Betconstruct CEO to discuss Betsson sportsbook agreement at Gaming in Spain conference

Vahe Baloulian, CEO of global gaming solutions provider BetConstruct, has confirmed his attendance at the Gaming in Spain conference. Mr Baloulian will discuss the widely publicized deal with the Betsson Group to provide the Swedish operator with a sportsbook solution for the Spanish online market. Don’t miss it!

Local experts Juan Espinosa García, Director-General for the Regulation of Gambling at the Ministry of the Treasury, and gaming lawyer Santiago Asensi will share their insights regarding the latest online licensing round that was recently announced by the Spanish regulator DGOJ.

For established operators, there will be detailed, in-depth discussions of statistics, business models, marketing and taxation.

For more information and the full conference agenda visit:

There are only 24 hours left to register. Register today!


Betsson Admits Failure in Attempts to Re-Open Infringement Proceedings against the Netherlands

In its latest trading update, Malta-based operator Betsson admits defeat in its attempts to have the European Commission re-open infringement proceedings against the Netherlands. The company also commented on its recent court case against the Netherlands Gaming Authority:

“In July, Betsson filed an official complaint to the European Commission requesting the re- opening of infringement proceedings against the Netherlands that were initiated in 2006. The European Commission has made a decision not to, at this time, pursue complaints relating to gambling. Due to this change in policy by the Commission, no further action will be taken by the European Commission in relation to Netherlands’ ongoing infringement.

Betsson was unsuccessful in seeking an injunction to prevent the Dutch authority KSA enforcement in the Dutch courts. Betsson has decided not to appeal this decision. However, Betsson is still considering initiating full proceedings if an understanding cannot be found with the KSA to enable channeling Betsson’s customers to the future locally regulated environment. Betsson’s reference at all times is to seek a compromise that would be an acceptable solution for all parties. However, Betsson will defend its legal rights should any enforcement action be initiated by the KSA.”

Pontus Lindwall, chief executive of Betsson, added the firm is “not satisfied” with its performance during the third quarter, despite achieving year-on-year growth across revenue and profit.

Even though the company reported growth, it may turn out to be hard for Betsson to grow faster than the pace of negative regulatory change, due to looming legislative adjustments in Sweden and the Netherlands, and the potential for greater enforcement in Norway and Turkey.

As a result, Betsson’s stock price has been on a downward trajectory since the company released its trading update on Friday.

In more upbeat news, Betsson has linked up with BetConstruct to roll out a new sports betting service in Spain.


Dutch Government Responds to Parliamentary Questions on Temporary Gambling Tax Increase

The Dutch government has responded (pp. 21-24) to parliamentary questions regarding its proposal to temporarily increase the gambling tax rate from 29% to 30.1%.

Probably the most important takeaway is that the Dutch government appears to remain committed to the opening of the regulated online market on January 1, 2019.

In related news, the following persons have been confirmed as the new political leaders of the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security (previously: Security and Justice):

  • Ferdinand Grapperhaus (CDA), Minister of Justice and Security
  • Sander Dekker (VVD), Minister (without portfolio) for Public Security
  • Mark Harbers (VVD), State Secretary (junior minister) of Justice and Security

At present, it has not yet been confirmed who will be responsible for gambling policy.


UK Regulators Issue Warning over “Youth-Orientated” Advertising

UK regulators, including the UK Gambling Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority have sent a letter to more than 450 online operators ordering them “to amend or remove immediately any ads on your website or in third party media that are: likely to appeal particularly to people aged 17 or younger (‘under 18’); and generally available to view (‘freely accessible’).”

The letter further clarifies:

“An ad is considered to have “particular appeal to children or young persons” if it is deemed likely to appeal more to under 18s than to over 18s. The use of particular colours, cartoon and comic book images, animals, child- and youth-orientated references and names of games such as “Piggy Payout”, “Fluffy Favourites”, “Pirate Princess” and “Jack and t he Beanstalk” are likely, alone or in combination, to enhance appeal to under 18s.”


