Inspectors in Slovakia are ramping up their efforts to regulate the gambling industry, intensifying their inspections. Paddy Power, a UK-based company, was slapped with a substantial fine. Meanwhile, in Malta, a bill is being introduced to safeguard operators from bearing foreign liabilities. The Maltese Gaming Authority took swift action by revoking Totup System's license. And an exciting development in France involves a proposed bill seeking to legalize online gambling websites.
Slovak gambling regulator boosts inspections
The Gambling Regulation Office (ÚRHH) in Slovakia reported completing 2,511 checks in Q1, up by 201 from the previous year. This increase is attributed to restructuring and a stronger emphasis on performance by the regulator's leadership.
The creation of a dedicated online gaming department in November 2022 has also enhanced supervision, ensuring licensed operations and preventing access to unlicensed gambling websites.
General director Dávid Lenčéš expressed satisfaction with the progress in regulating gambling and acknowledged the efforts of supervisors in fulfilling legal obligations and curbing illegal facilities. The office remains dedicated to the systematic supervision of gambling activities.
Paddy Power got a massive fine in the UK
The Gambling Commission levied a hefty penalty of £490,000 on Paddy Power due to their marketing endeavors targeted towards individuals who had voluntarily excluded themselves from gambling activities. The incident occurred when a push notification, offering improved odds for a Premier League football game, was mistakenly sent to Apple devices linked to self-excluded accounts.
Paddy Power acknowledged the human error and expressed its commitment to safer gambling. The actual number of individuals who laid eyes upon the message is unclear, as they would have needed the Paddy Power app with push notifications enabled. Despite the error, these customers were unable to place bets or deposit their funds due to imposed restrictions.
Malta introduces bill to shield companies from a foreign drawback
Lawmakers in Malta have put forward a bill (Bill 55) to protect approved iGaming operators from being held accountable for actions taken abroad, following lawsuits faced by certain businesses operating in Austria. The proposed legislation aims to amend the local gaming laws by prohibiting Maltese courts from granting damages to plaintiffs who sue gaming businesses for offering services in foreign markets.
This bill provides legal protection to gambling operators operating in the European gray market, who have encountered legal challenges. In some instances, local courts have instructed operators to compensate customers for their losses. Under the legislation, courts are specifically instructed to dismiss any foreign judgment that undermines the legal provision of gaming services in Malta by licensed entities, thereby nullifying its recognition and enforcement.
The bill explicitly states its objective of enshrining into law Malta's longstanding public policy of fostering the establishment of gaming companies within the country. It further argues that the legislation supports the private enterprise in accordance with the Constitution of Malta.
Totup System's license was revoked by MGA
Due to regulatory violations, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has taken the decision to revoke Totup System's license. Totup failed to settle compliance contribution fees along with license fees within the specified timeframe. Despite a 20-day response period, Totup did not submit a defense, resulting in the license cancellation.
All gaming operations must cease immediately, and new player registrations are prohibited. Totup must settle substantial fees of €79,570 (£68,886/$85,775) within three days. References to the MGA and the revoked license must be removed from Totup's website. A 20-day window for appeal is provided.
New bill suggests online casino legalization in France
Philippe Latombe, a member of the Democratic Movement party, has introduced a bill (1248) to the National Assembly of France that proposes the legalization of online gambling platforms in the country. This bill paves the way for the establishment of a supervised online casino market, subject to review by the assembly.
At its core, the proposal suggests implementing a five-year moratorium, granting national actors the opportunity to participate in online money-wagering activities. After January 1, 2030, the market would expand to include other operators. The bill aims to provide a stable economic environment for existing licensees before a full opening. In addition, the bill (1248) also grants authorization to operators to provide online casino games analogous to those found in physical establishments, while also being subject to state and local levies.
Source: Read Full Article