Monthly Newsletter – June 2020

Europe’s monthly online gambling news.

EGBA demonstrates commitment to GDPR with sectoral code of conduct for data protection

Earlier this month, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) published a Code of Conduct on data protection which establishes dedicated sector-specific rules and best practices to ensure compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 and promotes the highest standards of data protection in the online gambling sector. The Code of Conduct on Data Protection in Online Gambling sets long-term data protection standards for Europe’s online gambling sector and is intended to complement and reinforce the sector’s compliance with the GDPR. The Code is one of Europe’s first ever sector-specific self-regulatory initiatives to support compliance with the GDPR. The Code is part of EGBA’s wider efforts to drive standards in the online gambling sector. (Source: EGBA) > Read more

EGBA’s responsible advertising code gathers momentum with endorsements from five national online gambling associations

EGBA’s new code of conduct on responsible advertising has so far been endorsed by national gambling associations in five countries: Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway and Portugal. EGBA welcomes the endorsements from these associations and urges other associations and companies to sign up to the code which is the first pan-European initiative for online gambling advertising and leads the way in responsible standards for advertising. The code introduces essential consumer protection measures for responsible advertising content, social media and dedicated measures for minor protection. Application of the code will be monitored by an independent third party. (Source: EGBA) > Read more

Bookmakers hail return of sports fixtures across Europe

Bookmakers heaved a sigh of relief last week as betting shops reopened in the UK and sports fixtures started to return across Europe after the pandemic-enforced break — even if they were behind closed doors with simulated cheers. Sports betting is crucial for gambling companies. According to the European Gaming and Betting Association, two-fifths of its members annual gross gaming revenue, about €2.4bn each year, is made from sports wagers. More than half of this is made through “in-play” betting, where punters put money on outcomes such as a race’s eventual winner or a game’s next scorer while the action is taking place. But gambling has never witnessed such disruption to its business as from the pandemic. (Source: Financial Times) > Read more

EGBA blog: Leading the way in standards for responsible advertising

Over the past years, there has been political debate in some European countries about the role of advertising for gambling. Advertising is essential to inform consumers about the gambling websites which are regulated in a country, but it is also how the online gambling sector is visible to the outside world and it needs to be responsible. This requires leadership and recognition that the sector is part of society and it is why EGBA decided to develop a code of conduct which sets pan-European standards for responsible advertising for the online gambling sector. (Source: EGBA) > Read more

Webinar Presentation: EGBA’s code of conduct on data protection in online gambling

Daniele Perrone (Legal Advisor) presents EGBA’s new Code of Conduct on Data Protection in Online Gambling. The Code establishes dedicated sector-specific rules and best practices to promote the highest standards of data protection in the online gambling sector and ensure compliance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679. (Source: EGBA) > Read more

EGBA Blog: Safer gambling is more important than ever during the coronavirus

Ensuring Europe’s online gamblers can play in a safe environment is an essential objective every day of the year: we all want customers who can enjoy a bet in a safe and responsible environment. The vast majority of customers do so, but some gamble too much, or too often, and need extra protection. And these past weeks, as millions of Europeans isolate at home due to the coronavirus lockdowns, safer gambling is even more important than ever. (Source: EGBA) > Read more

European Commission – Britain must abide by EU data protection rules after Brexit

Britain will be expected to apply European regulations on data protection as part of any post-Brexit deal with Europe, European Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders has said. Speaking at the launch of a review into the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Reynders said: “When it comes to transfer with a member that is leaving us – the United Kingdom – we want to make sure that in any Brexit agreement there is the proper application of the rules of the GDPR.” (Source: Euronews) > Read more

National developments

Austria: Austrian Grey Market Dwarfing Monopoly Revenue

The Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling (OVWG) has called for urgent reform after Ministry of Finance data revealed that unlicensed online gambling operators paid more tax last year than the monopoly provider win2day generated in revenue. International operators paid €123m in Austrian tax last year on about €308m in revenue, despite their unlicensed status. That sum comfortably topped the €94m revenue generated by win2day, the monopoly company owned by Austrian Lotteries and Casinos Austria. The data, which came in response to a parliamentary question, suggests unlicensed operators have a three-quarters share of Austria’s online casino market. (Source: Gambling Compliance (Paywall)) > Read more

