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New Gaming Bill tabled in Maltese Parliament

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Press Release – 13 March 2018 – The Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy & Innovation, Hon. Silvio Schembri announced that a motion has been presented in Parliament for the first reading of a new Gaming Bill which will seek to repeal all the existing legislation and replace it with a singular primary Act of Parliament, together with subsidiary legislation covering horizontally the main thrusts of gaming regulation as well as a series of technical directives and guidelines currently being consulted on by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) for eventual publication and rollout by the regulator once the Act comes into force.

“This Bill marks a major step in streamlining and encompassing the governance of all gaming services offered in and from Malta and across all channels under the competence of the MGA. The Government wants to ensure that the gaming industry continues to be run responsibly, fairly and free from criminal activity, so that the Maltese jurisdiction provides a safe and well regulated environment where the industry can also develop and innovate”, Hon. Silvio Schembri said.

Through this Bill, Government is ensuring that the MGA has the necessary latitude, resources and powers to regulate effectively the gaming industry and protect consumers, as required, focusing on evidence based methodologies. The Parliamentary Secretary added; “we hope to remove any red tape by increasing efficiency and flexibility for the Regulator, whilst improving the robustness of the current framework and focusing regulation on outcomes”, whilst also adding that the Act elevates the excellent reputation of the Maltese jurisdiction in this sector. Honourable Schembri remarked that thanks to this New Gaming Bill,  the industry will grow by another 4%.

The press conference was also addressed by Joseph Cuschieri, Executive Chairman of the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), who stated: “This is an important milestone and we welcome this major step forward by the Maltese Government. This Bill contains draft proposals which aim to bridge the regulatory gap between various gaming verticals and channels, including new technologies serving as a platform to future proof gaming regulation, whilst ensuring that consumers enjoy a consistent level of protection.”

The proposed regulatory framework will strengthen the MGA’s compliance and enforcement functions to better achieve its regulatory objectives, in line with concurrent developments on anti-money laundering and funding of terrorism obligations. It also empowers the MGA to be more agile in its decision-making, decreasing unnecessary regulatory burdens whilst strengthening supervision and focusing the regulator’s efforts on the areas which present a higher risk profile.

Other important areas of focus include consumer protection standards, responsible gaming measures, reporting of suspicious sports betting transactions in the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions and objective-orientated standards to encourage innovation and development. The motion presented in Parliament is a result of an extensive period of public consultation conducted by the MGA, with various industry stakeholders and the general public, as well as numerous technical studies, economic and financial impact assessments. The consultation was launched in July 2017 and was very well received by the industry resulting into feedback from 53 different parties based both locally and abroad.

Information on these new proposals can be accessed from the draft Bill in the link provided.

Key highlights of the new Gaming Act include:

  • Replacing the current multi-licence system with a system in which there will be two different types of licences – a Business-to-Consumer (B2C) licence and a Business-to-Business (B2B) licence – covering different types of activities across multiple distribution channels;
  • Moving towards an objective-based rather than excessively prescriptive regulatory approach, to allow for innovation whilst ensuring that the regulatory objectives are attained;
  • Broadening the regulatory scope to increase MGA oversight and allow for intervention where necessary and in a proportionate manner;
  • Widening the MGA’s powers under the compliance and enforcement functions to better achieve the regulatory objectives, in line with concurrent developments on anti-money laundering and funding of terrorism obligations;
  • Segmenting the Key Official role into various key functions within a licensed activity, requiring approval, for direct scrutiny and targeted supervisory controls, thereby raising the bar for persons of responsibility within a gaming operation;
  • Strengthening the player protection framework by formalising the mediatory role of the MGA’s Player Support Unit, enshrining segregation of player funds at law and moving towards a unified self-exclusion database across both remote and land-based delivery channels;
  • Introducing new and more effective processes for criminal and administrative justice, including the allocation of appeals from decisions of the Authority to the Administrative Review Tribunal and the introduction of a distinction between administrative and criminal offences;
  • Introducing the concept of administration to protect an operation in distress and, if necessary, to assist the winding down of an operation, thereby protecting jobs and player funds;
  • Moving towards automated reporting, facilitating adherence to regulatory obligations and strengthening the Authority’s oversight;
  • Bolstering the Authority’s role in the fight against manipulation of sports competitions by introducing new obligations on operators to monitor sports betting and report suspicious bets, in line with the efforts being made by the National Anti-Corruption Task Force in which the Authority also actively participates;
  • Exempting B2B licensees from gaming tax, thus increasing Malta’s competitiveness as a hub for B2B activities.


Source: European Gaming Media and Events

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Week 50 slot games releases

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Week 50 slot games releasesReading Time: 4 minutes

 

Check out this week’s latest slot releases from across the industry!

 

First up we’re gonna sail to glory in Blueprint Gaming’s Vikings Unleashed Megaways™! Set in the hazardous waters of the North Sea, Blueprint’s latest release sees the fearsome Viking warriors unleash their fury onto the reels, with 117,649 ways to win thanks to the MegaWays™ mechanic, under licence from Big Time Gaming.  “Players will need to be fearless in the face of battle in our latest slots release, Vikings Unleashed Megaways™. – said Jo Purvis, Director of Marketing and Relationships at Blueprint Gaming.

 

 Blueprint Gaming’s Vikings Unleashed Megaways™

 

This week Konami Gaming, Inc. announced the launch of its Concerto Opus cabinet following documented success at trial locations. “Konami has hit the jackpot on the new Opus cabinet. With the large single screen display, the graphics and bonus rounds really provide our players with an exciting experience,” – added Stacey Young, vice president of slot operations at Motor City Casino Hotel in Detroit, Michigan.

