Save the Date: GiH/Speel Verantwoord Lunch @ICE

On Wednesday, February 8, from 12:00 pm to 14:00 pm, Gaming in Holland and Speel Verantwoord will organize their traditional lunch at the ICE Totally Gaming Conference.

Every year, professionals from all industry sectors, land-based, online, and lotteries, meet up in London against the backdrop of Europe’s premier gaming conference to discuss the latest developments in Dutch gaming.

If you are interested in, or connected to Dutch gaming, this event is not to be missed!

Check out the photos of last year’s event here.

Further details will follow shortly.

 

Regulatory Update by Dr Alan Littler

In his monthly regulatory update, Dr Alan Littler, gaming lawyer at Kalff Katz & Franssen Attorneys at Law, discusses, among other things, the new enforcement policy of the Netherlands Gaming Authority:

“As is widely known the Gaming Authority announced on 1 December 2016 that, as of 1 January 2017, it will amend its enforcement policy. Essentially, the news boils down to the fact that operators who are offering remote games of chance in the Netherlands in breach of the (infamous) prioritisation criteria will not receive a warning letter before the Authority commences enforcement proceedings. The greatest risks are for those who choose to push at the boundaries of the current approach to enforcement. Until the new licensing regime is in place, it’ll be a game of cat and mouse, albeit one in slow motion.”

Read the rest of Dr Littler’s regulatory update here.

 

Dutch Court: Offering Payment Services to Unlicensed Operators Violates Gaming Act

The District Court in ‘s Hertogenbosch sided with the Netherlands Gaming Authority after payment services provider CURO Payments appealed the regulator’s decision to hand down a cease and desist order.

CURO Payments continued to provide payment services to unlicensed operator Bluemay Enterprises, even after signing a covenant with the Gaming Authority to help fight unlicensed online gaming.

The Court agreed with the Gaming Authority that offering payment services to unlicensed operators violates the Gaming Act.

 

Malta Seeks to End Geoblocking within the EU

Starting on January 1, 2017, Malta will hold the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU. One of the Maltese government’s priorities will be to:

“Mak[e] progress towards ensuring that consumers seeking to buy products and services in another EU country, be it online or in person, are not discriminated against based on nationality or country of residence in terms of access to prices, sales or payment conditions (geoblocking).”

The Malta-based gaming industry generated around €700 million in economic activity in 2015, which translates into around 10% of the entire Maltese economy.

 

UK Lawmakers Call for Additional Restrictions on FOBTs

A UK parliamentary group called for the maximum bet on fixed-odd betting terminals (FOBTs) to be reduced to £2 from £100. Following the news, several high-street bookmakers saw their share prices tumble, with William Hill losing 6%.

UK charity GambleAware, however, believes that “a stake-only reduction strategy” that ignores the role of game speed, game volatility and return-to-player ratios is “not the most effective option for minimizing gambling-related harm.”

After a period of relatively liberal approach, gambling policy has recently come under increased scrutiny in the UK. In an in-depth analysis, gaming consultant Dan Waugh looks back at the last fifteen years of gaming developments and regulation.

 

Paysafe in Trouble over China Allegations

Online payment processor Paysafe, the parent company of Neteller, Skrill and the Income Access online gambling affiliate business, saw its share price slide following allegations of facilitating both illegal gambling and Chinese capital control evasion.

Short-selling firm Spotlight Research published a document titled “Paysafe: Material Risks from Regulatory Enforcement Action” that claimed Paysafe was “enabling both illegal gambling and Chinese capital control evasion through alleged undisclosed related parties run by recent former executives.”

Spotlight acknowledged holding a short position in Paysafe.

 

Dutch Government Reacts to Remote Gaming Bill Motions

In addition to a large number of amendments, the Dutch Lower House also adopted several non-binding motions when that body voted on the remote gaming bill in early July.

State Secretary Klaas Dijkhoff of Security and Justice has now officially responded to these motions; adopting some, dismissing others. For instance:

  • license holders will be obligated to remind players of their deposit limits whenever they log on or off, or switch to a different game;
  • license holders are not allowed to advertise their live betting offerings during sporting events – except on their own websites;
  • contrary to broadcasted advertising, the Dutch government will not institute a watershed for online gambling ads;
  • the Dutch government will not prohibit gambling operators from sponsoring individual athletes.

 

Other News

On Thursday, the Holland Casino branch in Venlo will introduce a newly-designed table game “barbut,” which is derived from a traditional dice game that is played in the Eastern Mediterranean. If the game becomes sufficiently popular, it will be introduced in other Holland Casino branches as well.

 

The Netherlands Gaming Authority has forcibly removed slot machines from several locations after the owner continued to put these to use, despite losing his license earlier this year.

 

74% of lucky lottery players who won one million euros or more, reported no increase in happiness, according to a customer survey by Dutch operator Postcode Loterij.

 

Dutch art school students and the Centrum voor Verantwoord Spelen (“Center for Responsible Gaming”) have teamed up to warn of the risks of excessive gambling through several short video clips.

 

Three Dutch inventors have launched a crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter to develop and build RouLED, an open-source illuminated gaming platform based on the traditional roulette game.

 

A Gibraltar-based online gaming company is looking to hire a Dutch CS Conversion & Sales Agent.

 

Following a wider European trend, the German Federal Financial Supervisor Authority has put forward a set of proposed changes to the country’s laws regarding the sales of contract for difference (CFD) to retail customers.

 

Unibet shareholders have approved the previously announced name change of the holding company from Unibet Group plc to Kindred Group plc.

 

Sportech, which also holds the sole Dutch totalizator betting license, has won a £97m tax dispute with the UK’s revenue service.

 

William Hill has been rebuffed by several candidates approached to become its new chief executive, highlighting the UK bookmaker’s struggle to find a suitable figure willing to accept the challenge of turning around the business,” the Financial Times reports.

 

GVC, the company behind the bwin.party and PartyPoker brands, has been linked with a potential reverse takeover of Ladbrokes Coral, but talks appear to have already collapsed.

 

Sportradar and the Norwegian Gaming and Foundation Authority have agreed a deal to develop an anti-match manipulation national platform.

 

The Österreichische Vereinigung für Wetten und Glücksspiel (OVWG) has joined EGBA as an affiliate member.

 

Organizers of EiG and BAC have confirmed that in 2017 both events will once again take place in Berlin.

 

Prominent gaming-related shares in Japan are rising strongly as the country could vote this week on casino legalization, potentially creating an industry worth $40bn a year.

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