Competition regulator delays Stars’ Sky Bet takeover

first_img Email Address Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Legal & compliance The Stars Group has been told to hit the pause button on its $4.7bn (£3.6bn/€4bn) acquisition of Sky Betting and Gaming (SBG) by the UK’s competition watchdog.PokerStars’ owner’s multi-billion-dollar takeover of one of the UK’s most popular sports betting and online casino sites and its parent company was finalised earlier this week. As Stars completed the purchase from CVC Capital Partners and Sky PLC it said it had now formed “the world’s largest publicly listed online gaming company”.However, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has now issued an Initial Enforcement Order, instructing the two companies not to integrate further. They have been ordered to take no action that could “otherwise impair the ability of the Sky Betting & Gaming group business or the Stars business to compete independently in any of the markets affected by the transaction”.The enforcement order issued by the body said that the watchdog was considering further actions under sections 22 and 33 of the Enterprise Act 2002 that are related to merger and acquisition deals resulting in a substantial decrease of the competition in a certain sector of the economy.An Initial Enforcement Order is the most preliminary step that the CMA could take, coming ahead of a more formal Phase One investigation – which, for example, was announced when Ladbrokes and Coral signalled their intention to merge in 2016. While the CMA became involved in the Ladbrokes Coral merger at an early stage, its involvement in Stars’ acquisition of SBG following the financial completion of the deal is not considered unusual.The CMA would not confirm to iGamingBusiness.com whether specific concerns have been raised about the deal by other parties.Among a series of orders, Stars and SBG have been told that all of their individual assets should be maintained and preserved, there should be no integration of information technology and no changes are to be made to key staff at either business.The CMA said the chief executive of both entities must provide a statement confirming compliance with the order every two weeks from July 24.In announcing the completion of the deal earlier this week, Stars said it “dramatically improves The Stars Group’s revenue diversity, creating a balanced spread across poker, casino and sportsbook with a broad geographic reach.”“This acquisition represents a pivotal moment in The Stars Group’s evolution,” said CEO Rafi Ashkenazi in a statement. 13th July 2018 | By contenteditor AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Legal & compliance Tags: Online Gambling CMA tells companies to stop further integration as order is issued Competition regulator delays Stars’ Sky Bet takeover Regions: UK & Irelandlast_img read more

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Upcoming webinar: How UYC (Understand Your Customer) is now as important as KYC

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Upcoming webinar: How UYC (Understand Your Customer) is now as important as KYC Topics: Uncategorized 15th August 2019 | By Louella Hughes Email Addresscenter_img Online gambling operators falling foul of AML and responsible gambling requirements seems to be a recurring news item at the moment. A quick analysis reveals that the common thread is the operator’s failure to adequately establish their customer’s Source of Funds. In this webinar we will discuss: • Why source of fund checks are so important • What is UYC, how it can help and what makes it different from KYC? • How you can speed-up onboarding and conduct checks throughout a players lifecycle Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Uncategorizedlast_img read more

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IGT reaches settlement over GC2 copyright case

first_imgCasino & games AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter International Game Technology (IGT) has reached a settlement with video slot manufacturer GC2 Incorporated over a dispute related to copyright infringement and intellectual property licensing rights on certain gaming content.Financial terms of the settlement have not been disclosed, but the agreement, struck in District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, will see IGT take ownership of 30 digital games developed by GC2.Content covered by the settlement will include titles such as Pharaoh’s Fortune, Coyote Moon, Kingpin Bowling and Lucky Lion Fish, all of which were at the centre of the dispute.As part of the agreement, IGT will provide a perpetual licence to gaming content developer GC2 to allow it to use these titles in non-gaming applications.  “GC2 and its attorneys, Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, are pleased with this settlement agreement as it resolves the three years of successful litigation and allows both companies to focus their attention on the development of new land-based and online games that will contribute to successful consumer products,” GC2 president, Frank Warzecha, said.Meanwhile, IGT has agreed a deal to upgrade the Oregon Lottery’s central computer system with the latest version of its INTELLIGEN software.The INTELLIGEN central system will be used to support, monitor and control more than 11,500 video lottery terminals across Oregon.IGT has been working with the Oregon Lottery since 1985, also providing the organisation with traditional draw-based lottery products and instant ticket games and services.“We look forward to collaborating with IGT on the INTELLIGEN upgrade, so we can continue to provide our players the chance to win exciting jackpots through a safe and reliable system,” Oregon State Lottery director Barry Pack said.Jay Gendron, chief operating officer for IGT’s lottery business, added: “The Oregon Lottery has one of North America’s most successful VLT programs, and IGT has been providing it with innovative technology for more than three decades.“We are confident that the lottery will benefit from these enhancements through improved system performance and the ability to manage its network more efficiently.” 16th August 2019 | By contenteditor IGT reaches settlement over GC2 copyright case Topics: Casino & games Lottery Slots International Game Technology (IGT) has reached a settlement with video slot manufacturer GC2 Incorporated over a dispute related to copyright infringement and intellectual property licensing rights on certain gaming content. The supplier has also struck a deal to update the Oregon Lottery’s central computer system with its INTELLIGEN software. Regions: US Tags: Online Gambling Slot Machines Email Addresslast_img read more

