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The Protest Against Shekarabi’S Measures Is Growing – More Then Half The Swedish Online Gaming Market Is Supporting It

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Source: BOS (The Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling) 2020-05-05

Five CEOs for gambling companies with a Swedish license signed April 30 a petition to Minister Ardalan Shekarabi. The CEOs warned the Minister about the increasingly low channelization on the Swedish gambling market, especially on the gambling vertical online casino. Every fourth Swedish krona is lost to the unlicensed market when it comes to online casino.

The CEOs also warned Mr. Shekarabi that further measures aimed at Swedish licensed operators will accelerate the costumer escape from the licensing system. The CEOs urged the Minister to change strategy and protect the Swedish licensing system. A high channelization into the licensing system is necessary for a high costumer protection, the CEOs advocated. Furthermore, the licensed operators contribute with large sums of tax. Their contribution to Sweden last year was 3,6 billion Swedish krona. The unlicensed operator’s contribution was zero.

At this moment an additional seven CEOs have joined and signed the petition. In total twelve CEOs have now signed.

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– My estimation is that the twelve gambling CEOs represent approximately half of the Swedish online gambling market. It is crucial for the success of the licensing system and the safeguarding of costumer protection that Mr Shekarabi withdraws his additional measures towards the locally licensed operators. The licensing system is fragile and can’t endure further attacks from the Minister. He must do the opposite and safeguard the licensing system in the name of costumer protection, says Gustaf Hoffstedt Secretary General for the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (BOS).

– From our perspective as a trade body for the industry we now open up and invite all CEOs for gambling companies to sign the petition, being a member of us or not. Our only demand is that the company stands by the petition and if it is a B2C company that it holds a Swedish gambling license, Hoffstedt concludes.

Open letter to Minister for Social Security Ardalan Shekarabi

“On January 1, 2019, new gambling regulations were introduced in Sweden. Minister for Public Administration Ardalan Shekarabi spearheaded the reform, with cooperation from the opposition, resulting in broad support in the Swedish Parliament. The overall mantra was that the state should regain control of the gambling market after decades of gambling moving to companies that operated in Sweden without a license. Parliament’s preferred method of effective gambling market control is what is known as channelling, i.e. regulating what percentage of Swedish consumers choose to play with Swedish-licenced companies.

As expected, this resulted in a crossroads where companies, with the aim of maintaining a long-term business model, welcomed more insight into operations and greater control over players’ behaviour in exchange for a well-functioning and sustainable gaming market. In order to ensure responsible gaming, companies were required to implement a number of measures, such as age verification, bonus limits, limits on deposits and time played, as well as extensive processes to prevent money laundering and unhealthy gambling habits. This became a matter of importance for the 90 companies that chose to apply for a Swedish gaming license and together laid the foundation for a new Swedish gaming market that focused on strong consumer protections.

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But not everyone jumped on the Ardalan train. Many companies felt there was more to gain from staying out of the system and continuing to offer games beyond the reach of taxes, controls, and other responsible gaming measures – the so-called black market.

Today, only a year later, it turns out that the “package” that the licensed companies chose to buy and sign onto has changed character completely and thus risks losing all its appeal, benefitting companies that chose to operate on the black market. We must remember that it is the customers who choose where the best product is. In a digital world, that power does not lie with the state, or with us as corporations for that matter.

We operate in a digital world and have direct access to all the relevant data needed to evaluate what measures can help strengthen our players’ safety and security while still providing attractive offers and products. The sad thing is that the government, with Ardalan Shekarabi at the forefront, does not want to talk to us about how we can work together and, with help from the insights we possess, develop a well-functioning Swedish gambling market. This became especially clear when the Minister, on April 23, proposed new emergency restrictions, proclaiming that, “The Government sees major risks in the gambling sector right now.” But the overall gambling industry (private and state) doesn’t see the same pattern at all. Instead, we see how gambling has diminished compared to what it looked like before the covid-19 crisis struck.

This week, the independent research firm Copenhagen Economics published a report describing how more and more players are choosing to spend their time with companies operating on the black market. This can be seen as nothing other than a failing grade for the government, which has completely failed to defend its own licensing system. The biggest drop was among online casinos, where approximately every fourth krona gambled goes to an unlicensed company instead of a company with a Swedish license.

Minister Shekarabi knows about this; he also has access to statistics that reveal a reduction in channelling. But for some inexplicable reason, he doesn’t seem worried that more and more players are going to the uncontrolled black market. The purpose of the re-regulation, which had broad support in the Swedish Parliament, was to create a more sustainable gambling market that functioned well in the long term. Now the minister is about to create a “Wild West 2.0” in the gambling market, and he’s doing it in the name of consumer protection. It is now clear to us that Ardalan Shekarabi does not share our ambition to create a sustainable and safe gambling market since his latest proposal is perhaps the best advertisement yet for players to abandon licensed companies in favour of the black market.

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Every company, regardless of industry, wants to be where the customers are. If the customers leave, the companies will follow suit. The Swedish gambling market not only provides safety and security to players but also contributes billions annually in much-needed tax revenue and investment in sports. By slowly eroding the Swedish gaming market month by month, the government risks bringing about major cuts in security, tax revenue, and societal investment.

