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Gambling regulatory battles and changes currently unfolding

  • author icon by Stelly in Regulations
  • calendar icon February 7, 2021 | Last updated: February 9, 2021
  • calendar icon 5 min read
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Stay up to date with regulatory changes and developments. Top stories include KSA, SGA and UKGC’s latest struggles.

The industry is rapidly growing and as a result, regulatory bodies need to shape up and adjust accordingly.

Currently, various regulators are ironing out regulatory kinks, laying down the law or legalising gambling.

No-nonsense Netherlands

The Netherlands gambling regulators have shown yet again that they are not to be toyed with. In most recent events, they slapped a Curacao-licensed online gambling site with a €600k penalty for serving Dutch players without permission.

The Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) gambling regulatory body imposed a €500k penalty on Virtual Coin Gaming NV and an additional €100k on the unidentified individual connected to the sites. Virtual Coin Gaming NV is the curacao-based firm responsible for Futgalaxy.nl and nl.futgamer.com gambling sites.

According to the Dutch law approved in 2019, various offerings on these sites were illegal. This included games of chance linked to EA Sports' FIFA video games, access to real-world sports betting markets, and eSports using FUT Coin virtual currency.

The new Remote Gambling Act (RGA) is set to take effect on April 1st 2021. The Dutch government revealed the push was to ensure all operators and providers have ample time to prepare.

SGA unimpressed with irresponsible behaviour

A recent Lund University study revealed that nearly 40% of Spelpaus users could still gamble online.

The Swedish Gaming Authority (SGA) stated that for users to continue gambling after self-exclusion is extremely inappropriate and a serious concern.

Gambling abuse has become a massive problem in various regions including Sweden, hence why Spelpaus launched in 2019. This program was meant to liberate the market and get players to gain control over gambling habits.

Despite opting into self-exclusion via Spelpause.se, many of the avid gamblers have found a way around the effects of this tool. The SGA has released a statement stating their disproval of such behaviour. Furthermore, those who have a problem must seek help instead of taking advantage of loopholes.

With the current financial uncertainty, COVID-19 and other urgent matters, it is vital for players to seek help. The SGA will also continue to improve regulations and systems in place in any way possible to assist players.

Consumers are, however, responsible for seeking help and adhering to self-exclusion. Anyone who self-excludes only to find a way to access games after is in serious trouble and urged to seek help.

Campaigners shed light on 'inadequate' protection

The Gambling with Lives charity is calling on the UK Government to stop focusing on the wrong issues and start targeting the real problems. The charity aims to raise awareness of problem gambling and stated that the bigger issue is the inadequate consumer protection provided by the licensed industry/ operators.

The charity wrote a letter to the UK secretary of state for Digital, Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) MP Oliver Dowden, stating that it believes the black-market threat is "scaremongering" and not the issue.

The DCMS announced earlier this year that it would be leading an official government review of the gambling regulations in the state. With this review came the possibility of changes being made to the Gambling Act, gambling adverts, stake limits and sports sponsorships.

Gambling with Lives spoke in full support of reviewing and upgrading the current Gambling Act but urged the government to focus on the issues that need fixing. The charity believes the government should raise its own standards rather than find fault elsewhere.

Neil McArthur, chief executive of the Gambling Commission, agreed and revealed that the scale of black-market betting is highly over-exaggerated. He also stated that despite popular belief, raising the standards of the regulated gambling industry will not drive players towards illegal sites. Thus, the 'black market figures and facts' are purely being used as scare tactics instead of the focus being on improving the industry.

Neil McArthur's statement is currently being disputed, and the UK online consumers gambling with an unlicensed operator has increased. CasinoWow will definitely follow the turn of events and keep you updated.

Last updated: February 9, 2021

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Article by Stelly

CasinoWow Contributor

Hey there! I am Stelly, and happily, I'm part of CasinoWow's content team. It excites me to be able to write and share with all gambling enthusiasts unbiased reviews and news that contribute to the gambling community and industry. Thankfully, I also have the chance to help you make an informed choice for casino brands and games, as well as provide interesting guides and news.

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