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Mobile Dashboard – December 2019

first_img Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Bingo AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter H2 Gambling Capital and iGaming Business are pleased to bring you the December 2019 Mobile Dashboard Email Address Mobile Dashboard – December 2019center_img H2 Gambling Capital and iGaming Business are pleased to bring you the December 2019 Mobile DashboardThe Mobile Dashboard is your monthly overview of the mobile sector in numbers and enables you to follow the evolution of mobile from 2003 with projections up to 2024.As the charts show, mobile gross win has not only grown strongly since 2003, but its percentage of overall igaming win has also risen rapidly, particularly over the past five years.H2 predicts mobile will account for close to 59% of igaming gross win by 2024, though many operators are already reporting that more than 50% of their revenue comes from the mobile channel, particularly when it comes to sports betting. As the doughnut graph shows, 68% of mobile revenues come from sports betting.Interestingly, while by region Europe takes the bulk of global mobile revenues, Asia and the Middle East has a higher percentage of its region’s gross win coming from mobile. This is likely to be due to the fact that in some countries, particularly those in Asia, fixed-line broadband was slow to develop and many users skipped desktop altogether and adopted mobile as their first internet device.H2 Gambling Capital is the gambling industry’s leading consulting, market intelligence and data team. The company has a track record of nearly 15 years focused on the global gambling industry, its projections have been influential in shaping legislators’  and investors’ views of the gambling sector across the globe. Topics: Casino & games Finance Lottery Sports betting Bingo Poker Tags: Card Rooms and Poker Mobile Online Gambling 19th December 2019 | By Stephen Carterlast_img read more

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Swedish regulator warns Enlabs over lack of activity

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Topics: Legal & compliance Tags: Online Gambling Email Address Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter 11th March 2020 | By contenteditor Swedish regulator warns Enlabs over lack of activity The Swedish Gaming Authority (Spelinspektionen) has warned igaming operator Enlabs that it could lose its licence if it does not commence gaming activities in the country by July. Regions: Europe Nordics Sweden Legal & compliance The Swedish Gaming Authority (Spelinspektionen) has warned igaming operator Enlabs that it could lose its licence if it does not commence gaming activities in the country by July.Baltic-facing Enlabs was awarded a licence to operate online betting and gaming in December 2018 ahead of the country’s regulated igaming market opening on 1 January 2019.However, according to Spelinspektionen, the operator is yet to go live in Sweden. Due to this lack of activity, the regulator has issued an official warning to Enabs.It said if Enlabs does not commence gaming activities before 1 July 2020, it could withdraw the online betting and gaming licence.The licence is valid until 31 December 2023 and permits Enlabs to operate under a range of domains, for its BestBet and Optibet brands.In response, Enlabs chief executive George Ustinov said the warning was not unexpected and set out plans to launch in Sweden before the July deadline.“The Swedish Gambling Authority decision to give us a warning due to inactivity was not unexpected and do not change our communicated strategy for the Swedish market,” Ustinov said.“We believe the authority’s assessment is reasonable and we will offer games under our Swedish licence no later than June 2020, and thus retain the licence.He noted that there was no risk of a financial penalty should it fail to launch by Spelinspektionen’s deadline.“We look forward to a launch in Sweden and continue to monitor market conditions in order to seize the opportunities that arise.”Last month, Enlabs announced Ustinov, formerly its chief operating officer and chief financial officer, as its new chief executive. Ustinov replaced former Catena Media chief Robert Andersson, who stepped down from his operational assignments with the operator after two years as its president and CEO.Ustinov takes on his role new having only been appointed as COO in December last year, as part of a reshuffle that saw Adam Jonsson succeed Ustinov as CFO.last_img read more

