On Tuesday, February 6, Expressen published the op-ed “Nobody likes gambling advertising – but it’s actually important” signed by Gustaf Hoffstedt, Secretary General, The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling. In the article, Hoffstedt argues against the fact that the political board of Stockholm’s public transport SL has announced that it intends to ban advertising for online gambling.
According to SL’s own calculations, gambling advertising alone brings in roughly SEK 20 million per year. Together with proposed advertising bans on other products and services that displease the political board, SL’s revenue loss could exceed SEK 50 million per year. It is lost money that either leads to increased ticket prices or missed investments in Stockholm’s public transport.
In the article, Gustaf Hoffstedt argues against the political board’s proposal and highlights, among other things, that advertising in public transport helps the consumer to navigate among licensed gambling operators and strengthen channelisation.
“It is fundamentally alarming when the regional politicians in Stockholm now review decisions made in what is supposed to be Sweden’s only legislative assembly: the Riksdag,” says Gustaf Hoffstedt.
Cyprus National Betting Authority Launches National Self-Exclusion Platform
The Cyprus National Betting Authority during a press conference on February 20, 2024, announced the launch of the National Self-Exclusion Platform (NSEP). This strategic initiative is part of the Authority’s commitment of safeguarding players and the public, as outlined in its Safer Gambling Strategy 2022-25.
The NSEP facilitates players to control their betting activities and opt for self-exclusion, either temporarily or indefinitely, from all online bookmakers who are licensed in the Republic of Cyprus. The player acknowledges that their betting activity has brought gambling related harm on their life, hence, they may use the self-exclusion tool for a more effective control of their betting activity. During the self-exclusion period, the player has access to their current account only for the purpose of withdrawing their deposits and cannot create a new account in a licenced bookmaker’s website.
Registration on the platform is free, simple and straightforward, enabling the player to set their self-exclusion across all betting service providers by registering at https://www.exclusion.cy/. Specifically, players have the flexibility to choose between temporary self-exclusion, long period self-exclusion or for an indefinite time.
During the press conference, Ms. Ioanna Fiakkou, President of the NBA, expressed her satisfaction with the platform’s launch, underscoring its significance as “a robust tool for every player, designed to promote safer betting behaviour and safeguarding vulnerable groups of people.”
“The development of the National Self-Exclusion Platform underscores the NBA’s dedication to player protection and the establishment of a sustainable and fair betting sector. The platform at this point offers self-exclusion from online betting service providers, but its operation is dynamic and poised to integrate additional functionalities. Thus, we extend a public invitation to all stakeholders to join our efforts for safeguarding society and include specific groups such as athletes in the platform’s operations, in collaboration with relevant federations and governmental bodies, to join the platform. Through this collaborative effort, we aim to fortify the fight against match-fixing and enhance transparency in sports, aligning with key objectives outlined in the Authority’s strategic framework. We are particularly satisfied to witness the realization of another significant milestone, as we advance towards achieving the goals set forth in the Safer Gambling Strategy, reinforcing protective measures for the public and fostering the industry’s sustainability in the right direction,” Ms. Fiakkou said.
Aruze Gaming Secures Approvals from 14 Tribal Entities Across the US
Aruze Gaming Global (AG2) announced that it has secured approvals from 14 tribal entities in the US and has obtained licenses from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, South Dakota, the West Virginia Lottery, and the Wisconsin Division of Gaming.
This accomplishment marks a substantial expansion for AG2, solidifying its commitment to providing cutting-edge gaming solutions with the highest standards of regulatory compliance. The 14 tribal approvals underscore the company’s dedication to fostering strong relationships with indigenous communities while ensuring responsible and transparent gaming practices.
In Louisiana, AG2 has received a coveted license from the Louisiana Gaming Control Board, allowing the company to contribute to the state’s vibrant gaming landscape. The approval from the West Virginia Lottery and South Dakota positions AG2 as a key player in the region, while the certification from the Wisconsin Division of Gaming opens doors to new opportunities in the state.
“We are thrilled to have received approvals from 14 tribal entities and additional state licenses in Louisiana, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wisconsin. This achievement reflects our commitment to regulatory excellence and our dedication to providing top-tier gaming experiences. We look forward to contributing to the gaming industry in these regions and building lasting relationships with our esteemed customers,” Kelcey Allison, Global Chief Operating Officer at AG2, said.
