Legislation News of the Week: UKGC Approves Acquisition of the Camelot UK, KSA Focuses on Land-Based Market
In Holland, inspectors will check land-based establishments. UKGC issued another significant fine to In Touch Games. In the meantime, the MGA is polling licensees for a promising code of conduct. The Swedish authorities have received the first data on responsible gambling in their country. And Allwyn will be able to acquire Camelot UK after the approval of the Commission.
KSA to hit unlicensed land-based gambling
While the main Dutch supervisory body Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) is doing its best to crack down on illegal online operators, it also plans to hit physical venues this year. Rene Jansen, who is the watchdog's chairman, stated that the regulator will focus on all types of gambling entertainment, including poker, slot machines, bingo draws, and betting of any kind.
According to Jansen, special inspectors will travel around Holland this year to study all major cities' gambling environments. Thanks to interaction with regional partners and local authorities, such inspectors will be able to detect illegally operating establishments and close them quickly.
To make this plan truly effective, the KSA will be hiring more inspectors in the near future. The regulator is confident that the retail checks will help it make the Dutch gambling market even safer.
In Touch was heavily fined by UKGC
Although In Touch Games has already paid significant fines for their violations in the UK, they have again come to the attention of the Gambling Commission due to anti-money laundering actions. This time around, the gambling operator will lose $7.5 million in punitive damages.
When the UKGC analyzed the activity of several brands of the guilty company, it also found that these sites do not do enough to protect players from harmful gambling. In some cases, the platforms realized that they were catering to problem players and still allowed them to make large deposits.
Given these suspicious activities and AML violations, the regulator issued In Touch Games a massive fine to send a message across the industry.
MGA discusses voluntary code of conduct with licensees
Gambling companies that operate under the MGA license received an invitation to participate in a survey from the regulator. It addresses environmental, social, and governance (ESG) aspects that could be included in a voluntary ESG code of conduct. This initiative is due to the fact that awareness of these significant matters is constantly growing.
The newly developed platform will allow licensees to voluntarily report on their activities in regard to the mentioned issues. On top of that, the authorities have said that large companies will be obliged to make such reports from next year. Therefore, the current ESG initiative will help operators better adapt to the upcoming legislative changes in this sector.
MGA representatives also believe that the code should demonstrate to all parties involved in the industry what ESG factors should be prioritized in gambling.
Operators share first RG information about the Swedish market
As part of a recently proposed transparency initiative for data regarding responsible gambling among Swedish players, ATG, Kindred Group, and Svenska Spel operators have published their first information on this aspect. Last year, these companies announced that Spelinspektionen, which is the main regulator in the country, will receive updates every six months.
The data provided revolves around four key metrics. Operators report what percentage of gamblers they reach out to discuss risky money-wagering decisions. They take into account how talking to company representatives affected these players' behavior – how many of them stopped playing entirely and how many started gambling less.
In the last six months of 2022, Kindred's Unibet operator has contacted 0.5% of its Swedish players due to their suspicious gambling habits. Svenska Spel discussed the issue with 4.2% of the clients of its Sports & Casino division. As for ATG, its contact list of problem players included 1.4% of its entire client base.
UK Gambling Commission supports Allwyn's acquisition of Camelot UK
According to the decision of the UKGC, Allwyn will be able to acquire Camelot UK Lotteries. Last autumn, the upcoming new holder of the national license stated that it was involved in discussions to purchase this business for around €113.9 million.
This deal means that Allwyn gets all the rights that Camelot has at the moment. It means that, among other things, Allwyn will be able to start managing the National Lottery draws earlier than February 2024, as it was originally planned.
Allwyn said that with this business solution, it will be much easier to adapt to all the workflows. Besides that, employees of both companies will have a clearer idea of how the national operator will function further down the line.
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