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Malta regulator issues integrity guidance amid Covid-19 crisis

first_imgEsports Regions: Europe Southern Europe Malta AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has published new guidance for operators to help safeguard integrity during the ongoing novel coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, while the regulator has cancelled Bimbabet’s licence after it was found to have breached regulations. Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Topics: Esports Legal & compliance Sports betting The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has published new guidance for operators to help safeguard integrity during the ongoing novel coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis, while the regulator has cancelled Bimbabet’s licence after it was found to have breached regulations.The regulator said that as most sports events have been postponed, this will spur more operators to focus on other betting markets, which it said have different risk profiles to traditional sports.The MGA highlighted esports as one market that is set to experience an increase in interest during the period of sporting shutdown. Like other sports, it said, esports has varying levels of professional, semi-professional and amateur tournaments, and while many events are run in a professional manner, others may not be so carefully arranged, and this could create integrity issues.The regulator has therefore has released guidance to assist licensed operators with esports betting, pointing out that events are currently only run online, with the the standard integrity checks carried out at physical events not necessarily being carried out.The MGA advised operators to ensure matches are not pre-recorded. Risk mamangement teams were told to be mindful of the fact that games are not always broadcast in real time, and there is often a pre-set delay between the actual match and public broadcast.Customers should be made aware of the distinction between esports and virtual sports, while operators should look into whether events benefit from integrity controls and if participants are professional when deciding on what markets to offer, it added.Operators were also advised to seek information about participants and officials involved in events, as well as maintain their betting integrity and fraud checks, including making sure that those involved in the events are not placing bets.All suspicious betting activity should be reported to the MGA, while any other suspicious activity not related to betting related should be reported to relevant sports governing bodies or the event organiser.In addition, the MGA advised tournament organisers, broadcasters and sports governing bodies to revise any policies regarding misuse of inside information to include also any participants or officials involved in their events.In separate news, the MGA has cancelled Bimbabet Limited’s licence after ruling that the operator breached a number of regulations, including failing to pay its licence fee.Bimbabet had been operating its Bimbabet.com website under an B2C gaming service licence, but the cancellation, effective from today (6 April), means it is no longer authorised to carry out any gaming operations.The operator must also not register new customers or accept new deposits, but has been ordered by the MGA to retain and provide all players with access to their accounts, as well as refund any outstanding monies to customers.Bimbabet was found in breach of sections C and I of regulation 9 in the Gaming Compliance and Enforcement Regulations.Section I relates to the failure to pay relevant annual licence fees or compliance contribution fees, while section C covers the failure to submit a key functions list, audited financial statements for 2018 or interim financial statements for 2019 to the MGA.Bimbabet may be permitted to appeal the decision. Tags: Online Gambling 6th April 2020 | By contenteditor Malta regulator issues integrity guidance amid Covid-19 crisis Email Addresslast_img read more

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China ramps up igaming crackdown amid Covid-19

