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16.07.2019

Sweden calls for “Information Meeting” with Licence Holders

Sweden’s gambling regulator has had some ongoing issues keeping their operators in line, with many of them violating the rules that have been set. Over the course of the last few months, we have seen numerous fines being issued along with more recently – a licence revocation. In a new effort to have a better understanding of each other, there has been a scheduled meeting in September, to go over the gambling rules.

The news of this meeting came after Branschföreningen för onlinespel (BOS), the online trade group – released a statement saying that they were “concerned and surprised” by the regulators recent decisions to hand out huge fines “without any prior warning being issued.”

The BOS secretary general, Gustaf Hoffstedt added that Gaming Innovation Group (GiG) has decided to shut its Swedish-facing sports book until the regulation situation has been clarified. Although commenting that its “unfortunate for Swedish gaming customers
” – they did not want to run the risk of unknowingly breach the rules.

At least four of the companies who have received fines, have made it public knowledge that they are appealing their fines. The companies include Bet365, Bwin, The Starts Group and Betfair. Sweden’s newly regulated market began on the 1st of January 2019, with 67 companies holding a licence – but 18 of these have already been penalised.


15.07.2019

UK Gambling Groups Unify

The Association of British Bookmakers and the Remote Gambling Association unified, under the name Betting and Gaming Council. The group with officially launch in autumn of this year and has the ambition to give a united voice from the UK’s gambling industry, allowing for UKGC licence holders to apply for membership, to have their say conveyed through the new council.

The chair of the council will be Brigid Simmonds, who will be stepping down from her CEO position at the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA). She stated that – “The gambling industry is a hugely significant contributor to the leisure industry and the economy. There are however, critical issues facing the sector and that is why I will ensure creating a safe gambling environment is top priority.”

Simon Emeny, a BBPA Chairman, commented on Simmonds saying that
“During her tenure, Brigid has led numerous successful campaigns to reduce beer duty and improve access for pubs to business rates relief. She is powerful in her argument and a rapier-sharp in negotiating with politicians. I know I speak on behalf of all the BBPA members when I say that the BBPA’s loss is most definitely the gambling industry’s gain.”


14.07.2019

Malaysia set to Update Gambling Laws

Since the start of the year, the police force in Malaysia have been kept busy, with raiding a number of illegal gambling operations. The result of the raids have been just short of $1 million being seized and over 14,700 arrests. The country has growing concerns that they are on the brink of an illegal gambling epidemic and is looking to stop the activity before it gets worse.

The method for the lawmakers of Malaysia is to update the gambling legislation, as most of the currently enforced laws were written during the 1950’s and 1960’s. A recent interview with Malaysia’s Home Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin revealed that he intends to have the laws brought up to the because they do not cover any activity around online gambling
.

Along with the increase in illegal gambling activity, it has been revealed that it’s attracting people who are meant to be stopping it. Parliamentary member Alice Lau told the press that there has been an increasing number of police officers who have been taking part and facilitating illegal operations. Yassin commented to say that the government will be taking appropriate action against any law enforcement officer found to be involved in the illegal industry.


13.07.2019

Android’s Gambling Self Restriction Tool

The company BetBlocker has launched a new feature which allows for players to add restrictions on gambling-related apps on Android devices. The intention is to help users to self-exclude themselves from over 5,900 operator websites and over 1,000 applications.

Duncan Garvie, BetBlocker Managed said “with more and more people accessing gambling via their mobile devices it is more important than ever that there is a resource available for those who feel that gambling is getting on top of them to take action to help themselves limit their exposure to this addictive activity. Restricting gambling apps further improves our service for Android users, limiting one more avenue of access.”

It’s been said that BetBlocker is hoping for the feature to transition into a “community project” with users reporting sites and apps that have been missed by the blocking system, to continuously improve it. Currently the feature only blocks sites that are confirmed to be gambling sites, instead of using keywords to determine, in an effort to prevent “false negative” results
.

When using the Gambling Self Restriction tool, users are able to choose their own restriction length, from anywhere between 24 hours and 5 years. Once activated the user will not be able to deactivate the restriction until the set time has been met. Users can also select to include gambling information sites too, to ensure they are not exposed to advertising for gambling or have their self-control challenged.

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