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European Gaming Congress 2024

Compliance Updates

EGBA Concern at Reported Size of Online Gambling Black Market in Italy

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Italy’s black market for online gambling is estimated to be worth nearly €1 billion per year: equivalent to the combined regulated online gambling revenue of 8 other EU countries. The country’s ban on gambling advertising is clearly favouring the black market and should be revised.

According to a recent report, the value of bets placed by Italian gamblers on the black market is estimated to be a staggering €25 billion per year, with €18.5 billion of this amount, or 75%, spent on unlicensed gambling websites.

Based on these figures, EGBA estimates that nearly €1 billion in online gross gaming revenue in Italy is lost to black market websites annually, equivalent to the combined regulated online gambling revenue of 8 other EU countries. What is concerning is that it means many Italian players will be betting on websites that are based outside of the EU, which do not offer them even a basic level of consumer protection.

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Italy’s Customs and Monopolies Agency (ADM) has already taken action by blocking over 9800 unlicensed gambling websites this year alone. This number is already 400 more than the total blocked in 2022, highlighting the increasing scale of the problem.

The protection of customers is a key priority for EGBA and it stands against gambling websites that target the EU market but operate outside EU law and fail to provide necessary consumer safeguards for Europeans. It is crucial that the Italian authorities do more to raise awareness among Italian gamblers about the risks associated with using unlicensed platforms based outside the EU, and to signpost the licensed operators who adhere to the regulated responsible gambling practices and regulations in the country.

“The significant size of Italy’s online black market is concerning, yet it is not surprising given that Italy has one of Europe’s strictest advertising regimes for its licensed gambling companies. The country’s ban on advertising for licensed gambling operators is clearly favouring the black market. Without a sufficient level of advertising, there is no real way for Italians to tell the difference between a gambling website which is licensed in Italy – and applies the country’s consumer protection rules – and one that is not. It is evident that enforcement action against black market operators is not sufficient, and that the government needs to revise its advertising rules for gambling to ensure Italian citizens can be well-informed about the licensed websites in the country,” Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA, said.

Compliance Updates

Rightlander enhances Soft2Bet’s marketing compliance across multiple jurisdictions

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Partnership will strengthen marketing compliance in key markets including Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Romania and Ontario.

Soft2Bet, a leading provider of iGaming turnkey solutions, is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Rightlander, a leading provider of compliance and monitoring solutions for the iGaming and affiliate marketing industries.

The partnership will strengthen Soft2Bet’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of marketing compliance across key markets such as Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Romania, Ontario, Greece and Ireland.

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Under the terms of the partnership, Rightlander will deploy its advanced compliance monitoring technology to ensure Soft2Bet adheres to affiliate and iGaming marketing regulations in those jurisdictions. Rightlander’s comprehensive suite of services will include website and social media monitoring and will provide Soft2Bet with robust tools to detect and manage compliance risks effectively.

This proactive approach will help identify and rectify any non-compliant content swiftly, ensuring Soft2Bet’s operations remain within regulatory frameworks.

The partnership will concentrate on ensuring compliance in key markets where regulatory scrutiny is particularly stringent. Rightlander’s expertise in these jurisdictions will provide Soft2Bet with the assurance that it is meeting all local regulatory requirements.

Jonathan Elkin, Sales Director, Rightlander, commented on the partnership: “We are thrilled to partner with Soft2Bet, a company that shares our commitment to high compliance standards. Our technology will provide Soft2Bet with the tools needed to navigate complex regulatory environments effectively and maintain their reputation for integrity and trustworthiness.”

David Yatom Hay, General Counsel of Soft2Bet, added: “Ensuring compliance is a core component of our business strategy as we expand into new markets. Partnering with Rightlander gives us confidence that we can uphold these standards across all our operations, delivering a safe and secure experience for our customers.”

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The post Rightlander enhances Soft2Bet’s marketing compliance across multiple jurisdictions appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Compliance Updates

Hellenic Gaming Association Intensifies its Efforts to Combat Illegal Online Gambling

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The Hellenic Gaming Association (HGA) has intensified its efforts against the phenomenon of illegal online gambling, which has reached enormous proportions in recent years with incalculable economic and social impacts.

Following a lawsuit recently filed by the organisation under President Christos Panagopoulos against an internationally active company conducting illegal gambling in Greece without the necessary licensing from the Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC), a new lawsuit targets two well-known Greek influencers. These influencers, through their social media content, promote unlicensed gambling websites.

These internet personalities have posted a series of videos encouraging their mostly young audience, including minors, to visit these sites by sharing how they “managed” to win tens of thousands of euros by betting and playing on these illegal platforms. However, they conceal the fact that these are illegal gambling companies while enticing viewers with the promise of easy money.

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It is important to highlight that their audience includes minors, who find an open door in the unlicensed environment where there are no controls or restrictions, unlike legal online companies where one must be at least 21 years old to open an account and play.

Besides the two Greek influencers, the association is planning to file reports to social media platforms and online services hosting ads and promoting unlicensed providers. Initially, they will approach the relevant departments of these organisations, and they may even take the matter to prosecutorial authorities. The initiatives undertaken by the HGA to combat illegal gambling often aim to fill the void left by the State, which is fundamentally responsible for addressing this open wound with appropriate actions, rather than a private entity.

The massive scale of illegal gambling in Greece was confirmed by a recent official survey conducted by the HGC in collaboration with KAPPA Research, shedding light on the hidden side of this illicit activity. According to the survey, 900,000 Greeks, or nearly 1 in 10, participated in illegal gambling at least once in the past 12 months, with an estimated astronomical expenditure of 1.7 billion euros in the unlicensed environment.

Of the total 1.7 billion euros, 1.1 billion was spent on illegal online games, and the remaining 600 million euros were associated with money spent in physical networks, such as unlicensed clubs and casinos. The average annual amount spent per player online reached approximately 1200 euros, while for land-based gambling, the corresponding amount was 738 euros.

The post Hellenic Gaming Association Intensifies its Efforts to Combat Illegal Online Gambling appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Arizona

Arizona Department of Gaming to Accept Applications for Event Wagering Licenses

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he Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) is pleased to announce that it will begin accepting applications for event wagering licenses in July. Pursuant to A.R.S. § 5-1304 and A.A.C. R19-4-105 and 106, ADG will accept applications for no less than one event wagering license reserved for Arizona Tribes and no less than one event wagering license reserved for Arizona Sports Franchises, as defined in A.R.S. § 5-1301(7).

Prospective applicants are encouraged to review the provided materials on ADG’s website carefully to understand the application process and requirements.

The application window for event wagering licenses will open on July 8, 2024, and will close on July 19, 2024 at 5 PM. Applicants must submit their completed applications within this timeframe in order to be considered for a license. ADG will thoroughly evaluate all applications received based on the established criteria pursuant to the State’s event wagering rules and statutes.

Interested parties are encouraged to visit ADG’s website for detailed information on eligibility requirements, application procedures, and relevant timelines.

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