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Exclusive Interview with Jan Řehola (Partner at PS Legal) and speaker at Prague Gaming Summit 2018

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This week it’s all about the Czech Republic and my latest interviewee is a highly respected expert who shares his expertise at gaming events. Jan Řehola is a frequent speaker at our events and always bring quality information about the market’s updates. You can meet Jan in person by attending the second edition of Prague Gaming Summit which will be held on the 29th of March at Andel’s by Vienna House Prague. You can find more details here.

With this occasion, I would also like to thank you for following my interview series and for sharing these information with your colleagues and partners. If you would like to be featured in an upcoming interview, please send me an e-mail to reka.szalo@europeangaming.eu and I will happily get back to you!

Hello Jan, thank you accepting this interview, please tell us little bit about yourself, with now over 7 years of experience in the gaming industry, how did you continuously venture to the industry, I mean what was the main reason and what are your key activities, now within the niche?

Jan: As a gambling lawyer I found myself the most beneficial in helping operators, suppliers, testing labs and all other stakeholders involved in gambling industry to be still fully updated and fully complaint with constantly changing regulation. As gambling is highly controversial topic often in spotlight of politicians – regulation is changing very quickly so legal, and especially compliance, plays still more and more important role. What I really like the most on my work is helping my clients to develop and successfully introduce new products on market. By being part of client’s development team, I have priceless opportunity to learn new competences what helps me go every day to my office with joy and enthusiasm.

Working for 4 years for the Ministry of Finance – Czech Gambling regulator, firstly as a Head of the Legal Unit and later as a Director of Gambling Department, what do you consider you could share with us and with the readers as updates on the Czech Gaming Market?

Jan: Czech gambling market is currently undergoing the biggest restructuring from the velvet revolution in 1989. We have new Gambling Act fully in force from 2017. This Gambling Act for the first time in history introduces specific regulation for online gambling and opens whole Czech gambling market for companies established anywhere within EEA. With gambling tax based on GGR and reasonable license conditions, because new regulatory framework on paper looks very good. Unfortunately, in fact application of new Gambling Act caused some difficulties. Considering some recently issued secondary regulation (e.g. guidelines on Bonuses) and transposition of 4th AML Directive unfortunately it can be concluded that to some extent those things spoil idea of regulated, modern and highly competitive market. Currently it is very hard especially for foreign operators to meet specific requirements of Czech regulator and therefore we still have just one foreign operator with licence based on new Gambling Act (Pokerstars holds licence for sport betting, poker and so called “live game”). With new government in place some changes are expected to happen in near future. It can be presumed that some requirements which form obstacles could be potentially removed. Ministry is still working on pack of secondary regulations dealing with technical standards and also preparing big public tender for control monitoring system. Potential stakeholders on Czech market should therefore follow and supervise this preparatory works with due diligence.

Going further, You were responsible for all gambling policy issues, including drafting of new legislation, issuing of gambling licences and cooperation with other European regulators as a member of European Commission Expert Group on Online Gambling, what can you tell us about this year’s updates(in 2018), can we expect major changes on the Czech Gambling Market as we know were some tensions between governments, regulators and the gambling industry.

Jan: As mentioning before we can presume that with new, more business-oriented government in place, regulator can to some extent be more reasonable in licensing procedure. Those operators, suppliers and testing labs having experiences with licensing process in the Czech Republic can provide a testimony that hitherto regulator was more focus on formal requirements than on real substance of licenced product. Some requirements are Czech specific and therefore hardly understandable for foreign licence seekers. This could be changed. As regulator is expected to be more open, I see big room for suppliers and testing labs delivering products in many regulated market to open dialogue with regulator and help him to rebuilt licence process to be more substance oriented.

Due to your background and well versed in all aspects of gambling operations, please tell us more about how PS Legal works, as PS Legal has a rich experience in gambling field and provide professional and high quality legal and compliance consultancy to key players on Czech gambling market.