Bulgaria: Bulgaria’s gambling market facing major shakeup from two new bills

Bulgaria’s gambling market could face a dramatic upheaval if a bill proposed by a far-right legislator is approved. Valeri Simeonov, a leader of the right-wing National Front for Salvation of Bulgaria (NFSB), introduced legislation that would restrict land-based gaming operations to 10 large integrated resort casinos in five-star hotels within 20km of Bulgaria’s national borders. (Source: Calvin Ayre) > Read more

Denmark: Danish gambling prepares for MitID launch

The Danish Gambling Authority, Spillemyndigheden, has called upon operators to prepare for changes to the country’s national identification scheme ahead of the roll out of MitID. The current system, NemID, has been used since 2010 and offers an online verification system which is used to log in to online banking systems, communicate with public authorities and verify their identity for online services such as online gambling websites. MittID is due to replace NemID, in May 2021 and will mean that all private digital service operators must partner with a third-party broker licensed by the Danish Digitisation Agency which will take responsibility for player verification checks. (Source: SBC News) > Read more

Denmark: New version of technical requirements for online casino and betting

The Danish Gambling Authority has issued new versions of the technical requirements, which apply to operators offering online casino and/or betting. More specifically the documents: “The Danish Gambling Authority’s requirements for reporting game data” and “Technical requirements – online casino and betting” have been updated in connection with notification with the EU Commission. (Source: Spillemyndigheden) > Read more

Denmark: Danish tax increases will lead to exodus of players – new analysis

A new analysis from H2 Gambling Capital has found that the Danish government’s proposed tax increases for online gambling will reduce the country’s licensed market by 25% and significantly increase gambling activity on offshore websites that are not licensed or pay tax in Denmark. The analysis found that the proposals to increase taxes by 40% – from 20% currently to 28% on gross gaming revenue in 2021 – would lead to a very small initial increase in state tax revenues but these tax gains will be depleted as growth in the licensed market is dwarfed by growth in the offshore market. H2 conclude that the tax increases would lead to an 80% increase in Denmark’s offshore gambling market. (Source: EGBA) > Read more

France: ANJ takes charge of new French gambling era

French gambling has begun its ‘unified era’ under the L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) which will replace l’Autorité nationale de régulation des jeux en ligne (ARJEL) as of today after board members held their first formal meeting. ANJ will act as a single regulatory body which oversees all forms of gambling in France, including online gambling, casinos, horse racing and lottery games, which accounts for 78% of the betting market in France. Under its remit, ANJ will monitor all games of La Française des Jeux or PMU sold across online and retail; activities at the country’s 228 racetracks; the 202 casinos in France – however the ANJ will not hold responsibility for anti-money laundering protocols nor the integrity of the games offered, which will be overseen by the Ministry of the Interior. (Source: SBC News) > Read more

Germany: Darmstadt authority to halt online casino blocking orders

The Regional Council of Darmstadt, the body responsible for licensing and prohibition under the third State Treaty on Gambling, looks set to develop transitional regulations rather than pursuing enforcement action against online casino and poker operators. This follows a test court case brought by an operator, challenging a prohibition order issued by the Regional Council. Proceedings were suspended at the request of both the Council and the plaintiff, with the suspension to be used to develop a transitional framework alongside private gaming operators, according to media association the Deutscher Verband für Telekommunikation und Medien (DVTM). (Source: iGaming Business) > Read more

Ireland: Remote bookmakers licence updated

The Bookmakers Licence Compliance Procedures Manual has been updated at section 1.5 to include new instructions for the postal submission of Form TR (Bet) from non resident remote betting providers with no other tax registration in the State. (Source: Ireland’s Tax and Customs authority) > Read more

