Public Gaming International July/August 2023

45 PUBLIC GAMING INTERNATIONAL • JULY/AUGUST 2023 PULSE of the Industry These news stories comprise a very small fraction of the gaming and lottery news stories posted every day to Too, these stories are the highly edited short versions. You can visit our news website and access all of its departments for free, including search to read the full version of the articles. Sign up for our free e-newsletter by sending your e-mail address to WORLD NEWS Malta Looks to Shield Gaming Operators from Foreign Prosecution A battle has been brewing in the European Union’s (EU) gaming market for years that has repeatedly thrown Malta into controversy. The small island nation wants to give its resident gaming operators an extra layer of protection against prosecution or legal blowback from other EU nations. Malta has positioned itself as a major hub for online gambling operations worldwide, attracting companies who want a legal license it to operate in an EU jurisdiction based on their erroneous claim that a license to operate in any EU jurisdiction entitles it to offer online gambling services to ALL EU jurisdictions. Of course, all other EU member claim the right to regulate their own markets, and to require all operators to be properly licensed to operate in the markets where the players reside, and not just in one jurisdiction that provides safe haven for rogue operators. Gaming regulators in EU member states other than Malta claim the authority to hold Maltese operators accountable for violating their laws. Malta, which is paid handsomely in the form of business taxes, is attempting to erect barriers of protection to prevent its EU colleagues from legally recourse against Maltese-based operators which are violating the laws of other EU countries. Gaming Bill 55 strips Maltese courts from having the authority to award damages in certain gaming-related legal disputes. The move is a preemptive measure to avoid any possible fallout from ongoing cases. Courts in Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands have already ruled that companies that didn’t hold licenses in those countries have to reimburse their users for any losses. In order to get the operators to comply, the plaintiffs might have to seek restitution in a Maltese court. If an operator faces a lawsuit in Malta that focuses on its operations in an EU country where it doesn’t hold a license, the courts would have no ability to act. This includes lawsuits from regulators in other countries who want Malta-licensed operators to pay regulators’ costs of intervention. It also includes any attempt by a consumer to sue an operator in Malta to recover losses. The bill authorizes courts to “refuse recognition and/or enforcement in Malta of any foreign judgment and/or decision” related to the conditions of a Malta-issued gaming license. Well la te da there you have it. Malta as the land of safe harbor for illegal online gambling operators. GERMANY: Gambling on the Internet: New seal to signify legal license and protect consumers The Joint Gambling Authority of the Länder (GGL) introduced this official seal of approval on July 1. Online gambling operators can use it to establish credibility with consumers that they have a state permit to operate legally in Germany. This ensures "more consumer safety and player protection," wrote the Joint Gambling Authority. The legal German gambling market turned over around 13.4 billion euros in 2022. The largest part of this is accounted for by sports betting, at 1.4billion euros. This special seal is intended to make the gambling market in Germany more transparent for consumers so that players can better distinguish legal gambling on the Internet from illegal gambling at first glance. INTRALOT signs a 10-year lottery contract in Taiwan INTRALOT has been the technological provider of CTBC Bank Co. in Taiwan since 2007, when CTBC Bank Co. obtained its first license to issue and operate the Taiwan lottery. As part of the contract, INTRALOT will provide CTBC Bank Co. and its subsidiary lottery operator Taiwan Lottery Co. (TLC) with the LotosX Gaming Platform including IGMS Instant Games Management System, RetailerX Retailer Management System and Canvas Signage Content Management System, 5,500 PhotonX terminals to be installed in retailer locations across Taiwan, and necessary maintenance and support services for the operation of the Public Welfare Lottery. Belgium Readies for Stringent Gambling Advertising Rules Despite Industry Pushback These changes, initiated by Vincent Van Quickenborne, Belgium’s Minister of Justice, aim to substantially reduce the exposure of gambling products. Van Quickenborne’s proposal last year stirred considerable controversy, inciting sports organizations and the regulated gambling industry to challenge the ban on gambling advertising through lawsuits filed across 11 courts. However, the litigation attempts proved unfruitful as the courts dismissed the lawsuits, paving the way for the new regulations to take effect from July 1, 2023. Under these new rules, the visibility of gambling ads in Belgium will be drastically reduced. There will be a blanket ban on gambling commercials on TV, radio, social media, and cinemas. The restrictions extend to newspapers, magazines, websites, and public spaces such as billboards, posters, and stickers. Furthermore, personalized advertisements sent via post, online messaging services, social media, or emails will also be prohibited. The Netherlands, Belgium’s neighbor, is following a similar trajectory, albeit with even stricter constraints on gambling advertising.