iGB Affiliate 55 Feb/Mar - Page 91

WEBMASTER WORLD Lottery is reserved for the monopoly. Status: A draft bill has been published which creates a local licensing regime for all gambling activities together with stringent enforcement measures for any unlicensed operators. New legislation has been submitted t o the Czech Parliament and notified to the EC, but has received criticism from EU regulators and Malta, meaning the government’s aim to have the law implemented by 1 January 2017 looks in doubt. DENMARK Regulated Gambling Products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery. Operator Type: Sports betting, poker and casino licences are available to private operators. Bingo, lottery and horse race betting (fixed odds only) is controlled by the state monopoly. Status: The Danish online gambling regime went live on 1 January 2012. ISP blocking measures are active in the jurisdiction and the Danish Gaming Authority has been granted an injunction in order to block operators and suppliers that have been targeting Danish customers without the requisite licence. In December, the government adopted two amendment bills which will create specific licences for fantasy sports operators, as well as bring about certain new match-fixing and AML measures. ESTONIA Regulated Gambling Products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery. Operator Type: Licences for all gambling products are available for private operators save that the monopoly has exclusive rights to lottery. Status: Only 18 operators are currently licensed in the jurisdiction, 10 of which relate to online gambling. A “blacklist” of around 1,100 operators is constantly maintained and updated by local authorities and ISP blocking is in force. A new law which introduces new player protection measures and relaxes certain online sports betting advertising restrictions came into force in June 2015. FINLAND Regulated Gambling Products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery. Operator Type: All gambling products are under the exclusive control of the three monopoly providers, Rahaautomaatiyhdistys (“RAY”), Fintoto Oy and Veikkaus Oy. Status: ECJ ruling confirmed that Finland’s three monopoly providers are legally permitted which has subsequently been written into law. In November 2013, the EC also withdrew infringement proceedings. Active enforcement measures are in place (restrictive marketing for offshore operators and ISP blocking). FRANCE Regulated Gambling Products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker and lottery. Operator Type: Private operators can obtain online licences for sports betting, horse race betting and poker. The monopoly has exclusive rights to lottery. Status: France is a regulated market that has been sanctioned by the EC. On 13 February 2014, French Members of Parliament introduced a bill which amends several provisions of the French Consumer Code. The amendments expand the definition of prohibited games of chance to capture games that are, even in part, based on chance. ARJEL, the French gambling regulator, is currently carrying out a review of the country’s online gambling regime. GERMANY Regulated Gambling Products: Schleswig-Holstein, a small Northern German state, regulates sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino and bingo. The other 15 states of Germany currently only permit sports betting and horse race betting. Operator Type: Private operators can no longer obtain licences in SchleswigHolstein, and those in existence will expire on 30 June 2019. In the other 15 states, horse race betting licences are available at a regional level but the position surrounding the 20 available sports betting licences is still uncertain. Status: The licensing regime in Germany is in a state of flux. The 20 Federal sports betting licensees were named on 2 September 2014, but following numerous appeals from operators not granted one. In October, Hesse’s highest administrative court rejected the regional government’s appeal against an earlier decision to suspend the awarding process, leaving the legal and regulatory position uncertain. The German court of Sonthofen has referred questions to the CJEU regarding, among other things, whether the licensing procedure and current state of gambling regulation is compliant with EU law. The Advocate General delivered his opinion on 22 October, with the official CJEU decision expected shortly. GREAT BRITAIN Regulated Gambling Products: Sports betting, horse race betting, poker, casino, bingo and lottery. Operator Type: All licences are available to private operators save for lottery, which is reserved exclusively for the monopoly provider, Camelot. Status: Any operator that transacts with, or advertises to, British residents requires a licence from the Gambling Commission. From 31 March 2015, licensed operators are required to source gambling software from Commission licensed businesses. A corresponding tax rate of 15% of gross profits was introduced on 1 December 2014. This is subject to an ongoing judicial review by a Gibraltar trade association and its questions regarding its compatibility with European law have been referred to the EJC. The Treasury is confident that it can defend its position. Significant changes to social responsibility requirements have been introduced, phased in over six months. GREECE iGB Affiliate Issue 55 FEB/MAR 2016 85