Jan: I am really enjoying our teamwork at PS Legal. This law firm has long history but when me and my colleagues joined its teams it becomes leading company in gambling field in the Czech Republic. We are focusing not only on gambling but trying to offer expertise in all new emerging industries and technologies where clients can suffer in finding professional legal help with knowledge of this specific industry. Currently we are for instance building division focusing on legal help in field of cryptocurrency or rather blockchain technology in general. We strongly believe that this rapidly developing market can play huge role in upcoming years. What I really like the most is that we are young but highly educated bunch of friends having fun in helping our clients to meet regulatory requirements in versatile areas. By doing this we are still learning and therefore our work is far from being routine.

What are your main responsibilities at PS Legal, as it is a Prague based law firm specialized in providing legal services to all sectors of the gaming industry?

Jan: In PS Legal I am heading its gambling department. This takes currently more than 70 % of my work capacity. As mentioned before we are currently building also department dealing with cryptocurrency and data protections issues. For this I am helping with head hunting process as our team is growing at a fast pace. This type of work I found very fulfilling. I am trying to use experience I got from Ministry of Finance where I was responsible for team of 35 people. I really like see how young people grow in front of your eyes as you gave them room and responsibility.

Do you have a personal opinion regarding the Gambling Market focusing on Czech Republic and the Czech Gambling-related Market? What are the PS Legal company’s future plans  in the gaming sector and what are your personal next steps and projects regarding your professional life and achieving your personal goals?

Jan:I am sure that Czech market would become more competitive in year 2018. With many applicants seeking to get licence and with licensees seeking to get new product on market we can see rapidly evolving market. Currently we see huge restructuring and M&A in land-based market that undergoing huge changes and some M&A could be expected in online world too. I believe, PS legal would play still important role in this process. Whit our expertise and experience I also hope we can help to establish dialog among all stakeholders and regulator to work together on common goal – functioning regulated market where player is protected, and operators can offer them attractive product.

To meet Jan in person, make sure you register and attend Prague Gaming Summit 2018, held on the 29th of March at Andel’s by Vienna House Prague.

Interviewee profile:

Jan Řehola has over 7 years of experiences in gambling field, both from the public and private sector. He is a master of Law from the Charles University in Prague.

Jan has been working for 4 years for the Ministry of Finance – Czech Gambling regulator, firstly as a Head of the Legal Unit and later as a Director of Gambling Department. In his work for the Czech Gambling regulator Jan was responsible for all gambling policy issues, including drafting of new legislation, issuing of gambling licences and cooperation with other European regulators as a member of European Commission Expert Group on Online Gambling.

Due to his background, he is well versed in all aspects of gambling operations.

PS Legal is Prague based law firm specialized in providing legal services to all sectors of the gaming industry. PS Legal has rich experience in gambling field and provide professional and high quality legal and compliance consultancy to key players on Czech gambling market.


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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DAO.Casino is launching Sandbox for game developers

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Game developers will be able to become pioneers in the development of decentralized games for the gambling industry using DAO.Casino protocol.

 

On September 17, 2018, DAO.Casino is opening Sandbox for developers, independent teams and game development studios that choose to harness the power of the rapidly developing DApp industry.

Since Monday everyone may submit their application for Sandbox on the official Sandbox page.

The Sandbox project is designed by DAO.Casino developers. Participants of Sandbox will learn the basics of decentralized applications development on DAO.Casino protocol. Developers participating in Sandbox will learn to create, design and deploy decentralized games and applications on Ethereum blockchain.

DAO.Casino is planning to reward most active developers for their constructive feedback on the improvement and optimization of the SDK and related documentation. The company will separately announce the details of the rewards program later this fall.

