What Is Happening in Licensing Land: iGaming Regulation Across the Globe
The iGaming industry is ever-evolving, and there is a lot of stuff going on in terms of licensing all over the world.
In this article, we take a look at the most recent regulatory changes in both land-based and online gambling.
We start off in France, where the regulator ANJ can and probably will block websites without a license.
French Regulator ANJ Can Block Websites Without a License
L'Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ), the regulatory power in France, has been granted the ability to block all websites of unlicensed online casinos in the country.
Whether they advertise for French players and thereby actively target the French market is not a requirement for the blockade.
The power to block illegal casino websites by ANJ is one of the outcomes of the law aimed at the democratization of sport in France.
This law was passed on March 2. This new law mainly concerns the accessibility of sports betting.
However, the law also relates to a number of measures specifically aimed at combating match-fixing. This also includes the authority to tackle online casinos without a license.
The ANJ had previously issued a blocking order against unlicensed sites. But that was specifically about sites that also targeted French consumers.
There seems to be a similar match-fixing problem in Denmark, where Danish regulator Spillemyndigheden also announced a crackdown on illegal sports betting. On the flip side, they do encourage small clubs to organize bingos and local lotteries.
Danish Regulator Combats Match-fixing
Spillemyndheden, the regulator in Denmark, will be given new powers in the fight against match-fixing.
In addition, Denmark is easing the possibilities for (sports) associations to organize small-scale bingos and lotteries.
The parliament in Denmark has passed new legislation that gives the Danish gambling authority more powers in the fight against match-fixing.
Bookmakers in the country are now required to sign or report suspected match-fixing to regulators. The regulator in Denmark has made this known on its website.
In addition, the platform for combating match-fixing will be transferred to Spillemyndheden, the Danish gambling authority. Previously, that secretariat came under the Anti-Doping platform in the country.
The agreement also gives the Danish Gaming Authority the power to issue injunctions when it finds breaches of the law.
Previously, the Danish games of chance authority had to call in the police even for minor violations.
The Danish parliament has also agreed to relax the rules surrounding charity lotteries for voluntary organizations. Rules will be simplified, and taxes on prizes will be abolished.
In the Netherlands, there is more positive news, with Entain applying for a gaming license.
Entain Applies for a License in the Netherlands
Entain, the large gambling company behind brands like Partypoker, Ladbrokes, and Bwin, has applied for a license from the Dutch Gaming Authority.
In the Netherlands, the brands Bwin and Partypoker were especially popular. It is still unknown for which brand or brands the license has been applied for in the Netherlands.
Multiple brands of a company may operate under the same license, but then players can only have one login and the deposit limits apply to all brands operating under the same license. This is why, to date, no gambling company carries multiple brands in the Netherlands.
Looking ahead to 2022, Entain indicated that they expect the license to be issued at the end of 2022.
Betting Offices Posing as Bookstore Banned in Belgium
In Belgium, bookshops are also allowed to offer sports betting. However, the definition of a bookshop was interpreted quite broadly, which means that Belgium has hundreds of fake bookshops that really only exist as betting offices.
That seems to be over now because the Belgian government has defined new requirements for the stores.
The Belgian government has defined this week which companies can and cannot call themselves a bookstore. Bookstores must meet two conditions:
- Bookstores must have a minimum of 200 different books on their shelves.
- Bookshops must generate a minimum turnover of € 25,000 per year from literature.
Shops that meet those two conditions may call themselves bookstores and therefore also offer sports betting. Shops that fail to do so are also no longer allowed to offer sports betting.
On the other side of the world, in Macau, six casino companies are allowed to keep their casinos open for another half a year.
Macau Extends Existing Gambling Licenses for Six Months
The six casino companies in Macau see their gambling licenses extended by six months until the end of December 2022.
Originally, their license was supposed to run until the end of June. However, the new licensing system is not yet ready, which is why the extension has been instituted.
Macau is a special administrative region of China. This means that in addition to Chinese legislation, Macau also has its own legislation.
One of those laws provides that land-based casinos may exist and that Chinese citizens may gamble there legally.
In Macau, the six casinos initially had their gambling licenses until June 26. The legislature introduced a new draft of the law surrounding casinos on January 14.
The existing gambling licenses are now being extended for six months until December 31, 2022, according to GGRAsia, because the new system is not yet ready.
The Assembleia Legislativa de Macau, the legislature in Macau, is expected to pass the bill to amend the gambling legislation on June 26. Coincidentally, this is also the date when the casinos' gambling licenses originally expired.
Because a few months are still needed after the law has been passed to actually grant the licenses, the existing gambling licenses will therefore be extended until the end of the year.
It seems 2022 is a year of stricter licensing and more regulatory oversight all across the globe. We cannot look into the future, but we expect more regulatory pressure in all regions to take place. We'll have to wait and see whether this is good or bad.