos, however, appears to have decided to permanently close some venues due to the “unprecedented challenges” presented by Covid-19.

Interwetten has extended its sponsorship of German Bundesliga clubs TSG Hoffenheim and Vfl Wolfsburg.

Bulgarian lawmakers have outlined plans for the closure of all gaming halls other than a limited number of integrated casino resorts close to the country’s borders.