first_img14th April 2020 | By contenteditor AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter China’s Ministry of Public Security has once again emphasised the importance of cracking down on illegal offshore gambling at its source, something it said was especially important as a result of increased activity during the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Legal & compliance Tags: Mobile Online Gambling Email Address Topics: Legal & compliance China’s Ministry of Public Security has once again emphasised the importance of cracking down on illegal offshore gambling at its source, something it said was especially important as a result of increased activity during the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.At a special meeting held last week, Deputy Minister for Public Security Wang Xiaohong explained that China would strengthen comprehensive measures to tackle illegal gambling, with an emphasis on disrupting providers’ operations.In January this year Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi was designated leader of China’s anti-gambling efforts, and proposed a blacklist of illegal sites early in March.Wang said this was a good start, with initial results promising. However, he added, there had been an increase in offshore gambling since the Covid-19 outbreak began.“Overseas casinos and gaming websites have increased targeting of Chinese citizens, seriously jeopardising the legitimate rights and interests of the people, and seriously affecting China’s economic security, social stability, and international image,” Wang said. The over-arching target will be to “break the chain” of supply for operators targeting the market, the Ministry concluded. This will involve cracking down on investment in these businesses and the operators of casinos and gambling sites, in order to prevent crimes such as kidnapping, extortion, money laundering and illegal detention that it claims arise from illegal gambling.This will see the Ministry look to freeze and seize funds and accounts held by overseas casinos and igaming accounts, and punish payment processors that facilitate transactions for operators.Efforts to screen and remove domestic and foreign websites offering gambling will also be stepped up, supported by online reporting platforms to allow citizens to flag illegal activity.Blacklisting of employees, countries and sites involved in illegal gambling will also be introduced, alongside standardised laws to stamp out cross-border activity, aided by cooperation with law enforcement in neighbouring countries.China’s efforts to halt illegal gambling activity has already seen it cancel the passports of citizens working for illegal gambling businesses in the Philippines, a country that has to date resisted calls to shut down its offshore gaming industry. However, the activities of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (POGOs) have been temporarily suspended as a result of Covid-19.Cambodia, however, cancelled all igaming licences, effectively shutting down its legal industry, following pressure from China. China ramps up igaming crackdown amid Covid-19 Regions: Chinalast_img read more

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IGT and WH launch revamped sportsbook in Rhode Island

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Regions: US Rhode Island Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Tags: Mobile Online Gambling International Game Technology (IGT) and William Hill have overhauled their digital sports betting product Sportsbook Rhode Island, with a enhanced versions of the mobile app and website now live for customers.  International Game Technology (IGT) and William Hill have overhauled their digital sports betting product Sportsbook Rhode Island, with a enhanced versions of the mobile app and website now live for customers. The new app and site offer a more streamlined experience, including an expanded wagering menu and the option to fund customer accounts with debit cards. Previously account payments could only be made using eChecks.A new app interface, powered by IGT’s PlaySports technology, has improved the navigation design for live and upcoming sporting events and a more efficient wagering process that speeds up the process from selecting to placing bets.“Recent IGT PlaySports technology updates for the Rhode Island Lottery provide Sportsbook Rhode Island users an elevated player experience,” IGT PlayDigital senior vice president Enrico Drago explained. “These updates also position the Rhode Island Lottery for success when professional sports return in full force.”Read the full story on iGB North America. Topics: Sports betting Tech & innovation IGT and WH launch revamped sportsbook in Rhode Island 21st April 2020 | By contenteditor Sports betting Email Addresslast_img read more

