News In Brief: November 7-November 11, 2022

November 11, 2022
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The MGA is preparing crypto and blockchain proposals, nearly a third of British youth have spent money on gambling in the past 12 months and website claims nearly all German-language casino ads are "illegal".

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MGA Launching Consultation On Blockchain, Crypto Rules

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The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) announced it is launching a closed consultation on its proposed policy covering virtual financial assets and virtual tokens, such as cryptocurrency.

This means that only a group of selected stakeholders will be able to shape the MGA’s plans to introduce a newly drafted policy on the matter, following the expiration of its sandbox environment for the new technology on December 31, 2022.

As part of the consultation, the MGA will launch a regulatory workshop, with the first meeting being organized to discuss the proposed policy.

“The workshops’ objective is to introduce a more regular and structured touchpoint between industry stakeholders and the MGA and to encourage an informal exchange of views around regulatory topics of mutual interest,” the MGA said in its announcement on November 9.

In the coming weeks, the MGA will invite interested stakeholders to participate in the first workshop.

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British Youth Gamble, But Usually With Family, Friends, Survey Says

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A survey of British children found that 31 percent of 11- to 16-year-olds had spent their own money on gambling in the past 12 months, with the most common activities playing arcade games and placing a bet between family and friends.

About 0.9 percent were deemed to be problem gamblers, with 2.4 percent considered at-risk gamblers, the Gambling Commission said yesterday (November 10).

About 22 percent had played arcade games such as penny pushers or claw-grabber games, 15 percent had placed a bet with family or friends, and 5 percent had played cards for money with family or friends, the regulator said.

About 2 percent bet on esports, with about 1 percent each playing National Lottery scratchcards or instant win games, and about 1 percent each bet on sports online, or play casino games online, the commission said.

About 28 percent of the children surveyed said they had seen family members gamble, 7 percent of whom said it caused tension or arguments; but 11 percent said a family member gambling had funded spendings such as holidays or clubs, the regulator said.

The survey is based on a sample of 2,550 pupils ages 11 to 16 taken between March 14 and July 1 of this year, the regulator said, adding that this year’s results were not comparable to past surveys.

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Most German-Language Gambling Ads Illegal, Website Says

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About 92 percent of German-language marketing of online casinos on Google or streaming site Twitch is illegal because it is done by operators without a licence, according to a German gambling news website.

Also, only 2 percent of advertising links to online casinos through affiliates are with operators that are allowed to advertise in Germany, according to GambleBase, citing its own research.

Further, only about 1 percent of paid Google search results are to casinos that are allowed to be promoted, the publication said.

The group also looked at Twitch and YouTube and found that only about 1 percent of streamers on either had affiliate links to advertisers with German licences, according to the group.

There are currently 14 German licensees for online slots, and none for online poker.

Online casino licences in Schleswig-Holstein are still valid, and allow licence holders to advertise, but their offers are only valid in the German state.

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New York Jets Sue Fubo Gaming Over Sponsorship Fees

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The National Football League’s (NFL) New York Jets have sued sportsbook Fubo Gaming Inc.

The case being launched in Delaware’s Court of Chancery is around collecting a fee due as part of a sponsorship deal, a lawsuit the defendant described as without merit.

“We believe this petition is without merit and intend to vigorously defend our position,” Fubo Gaming’s parent company, Fubo TV, said in a statement to VIXIO GamblingCompliance on Thursday (November 10).

The Jets announced a multi-year sponsorship deal with Fubo Gaming in September 2021. Under the deal, Fubo Gaming agreed to pay $12.4m over the five-year term of the contract but failed to pay about $1.2m that was due on October 1, according to media reports.

FuboTV on October 17 shut down its online sportsbook product effective immediately. Fubo Gaming was operational in Arizona, Iowa and New Jersey at the time of its closure.

The company announced in August that it was evaluating strategic alternatives for its gaming product due to the costs of scaling the operation in multiple states.

Fubo Gaming’s partners also include Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo and the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

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More Politicians In Uruguay Challenge Online Gambling Bill

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Uruguay’s Independent Party is not in favour of the gambling bill that is currently being debated in the Chamber of Deputies.

On Wednesday (November 10), members of the Ministry of Economy presented the project to the Chamber of Deputies’ Treasury Commission. The bill has already been approved by the same commission in the Senate.

But the independent party, which is one of the smallest in congress, remained unimpressed. Deputy Ivan Posada told local media that he is concerned about the audit process for each potential operator and the security controls, and “who controls how these platforms are managed”.

Meanwhile, longtime critics of the Cabildo Abierto party also remain skeptical. Although the party voted for the bill in the Senate, Chamber Deputy Sebastian Cal maintains that he and his party will not vote for it and that he has his own project that he has been working on for the past year. He claims that the current online gaming bill is clearly rushed, although it was first proposed a year ago.

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Argentina: Mendoza Online Gambling Tenders Extended 60 Days

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The province of Mendoza has extended the window for its tender process by 60 days, after requests from two potential operators to do so.

The opening of the tender will now take place on January 17, 2023, according to the text published in the official gazette yesterday (November 10).

Companies will still be awarded five extra points in the bidding process for making a case for how they could launch as soon as possible. Initially, this was thought to be an effort to be open for at least a part of the World Cup, which will kick off on November 20 and end on December 18.