Malta: The MGA Publishes its 2019 Annual Report and Financial Statements

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA/Authority) has published its Annual Report and Financial Statements for the financial year ending 31 December 2019, providing an overview of the work performed throughout the year by the Authority. In addition, the report also includes a summary of the performance of the Maltese gaming industry during 2019 and an outlook for the medium-term future. (Source: Malta Gaming Authority) > Read more

Netherlands: Dutch igaming launch faces further delays

Dutch Minister for Legal Protection Sander Dekker has admitted the launch of online gaming in the Netherlands could face further delays after preparations were disrupted by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Dekker said the roll-out, which has already been delayed by six months, to 1 July 2021, could be pushed back by “a few months” after an Member of Parliament put forward a motion proposing a postponement.  (Source: iGaming Business) > Read more

Netherlands: Regulator issues technical requirements for national self-exclusion register

The Dutch Gaming Authority, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has announced the technical specifications and the connection procedure for the Central Register for the Exclusion of Games of Chance (Cruks). This allows gambling companies to prepare for the entry into force of the Remote Gambling Act. (Source: Kansspelautoriteit) > Read more

Netherlands: EGBA welcomes Dutch court ruling on licensing transparency

The Dutch Council of State, the highest administrative court in the Netherlands, has issued a legal ruling stipulating that the country’s existing procedures for the allocation of gambling licenses must be verified on their compliance with the requirements of EU rules on the freedom to provide services. EGBA welcomes the ruling, which reconfirms – to the extent necessary – the application of basic requirements of EU law in the area of gambling. Two legal challenges, one brought by Trannel, a subsidiary of Kindred Group, argued that the country’s procedures for allocating online gambling licenses unfairly advantaged incumbent license holders. (Source: EGBA) > Read more

Sweden: Swedish government approves temporary online casino limits

Sweden’s government has approved plans to introduce a number of temporary restrictions for the country’s regulated online casino market as part of an effort to protect players from gambling-related harm during the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The new measures will come into effect from 2 July and remain in place until the end of 2020, with the restrictions to apply to online casino games and slots. Consumers will face an SEK5,000 (£428/€476/$540) mandatory weekly deposit cap, while licensees will only be able to offer bonuses up to SEK100. (Source: iGaming Business) > Read more

Sweden: Spelinspektionen prepares marketing push for Spelpaus self-exclusion scheme

Sweden’s Gaming Inspectorate (Spelinspektionen) will launch a new marketing campaign to promote its self-exclusion scheme to enhance players’ awareness of the self-exclusion system which went live on 1 January 2019, the same date Sweden that opened its regulated online gambling market. Spelinspektionen will now spread awareness of the scheme to ensure that more people can access self-exclusion if they need it. (Source: Spelinspektionen) > Read more

UK: Gambling Commission opens consultation on high value ‘VIP’ customers

The Gambling Commission is seeking views on proposed changes to the rules operators must abide by when transacting with high value customers. The consultation follows collaborative work with the industry following three challenges laid down by the Gambling Commission to make gambling safer and reduce harm across the sector. The Commission challenged the industry to make faster progress in raising standards in relation to VIP incentives, responsible product and game design, and online advertising. The consultation closes on 14 Aug 2020. (Source: UK Gambling Commission) > Read more

UK: Gambling Commission publishes further data showing the impact of Covid-19 on gambling behaviour

The Gambling Commission has published further data showing the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown on gambling behaviour. The data reflects the first full month of lockdown in April and was collected from the largest online operators and the YouGov Covid-19 tracker. It builds on data published by the Commission on 12 May, after which the Commission issued updated guidance to operators which included the need for improved affordability checks, the prevention of reverse withdrawals and restrictions on bonus offers. (Source: UK Gambling Commission) > Read more

Market News

 France  France online gambling revenue up double-digits in pre-pandemic Q1
 Ireland  Gambling group Flutter raises 812 million pounds in share placement
 Italy  Italy’s land-based gamblers only ‘minimally’ moved online during lockdown
 UK  William Hill launches cash call to raise about £245 million


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