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Stilted progress in Germany

first_imgThe opening of the sportsbook licensing process under the third amended State Treaty on Gambling (Glücksspielstaatsvertrag/GlüStV) quickly ground to a halt after a legal challenge from Austrian bookmaker Vierklee.  “I think we’ll start to see operators being more selective when it comes to content and services offered to end users,” le Garsmeur says. “Older products are unlikely to be upgraded where development work is required to adhere to these new requirements.  Slot stakes were capped at €1, with the €1,000 blanket deposit cap included in the GlüStV carried over, but expanded to all products. Furthermore, slots would be subject to a minimum spin duration of five seconds.  Stilted progress in Germany The blanket limit-setting for all customers, he explains, is just one aspect of the Treaty that could quickly become obsolete as other jurisdictions move towards more sophisticated affordability checks. Even betting on new events, such as esports, are conspicuous by their absence, in a country that hosts some of the largest tournaments in the sector.  And yet its very existence has been ruled to contravene the German Constitution. A 2015 legal challenge, filed in Hesse’s Wiesbaden Administrative Court, saw the presiding judge declare that as the Glücksspielkollegium’s actions could neither be attributed to the federal government, nor a competent state authority, it “lacks sufficient democratic legitimacy”.  “But all the details that are regulated in the Treaty now seem to be binding and must be fulfilled.”   Those that had waited would have been left with just two weeks to implement a host of player protection measures, including deposit limits.  The sports betting licences were finally issued on 9 October, after Vierklee’s challenge was withdrawn. That, at least, offers the licensees a degree of long-term certainty. They will be able to operate under these licences until the end of 2022, after which they will have to apply for a new licence under the GlüNeuRStV.  It’s worth noting that despite the tortuous process, the industry is largely unanimous in its praise of the regulators at the Hesse Ministry of the Interior and Sport (HMDIS). Andric points out it was willing to stand up for the industry, with little support from other states.  “In terms of effective youth and player protection, the supervisory authority in Sachsen-Anhalt must be ready to take charge as quickly as possible,” Lotto Baden-Württemberg MD Georg Wacker says. “The legal ‘guard rails’ must be controlled and violations sanctioned, otherwise the new State Treaty is nothing more than many pages of paper.”   Democratically legitimate? Leadership vacuum Elsewhere, the announcement that the 16 federal states had agreed on a new regulatory framework was greeted with delight, especially as it was initially announced that this would incorporate online casino as well as betting. However, the publication of the Glücksspielneuregulierungstaatsvertrag (GlüNeuRStV) then revealed that this liberalisation would not in fact be very liberal at all.  The licensees will not even have to temporarily remove their casino products – as the regulatory authority, the Regional Council of Darmstadt, had previously ordered – thanks to a transition period in which slots and poker can be offered.  Hambach, meanwhile, doesn’t see the value in starting afresh, again: “Why Sachsen-Anhalt, which has never licensed anything before? And they should know that licensing anything is not easy, especially as sports betting has failed twice. It’s a short timescale for them to do a lot of learning.”  Dominic le Garsmeur, vice president of gaming products at Scientific Games Digital, admits the speed at which things went from the agreement to implementation was something of a surprise. Hambach, on the other hand, is sure that there is more wrangling to come.  It’s worth noting that while a €1 stake cap seemed to be the outlier in January this year, as the industry moves towards the end of the year, similar measures are being mooted in Great Britain. The €1,000 blanket cap – with limited exceptions for rates of up to €10,000 and €30,000 –- seems almost reasonable compared to Sweden’s SEK5,000 (£440/€486) temporary deposit cap.  “The time to implement the transition was not reasonable,” Luka Andric, managing director for operator association Deutscher Sportwettenverband (DSWV), tells iGB. “We made it perfectly clear that it’s not proportionate to ask for so many changes in such a short period of time.”  “It’s political noise,” he says. “We don’t see a serious threat to the State Treaty passing.”  This transition, however, has not been entirely smooth. Despite news of lawmakers discussing the online casino transition period emerging in September, it was not until 1 October that an agreement was confirmed.  This did prompt states to give operators some leeway, with a two-month extension to implement the €1 slot stake cap and five-second spin duration. As Andric points out, this is only fair, due to the nature of the changes required, which the DSWV has previously said would take months rather than weeks to implement.  The short timescale is not the only issue, gambling lawyer Dr Wulf Hambach adds. He explains that the transition period requires operators to issue a declaration stating they believe they are compliant – but it is currently unclear where that declaration goes.   Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Furthermore, this was all to be regulated by a new authority based in Sachsen-Anhalt. Not Hesse, with experience of handling a complex (and ultimately eight-year-long) licensing process, nor Schleswig-Holstein, with its experience of overseeing a market in which casino is permitted.  2nd December 2020 | By Robin Harrison Ultimately, Andric continues, after eight long years of false starts and dashed hopes Germany’s 16 Länder are at a point where they can conclude negotiations and put the issue of online betting and gaming regulation behind them for a period.  The fact the Glücksspielkollegium was needed to play this role – though lawmakers in Hesse and Schleswig- Holstein may dispute this – is largely the result of that lack of an authority capable of taking charge. Because ultimately there is no focal point for operators during that transition period.  Germany has issued sports betting licences after eight years of legal setbacks and delays, and begun a transition period for online casino ahead of the new regulatory framework coming into effect in 2021. After years of false starts these developments will be warmly welcomed, but there is still huge uncertainty surrounding the market. By Robin Harrison He points out that while the transitional framework was agreed by the heads of state, it was the Glücksspielkollegium that played a key role in actually drafting the terms. In Hambach’s eyes, such a restrictive system – and one that states those who comply have no legal right to a licence once the GlüNeuRStV comes into force – is down to one of the most controversial elements of the German regulatory landscape. Luka Andric, Deutscher Sportwettenverband “While on a political level the state chancellors are more sophisticated and in favour of progress […], they trusted the Glücksspielkollegium to map out what is feasible or not,” he says. “It’s a joke.”  