Netherlands Gambling Authority issues warning over rogue online bingo operators

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has noted a large increase in unlicensed online bingo offerings during the Covid-19 crisis. While the regulator promised leniency towards idealistic initiatives meant to ease social isolation during the lockdown, malicious or for-profit operators will face enforcement measures, the gambling authority warned.

The regulator also warned consumers to be wary of requests for online payments made by bingo organizers, as well as offers that sounded too good to be true.

Swedish trade association BOS protests new online gambling restrictions

Swedish trade Association for online gambling Branschföreningen för Onlinespel (BOS) has published an open letter on its website protesting new emergency restrictions on online gambling that were announced by the Swedish government on April 23.

The letter warns that new restrictions will make the regulated market unattractive in comparison to black-market offerings. The BOS also accuses Sweden’s Minister for Public Administration, Ardalan Shekarabi, of being unwilling to cooperate with the sector:

“We operate in a digital world and have direct access to all the relevant data needed to evaluate what measures can help strengthen our players’ safety and security while still providing attractive offers and products. The sad thing is that the government, with Ardalan Shekarabi at the forefront, does not want to talk to us about how we can work together and, with help from the insights we possess, develop a well-functioning Swedish gambling market. This became especially clear when the Minister, on April 23, proposed new emergency restrictions, proclaiming that, “The Government sees major risks in the gambling sector right now.” But the overall gambling industry (private and state) doesn’t see the same pattern at all. Instead, we see how gambling has diminished compared to what it looked like before the covid-19 crisis struck.”

The letter is currently signed by the CEOs of twelve Swedish-licensed online gambling operators, including Betsson, Kindred, LeoVegas, NetEnt, and William Hill. These twelve operators represent roughly half of the licensed Swedish online market.

Gaming in Germany webinar | Responsible advertising in a regulated iGaming market

Following a successful GiH webinar, the Gaming in EU webinar series will continue on May 20 at 15:00 CET with the Gaming in Germany webinar “Responsible Advertising in a regulated iGaming market.”

In this webinar, we will discuss what the German media environment looks like and how operators can advertise in a manner that is both effective and sustainable.

Panelists

  • Dr Andreas Blaue, General Counsel at Constantin Medien AG / CEO Magic Sports Media GmbH
  • Frank Hesse, Gaming & Marketing Consultant
  • Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA)

With an introduction on the legal and regulatory advertising framework by Dr Jörg Hofmann, group leader of the Gaming & Betting Law Practice Group of Melchers Law Firm.

Registration for the very first Gaming in Germany webinar is now open: https://bit.ly/2W0Q4uj

Gaming in Spain webinar | A perfect storm? How to move forward in Spain’s new iGaming environment

The Gaming in EU webinar series continues on May 27 at 16:00 CET with the Gaming in Spain webinar “A perfect storm? How to move forward in Spain’s new iGaming environment.”

During this webinar, we will discuss the impact of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic on Spain’s iGaming sector, the appointment of Mikel Arana as the new Director-General of the DGOJ, and the new Royal Decree on gambling advertising and responsible gambling.

Taken together, these developments have the potential to severely disrupt the status quo of the Spanish iGaming market. Our panelists will discuss what we can expect and how stakeholders can adjust.

Panelists

  • Mikel López de Torre, Chairman of Jdigital
  • Eduardo Morales Hermo, Gambling & Betting Consultant at iGamingCo
  • Pedro López Martín-Andino, Managing Partner at MartínAndino Abogados

Registration for the very first Gaming in Spain webinar is now open: https://bit.ly/3b9K5rF

Other events & webinars

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.

  • EASG 2020, the 13th European Conference on Gambling Studies and Policy Issues, will take place in Oslo from 8 – 11 September. This year’s edition will focus on international differences in regulations and operations, as well as different approaches toward prevention, and treatment.
  • 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 & virtual events

  • On 7 May, the EGR Weekly Virtual Series continues with “Cyber Attacks: What’s the impact of Covid-19?”
  • VIXIO GamblingCompliance webinar’s “Untangling Germany’s New State Gambling Treaty With DSWV” will address Germany’s newline gambling regulation on Tuesday, 12 May.

Dutch casinos to re-open on September 1, Holland Casino and VAN Kansspelen “disappointed”

In a joint statement, Holland Casino and trade association VAN Kansspelen expressed disappointment regarding the Dutch government’s decision to prolong the forced closure of land-based gambling establishments until September 1.

Both organizations believe that land-based casinos can safely open at a much earlier stage. Holland Casino CEO Erwin van Lambaart:

“Keeping the entire sector in lockdown for so long is irresponsible in regard of our public task of channeling consumers to a safe and responsible gambling offer. The decision causes enormous economic damage to the entire sector. We understand that we should not be the first to re-open, but to keep us closed for another four months is unwise and unnecessary. We will be ready by 1 June at the latest to open our premises in full compliance with government guidelines.”

Other news

According to the latest estimates, 2020’s global gambling gross win will end up below 2012 levels – undoing, temporarily at least – eight years of continuous growth.

The German football season is set to resume later this month after being given the go-ahead by chancellor Angela Merkel.

Spain’s La Liga football clubs are returning to training this week, ahead of the anticipated June resumption of competitive matches.

Private equity groups CVC Capital Partners and Blackstone are in separate talks about investments in Italy’s Serie A football league.

Flutter Entertainment, the parent company of Paddy Power Betfair and FanDuel, has announced the completion of its acquisition of and merger with The Stars Group (TSG).

The Coronavirus pandemic has had a “neutral to slightly negative impact” on LeoVegas` Q1 revenue.

LeoVegas also launched a new proprietary live casino brand called LiveCasino.com.

The UK Gambling Commission warns licensed operators that they will face regulatory action if they do not carefully manage all the third-party websites that they are responsible for.

A host of A-list celebrities are to compete in a PokerStars online poker tournament on 9 May to raise funds for the relief efforts during the global pandemic.

Half of consumers in New Zealand have gambled less than usual during the Covid-19 lockdown, according to a report from market research company Nielsen and the government’s Health Promotion Agency.