The Dutch supervisory body issues warnings for breaches in gambling ads. Emphasis on affordability assessments in the review of the Gambling Act. In the meantime, Tabcorp faces an AU$1 million punishment for its 2020 system breakdown. The National Lottery operator is smashed with a €150,000 fine in Ireland. And, Tipster forfeits its Maltese licenses.

KSA issues notices for gambling ad violations

In August, the Dutch gaming regulatory authority, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), delivered three distinct warnings to operators who contravened the nation's recently implemented indiscriminate ban on gambling advertisements. The Netherlands' fresh advertising constraints were enforced on July 1st. Post this date, KSA observed that online operators persisted in advertising on billboards and bus shelters, thereby violating the novel regulations.

Upon receiving notifications of these transgressions, KSA promptly reached out to the operators, seeking additional details. Subsequently, following "satisfactory responses and immediate compliance," it chose to issue warnings rather than imposing fines.

The advertisements in question did not resurface thereafter.

Affordability checks take center stage in Gambling Act review

Rhodes, the Chief Executive Officer of the UK’s gambling watchdog, emphasized that discussions regarding the white paper on the review of the Gambling Act have predominantly centered around affordability assessments. During the hearing on gambling regulation held by the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (CMS) Select Committee, Rhodes delivered this viewpoint in his testimony.

According to Rhodes, approximately 1,500 responses have been received thus far, with the majority, if not all, centered around financial risk assessments, which constitutes the most challenging aspect of their current efforts.

Tim Miller, the UKGC’s executive director, indicated that the regulator will promptly progress to the upcoming round of consultations scheduled for release in the winter. He noted that the secretary of state expressed a strong desire for swift implementation of the white paper, and the Commission acted swiftly in initiating the initial round of consultations.

Tabcorp's 2020 system failure leads to AU$1M fine

In a landmark decision, the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) set a staggering AU$1.0 million (€592,679) penalty on Tabcorp for its actions during a significant system breakdown in 2020.

November 7, 2020 witnessed a significant malfunction in Tabcorp's Wagering and Betting System, aligning with that year's Spring Racing Carnival. This led to a service outage lasting roughly 36 hours.

The Wagering and Betting Licence and Agreement explicitly stipulate the continuous availability of the WBS. Following the incident, the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation, the Control Commission’s forerunner, initiated an inquiry.

Subsequently, Tabcorp was directed to furnish requisite information about the outage after it failed to do so voluntarily, further exacerbating the situation.

€150k fine imposed on the National Lottery operator in Ireland

The Irish lottery regulatory authority has imposed a €150,000 fine on Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI), the entity responsible for running the National Lottery in the country, due to their breach of self-exclusion guidelines.

The National Lottery Regulator asserted that PLI had breached the terms of its license by allowing individuals who had previously self-excluded themselves to create new accounts and buy lottery tickets.

While the regulator hadn't initially mandated PLI to provide a self-exclusion feature under its license, once the operator introduced it in 2019, it became incumbent on PLI to ensure its effective implementation.

Consequently, the lottery regulator elected to withhold €150,000 in funds from PLI, redirecting them towards the exchequer for charitable purposes. This marks the initial instance in which the National Lottery Regulator has refrained from disbursing payment to PLI due to a breach of their license terms.

Tipster loses its Maltese licenses

Back in July, the MGA suspended Tipster following a winding-up order and is now moving forward with complete cancellation, considering it the most "fitting" course of action. Tipster must inform players, settle fees, and remove MGA references from its sites. All cancellations/suspensions in Malta can be appealed.

Currently, Tipster is in the midst of insolvency proceedings, with Dr. Jörg Gollnick taking on the role of provisional insolvency administrator. Gollnick also oversees Tipster Service GmbH. Earlier, Germany's gambling supervisor took away Tipster's sports betting license for player protection concerns, without specifying reasons. Prior to this, raids occurred at Tipster's Cologne HQ as part of an examination into alleged illicit activities, resulting in six arrests.

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