Swedish Gambling Authority Opens Licensing Process

Sweden is one country in Scandinavia that is taking its time to level the online gambling field with new laws regarding the industry coming on January 1 2019. Swedish regulator Lotteriinspektionen has announced however that it will open the application process for new online gambling licences on July 1 2018 although the laws have yet to be carved in stone.

Sweden’s gambling regulator took time to evaluate the technical and practical dimensions of the new regulations after consulting the gambling public it is now prepared to present the updated version.

Director General of Sweden’s Lotteriinspektionen, Camilla Rosenberg said the number of possible licences available to operators is not capped as long as all applicants meet the proposed criteria set by the government authorities. Management of the activity will be looked at closely with responsibility, security and due diligence scrutinized when it comes to consumer protections.  

Rosenberg also stated that the law may not be clear at first, and that established reforms to the laws will be watched closely to see if further changes are required.

Rosenberg commented, “The awarding of licences and the dates from which they will be valid will depend partly on the quality of the applications and when they are received by the Swedish Gambling Authority,” Rosenberg said.

“We will make a comprehensive assessment of both the application and of the company behind the application.

“I would like to say that the re-regulation is extensive and will take time.

“Not everything will be clear from day one; the entire reform will be evaluated over a three-year period.

“The Swedish Gambling Authority – transforming into the new gaming authority – will do its best, given the conditions we face, to make reform successful.

“Our aim is to be as transparent as possible and provide regular information about new details and conditions.”


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UKGC Makes Gambling Fairer Safer Fines William Hill  £6.2m

The UK Gambling Commission has struck again imposing a serious fine on an online gambling operator for failing to spot problem gambling and prevent money laundering. Well known gambling products provider William Hill will have to come up with £6.2m for the failure to provide the needed protection for problem gamblers as well as funds laundering.

The online betting firm 888 was penalised a record £7.8m for “outrageous” failings, after more than 7,000 people who had voluntarily banned themselves from gambling were still able to play online. The William Hill fine is the second largest penalty ever invoked by the Commission. It has been revealed that more than 2 million people in the UK are at risk of a gambling addiction.

The Commission stated that over a two year period up to August of 2016, William Hill failed to notice the real indications of problem gambling, and thus breached anti-money laundering and social responsibility requirements set out by the regulatory body.

The executive director of the UK’s Gambling Commission, Tim Miller said, “In many respects, this wasn’t properly resourced or staffed, so a lot of the checks weren’t happening. People were potentially able to gamble money that was the proceeds of crime; in one case, money stolen from a local council,” Miller added, “There were clear warning signs, the escalating amount of money that was being spent should have set off alarm bells.”

Executive director of the UK regulator, Neil McArthur, stated the gambling commission was prepared to use the full range of its powers to make gambling fairer and safer. “Gambling businesses have a responsibility to ensure that they keep crime out of gambling and tackle problem gambling – and as part of that they must be constantly curious about where the money they are taking is coming from.”

William Hill’s chief executive officer Philip Bowcock, responded, “William Hill has fully co-operated with the commission throughout this process, introducing new and improved policies and increased levels of resourcing.”


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Gambling Issues Raised Again in South Australia Elections

Politics is again making changes in the online gambling industry in Australia as The Guardian reports that Australian senate powerbroker Nick Xenophon and his party have revealed plans to reduce South Australia’s number of poker machines.

Xenophon made his name in politics 20 years ago for his call for “No Pokies” and it has been reported that he has toned down his anti-gambling rhetoric after South Australia revised its gambling tax revenue forecast.  Xenophon told the Australian last month “Reducing the harm caused by poker machines is ­pretty fundamental, but it would have to be a suite of measures, including more people getting assistance and reducing the number of people getting hurt in the first place, but most people just don’t get help when they have a serious gambling problem,”

Xenophon’s SA Best Party has now introduced the latest gambling reform package, a policy described as “both a deal maker and a deal breaker.” Xenophon, believes that the reworked package is “sensible and practical.” “What we’ve said is that there’s flexibility within the way that you achieve it, but what we’re seeking to achieve is, I think, reasonable,” Xenophon said, according to the news outlet. “I suggest to you that if SA Best is in a position of power to hold the next government to account, then both Labor and the Liberals will become born again gambling reformers in a very short amount of time.”

