Legislation News of the Week: GGL Expresses Alarm Regarding Malta’s Bill 55, Bulgaria Strengthens Gambling Oversight

Dazn Bet secures a distinctive German license for its sports betting endeavors. The prohibition imposed on Green Feather Online in Malta was lifted. Meanwhile, apprehensions are voiced by GGL regarding Malta's Bill 55 and its alignment with EU laws. Bulgaria reinforces its gambling supervision by introducing a fresh AML team. And Sweden's gambling regulation encounters intense scrutiny as the government unveils an impending audit announcement.

German license awarded to Dazn Bet for sports betting

Dazn Bet, an online hub for sports betting and casino enthusiasts, has clinched an official endorsement to unleash its sports betting offerings across Germany.

The brainchild of Dazn, a sports-focused media streaming titan, Dazn Bet made its inaugural appearance in April 2022, emerging from a strategic alliance with Pragmatic Gaming. This achievement earned it a coveted spot on Germany's elite roster of permitted sports betting platforms. Nestled within Malta's jurisdiction, Dazn Bet is poised to flourish under the mantle of the Daznbet.de domain.

Germany's gambling regulatory guardian, the Gemeinsamen Glücksspielbehörde der Länder, or GGL, laid the groundwork for the whitelisted index. Galvanized by the Fourth State Treaty on Gambling (GlüNeuRStv), enacted in July 2021, GGL stands as its formidable architect.

Green Feather Online's Malta ban was revoked

Swift compliance efforts from Green Feather Online have led to the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) swiftly reversing its decision to take away the operator’s B2C Gaming Service Licence. Earlier this month, the suspension was put into effect due to violations of the nation's gaming compliance and enforcement rules. They were primarily centered around the timely submission of financial information to the regulatory body. 

This prompted a complete cessation of Green Feather's licensed operations. In recognition of the operator's proactive cooperation, the MGA has chosen to rescind the suspension. This decision allowed Green Feather Online to promptly recommence its activities under the well-respected Maltese license.

GGL's alarm grows regarding Malta's Bill 55

The German watchdog GGL disputes the compatibility of Malta's Bill 55 with EU regulation. The bill shields gaming operators with MGA licenses from liability and conflicts with the Recast Brussels Regulation, according to GGL. Despite this stance, GGL clarifies that it's not responsible for the final decision on compatibility. The European Court of Justice holds that authority in most cases.

GGL's assessment has been shared with the German federal states, and the organization continues to stay connected with pertinent authorities. While the German Ministry of Justice engaged the European Commission, GGL deemed further action unnecessary. GGL anticipates the initiation of proceedings.

Bill 55 aims to safeguard gambling operators from liability tied to MGA-licensed gray market activities. It suggests courts deny foreign judgments against these operators in applicable cases. The backdrop includes legal challenges to gambling operators' activities in Germany and Austria. Some operators, like William Hill and Mr. Green, contested adverse decisions, while others faced suits in Malta.

Bulgaria's gambling oversight strengthened with new AML team

National Revenue Agency (NRA) is intensifying its gambling oversight in Bulgaria by introducing an anti-money laundering team, in response to increased monitoring concerns from the Financial Action Task Force.

The AML unit will be responsible for implementing measures such as customer authentication, document compilation, and risk evaluations to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism. It will also supervise operations, transactions, and suspicious customers, sharing information internationally.

The team operates within the NRA, which took over gambling regulation in 2020 after disassembling the State Commission on Gambling.

Swedish gambling oversight scrutinized amid government audit announcement

As the Swedish government unveils plans for an audit, the nation's gambling regulator, Spelinspektionen, comes under intense scrutiny. The Swedish National Audit Office has disclosed its intention to meticulously evaluate the effectiveness of Spelinspektionen's oversight within the dynamic gaming landscape.

The rationale behind this audit stems from the evolving regulatory milieu in Sweden's gambling sector, which has undergone transformation following the implementation of novel regulations. Embarked on the 1st of July, 2023, these fresh regulatory reforms ushered in an array of changes, including the introduction of supplier licenses, bolstered enforcement prerogatives granted to Spelinspektionen, and a mandate for gambling operators to collaborate with law enforcement agencies on matters related to gambling-linked offenses.

Of paramount importance is the Swedish gambling policy's overarching objective: to cultivate a secure gambling market that not only accumulates funds for noble causes but also mitigates potential harm to consumers and curtails illicit undertakings. The audit is poised to delve into the extent to which the regulator presently fulfills this pivotal mission.

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