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GREF promises “increased cooperation” in fight against illegal gambling

Novamedia surrenders remote gaming license

Dutch charity lottery operator Novamedia has voluntarily surrendered its remote gaming license.

As a result of growing regulatory pressure, online gambling turns out to be unfit for charity fundraising, the company said in a statement: “Novamedia has therefore decided […], for the time being, to make no further investment in the opportunities that online gaming could offer in the Netherlands.”

Although Novamedia, one of the largest gambling advertisers in the Netherlands, already acquired a Dutch remote gambling license on March 8, 2022, the operator never went live – despite having engaged in significant lobbying efforts in the run-up to the legalization of online gambling in the Netherlands.

Following Novamedia's decision to surrender its license, 23 licensed online operators remain, twenty of which are currently active in the Dutch market.

Dutch minister reiterates need for “some degree” of gambling advertising

In response to parliamentary questioning, Minister for Legal Protection has reiterated his previous stance that gambling advertising should not be entirely prohibited in the country:

“[S]ome degree of advertising remains necessary in order to be able to direct players to legal offers, with safeguards in place for consumer protection, addiction prevention and the prevention of crime. Developments in other countries, such as Italy, have shown that a total ban on advertising leads to an increase in players making use of illegal operators.”

However, a previously announced ban on all “untargeted” gambling advertising (which includes broadcast, outdoor, and print advertising) will enter into force in the country from July 1, 2023, at the latest.

Weerwind further said that self-regulation through trade associations has an important but “ultimately limited” effect on gambling advertising, primarily because not all licensed operators agreed to be bound by voluntary advertising restrictions.

Upcoming events

The following event(s) may be of interest to the GiH community.

  • The 2023 Gaming in Spain Conference, which will take place in Madrid on May 18, 2023. Confirmed speakers include both the current and former leadership of Spain's national regulator DGOJ. Registration is now open!

  • Don't miss the 2023 Gaming in Holland Conference on June 8, 2023, at the Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. Register today!

GREF promises “increased cooperation” in fight against illegal gambling

Members of the Gaming Regulators European Forum (GREF) have released a joint statement in which they promise “increased cooperation in the fight against illegal operators, particularly through meetings on a regular basis, the exchange of information, alerts, expertise, best practices and joint actions against illegal sites.”

The stated goal of this joint action is to “ensure effective implementation of our national regulations.”

GREF represents 42 European gambling regulators, including those of popular offshore jurisdictions such as Malta, Gibraltar, Alderney, and the Isle of Man.

GREF's Board of Directors is currently chaired by René Jansen, who is also chair of the Netherlands Gambling Authority.

For now, it remains unclear whether – or to what extent – any “joint action” can be expected against operators licensed in one GREF jurisdiction which also operates illegally in another such jurisdiction.

Other news

The Netherlands Gambling Authority has appointed several new members to its Advisory Council.

Allwyn, the UK’s incoming lottery operator, has signed a deal with telecom giant Vodafone to become its technology partner.

Entain has completed the acquisition of sports media business 365scores.

Spillemyndigheden, Denmark's gambling regulator, will henceforth assume responsibility for the country's anti-match-fixing efforts.

ZEAL has been accepted as the latest member of the World Lottery Association.

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