However, at a glance it appears the year is ending on a more positive note.  Regulation “They’ve been consistently calling for reasonable policy reforms, have been outward-looking, coordinating with colleagues in other EU member states, and were most open about having a dialogue with the industry and listening to all sides,” he says. “In comparison, other Länder simply weren’t willing to engage with the industry. HMDIS has done an excellent job, in a very difficult position as one voice among 16.”  The potential for inconsistency, Hambach says, is highlighted by Hamburg and Bremen, which have already claimed they consider online gambling to remain illegal, suggesting they may find themselves criminally liable if they comply with the toleration. This is “completely absurd”, he adds, but throws into sharp relief the issues created by a lack of a competent authority.  Dominic Le Garsmeur, scientific Games This will have a knock-on effect on product offerings, he suggests.  At this point, it was due to have a final say on which licences were awarded under the third GlüStV. Following the court ruling, which ended that particular licensing push, it was not until the Regional Council of Darmstadt took full control of the process that operators were ultimately handed certifications. Nevertheless, the lack of a competent regulatory authority for online casino and poker has seen it once again play a key role in the transition period.  Transitional uncertainty Regions: Central and Eastern Europe Germany The body that is meant to fill this leadership vacuum is the new Sachsen- Anhalt-based authority. However, Andric estimates that it could take another two years to establish this regulator.  “[So] Bavaria or Nordrhein-Westfalen might still see something as compliant, that the authority in Hamburg may consider out of bounds,” he says. “That’s something we’ve seen in the past – there tend to be disagreements among the 16 regulatory authorities.”  “[They’ve] been very clear on what they want to see from product requirements and the responsible gaming tools they require for customers, but the way in which it’s going to be governed remains to be seen.”  “As an industry, we have to adapt and it’s clear that there will be tighter restrictions moving forward.” “Every one of the 16 Länder [federal states] will continue to be responsible for enforcement,” Andric explains. And across the states, with differing political viewpoints and different stances on gambling, there is far from a united front.  wulf Hambach, Hambach & Hambach Rechtsanwälte The Glücksspielkollegium is a body whose official remit is to aid states in coordinating activities related to the regulation of gambling. While it is due to be phased out by the end of 2022 under the GlüNeuRStV, it continues to exert an influence over proceedings.   Email Address “They have a taskforce working in the Ministry of the Interior, and at the moment they are concerned with questions such as finding real estate and hiring staff, so they are working on the basics, and not are not at the stage of engaging with operators or dealing with policy issues,” he says. “They are only just starting.”   “There are a lot of questions around the guidelines. Here you are just expected to comply with the legislation a year before it comes into force, without having technical guidelines  or secondary legislation, or even a regulator in place.   While some lawmakers in that chamber, along with their counterparts in Saarland, have suggested they will vote against it, Andric dismisses this as “sabre rattling”.  If 2020 began with hopes of a new era for German gambling, things quickly returned to their previous pattern of delays and recriminations.  “We’ve all learned about the importance of keeping our ears to the ground to know what’s happening, and not wait for official notification,” he says.  “Considering the European Commission hasn’t intervened in the notification process, it’s a fairly safe bet to assume that this ratification will go through without major problems,” he predicts.  “But there have always been surprises in the past – you should never say never.”  Topics: Casino & games Legal & compliance Sports betting Casino regulation Online casino Compliance Regulation Responsible gambling Online sports betting Retail sports betting Sports betting regulation “I see a lot of court decisions ahead, on the Treaty before it comes into force, and even afterwards, because the industry is just not happy,” he says. “For example, the fixed inflexible limits, this is something other jurisdictions don’t do; they have flexible limits for high rollers.  Instead, it is the new body in Sachsen- Anhalt that is tasked with building the same relationship with the sector in two years, rather than the eight HMDIS had.  “From my point of view, it’s just a step towards shifting away from prohibition, but there is a lot of work to be done.” Le Garsmeur, however, says that rather than being too harsh, the strict controls “are definitely showing the way the winds are blowing in Europe” with regards to consumer protection measures.  “It makes sense to tolerate certain products, but not to regulate without a competent authority, and to implement licence conditions without technical regulations,” he says. “The technical knowledge of regulators outside of Schleswig-Holstein and Hessen is seriously lacking.”  “You don’t have a clear competent authority, who checks whether an operator is compliant,” he says.  GVC Holdings, which operates brands such as Bwin, Ladbrokes and Sportingbet, has announced that these restrictions are likely to reduce earnings by approximately £70m (€77.6m/$90.9m) next year.  And it’s not just the private operators that see the dangers posed by the lack of a regulatory focal point. The Deutscher Lotto und Totoblock, Germany’s powerful association of state lotteries, that was once seen as a barrier to online casino regulation, has been quick to add its voice to calls for rapid progress on establishing the authority.   AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Le Garsmeur adds: “There’s a lot of uncertainty as to how the German states decide to police the regulations. It’s unclear whether they follow different approaches to issuing licences.  However, the GlüNeuRStV must still be ratified in the Sachsen-Anhalt state parliament. This must occurby 30 April next year, with the small matter of secondary legislation being finalised and notified to the European Commission to contend with as well.  Table games, meanwhile, were to be kept separate from slots and poker. Under the GlüNeuRStV, states may only issue as many table games licences as they have brick-and-mortar casinos. This means most states would only be able to issue one licence – something that they are also given the option of handling to the state lottery. last_img read more

