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Compliance Updates

Starlizard Integrity Services Identifies 167 Suspicious Football Matches Played Globally in 2023

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Sports integrity specialists Starlizard Integrity Services (SIS) have identified 167 football matches played around the world in 2023 as suspicious.

In a major study, covering more than 65,000 football matches, SIS found that 167 (0.26%) showed indicators of potential manipulation. This represents an increase of 16% on the number identified in 2022 (144), although SIS analysed more matches in 2023, which means the percentage of suspicious matches decreased from 0.39% in 2022 to 0.26% in 2023.

The SIS 2023 data revealed that:

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  • 69 of the matches assessed as suspicious (41.3%) were played in the UEFA (European) region. However, this represents only 0.18% of the total UEFA region matches analysed – below the overall global percentage of 0.26%.
  • The AFC (Asian) region saw the highest regional percentage of suspicious matches at 0.47%, although 0.52% of all international matches analysed were also assessed as suspicious.
  • Just under half (49.7%) of all suspicious matches identified in 2023 were played in domestic leagues below the top leagues.
  • Top-level leagues themselves were not immune, with just over a quarter (25.2%) of all suspicious matches identified being in this category.
  • The risks to club friendly and youth matches are disproportionately high, accounting for 10.8% and 6% of the suspicious matches respectively, despite representing just 2.9% and 3.5% of all the games analysed in 2023.
  • Whilst Full-Time betting markets still dominate suspicious betting activity, there has been a significant rise in suspicious betting on First-Half Only markets. Of the 167 matches identified as suspicious in 2023, 45 (27%) involved betting solely on the First-Half Only markets, which represents a marked increase from only six games (4.2%) identified in 2022.

Matches analysed by SIS are categorised as “suspicious” when they are found to have suspect betting patterns associated with them that may be indicative of match-fixing. While the level of suspicion will vary across matches depending on the nature and amount of evidence discovered, SIS believes that all matches so identified would warrant further investigation.

Compliance Updates

Playnetic strengthens European presence with licence to operate in Sweden

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Playnetic, the new immersive B2B iGaming provider has announced that it has been granted a Swedish licence, following regulatory approval from the Swedish Gambling Authority, Spelinspektionen. 

The licence allows Playnetic to launch its catalogue of innovative iGaming titles in Sweden, enabling the company to finalise partnerships with prominent operators across the country. 

This significant milestone marks a major step forward in supporting Playnetic’s ambitious growth plans, which include increasing its foothold in other European markets, as well as continued expansion in regulated markets across the globe. 

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Dan Phillips, Playnetic CEO said: “Since launching in early 2023, Playnetic has been exploring expansion opportunities in Europe to penetrate new markets and we are thrilled with achieving this milestone.  

“Thanks to our experienced compliance team, we were able to obtain this licence promptly, which is a huge positive as the market entry lines up perfectly with our regulatory roadmap for 2024. We are looking forward to launching our innovative suite of games which feature captivating themes and mechanics to players and operators in Sweden.” 

The post Playnetic strengthens European presence with licence to operate in Sweden appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Balkans

Bulgarian President Approves Gambling Law Amendments

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Bulgarian President Rumen Radev has decided not to veto the proposed amendments to the Gambling Law, which include a prohibition on gambling advertisements in the media.

Previously, President Radev had indicated that he was deliberating on the changes to the Gambling Law and was awaiting input from his advisors before making a final decision.

The prohibition on gambling advertisements in the media was approved by a significant majority of deputies during the final session of the 49th National Assembly. Despite objections raised by various media outlets, gambling operators, sports clubs, and other businesses between the readings, the amendments were endorsed. Some stakeholders argued against the ban, suggesting that public discussion should precede its adoption.

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The initiative for the amendments originated from GERB and DPS, and it was introduced unexpectedly during the last days of the 49th National Assembly by Yordan Tsonev (DPS) and Temenuzka Petkova (GERB). The bill swiftly progressed through the legislative process, passing its first reading in the budget committee and subsequently receiving approval in the plenary session. An extraordinary meeting of the Committee on Budget and Finance was convened to facilitate the voting on the amendments before the deputies commenced their pre-election recess.

The post Bulgarian President Approves Gambling Law Amendments appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Asia

Thailand Considers Limiting Gambling Areas to 5% of Total Project Space

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The Thai government is exploring the possibility of restricting gambling areas within entertainment complexes to no more than 5% of the total project space. This proposal was revealed by Deputy Finance Minister Julapun Amornvivat, who also chairs the House committee responsible for evaluating the potential establishment of casino resorts in the country.

Amornvivat noted that the allocation of space for gaming activities within these entertainment complexes would be determined based on input from various governmental entities involved in a project.

Last month, Thailand’s cabinet approved a report from the National Assembly committee that examined the feasibility of introducing casino resorts in the country. The Ministry of Finance was tasked with conducting a 30-day study to assess the viability of implementing such a policy.

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Each proposed venue would require a minimum investment of THB100 billion ($2.75 billion), according to the committee report. Amornvivat recently requested a two-week extension for the study period to further evaluate the matter in collaboration with 16 other government agencies.

The special House committee’s study focused on three main areas. First, it examined the potential impacts of introducing entertainment complexes with casinos on various aspects of Thai society, including economics, politics, social dynamics and the environment.

Second, the committee analysed the business framework of integrated entertainment venues, exploring revenue generation mechanisms such as taxes, fees and licensing structures. It recommended the implementation of specific casino taxes and the establishment of a fund aimed at addressing the negative effects of gambling activities.

Last, the report highlighted the importance of conducting a comprehensive review of the legal framework governing entertainment venues and gambling laws in Thailand. This effort aims to update existing legislation or develop new laws that align with the evolving societal landscape.

The post Thailand Considers Limiting Gambling Areas to 5% of Total Project Space appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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