NIGC Announces Departure of Chairman E. Sequoyah Simermeyer
The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) announced the resignation of E. Sequoyah Simermeyer, as the chairman of NIGC, effective Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024.
Simermeyer, confirmed by the U.S. Senate in November 2019, led the Agency through unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic. During this time, the Agency helped set the regulatory conditions for a multi-year, post-pandemic recovery, where Indian gaming gross revenues rose to a record $40.9B last year. Prior to his tenure as chairman, Simermeyer served with NIGC as associate commissioner and director of the Office of Self-Regulation since 2015.
Reflecting on his time at the Agency, Simermeyer said, “I’ve witnessed firsthand how tribes across the Indian gaming industry have pursued economic sustainability through gaming by relying on – and cultivating – the robust regulatory reputation for which Indian gaming is well known, and made better when supported by effective and efficient measures by Indian gaming’s regulators. I’m proud of the integral part this Agency has played in meeting the challenges of an evolving industry, and encouraged that NIGC’s strong cadre of professionals will continue to work hand-in-hand with gaming operations to ensure tribal gaming remains primarily for the benefit of its citizens as the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) mandated 35 years ago.”
From day one, Simermeyer established industry integrity, preparedness, outreach, and Agency accountability as strategic goals for the Agency, leading NIGC through a period of growth and expansion of programs and services available to gaming tribes.
Under Simermeyer’s leadership, the Agency took steps to grow its capacity to provide outreach, training and technical assistance to gaming tribes, notably formalizing its Environmental Public Health and Safely (EPHS) program to assist tribes with overall operational preparedness, and expanding the Agency’s ability to provide cybersecurity technical assistance as the industry faced emerging threats from cybercrimes, including NIGC’s first Chief Information Security Officer. His “3 for 35” campaign for workforce preparedness, aimed at building regulatory capacity to future-proof tribal gaming, was also an Agency signature outreach effort during his tenure.
NIGC’s efficient and effective approach to regulation was driven by its formalized, collaborative tribal consultation process, where over the past three years, the Agency published eight final rules to keep pace with changing regulatory conditions and industry best practices, while allowing tribes the maximum flexibility allowed under IGRA to pursue efficiencies intended to help operations grow and thrive. To further strengthen its compliance and oversight functions, the Agency also rolled out the “Report a Violation” tool on its website to allow for reporting suspected IGRA violations. NIGC also provided important clarity in the wake of industry-wide questions arising from emerging topics such as significant court decisions on sports betting, the impact of cannabis on licensing and the use of gaming revenue, and the independence of tribal gaming regulatory bodies.
Simermeyer also positioned the Agency as a lead collaborator with federal agencies and organizations similarly dedicated to the success of tribal gaming. NIGC’s annual multiagency Cybersecurity Symposium, Anti-Money Laundering/Banking Security Act (Title 31) regulatory training conference and ongoing partnership with the Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign to prevent human trafficking, are all examples. He also led the Agency to pursue memoranda of understanding with federal agencies like the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, to promote a shared interest in researching the impacts of lending to tribes engaged in gaming and facilitating tribal access to capital.
Focusing on Agency operations, Simermeyer led the Agency through a multi-year IT security modernization plan to improve NIGC’s internal cybersecurity and resilience. Additionally, he transformed the Agency’s Criminal Justice Information System (CJIS) Audit program to better align with FBI requirements. As another step towards transparency and accountability, the Agency reimagined its fiscal annual report to better tell the story of its commitment to preserve and protect Indian gaming under IGRA, and the stories of the employees behind it. Perhaps most important, under Simermeyer’s leadership, the Agency achieved a 91% employee satisfaction rating on the 2023 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (FEVS), making the NIGC one of the best places to work in the federal government.
On transitioning to the next stage of his career, Simermeyer is grateful for his nearly nine years with the Agency. “My time with NIGC has been some of the most memorable and impactful years of my career. As a Native person, I’m truly blessed to have been surrounded by experts dedicated to protecting and preserving the valuable resource Indian gaming represents for our communities. I’m thankful for the advice and counsel of my fellow commissioners and NIGC staff, and the support and hard work of the nearly 5,000 tribal regulators who work alongside NIGC day-in and day-out to keep Indian gaming strong now, and for the next 35 years,” said Simermeyer.
Additional details regarding the transition will be forthcoming.
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