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Crown Resorts receives AUS$3bn funding proposal from Oaktree

first_img19th April 2021 | By Robert Fletcher Subscribe to the iGaming newsletter Regions: Australia Crown added that it is yet to form a view on the merits of the proposal, with its board now set to commence a process to assess the offer, while the operator also said there is no certainty the offer will result in a transaction. Australian integrated resort operator Crown Resorts has received a proposal from alternative investment management firm Oaktree Capital Management to provide up to AUS$3.0bn (£1.67bn/€1.94bn/US$2.32bn) in funding for a share buy-back programme. Email Address The proposal was submitted from a company on behalf of funds managed and advised by Oaktree Capital Management. However, if none of these conditions to cancel the deal arise, the acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2021. Crown Resorts receives AUS$3bn funding proposal from Oaktree According to Crown, the proposal is unsolicited, preliminary, non-binding and indicative proposal, and would be subject to shareholder approval, with no votes needing to be cast in favour by CPH or its associates. Last week, it was revealed that Blackstone had altered its bid to acquire Crown, so that the deal would not go ahead if either of Crown’s existing licences are suspended or its New South Wales licence is not granted. Crown said the funds would be used to buy back some or all of its shares from investment holding business Consolidated Press Holdings (CPH), which currently holds approximately 37% of all shares in the operator. Blackstone may also withdraw its bid if “any of the gaming regulatory authorities imposes terms or conditions on Crown or any of its current or foreshadowed casino licences or framework agreements which, when combined, constitute a material adverse change” to Crown’s business, or if the regulators signal that such conditions are likely. Tags: Crown Resorts Oaktree Topics: Finance The offer comes at a time when Crown is thetarget of a takeover bid from private equity giant Blackstone. Last month, Blackstone offered AUS$8.02bn to acquire the remaining 90.1% of shares in Crown, having already acquired 9.99% of the business in April 2020. In its new bid conditions, Blackstone made clear that suspension, revocation or failure to receive a licence in its New South Wales, Victoria or Western Australia would be grounds to cancel the deal. The operator was the subject of an inquiry in New South Wales found that Crown was “unsuitable” to operate a casino in the Barangaroo district of Sydney, though it may still receive a license if it undergoes some changes. This report then prompted inquiries in Victoria and Western Australia, where Crown already operates. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to FacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitter Financelast_img read more

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