“We are confident that the Sandbox project will play an important role in our collaboration with studios and independent game developers. We cannot wait to see our product helping developers unleash their creative and entrepreneurial talents and apply those to one of the most groundbreaking technologies of the XXI century. — states Ilya Tarutov, CEO, DAO.Casino. – I am sure that the products we’re developing will transform the online gambling into a fair and transparent industry for all of the involved parties: casino operators, developers, and affiliate marketers. “

“We are launching the Sandbox with the goal of enabling as many developers as possible to learn to create decentralized games. We have achieved an important milestone by starting to accept applications from developers all around the world who share our idea to make online gambling fair and transparent. With our technology, developers can take the whole gambling industry to the next level” – says Alexandra Fetisova from DAO.Casino.

DAO.Casino disrupted the online gambling industry in 2017 by starting the development of the protocol based on Ethereum blockchain technology. DAO.Casino protocol ensures the automation of transactions and facilitates interactions between all the industry participants: casino operators, game developers, and affiliate marketers. DAO.Casino team is fully dedicated to developing the best products and making the gambling industry a better place.

 


Source: European Gaming Media

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Big Time Gaming licences patented mechanic to Storm Gaming

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BTG licences its patented and trademarked MegaWays™ mechanic to UK-based developer Storm Gaming Technology Ltd

 

Pioneering online slot developer, Big Time Gaming, has struck yet another deal to licence its patented and trademarked MegaWays™ mechanic to Storm Gaming. Storm Gaming will be combining this with some of its brand licenses including I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, The Chase and Tipping Point to take its slots to the next level and deliver a superior player experience. The partnership will allow Storm Gaming to design and develop its own games using MegaWays™, which debuted in Big Time Gaming’s Dragon Born over three years ago.

Blueprint, another licensee of MegaWays™ has had great success leveraging BTG’s ground breaking IP, and Storm are sure to follow suit with a range of interesting products penned for land-based and online deployment Q1 2019.

MegaWays™ is a random reel modifier system that allows any given spin to produce a different number of symbols across the reels, allowing players to experience a totally different game with every spin. Big Time Gaming has cornered the market with this innovation with games like Bonanza, White Rabbit and Extra Chilli, and will be launching Who Wants to be a Millionaire in November – the most anticipated branded slot launch in history.

Nik Robinson, Big Time Gaming CEO, said: “We’re looking forward to seeing how Storm use the MegaWays™ mechanic. Storm has some highly entertaining IP licenses that will work seamlessly with MegaWays™.”

Steve Murray from Storm Gaming, said: “The MegaWays™ concept is remarkable; it provides for and delivers exciting game play on a whole new level. “We shall be using MegaWays™ on new Storm concepts and licensed IP with a number of launches set for the coming months.”


Source: European Gaming Media

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AGA Releases New Research On Economic Impact Of Gaming Industry

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Report shows 9.5 percent increase in economic output; industry now supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide

 

the American Gaming Association (AGA) released a new study examining the striking impact the gaming industry has on the U.S. economy – providing stable jobs to nearly two million Americans and generating billions of dollars in tax revenue. This is the first comprehensive report on the gaming industry’s national economic impact since 2014.

Oxford Economics’ 2018 study found that the U.S. gaming industry:

  • Contributes $261 billion to the U.S. economy, a 9.5 percent increase since 2014;
  • Supports nearly 1.8 million jobs, up from 1.7 million jobs in 2014; and
  • Generates $40.8 billion in tax revenues to federal, state and local governments.

“Gaming companies across the country are enabling long-lasting careers for their employees and making a huge impact on their communities through innovative partnerships with local nonprofits, volunteerism and the generation of revenue that supports critical services. The industry’s tax revenue alone provides enough funding to hire 692,000 new teachers,” said Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the American Gaming Association. “Since our last study in 2014, casino gaming has expanded into new markets, offered innovative new entertainment options and enhanced its position as a key contributor to local, state and federal economies.”

The research was commissioned by AGA and conducted by Oxford Economics. More information about the study can be viewed here.

About AGA: 

The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $261 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.8 million jobs nationwide. AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, gaming suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry. It is the mission of the AGA to achieve sound policies and regulations consistent with casino gaming’s modern appeal and vast economic contributions.


Source: European Gaming Media

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