Latest Events on the Gambling Markets of Ukraine, Finland, Great Britain, Papua New Guinea and Saipan. News Digest
The official launch of the register of players prohibited from visiting gambling establishments in Ukraine, the search for an operator to open the first casino in Papua New Guinea, the introduction of mandatory customer identification in slot machine halls in Finland and an increase in the cost of gambling licenses in the UK. What's new on the global gambling market? Read in the weekly digest from UGW.
A register of persons with limited access to gambling establishments launched in Ukraine
On June 11, the Commission for Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries made a decision to launch the Register of persons who have restricted access to gambling establishments and/or participation in gambling activities on June 15.
The current gambling legislation assumes that the register is a database containing information about individuals who are restricted from visiting and participating in gambling activities.
A gambler can enter the register under three conditions: independently, by submitting a written application to CRGL or the organizer of gambling activities, by a court decision, or by a reasoned statement from family members of the first degree of kinship or legal representatives.
Identification of customers in slot machine halls will become mandatory in Finland
From July 1, 2021, the introduction of mandatory identification of customers for halls with slot machines will be completed in Finland. In particular, it will be impossible to play on the machines without prior identification. Equipment that is not adapted for the verification of gamblers will not be used until it is equipped with the appropriate function.
A pilot program for the introduction of customer identification at slot machine halls was launched by Veikkaus in October 2020 and later introduced in different regions. Since January 2021, it has been working all over the country.
Today, the requirement for customer identification is not yet valid in the halls operating under the Feel Vegas and Pelaamo brands, as well as in Casino Helsinki. From July 1, verification on slot machines will become mandatory in these establishments.
The cost of gambling licenses will increase in the UK
From October 1, 2021, the cost of licenses giving the right to conduct gambling activities online will increase by 55%. And from April 1, 2022, the fee for licensing documents for ground operators will increase by 15%. The annual operating fee for a slot machine will increase from £25 to £40.
In addition, the size of the payment for processing applications for obtaining licenses will be increased by 60%, and discounts for licensing several types of business at once will be canceled.
The increase in license costs is expected to enable the Gambling Commission to respond to new risks, technological developments and rising regulatory costs.
First casino to open in Papua New Guinea
Back in May of this year, the Papua New Guinea National Gambling Control Council signed an agreement with the local corporation Paga Hill Development Company (PHDC) to build a complex with a casino, hotel and shops in Port Moresby. They plan to invest $42.8 million in the project.
Now the gambling regulator must choose an international operator, which, in partnership with PHDC, will launch the country's first casino. A gambling establishment should be aimed at tourists from China. Local residents will not be allowed to enter the venue.
In Saipan, a casino operator will appeal against a decision on an indefinite suspension of the license in court
Imperial Pacific Resort has filed a lawsuit with the Saipan Supreme Court to review the decision of the Casino Commission of Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands to indefinitely suspend its gambling license.
The document was suspended in April 2021. The reason was that the operator did not pay the annual license fee and the annual regulatory fee, owed contributions to the Commonwealth for 2018 and 2019 and violated the minimum capital requirements. The company was given six months to pay fees and a fine.
Imperial Pacific Resort, in turn, considers this decision unfair. The company notes that the casino licensing agreement exempts the operator from paying an annual fee due to force majeure or natural disaster. Therefore, the operator went to court to establish whether the COVID-19 pandemic could be considered as a circumstance that would serve as a valid reason for exemption from payment of the fee.
If the court takes the gambling operator’s side, Imperial Pacific Resort will not have to pay an annual license fee.
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