We can only be left to wonder why Ardalan Shekarabi wants to torpedo his own gambling regulations.”

Stockholm 2020-04-30

Pontus Lindwall, CEO, Betsson AB
Henrik Tjärnström, CEO, Kindred Group
Gustaf Hagman, Group CEO, LeoVegas
Therese Hillman, CEO, NetEnt AB
Ulrik Bengtsson, Group CEO, William Hill Plc
Lahcene Merzoug, CEO, ComeOn Group
Henric Andersson,CEO, Suprnation
Tomas Bäckman,CEO, Hero Gaming
Alexander Stevendahl,CEO, Videoslots Ltd
Daniel Lindberg,CEO, Quickspin
Shelly Suter-Hadad, CEO, Casumo
Anthony Werkman, CEO, Betway Ltd

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Travis Sztainert Joins ICRG as Director of Research and Education

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The International Center for Responsible Gaming (ICRG) has welcomed Dr. Travis Sztainert as its new director of research and education. Dr. Sztainert, a distinguished researcher and knowledge translation professional, brings a wealth of experience and expertise in responsible gambling research to the ICRG. With a proven track record in effectively bridging the gap between knowledge, policy, and practice, he will help further the impactful work of the ICRG.

“We are delighted to welcome Dr. Travis Sztainert to the ICRG team. His extensive background in responsible gambling research and his commitment to transforming data into actionable knowledge align perfectly with our organization’s mission. We look forward to leveraging Travis’s insights to advance our efforts in promoting responsible gambling practices,” Arthur Paikowsky, President at ICRG, said.

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iGB L!VE announce LaunchPad, a new feature for start-ups with ‘innovation in their DNA’

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Industry professionals attending July’s edition of iGB L!VE will have access to a vibrant new feature which will showcase ground-breaking tech and innovation courtesy of the brightest start-ups and small businesses in gaming.

The iGB L!VE LaunchPad (Pulse Stage: 18 July 16.30hrs – 18.00hrs) will feature five companies to present their innovations to a panel of judges with each presentation followed by a probing Q&A session designed to interrogate the viability and commercial prowess of each product pitch.

Introducing the new feature Portfolio Director Naomi Barton, said: “iGB L!VE is constantly evolving in order to meet the business needs of stakeholders. The research programme that we undertake with customers has consistently highlighted a shared desire to always be ahead of the curve, being the first to access the very latest innovations from the start-up community is part of what iGB L!VE 2024 will deliver.

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“In addition, we want to provide a platform for new talented businesses to grow by giving them extra exposure in front of an influential C-Level audience of industry investors and influencers.

“The top five products will be hand-selected by the iGB L!VE team and invited to present from the Pulse Stage. In order to help these businesses, we are providing cash prizes of £5,000 for the winner, £2,500 for second place and £1,000 for third.”

She continued: “We will be giving the feature an authentic iGB L!VE twist with the emphasis on competitive fun. To ensure this, I am delighted to confirm that 25+ year industry veteran and non-exec Clarion Gaming Chairman Michael Caselli has agreed to be our MC and will also head a panel of judges drawn from across the iGB L!VE community of industry professionals, investors and sponsors.

“Start-ups and small businesses which have innovation in their DNA can sign up for iGB LaunchPad at igblive by the 28 June deadline.”

iGB L!VE is the home of the igaming community and the only event that connects the leading igaming affiliates, operators, tech vendors, game providers and suppliers in order to maximise performance and drive tangible business growth in the following 12-18 months. iGB L!VE, which is the fastest growing igaming event, delivers unparalleled business opportunities with attendees having free access to in excess of 300 exhibitors and sponsors occupying 21,000+ square metres of gross space, a figure which is 35% higher than in 2023.

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For more information on iGB L!VE (16-19 July 2024: Expo Days 17-18 July) and to register for free visit: igblive website

 

The post iGB L!VE announce LaunchPad, a new feature for start-ups with ‘innovation in their DNA’ appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Ortak x B.F.T.H. Arena Awards 2024 Features Mr. First Ray by Endorphina

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The Ortak x B.F.T.H. Arena Awards 2024 welcomes Endorphina among other top game developers with its Mr. First Ray, a mystical slot game that captures the essence of dawn.

This year’s competition has seen an unprecedented increase in participation, receiving over 100 submissions from more than 70 developers involved in the innovative Ortak initiative. This platform not only promotes collaboration and innovation but also integrates gaming stakes with NFTs on the Bahamut blockchain, thereby broadening investment prospects in the iGaming sector.

Mr. First Ray transports players into a world where each spin can lead to magical wins and enchanting surprises, making it a standout in this year’s entries. As the event approaches, excitement mounts among industry professionals keen to explore this showcase of creativity and excellence in game development, scheduled from July 1 to 4.

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Hosted by BetConstruct, the B.F.T.H. Arena Awards provides a prestigious platform for developers to exhibit their creativity and compete for a share of the substantial 3,333,000 FTN prize pool. This year, the event has broadened its scope, introducing new award categories to further celebrate innovation in gaming.

The culmination of the event will see the winners announced at the B.F.T.H. Arena x Harmony Meetup V, ensuring an exhilarating experience for all attendees.

The post Ortak x B.F.T.H. Arena Awards 2024 Features Mr. First Ray by Endorphina appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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