Konami's Big Screen Opus Machine slot

 

 

NetEnt released a super sci-fi slot called: Wild-O-Tron 3000 !Set in a 1960s robot lab, Wild-O-Tron 3000TM is a science fiction-themed video slot that transports players to a time when the genre was popularised. “Packed with cyborgs and transforming robots, Wild-O-Tron 3000 will resonate with sci-fi fans and gamers that love stacks and Wild symbol driven games,” – commented Bryan Upton, NetEnt Director of Game Products.

NetEnt's super sci-fi slot Wild-O-Tron 3000

 

 

We’re gonna explore the Russian folklore with the help of Quickspin in their latest slot: Ivan and the Immortal King! The video slot takes players back into the enchanted past of ancient Russian folklore.

Quickspin - Ivan and the Immortal King slot

 

 

Wazdan’s 19th HTML5 game release of the year, Slot Jam, is packed with fruity goodness. This is another new generation slot from the innovative slots-manufacturer which is attracting the attention of all the top operators and aggregators. Slot Jam showcases Wazdan’s world’s-first Volatility Levels™ that allow players to set the game to a low variance where the game has more frequent but smaller wins.

 Slot Jam from Wazdan

 

 

With Endorphina’s latest releases back to back, they definitely now how to keep us all on our toes. With this latest Lucky Streak 2 release, the ice and snow in these winter days can’t compete with Endorphina’s fire and hot wins! This game is absolutely perfect for those players who prefer easy game mathematics and some juicy and fruitilicous wins.

Lucky Streak 2 slot

 

 

Realistic Games is offering players the chance to explore the enchanted forest with its exciting new slot, Spin Dizzy. Filled with woodland magic including toadstools, pots of gold, and four-leaf clovers, the game promises to keep players spellbound with its mysterious features.

Realistic Games Spin Dizzy slot

 

 

Microgaming takes players to a world filled with magic and enchanted riches with Book of Oz slot! Brimming with fantasy, magic and adventure, the game welcomes players into a world filled with enchanted riches. Featuring Wilds, Scatters, Free Spins and Re-Spins, the fantasy themed slot encompasses whimsical art and captivating symbols. “We are extremely excited to release Book of Oz, our fifth game this year under the Triple Edge Studios brand. This has been the most fun we’ve had developing a game and the Re-spin feature is a brilliantly fun addition.” – explained Brendan Walton, Design Lead at Triple Edge Studios.

Microgaming's Book of Oz

 

 

Blockchain casino platform provider FunFair Technologies, is setting sail on the high seas in search of pirate plunder with the release of its newest title Bounty on the High Seas. Bounty on the High Seas sits alongside FunFair’s growing portfolio of smart-contract based games, including Fate of Thrones and Treasures From the Crypto, offering the same high-spec animation, mechanics and audio that players have come to expect from a FunFair title.

 FunFair's Bounty on the High Seas

 

Bgaming will make slot players smile broadly with their slot release: Bob’s coffee shop! The idea of the slot totally inspired by the famous Amsterdam coffeeshops, if you have ever been to Amsterdam and it’s your favorite place in the world, Bob’s Coffee shop will definitely be the “love at first sight”. The game runs on an HTML framework, supports cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies.

Bgaming-Bob’s coffee shop


Source: European Gaming Media

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Online sports betting legalized in Brazil

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Online sports betting legalized in BrazilReading Time: 1 minute

 

In a significant development in South America, the continent’s largest country Brazil has passed a bill to legalize sports betting in the country. President of Brazil Michel Temer passed Bill MP 846/2018  to effect income redistribution from federal lotteries and legalize online sports betting.

The new bill will offer directions on how to divide the revenues from lotteries among the Culture, Sports and Security portfolios.

It should be noted that the bill observes a two-year term for the Ministry of Finance to regulate the conditions needed for the exploitation of online sports betting through licenses, and estimates that the annual collection reaches USD 255M for Public Safety, USD 161M for Sports and USD 113M for Culture.

For several analysts, the approval of this law represents a great victory for the sector and a possible first step for the regulation of all types of games of chance. Currently, two projects are waiting to be analyzed by Congress; although the new authorities headed by the elect president Jair Bolsonaro do not seem to be particularly predisposed to a wider opening of the game in the country.


Source: European Gaming Media

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GAN plc: New Jersey’s online gambling revenue rises in November

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GAN plc: New Jersey’s online gambling revenue rises in NovemberReading Time: 1 minute

 

GAN plc, an award-winning developer and supplier of enterprise-level B2B Internet gaming software, services and online gaming content in the United States, updated the market following the publication on December 12, 2018 by the New Jerseys Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) of Internet gaming and Internet sports betting financial information for the calendar month of November 2018 in New Jersey.

According to the latest financial report of the New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement,  online gaming win for November in was $26.9 million in November, which represents a 30.7% hike year-on-year.

The total revenue from internet sports wagering was about $238.6 million for the month of November 2018, a rise of 36.8% from from the previous month.

Sports wagering gross revenue was $21.2 million, $11.7 million more than the previous month’s revenue.

GAN is a leading business-to-business (B2B) supplier of internet gambling software-as-a-service solutions (SaaS) to the US land-based casino industry. The Company has developed a proprietary internet gambling enterprise software system, GameSTACK„¢, which it licenses principally to land-based US casino operators as a turnkey technology solution for regulated real-money internet gambling, encompassing internet gaming, internet sports gaming and virtual Simulated Gaming.


Source: European Gaming Media

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