Tag Archive : licensing

Greece’s proposed licensing fees “out of line” according to IBIA report

The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) has criticised the Greek Government’s plans to set a 35% gross gaming revenue (GGR) tax rate for operators and proposals to introduce high licensing fees.

While the IBIA welcomed the Government’s decision to update its online gambling regulations, which was submitted to the European Commission in January, it has a number of concerns regarding the proportionality, effectiveness and reasoning behind some proposals.

Under particular scrutiny was the high GGR tax rate imposed on operators, which the IBIA said is particularly high and will act as a deterrent for operators applying for licenses, directly impacting consumer activity in the regulated market.

The IBIA added the proposed online betting license fee of €3m ($3.26m) for seven years is extortionate compared to the rest of the European market, where annual fees range from £2,200 (£2,734) to £19,333 in the UK.

The IBIA report said: “The approach proposed by the Greek authorities in relation to licensing fees is out of line with international norms.

“IBIA does not believe the burdensome licensing fee proposed and high taxation in Greece will prove successful in attracting operators or maximising the consumers channelling to that market.

“There is a clear danger many consumers will continue to be attracted to betting products in other more fiscally advantageous markets, negating Greek regulatory markets.”

The IBIA also mentioned its concerns about “discriminatory” player age restrictions, with 21 the minimum age for online gambling in Greece.

It urged the European Commission to request Greece reduce the online gambling age to 18 to be consistent with other EU countries, saying the current age restrictions raise EU competition law concerns, favouring OPAP products which can be accessed by customers aged 18.

Court Halts Germany’s Sports Betting Licensing Process

Germany’s online gambling reorganization process has hit another setback after an Austrian bookmaker has mounted a legal challenge, arguing that the ongoing sports betting licensing process was marred by lack of transparency.

On January 1, 2020, Germany enforced an experimental sports betting regulatory regime under the country’s Third State Treaty on Gambling. The new regime is set to remain in effect until June 30, 2021, when a permanent framework is expected to take force.

The newly implemented rules paved the way for interested online sports betting operators to apply for licenses and operate in a regulated environment.

However, the Administrative Court of Darmstadt upheld earlier this week a complaint filed by Austrian betting operator Vierklee that the wagering licensing process was discriminatory and not transparent enough. The court ruled that the process should be suspended until further notice.

Vierklee’s legal representative told German media outlet Bild that the company and other sports betting operators were not informed about the start of the concession process in July 2019.

Under the Third State Treaty on Gambling, the Darmstadt Regional Council and the Hesse Ministry of the Interior were tasked with accepting and reviewing sports betting license applications and awarding licenses to the approved applicants.

However, the recent court ruling has thrown Germany’s eight-year effort at regulating online sports betting into disarray.

German Sports Betting Association Says Court Ruling a Big Blow to Its Members

The President of the German Sports Betting Association (Deutsche Sportwettenverband, DSWV), Mathias Dahms, said that the recent ruling was a big blow to its members and that “even though we were promised concessions by the legislator back in 2012, an early approval, which should have been made possible by the State Treaty on Gambling, which has been in effect since the beginning of the year, is now once again in the stars.”

Vierklee is not a member of the German Sports Betting Association.

According to Mr. Dahms, the current situation could have been avoided and Germany-facing sports betting companies have once again been denied access to “a regulated market and thus legal certainty.”

Mr. Dahms also said that he feels sorry for “the employees in the Hessian Ministry of the Interior and the Darmstadt Regional Council, who have been very committed in the past few months to finally make the approval process a success.”

The DSWV is considering whether to appeal Vierklee’s lawsuit.

Aside from sports betting, the heads of Germany’s 16 states last month agreed to legalize online casino-style gaming and online poker as part of the nation’s gambling market reorganization. However, licenses for online casino and poker activities will only become available from July 1, 2021 when the permanent framework is set to take force.

Source: German sports betting licensing process halted by court ruling until further notice

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Boston’s would-be pot entrepreneurs lie in wait as city slow-walks new marijuana licensing board

Two Boston entrepreneurs’ plans to open the state’s third independent testing laboratory to check the safety of cannabis products — including vape cartridges — are being slow-walked as the city works to roll out a brand new marijuana licensing board amid an already slow-moving pot industry.

“There is a dire need for marijuana testing and that’s where we are putting 99 percent of our attention … but we need to make sure we don’t get bogged down in the politics,” said Dimitri Pelekoudas, CEO of Assured Testing Laboratories.

Pelekoudas and his partner Kris Nykbakken want to open a lab at 43 Freeport St. in Dorchester that would test the safety of marijuana flower, products and concentrates that can contain dangerous solvents and chemicals. State law requires all legally sold marijuana products to be tested for potency and safety prior to sale.

Read the rest of this story on BostonHerald.com.