Netherlands Gaming Authority Reinstates Remittance Obligation of Dutch State Lottery

The Netherlands Gaming Authority has reinstated the previous obligation of the Dutch State Lottery (Staatsloterij) to remit at least 15% of GGR to the Dutch state’s coffers.

The regulator decided to reintroduce the obligation due to the failure of the Ministry of Finance to develop an alternative instrument to determine the lottery operator’s annual remittance.


Ladbrokes Hit with One-Day Belgian License Suspension

The Belgian Gambling Commission sanctioned Ladbrokes by ordering the firm to close all its local betting offices for one day – on 3 September – as the operator was caught offering unlicensed virtual sports betting products to its Belgian customers.

Virtual sporting bets were tolerated in Belgium from 2012 to June 2017. Ladbrokes, however, continued to offer virtual betting up to March 2018, even though it was banned by law.

Ladbrokes complained that it had not been notified officially of the sanction and only learned of the punishment after it was informed by an unidentified third party on August 7, adding that the firm “deeply regrets that such confidential information is transmitted to the press and to third parties even before it is informed.”

The operator also said that it may challenge the punishment before Belgium’s Council of State.


German Operator Mybet to File for Insolvency

Following unsuccessful talks with potential investors, German operator Mybet is preparing an application for insolvency due to “imminent illiquidity.”

In July, Mybet announced that it planned to sell its customer-facing online gambling operations to an unidentified strategic investor so that the company could focus on its B2B business. Mybet said Tuesday that these talks had “closed” due to “conditions set by the investors which could not be fulfilled.”

A further factor is the €4m the company owes in German sports betting taxes. Mybet had applied for the provisional suspension of this tax obligation, but saw this application rejected.


UKGC to Investigate Harm Related to Specific Products and Environments

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is supporting new research exploring whether some gambling products and environments are more harmful than others.

Gambling operators will be asked to provide the data so it can be used to understand how products, environments and characteristics vary – and importantly, identify those more associated with harmful play, the UKGC said.

Ben Haden, program director at the Gambling Commission: “Our strategy sets out our commitment to preventing harm to consumers from the risks gambling can pose. Success of this relies on growing our evidence base to better understand the types of gambling products and services that present more of a risk of harm to consumers than others.”


Upcoming Events

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

  • The International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL) will be organizing their annual autumn conference in Prague, Czech Republic, 5-7 September 2018.
  • Eurocoin Gaming is inviting its customers to participate in a two-day co-creation workshop in order to design a new game concept for the Dutch market on September 12-13.
  • The preliminary program of the 12th EASG Conference on Gambling Studies and Policy Issues, which is scheduled to take place 11-14 September 2018, has now been published.
  • Betting on Sports Week returns to London in September. Over 2,000 delegates from across the world will make their way to the Betting on Sports Week to join the international betting and gaming trade conferences Betting on Sports 2018 and Betting on eSports 2018, held 18-21 September at Olympia London.
  • The 2018 edition of Blockchain Live will feature eight conference stages, including one focused on gaming and gambling. No less than 3,000 attendees are expected to gather in The Grand Hall, Olympia, London on September 26, 2018.
  • The Lisbon Affiliate Conference will take place on 17-20 October 2018 and is expected to bring together the key stakeholders in the iGaming affiliate industry.
  • On 14 November, trade association VAN Kansspelen will hold its annual members’ meeting. The members’ meeting will be followed by a product presentation, showcasing the latest innovations in land-based gaming products.
  • Clarion Gaming has launched ICE Sports Betting USA, a two-day event to be held in New York on 27 and 28 November, 2018.


Italy Appears Determined to Create Hostile Environment for Gambling Operators

Last week, the Italian parliament has given final approval to outlaw gambling advertising.

Under this new regulation it will be illegal to advertise gambling products and services on the internet, radio and TV. Sports sponsorships with gambling companies will also be outlawed, although the state-run national lottery will be exempt from this ban.

The gambling advertising ban is a part of Deputy Prime minister and leader of the populist 5 Star movement Luigi Di Maio’s “Dignity Decree.”

According to Di Maio, the Dignity Decree addresses only immediate emergencies within gambling, indicating that more restrictions could soon follow, including, potentially, a reduction of the number of gambling venues to half of the current level.

Gambling consultancy firm Regulus Partners observes:

“The new Italian government does not like gambling on a pretty visceral level and it intends to use legislation to reduce it – perhaps significantly. […] this makes a material position in Italy’s once burgeoning commercial gambling sector something more of a corporate gamble than may be comfortable.”

In related news, Italy’s gambling regulator AAMS has a new head after Benedetto Mineo was appointedto lead the department by the country’s new coalition government.

Mineo’s predecessor Giovanni Kessler took to Facebook to severely criticize the decision to let him go:

“I was wiped out by the government as head of the Customs Monopoli Agency on the basis of my real or presumed party membership. There was no evaluation of my skills, projects or results.

Political cleansing spoils the system. Beyond my personal case, it is an act that jeopardizes the impartiality and good performance of the technical bodies of public administration.”


Other News

Kindred Group has submitted a formal request for a gaming license with Sweden’s gambling authority.


France’s online sports bettors wagered over €1bn in the second quarter of 2018, a 61% increase compared to Q2 2017.


The Malta Gaming Authority has published its new directive on the calculation of operators’ compliance contribution.


Global online poker giant PokerStars has become the latest apparent victim of what could be a wider industry Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.


Analysts have hailed The Stars Group’s “impressive momentum,” driven by mergers and acquisitions, after the company posted a 35% year-on-year increase in second-quarter revenue.


Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has reported a 20% year-on-year increase in revenues to €24.2m for its B2C arm, although EBITDA slipped 47.3% to €-2.8m on increased marking costs and unusual hot weather in Scandinavia.


Aspire Globalreported record revenue of €24.7min Q2, marking an increase of 43% following the launch of the supplier’s sportsbook solution in Q1.


Paddy Power Betfair CEO Peter Jackson has hit out at proposals to introduce a blanket ban on gambling advertising in the Republic of Ireland.


Yggdrasil Gaming has entered the Czech Republic’s online gaming market through a new agreement with Tipsort.


Authentic Gaming will bring its suite of games and products to the UK market after being granted a license by the UK Gambling Commission.


Gambling apps are among the biggest blockchain moneymakers.


Apple has been accused of accidentally removing applications from its App store in a bid to reduce its gambling content.


Catena Media has seen its revenues rise 73% over the last year, aided by acquisitions that have allowed them to enter new markets and various verticals.


German sports betting operator bwin has announced it will be the exclusive sports betting partner of FC Cologne from the 2018/19 season.


In an effort to promote diversity and best practices in the global gaming industry, the European Casino Association (ECA), Clarion Gaming, and the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) have partnered up with the UNLV International Gaming Institute

and the University of Nevada, Reno College of Business and Extended Studies to offer the first-ever Clarion-ECA-AGEM EDP gender diversity scholarship.


Scientific Games has vowed to appeal after it was ordered to pay $315m by a court in Chicago.


As US states debate sports betting, companies including stock exchange operator Nasdaq are jostling to supply integrity monitoring services that will clamp down on cheats and handle high volumes of wagers.


West Virginia Lottery has granted licenses to FanDuel and Penn National, allowing both to run sportsbooks in the state.


Popular US sports bar chain Buffalo Wild Wings is now eyeing a venture into the sports betting business.