Legislation News of the Week: UKGC’s Recent Twitter Mistake, New Regulator Starts Controlling Market in Germany

The German regulator is ready to cover the gambling market completely. Armenia plans to increase the state duty for operators. Meanwhile, the Italian authorities are discussing gambling sponsorship in football. UKGC has provoked a wave of criticism in its address. And Sweden came up with a new solution to protect gambling-addicted players.

In Germany, a new regulator has taken full control of the market

The Gemeinsamen Glücksspielbehörde der Länder (GGL), the recently established federal gambling regulator, is poised to begin supervising the industry across the country. The Gambling College, responsible for the implementation of gambling regulations at the federal level, held a meeting to approve the GGL status on December 13.

The State Treaty on Gaming 2021 suggested the creation of a single regulatory body for the iGaming market in the country. Therefore, GGL representatives believe that their work can take the German industry to a new level.

Until December 13, the authorities of several states controlled various niches of gambling entertainment. For example, Sachsen-Anhalt state supervised virtual slot machines and online poker. And Hessen regulated sports and horse racing events.

Increasing gambling taxes in Armenia

The Armenian authorities have recently considered and approved some amendments to the gambling legislation in the first reading. These reforms include an increase in the state fee for sweepstakes, online games, and betting.

Online gambling operators will face new requirements regarding licensed activities in the country. Companies that offer cash prizes will have to transfer 175 million drams (419 000 euros) to the state as a fee. This will allow them to accept bets totaling 100 billion drams, which is equivalent to €239.8 million. Local sweepstakes will have to follow different rules. 50 billion drams of acceptable bets would cost these operators 5 million drams in duty.

The state plans to activate this new law next July. And it is expected that the gambling industry will begin generating 10 billion drams more in profit after 2024.

Gambling sponsorship in Italian football is questionable

The Italian government has received a request from the Football Federation (FIGC), which focuses on a ban on gambling sponsorships in local football leagues. The Federation wants the authorities to cancel this law approved in 2019. This will help them handle the consequences of a global pandemic more effectively.

The FIGC believes that the authorities must act quickly and lift the ban for at least two years so that football clubs can get back on track in terms of profits. Gabriele Gravina, who holds the post of President of the Federation, also believes that the support of the football industry can play a significant role in the recovery of the Italian economy as a whole.

If the sponsorship ban is not lifted, many football teams will experience financial difficulties and even cease operations.

UKGC apologizes for inappropriate Tweet

UKGC advertised licensed online sports betting on its Twitter feed recently. And besides linking to a registry of legal bookies, the regulator's message contained a gif of a joyful child. Gambling reform advocates noticed this and began to criticize the Commission for the inappropriate use of this popular animation.

The regulator posted this message on December 9 to help bettors select licensed betting operators during the World Cup 2022. The gif included a child reacting happily to a football match.

The Gambling Commission claims that it was only trying to protect passionate football fans from illegal betting platforms. However, it also acknowledged the use of child images to promote gambling-related activities was a misguided decision.

Sweden intensifies the fight against gambling addiction

In Sweden, Niklas Vikman, who is the Minister of Financial Markets, announced a new memorandum that will be dedicated to the protection of gambling-addicted players. The main idea behind this new document is to give operators more freedom when it comes to the handling of gamblers' personal information.

Swedish gambling companies can already use the personal data of potential addicts, including their behavioral patterns and regular spending. But under the new proposal, the local government wants operators to also be able to rely on players’ information about the overall financial situation and health that they are willing to share themselves.

Of course, if the proposal is approved, gambling companies will have access to rather sensitive data. Given this, they were warned that this information could only be used for gambler protection purposes.

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