Legislation News of the Week: UK Experiences Government Reshuffle, Slovakia Supports New Advertising Code

In Slovakia, gambling operators voluntarily supported the updated advertising rules. The Swedish watchdog wants more regulatory powers. In the meantime, two operators received fines in Lithuania. The Lottoland online sites have returned to the German market. And the UK authorities are considering the appropriateness of the affordability checks.

Slovak operators agreed to comply with the new advertising code

After the Slovak Gambling Regulatory Authority (URHH) developed a new advertising code, it invited local operators to subscribe to it voluntarily. The companies reviewed the new initiatives, and most of them agreed to help improve the country's gambling market.

Over 80% of operators believe that the proposed rules will really contribute to making the gambling sector safer for all consumer groups, especially when it comes to minors. These companies agreed to promote responsible gambling more actively and draw more attention to the problematic aspects of money wagering.

Besides that, no one who subscribes to the code will use well-known role models in their advertising content to glorify gambling entertainment.

EC analyzes Swedish reforms

The European Commission (EC) has started reviewing “Gambling Ordinance” amendments, which are aimed at strengthening the security of the Swedish iGaming market. The country's finance ministry, Finansdepartementet, which is responsible for the reforms, said these changes should help fight illegal gambling, fixed matches, and other unlicensed business threats.

The main idea here is to give the local regulator Spelinspektionen more powers in regard to controlling payment transactions. It means that the regulator will be able to fine payment providers that process payments for illegal sites. On top of that, providers will need to review gambling transactions more carefully and store information about them for potential investigations.

Lithuanian authorities fined two gambling operators

The Lithuanian regulator found that Amber Gaming and Top Sport violated the country's gambling advertising laws. The watchdog stated that these two operators interacted with their customers through email messages and motivated them to gamble with their real money.

According to the regulator, Amber Gaming sent two illegal emails to its players in the summer of 2022. In addition to mentioning the need to create a password, the operator also provided users with links to its gambling platform. This violation will cost the company 6 000 euros.

As for Top Sport, it also sent emails to the players on August 31 last year. Since they contained links to the operator's Android and iOS apps, the regulator said that this violation would result in a €25 000 fine.

German court lifts Lottoland block

According to the decision of the Higher Administrative Court of Rhineland-Palatinate in Koblenz, Lottoland was illegally blocked by the German regulator Glücksspielbehörde (GGL). This Malta-based online platform was the first operator to which GGL reacted with such a harsh punishment.

The regulator considered that the country's Fourth State Gambling Treaty prohibited lottery betting. Given this, it stated that Lottoland could damage the overall security of the German market. Besides that, the regulator believed that gamblers could confuse an illegal lottery with licensed offers.

After announcing its decision regarding this situation, GGL ordered the local ISP to block the questionable online sites. However, a recent court hearing showed that this initiative was unlawful.

Gambling minister set to move in UK

In light of the recent government reshuffle initiated by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the gambling sector review, which should cover many controversial issues, may be postponed. The main reason for such predictions is the transfer of gambling minister Paul Scully to another department.

The fact is that Scully has always carefully monitored both the gambling and racing business and listened to the operators in order to improve this industry. Bookmakers and gambling companies have warned authorities that affordability checks to which customers may be subjected could cost the government tens of millions in annual profits.

So, during a meeting of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) last month, Paul stated that the UKGC or other authorities should not determine exactly how much money people put into gambling. He and some other ministers believe that "frictionless" checks are a more adequate alternative to the strict approach.

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