The proposed gambling reforms were looked at by the different sectors drawing mixed reactions. Liberal State opposition leader Steven Marshall described Xenophon’s latest stance on gambling as “the most astonishing back flip in the electoral history in South Australia,”

The Australian Hotels Association in South Australia warned that Xenophon’s SA Best’s pokie reduction package may result in the closure of some hotels across the region and may leave an estimated 26,000 people out of work.

The Liberal party leader remarked that he would turn down any SA Best offer to help form a government after the March 17th elections.







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Wild Crypto's New Approach With Blockchain Platform

The challenge in the online gambling world is to create a secure environment for players and operators. Considered the most secure encrypted platform blockchain technology is coming on strong in the gambling industry. A recent announcement that another initial coin offering has been added to the market is becoming common place with claims that the use of blockchain will revolutionize the standard gambling web sites.

Wild Crypto B.V. a privately owned and operated company headquartered in Kaya Richard J. Beacon Z/N, Willemstad, Curaçao  operates under a license issued to Curacao Egaming, authorized and regulated by the Government of Curacao. The platform maintains it is set to disrupt the global lottery and eGaming sectors with the use of blockchain technology and its own cryptocurrency, the WILD token.

The platform cryptocurrency gaming project raised 10,592 in Ether (currently around $9 million) during its ground-breaking token sale. At a cost of one-hundredth of an Ether the platform will offer players a range of lottery and casino products, including some of the largest self-insured payouts. The first lottery draw offered a jackpot of one million WILD tokens. The site publishes results of its lotto games to the blockchain, users are guaranteed an open and honest experience.

William Trentini, CEO, Wild Crypto, commented, “Wild Crypto is the first major blockchain gaming product to launch, and marks the beginning of a significant shift in our sector.

“By delivering a secure and transparent gaming platform built upon pioneering blockchain technology, we have a unique opportunity to reach demographics of players who do not currently engage with existing lottery and eGaming products.”

Blockchain is invading the online gambling industry with positive results as consumers learn about the benefits and security the platform offers. Wild Crypto is paving the way of the future for all those seeking a new approach in their betting habits.

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Offshore Operators Target Canadian Online Gambling

The online gambling industry has been struggling with competition in the various jurisdictions in Canada. The online gambling market in Quebec Canada’s French speaking province has been offering legal online betting since November of 2010. Espacejeux has enjoyed solid growth since then with Loto-Quebec the provincial gaming monopoly reporting its gambling site generated revenue of almost C$83m in the first nine months of fiscal 2017-18. This is a 42.1% increase from the same period last year. Online lottery sales went up 39.3% year-on-year to C$37.3m, while online casino revenue raised 44.4% to C$45.6m.

It is here that a reasonable comparison can be made between Ontario the neighbouring province with a population of fourteen million and Quebec with only eight and a half million people. The Ontario offering called PlayOLG has significantly greater revenue potential.

However in Canada’s west the province of British Columbia’s PlayNow.com offering reported a revenue of C$157.6m recently. British Columbia’s population is just 4.5m.but it has done significantly better than both Quebec and Ontario. It is obvious that PlayNow is offering more and better online betting products. The competition comes from offshore internet available web locations that are somewhat more exotic to some players. BC’s online betting offering has been accused of shady rule interpretation when it comes to approving new slot games possibly in an attempt to attract more clients. 

OLG is doing better than the year before with stringent cost controls and a 16% rise in active players OLG was allowed to reap an online gambling profit of C$27.4m, a significant rise of 84%.

The government operator OLG also said that internationally licensed online competitors, “offer a broader portfolio of products and promotional offers, are well known through extensive advertising and leverage their global operations to respond quickly to market dynamics.”








