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Newsletter - November 2018

Your monthly guide to online gaming regulation in Europe
 

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EU Developments


EGBA launches new website

Last week EGBA launched our new, redesigned website. Main changes to the website include the addition of numerous data points about EGBA membership and information maps which visualise the number of countries where EGBA members have offices and online gambling licenses. The EGBA team hopes that you like our new website and welcomes any feedback which you may have.
 

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5th European gambling regulators workshop - update

Representatives from 15 different member states have already confirmed their attendance at EGBA’s upcoming 5th European gambling regulators workshop taking place on Thursday 6 December in Brussels. Member states confirmed to attend so far are: Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Portugal, Sweden and UK. We are currently in the process of finalising the panelists, but you can find the latest programme below including confirmed speakers. Those of you who have already registered to attend will receive a confirmation email, including finalised programme, later this week. If you still wish to attend but have not yet confirmed, please do so by reply to this email.
 

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Interactive Map: Gambling Advertising across Europe

Advertising is one of the most hotly discussed topics in the European gambling industry. In this map, GamblingCompliance shows the current situation regarding gambling advertising in all jurisdictions. The map highlights the differences among the countries that allow, partially prohibit or forbid gambling advertising.
 

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Belgium To Lead Project To Unify European Online Gambling Regulations

Belgian Gaming Commission director Peter Naessens has been chosen to spearhead a new pan-European project to standardise online gambling regulation. Under the banner of the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), a group of international regulators and industry bodies will produce compliance reporting rules designed to be adopted across the continent. The project’s ultimate aim is to create guidelines on what data online gambling operators should send to their regulators and how they should do it. The overall group responsible for producing the standards, Technical Committee 456, is chaired by ARJEL international affairs officer Claire Pinson. She hosted a meeting of the committee in Paris on Thursday, where Belgian regulatory chief Peter Naessens was elected as project leader, handing him ultimate responsibility for drafting the guidelines.
 

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EGBA speech at Gaming in Spain on advertising

On 7 November, the EGBA's Maarten Haijer spoke about advertising at the Gaming in Spain conference in Madrid. In his speech Mr Haijer highlighted the importance of advertising in directing consumers to the regulated and supervised gambling websites - but emphasised the need for responsible advertising measures in order to protect players, particularly young people and self-excluded players.
 

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POLITICO Luxembourg Playbook, presented by European Gaming and Betting Association

Welcome to the first of POLITICO’s special edition European Elections Playbooks. I’m Ryan Heath, political editor at POLITICO, and I’ll be exploring the intersection of national and European politics in 15 EU countries in weekly newsletters up until the May 2019 poll. Our first stop: Luxembourg. Next week, Slovakia. POLITICO’s one-stop Luxembourg shop: We’ve pulled together polling data, essential voting information and election news. Also check out our EU Decides election blog. You can sign up to receive these weekly Playbooks and other election updates by checking the “2019 European election” box. *This newsletter contains two messages from EGBA and is part of our sponsorship campaign with Politico.
 

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National Developments


Austria: CJEU Leaves It to Austrian Court to Determine Whether Gambling Monopoly System “Is Coherent”

Europe’s top court issues one more ruling on Austria’s gambling monopoly system The European Court of Justice has ruled that it is up to an Austrian court to determine whether the country’s monopoly system in respect to the provision of gaming services is coherent. The CJEU ruling was issued on September 6, 2018, and was published earlier this month in the Official Journal of the European Union. The CJEU issued its order in response to a request for a preliminary ruling from the Landesverwaltungsgericht Oberösterreich.
 

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Belgium: Government approves directives on online gambling advertising

Belgium becomes the latest European jurisdiction to confirm that it will move ahead with its planned decree to implement a stringent advertising code on gambling/betting verticals. Directives for a tougher advertising framework on online gambling and betting services have been under review by Belgium’s Parliament since October 2017, when CDV (Christian Democrats) Justice Minister Koen Geens won cross-party support to forward the mandate. In its November update, the Belgian government confirmed that it would move to install a number of CDV’s directives, including implementing a complete ban on online casino TV advertising.
 

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Belgium: Kindred Group launches Responsible Gambling campaign

Kindred Group launches RG campaign in Belgium Kindred Group and its brand Unibet have launched a campaign in Belgium to raise awareness of responsible gambling. Preventing problem gambling is a fundamental part of Kindred’s strategy and sustainability work. The campaign highlights Kindred’s various tools to help gamblers stay in control and aims to increase awareness about gambling behaviours. International research shows that awareness is a key factor for the prevention of pathological gambling behavior. Kindred’s new campaign in Belgium aims to make players aware of their own gambling behavior.
 

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Finland: TRIS notification

Finland has notified to the European Commission the draft Government Bill to Parliament amending the Lotteries Act and Chapter 1, § 3 of the Act on Detecting and Preventing Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (2018/538/FIN). The standstill period ends on 28 January. The draft proposes to amend the Lotteries Act. In order to enhance the prevention and reduction of the negative financial, social and health impacts of gambling, it is proposed that the Lotteries Act be supplemented by a provision regarding compulsory identification of players in slot machine gaming that takes place at gaming outlets. The draft also proposes to amend the scope of application of the Money Laundering Act, so that the Act would also apply to slot machines that are made available for use outside a casino, if this gaming takes place with the player being identified in the manner referred to in the Lotteries Act.
 

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Ireland: Tougher rules for bookmakers under new money laundering rules

Bookmakers and online gambling providers are set to take on more responsibility for deterring money laundering, under new legislation announced by Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan last week. The new laws, which will introduce a number of measures designed to target money laundering and the financing of terrorism, will see some bookmakers and gambling providers forced to implement due diligence requirements and take responsibility for suspicious transactions in the same way as banks and other financial institutions. The new rules will only apply where the money paid to the customer or paid by the customer is more than €2,000. There are also several exceptions for low-risk areas including lotteries, bingo, amusement machines and land-based poker.
 

