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10.06.2019

Dutch Online Gambling Market not Launching until 2021

The Netherlands’ new regulated gambling market will not launch until January of 2021, according to the countries regulator. The chairman of Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), René Jansen told the audience at the Gaming in Holland conference that the regulator was aiming for the 1st of July 2020 for the countries new Remote Gambling Act to take effect, which was approved in February.

Once the Act is official and the Ministry of Justice and Security finishes ironing out the final pieces of online gambling regulations, the KSA will begin to accept online license applications. Jansen has suggested that the initial process of going through each application will delay the launch of the Dutch-licensed operators until the start of 2021. He has urged for operators to fill out the application forms before June 21, to ensure they are first in line to be vetted.

After watching the events whilst Sweden launched their regulated market, it was clear they underestimated the workload. They expected around 60 applications when they opened the floodgates for operators to apply, however they received more than double. The staff ended up struggling to vet the applications before their target launch date, Jensen hopes to “prevent such a surprise” allowing more time to properly process each application
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The proposed Act rules that licenses will only be issued to online operators who have not “actively” focused their efforts on Dutch players in the last couple of years. There were reports of operators having Dutch as an optional language as well as using iDeal, a payment method primarily used in the Netherlands. A combination of these two things, ended with operators landing themselves in trouble – along with not being able to get a Dutch license this time around.


09.06.2019

Illinois Approves Sports Betting

Illinois has recently passed a new bill which will set them up as the next US state to legalise sports betting along with expanding the amount of casinos allowed.

The Senate Bill 690 passed the chamber on a 46-10 vote, after already being approved by the House just a day prior. The Governor, J.B. Pritzker, has already stated that he will be signing the bill as soon as it reaches his desk. “We worked hard in a bipartisan fashion to pass a budget and to get a massive, important infrastructure bill passed”

Along with sports betting, the bill authorises six new casinos in downtown Chicago, Williamson County, Rockford, Waukegan, Danville and South Suburbs. These facilities, as well as race tracks and any sports venues with over 17,000 seats, will be eligible to buy a sports betting licence
.

Terry Link, Senator and sponsor of the bill estimated that the gambling expansion could bring the state more than US$12 billion in the next six years. In the first year alone, he predicts Illinois will profit as much as US$700 million.

“Legalised sports betting and expanding gaming will create jobs up and down the state… where communities hungry for employment will see 10,000 new jobs,” said the Governor after the House approved the bill by 87-27. “Gaming expansions in this state have been attempted and failed for years. Today is a win for the whole state.”


07.06.2019

Switzerland Issues First Online Gambling Licenses

The National Council of Switzerland has granted its first four licenses to their newly regulated gambling market. The lucky operators, Baden, Davos, Lucerne and Pfäffikon are the very first to officially operate in the country. The local regulator, Eidgenössische Spielbankenkommission (ESBK) has already approved the applications, everyone is just waiting on the final go ahead from the National Council.

The Gambling Act from Switzerland came about at the start of January 2019, but no initial action was taken. The countries internet services providers were still allowing for internationally licensed gambling sites, but this will come to a halt on July 1st, when these will be blocked.

When the Gambling Act was proposed, it was “overwhelmingly” backed by voters due to the clauses that required gaming companies to be certified by the government to operate online and in the country. The 73% positive response will mark the first time that Swiss firms will be able to offer online gambling in a market where foreign companies are no longer welcome. The Minister of Justice, Simonetta Sommaruga showed her support and said that the bill will work towards preventing addition and provided insurance that the set rules will be followed
.

Most of the restrictions and rules from ESBK have been pretty standard, with them following the trend lines of other gambling regulators around the world. However, there is one clause that stands out, the regulatory body must first check the casinos gaming promotional offers and approve each individual game that is featured, to ensure they are suitable for the market they are building.


05.06.2019

Apple begin to restrict Gambling Apps

Apple’s new guidelines include a new way to deter anyone who looks to offer real-money gambling to iOS users. The new clause states that:

“HTML5 games distributed in apps may not provide access to real money gaming, lotteries, or charitable donations, and may not support digital commerce. This functionality is only appropriate for code that’s embedded in the binary and can be reviewed by Apple. This guideline is now enforced for new apps. Existing apps must follow this guideline by September 3, 2019.”

The new ruling will force companies who want to release a gambling app on iOS to develop a dedicated iOS-native app. Since native apps are focused on a single device, they tend to offer more functionality and generally run smoother, however they take longer to develop and as a result, cost more
.

Large gambling operators have the resources to develop such apps, however the smaller companies will have to access whether the costs are worth it for the rewards. It’s said that roughly 40% of smartphone users own an iPhone, leaving a big chunk of the market up for grabs – for anyone willing to put the time and resources into development.

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