Ida López, president of the Institute of Games and Casinos (IPJyC), said last week at SBC Latin America that she could not guarantee the timing of anything when asked if they aimed to be ready in time for the World Cup final.

She told Yogonet of the extensions, “We have technical reports that guarantee that it is better for the tender, to grant a longer term that allows the companies to present their offers, and also favour the concurrence of more companies interested in this market, receiving more offers and having the best possible tender.”

Mendoza will award between two and five licences that will be valid for ten years.

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U.S. Gaming Revenue On Pace To Exceed 2021

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Despite inflation remaining near record levels, gamblers in the U.S. continue to gamble with commercial casinos, setting a new revenue record of $15.17bn in the third quarter, according to data released by the American Gaming Association (AGA) on Wednesday (November 9).

The $44.38bn generated in 2022 remains on pace to set a new annual record for commercial gaming revenue, a 14.7 percent year-over-year increase.

Other highlights from the AGA’s report include legal sports betting revenue also at an all-time high of $1.68bn in the third quarter, up 80.6 percent from the same period last year with the addition of seven new markets since September 2021.

“While business challenges remain, high consumer demand continues to fuel our industry’s record success,” AGA president and CEO Bill Miller said in a statement.

Miller said the gaming industry’s sustained momentum “provides confidence as we look to the future.”

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Prospects Of Oklahoma Sports-Betting Unclear After Governor’s Re-election

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Oklahoma voters re-elected Republican Governor Kevin Stitt on Tuesday, an unfavorable result for some gaming tribes that had supported the Democratic challenger, Joy Hofmeister.

It also means sports betting is off the agenda for now, an industry observer told VIXIO GamblingCompliance on Wednesday (November 9).

Stitt, a member of the Cherokee Nation, won with 55.5 percent of the vote compared with Hofmeister’s 42 percent, according to the state Election Board. Stitt was first elected to office in 2018.

“I think the prospect of sports betting legalization coming to Oklahoma for a little while took a pretty big hit with the re-election of Governor Stitt,” said John Holden, an assistant business professor at Oklahoma State University who writes about the tribal gaming industry.

“I think iGaming is probably even further behind,” Holden said. “With that said, we have seen stranger things, there is always a possibility that the tribes and the governor look to start anew, which would be great, though we have not seen anything indicating that is on its way, at least yet.”

Tribes have not forgiven Stitt for his unsuccessful attempt to renegotiate their long-standing gaming compacts to have tribes pay increased revenue sharing and rejecting their arguments that the compacts automatically renewed for another 15 years on January 1, 2020.

A federal court judge eventually sided with the tribes in October 2020.

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LEBOM Licence Restored

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UK operator LEBOM Ltd has had its licence restored by the Gambling Commission after it completed integration with the GAMSTOP self-exclusion system, the regulator said on Tuesday (November 8).

The company had its UK licence suspended last week after the commission found it had not properly connected to the multi-operator system.

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DCMS Posts Gambling Review Job Ad

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The UK Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has posted a job advert for a senior policy advisor for online gambling to help support its ongoing review of the 2005 Gambling Act.

Industry stakeholders have been waiting more than a year for an expected white paper that will outline the government’s plans. The job ad seeks someone to give advice to ministers and work with the industry to implement the reform plans.

Specifically it says that: “Central to the role will be leading the implementation of online aspects of the government’s forthcoming white paper on gambling.”

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Discovery Drops Norway Ad Ban Lawsuit

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TV network Discovery has dropped its lawsuit against the Norwegian government, after it was ordered to stop broadcasting advertising for offshore gambling companies earlier this year.

A statement posted on the government’s website said the case had been dropped.

“This means that we are finally free from aggressive TV advertising for foreign gambling,” said culture and equality minister Anette Trettebergstuen.

Discovery had already announced it intended to comply with the order, pending an appeal, but has now dropped that challenge, the government said.

“The large amount of advertising for the foreign gambling companies on TV has helped to maintain an illegal gambling offer in Norway. That is why it is so important for vulnerable players that there is now an end to this exposure,” said Atle Hamar, director of the Norwegian Gambling Authority.

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UK Football Gambling Ad Protest

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Teams in nine different football games in the UK, including ones televised on the BBC, are wearing yellow laces to protest gambling advertising in the sport.

The clubs are based across England, Scotland and Wales and are competing in seven different competitions, including the FA Cup, the country's major domestic knockout tournament.

The campaign is championed by football team Forest Green Rovers, which have long been against gambling advertising and support charity The Big Step.

The games occurred last weekend and on November 8.

Dale Vince, owner and chairman of Forest Green Rovers, said: “Gambling companies are exploiting football and football fans, making huge profits at the expense of people’s lives. Their overwhelming presence in our national sport is hyper-normalising an addictive harmful product, with only self-regulation to protect the millions of young fans exposed – this is something Forest Green Rovers stands against."

Lewis Carey, who plays for Lewes FC and is in recovery from gambling addiction, said: “I’ll be wearing yellow laces this weekend to draw attention to football’s role in facilitating gambling addiction and to demand change.”

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The MGA is preparing crypto and blockchain proposals, nearly a third of British youth have spent money on gambling in the past 12 months and website claims nearly all German-language casino ads are "illegal".

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