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Ireland: Gambling firms allow children to place bets

Gambling companies are allowing Irish children to open online accounts without checking their age, the first study of its kind in Ireland has found. Few consumer protections are in place for punters and most companies do not require proof of age to open an account. Colin O’Gara, a psychiatrist with expertise in addiction who led the study, said the findings, published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, were of special concern because plans to regulate the gambling sector have stalled.
 

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Ireland: bookies win a reprieve from betting turnover tax hike

Ireland’s bookmakers have won a reprieve, if only temporarily, from the government’s plan to double their betting taxes. Late Thursday, the Times reported that Irish Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe had pumped the brakes on his plan to double the tax on bookmakers’ betting turnover to 2% starting January 1, 2019. Donohoe now plans to conduct a review of the tax impact on the betting sector that won’t be completed until next year.
 

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Spain: Regulator Adds Consumer Protection Rules In 'Quest For Sustainability'

Spain has rolled out a number of new consumer protection and anti-fraud initiatives over the past few weeks as part of what has been dubbed a “quest for sustainability” by the country’s regulator. Speaking at the Gaming in Spain Conference in Madrid last week, representatives of the Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) asked attendees to be on the “look out” for more changes. DGOJ director general Juan Espinosa Garcia is aiming to improve the image of the gambling industry by becoming a more active regulator, with consumer protection at its core, he said. “We need to create some empathy and this only comes from identifying the issues, narrowing them down and offering a proportionate solution to address what might be legitimate concerns,” said Garcia. (via Gambling Compliance news)
 

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UK: Collaborate and know your customers to make gambling safer – Gambling Commission CEO to leaders of Britain's gambling industry

Gambling Commission Chief Executive Neil McArthur has called on the industry to work together and know their customers better to make gambling in Britain the fairest and safest in the world. Mr McArthur made the call at the regulator’s Raising Standards Conference at the International Conference Centre in Birmingham. The event, attended by 170 leaders from more than 100 gambling businesses, is aimed at encouraging the most senior members of the industry to take action to boost fairness and safety. He said: “I want consumers in Britain to be able to enjoy the fairest and safest gambling in the world… and to achieve my aims I need your support: I need you to work together to make sure you are the best - the fairest, safest - gambling operators in the world.”
 

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UK: GAMSTOP Self-Exclusion secures +38,000 registrations in first 6-months

Issuing its first public update, following its April 2018 launch, industry self-exclusion scheme GAMSTOP details that it has secured 38,000 registrations during the operating period. Developed to significantly improve UK problem-gambling prevention tools, GAMSTOP provides the ability for players to exclude themselves from UK gambling websites with just one single registration. The GAMSTOP service is free of charge for the user and provides the option to self-exclude from online gambling activities for 6 months, 1 or 5 years. The self-exclusion scheme, further assists UK problem gambling support structure, providing vulnerable players with direct information to contact GamCare and the National Debtline.
 

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UK: Gambling Commission publishes new report on children and gambling trends

The Gambling Commission has said stronger partnerships are needed to protect children following a new report published this month. The gambling regulator has called for regulators and businesses across industries to work together, but the research also shows the important influence parents can have on children’s gambling behaviour. This year’s Young People and Gambling report reveals that gambling participation by 11 to 16 year olds has increased in the last 12 months but remains lower compared to all previous years. However, the research indicated that more children are at risk of being harmed by gambling.
 

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UK: Sports TV betting review under way following 'public concerns'

Gambling companies are reviewing the frequency of sports betting adverts on television following "public concerns". Labour has called for a ban on gambling advertising during live sporting events after research showed more than 90 minutes were shown in the World Cup. The Gambling Commission says there are 430,000 problem gamblers in the UK. The Remote Gambling Association, whose members include Bet365, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power and William Hill, said it was "very mindful of public concerns". At a RGA board meeting last week, proposals under discussion included: A complete ban on pre-watershed advertising by gambling companies; Restricting the number of gaming adverts to one per commercial break; Banning the 'in-play' ads during live broadcast of football and other matches.

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UK: Sky limits TV gambling adverts to one per break amid campaign for pre-watershed ban

Sky TV will dramatically cut the number of gambling advertisements it shows amid rising concern over addiction and the prominence of betting in sport. The pay-TV giant will impose a limit of one gambling advertisement per commercial break on its channels from the start of the next English Premier League season in August. Currently up to four betting promotions are shown during each commercial break, with slots during live matches on Sky Sports in high demand to attract “in play” betting. The restrictions will apply to all channels for which Sky sells advertising slots, including Channel 5, which is owned by the US media group Viacom. All forms of gambling, including bingo and online poker, will be covered by the new rules.
 

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Market News

FR

Online sports betting posts biggest growth in eight years

IT

Sports betting market suffers rare decline in October

SW

Gambling market is growing, companies without Swedish permit drive growth

UK

Remote NGR To Hit £6.4bn by 2020 Despite Regulatory Upheaval

Upcoming events

4 Dec

Responsible Gaming Day 2018, Brussels

6 Dec

5th European gambling regulators workshop, Brussels

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Tweet of Week

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Have questions? Contact:


Barry Magee

Senior Communications Manager

European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA)

Email: barry.magee@egba.eu

Phone: +32 255 408 90
 

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The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) is the Brussels-based trade association representing the leading online gaming and betting operators established, licensed and regulated within the EU. EGBA works together with national and EU authorities and other stakeholders towards a well-regulated market that provides a high level of consumer protection and takes into account the reality of the digital economy and consumer demand.


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