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Bulgarian Football Union Outlines Sportradar Education Strategy

Since 2005, Sportradar has had a partnership with German Football Association to detect fraud and match fixing. This system was later developed and launched as Fraud Detection System and in addition to detection of fraud, Sportradar organizes integrity workshops together with federations such as Major League Soccer, Serie A and International Ice Hockey Federation. These workshops teach clubs and players about how the betting market works, the different forms of match fixing and how match manipulation is detected.

Now the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) has joined with Sportradar at a press conference to outline its education strategy. The agenda for the strategy will have 32 workshops per season aimed at referees, BFU officials and the players from the 1st and 2nd professional leagues along with individual e-learning modules including assessments every year. The seriousness of the alliance is revealed in the fact that the workshops and completion of the e-learning modules and assessments will be mandatory for all players.

Deputy general secretary Pavel Kolev, said, “This agreement means a lot to us.  We are taking a step forward, supplementing the monitoring of the games already in place with a powerful educational strategy.  I believe that organizing workshops all around the country will help us to present our position and so keep the integrity mission growing. This tour is one of our top priorities for the next few months.”

Alex Gerontikos, Sportradar Group Director for Sales in Southern Europe, also spoke at the press conference, “Any federation that shows this level of commitment will always get our support. We are honoured that the BFU has come to us to devise the ambitious plan of safeguarding and securing sport, its participants and stakeholders against both betting-related match-fixing and corruption. There is a lot of work to do and we are fully committed to deliver!”



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Uruguay Serious About Blocking Offshore Gambling Sites

Uruguay is a South American country known for its verdant interior and beach-lined coast. The capital, Montevideo, revolves around Plaza Independencia, once home to a Spanish citadel and it has the charm of old world Spain. The country is politically, economically, and socially stable and considered a safe haven in Latin America. Uruguay was once dubbed "the Switzerland of America", mainly for its banking sector and stability.

Uruguay decided last October to prohibit online gambling and gave authorities the power to “adopt preventative and punitive measures to prevent the proliferation of commercial activities of internet gaming. Including the “blocking of access to websites as well as the prohibition of commercial communications, sponsorship and advertising of unauthorized games.”

It has been suggested Uruguay’s state-owned gambling monopoly will be blocking local access to offshore online  casino and sports betting sites including major operators such as Bet365 and Bwin.

The El Pais newspaper revealed Director for Uruguay’s National Lottery and Quinielas Directorate, Luis Gama had spoken about the move. The operator’s Supermatch online game’s take last year was approximately $59.3million. The ban on offshore access is expected to keep as much as $20 million more within the country. The move with come about with the cooperation of local banks, credit card companies and telecommunications providers and licence bidders will be scrutinized further.

Gama reportedly said to El Pais. news, “We will take care of the detecting of illegal sites and already have procedures in place to trigger a message to the Communications Services Regulatory Unit in order to effectively block via the telephone companies those sites that Uruguayans can enter but not play on legally,”  

The blocking of offshore online gambling sites is becoming a common practice in nations globally creating more protected monopolies. The protectionist move is to be implemented soon with the intent of cleaning up Uruguay’s online gambling and sports betting market.

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GVC Holdings Fined £350k For Advertizing Standards Breach

The standards are there and the online gambling industry should abide by them. The authorities in various jurisdictions have been letting the gambling world know they mean business enforcing the agreed upon rules of engagement.

The United Kingdom has two bodies that set the code that advertisers for gambling products and services must adhere too. The Committee of Advertising Practice and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice have targeted advertizing spots that “exploit people’s vulnerabilities or play fast and loose with eye-catching free bet and bonus offers.” A prohibition on ads that “create an inappropriate sense of urgency, like those including ‘bet now!’ offers during live events” is foremost on the list.

The rules insist that the “trivialisation of gambling”, such as by encouraging repetitive play and ending undue emphasis on giving punters “money motives” for gambling be halted as well as ads that give an “irresponsible perception of risk or control.”

