Navigating Gambling Regulations in 2022
DLA Piper's London office hosted professionals and clients from across the gambling industry to discuss the latest regulatory developments in the sector.
The event kicked off with Paula Gonzales de Castejón interviewing the Spanish Gambling Regulator, Mikel Arana, regarding the new Royal Decree on Commercial Communications in Spain.
The Decree was approved by the European Commission on 21 July 2020. Its implementation in Spain has been delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It regulates gambling advertising and sponsorship by gambling operators. It also prohibits celebrities being used by operators to promote their products. The draft Royal Decrees on responsible gaming regulates different categories of players. Under draft regulations, players with risk behaviours will be restricted to using debit cards to gamble. They will also be limited to gambling with money they have. Mr Arana explains that operators have been asked to provide information on how they are monitoring this category of player.
Sponsorship by gambling operators is prohibited. There is a prohibition on celebrities being used by the operators to promote their products. Advertising on social media by operators should be targeted to certain categories of people.
Panel of DLA Piper partners from across Europe presented on the gambling sector in their jurisdictions.
Portugal has had an open gambling market since 2015. There are currently 15 licenced gambling operators in Portugal. High taxes on sports betting is disincentivising many operators from entering the Portuguese gambling industry.
There are 79 gambling operators in Spain. Since the market was closed, no new licences can be granted. New operators cannot enter the Spanish gambling market unless they acquire an existing licence. The biggest issues facing Spanish operators are navigating the new regulations and dealing with claims from players.
Van Schaik predicts that a ban on gambling advertising in the Netherlands could be imminent due to the sheer volume of gambling adverts that appeared online and on television in just days after the market opened last year.
Italy is the second largest gambling market in Europe after the UK. There are 40 gambling licences available in Italy. The existing licences are due to expire this year, but Coraggio suggests they will be extended.
The Dutch Gambling Regulator KSA has opened the online gambling market in the Netherlands. To date, 30 operators have applied for licences and 18 have been granted. The implementation of the new regulations has been met with strong opposition from the political left in Netherlands, as Mr Jansen points out. The regulations place restrictions on advertisements by gambling operators from being misleading, but there is no limit on the amount of advertising they can produce. They also stipulate provisions aimed at preventing addiction to gambling in order to protect players. According to Mr. Janson, the provisions are distinct from regulations implemented by other countries.