Upcoming Events

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

  • Ulrik Bengtsson, former President & CEO of Betsson Group, will share his experiences and insights at EiG 2017, which will be taking place 30 October-1 November 2017 in Berlin.
  • The Slot Academy, taught by renowned Slots expert Lucien Wijsman, is taking place 6-9 November in Leiden. Download the course agenda here.
  • On 24 November, Malta’s largest iGaming conference SIGMA’17 will feature a session on regulatory developments in the Netherlands, moderated by GiH founder Willem van Oort. Conference registration is open. Gaming in Holland and Leaseweb invite SIGMA’17 attendees to join us for drinks on Thursday, 23 November 2017, starting at 7:30 pm. Places are limited, so please reserve your place today by registering here.
  • Registration for ICE 2018, which is to take place 6-8 February 2018 at ExCeL London, is live. As always, there will be a Gaming in Holland Lunch – on 7 February – at next year’s foremost gathering of gaming professionals in the world.
  • The GamblingCompliance Global Regulatory Awards 2018, celebrating excellence in the field of regulatory compliance and responsible gambling, will be hosted at The Sheraton Grand Hotel, London – 18 April 2018.
  • The 12th EASG Conference on Gambling Studies and Policy Issues is now scheduled for 11-14 September 2018 at the Grand Hotel Excelsior, Valletta, Malta.


PSV Eindhoven Signs Sponsorship Deal with Asia-Facing Betting Operator

Following the example of its competitor AFC Ajax, PSV Eindhoven has become the second Dutch football side to acquire an Asian betting partner.

The three-year deal with Asian betting firm Wellbet will come into force on January 1, 2018 and will net PSV “several hundreds of thousands of euros” each year.

Koen van Haastert, sponsor manager at PSV, confirmed that the club is aiming to sign additional sponsorship deals with betting-related companies.

As with the earlier Ajax deal, PSV’s latest sponsorship agreement clearly illustrates that, despite local restrictions, international online betting is already impacting Dutch sports.


Other News

Netherlands Gaming Authority CEO Marja Appelman called for closer cooperation among regulators in order to facilitate problem gambling prevention at the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) in Johannesburg.


Also speaking at the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) conference in Johannesburg, Joseph Cuschieri, Executive Chairman of the Malta Gaming Authority, pledged his commitment to blockchain technology.


Money and usable chips were retrieved from the Holland Casino branch in Groningen that was destroyed by fire in late August.


De Nederlandse Postcode Loterij is looking to hire a Head Public Affairs and Stakeholder Management.


Betting systems provider Sportech Plc, holder of the Dutch tote betting license, has announced that it is seeking a corporate sale of its entire enterprise.


Italy’s sports betting operators could face higher taxes on both land-based and online operations. According to preliminary proposals, land-based betting taxes would be raised one point, from 18% to 19%, while online betting tax would increase from its current rate of 22% to 23%.


Paddy Power will close its Italy-facing site and migrate customers across to Betfair in December, the operator has told customers. The company will begin pushing punters towards in line with its global strategy of operating under a single brand.


Live games are an increasing feature of the top casino pages in the UK.


In a trading update, UK-listed gambling operator Rank Group reported a 1% decline in retail revenue while digital revenue shot up by nearly one-fifth (19%).


French tote operator PMU has hailed a return to growth for the first three quarters of 2017, with GGR up 0.8% to €1.8bn in the period.


Australia’s Crown Casino deliberately tampered with poker machines to encourage more bets and to reduce mandatory payouts, according to three ex-employees of the company.


Australian retail lottery sellers declined to participate in Lottoland’s revenue sharing plan, calling it “as dodgy as its pretend lottery offer.”


Susan Standiford, Chief Technology Officer of lottery innovator ZEAL Group, has been shortlisted for CIO of the Year at the Women in IT Excellence Awards 2017.


The Trump administration is supporting the NFL in the ongoing Supreme Court case to stop the state of New Jersey from offering sports betting.


US mobile social casino gamers play for 57 minutes per session and spend $39.87 a month on games in the genre, according to SuperData Research.


Gamblers could potentially fix professional bike races by hacking into team radios and talking to riders.