The hammer of the UK Gambling Commission has come down on the online gambling company GVC which has been fined £350,000 for repeatedly defying a 2016 ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority maintaining that advertizing for its Bwin website were misleading. The Gambling Commission stated that despite the ASA ruling websites owned by GVC repeatedly contravened the standard another seven times.

Programme director for the UKGC, Richard Watson, commented, “This fine should serve as a warning to all gambling businesses that we will not hesitate to take action against those who mislead consumers with bonus offers or fail to ensure they are correctly licensed.” The massive fine has been ordered just as GVC Holdings Plc is in advanced talks to acquire U.K. bookmaker Ladbrokes Coral Group Plc for as much as 3.9 billion pounds ($5.2 billion).

According to the UK Gambling Commission last year more than 2 million people in the UK were either problem gamblers or at risk of addiction to betting.


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Denmark Uses Courts Too Curb Illegal Online Gambling

The major issue with the European free e-commerce trade agreement is control of the online gambling industry.  The operators that comply with jurisdictional regulations don’t have a problem with governments but those that are interlopers are facing restrictions and blocking efforts imposed by the authorities.

Denmark is a good example of the issue that governments in Europe and Scandinavia are experiencing in many regulated online gambling jurisdictions. Denmark created a legal online gambling industry in the beginning of 2012. Since then, the country's online gambling market has grown. Norway and Finland are taking a different approach when it comes to regulating the online gambling industry. Sweden’s state-run operator Svenska Spel is the only gambling company authorized to operate gambling services in that country. These nations are keeping their monopolies under government controls to protect their gambling public from unfair operators.

Denmark has announced it is cracking down on illegal online gambling operations with a court order that ISPs block 24 websites that are operating illegally in the Danish jurisdiction. Spillemyndigheden, the Danish Gambling Authority applauded the decision to move forward on the issue.

The regulator requested action from Internet Service Providers which refused to comply back in 2017. The regulator went to court over the issue of compliance and was granted a court order by the Frederiksberg court.  

Denmark is the only country in the region to open its online gambling market up to international operators and it was held up as a model for other regulators. The use of the courts to keep out the pirates is considered somewhat disturbing for some in the industry. In the first three quarters of 2017, about 1.329 billion of gambling revenue came from the online casino industry. The future looks very encouraging for Denmark’s online gambling industry which is trying to keep its punters safe and that potential secure.

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Clarion Gaming Initiates Action Plan For Diversity

There are challenges being established in the gambling industry with the issue of sexism coming up as a top contender. There are problems with the representation of women in the industry and there are some people that want to change that.

Clarion Gaming’s managing director Kate Chambers has made an effort to bring attention to the representation of women on the showroom floor as part of an ongoing commitment to diversity in the growing industry.

Chambers maintains that Clarion will take a “greater degree of control over this important issue”, with an Action Plan of wider deliverables put out for consultation, which will then be applied across Clarion Gaming’s events and information platforms. Chambers supported the call for change by UK Gambling Commission CEO, Sarah Harrison after she criticised some exhibitors' use of women in provocative dress to promote their products in "an industry where we have a number of talented, powerful and successful women.”

Chambers said in a statement, “Our campaign to encourage respectful representation of women began prior to the 2017 edition of ICE. The majority of the senior team at Clarion Gaming is female and our strategy has been to drive a cultural change, which hopefully has a degree of permanency rather than a proscriptive change.

“While I think we have achieved some success adopting this strategy, moving forward we will be taking a greater degree of control over this important issue and updating our position in partnership with our stakeholders.

“Wherever Clarion Gaming operates in the world it does so with the support of the industry we set out to serve and we will be canvassing stakeholders through our Ampersand Think Tank and Research initiative that enables us to communicate directly with the industry. 

“Following this process we will produce an Action Plan of deliverables for wider consultation and I would like members of the industry who would like to be part of that process to contact me directly. The Action Plan will apply to all of our brands.”



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