La Rioja is looking to become the second province in Argentina to regulate online gambling.
The state gambling regulator Administración Provincial de Juegos de Azar (Ajalar) has signed an agreement with its counterpart the Provincial Institute of Lottery and Casinos (IPLyC) of Misiones to develop a safe and responsible online gambling market for La Rioja.
The IPLyC of Misiones launched its own online betting and gaming site in December 2015 through Misionbet.com.ar, in defiance of the national lottery association La Asociación de Loterías, Quinielas y Casinos Estatales de Argentina (ALEA).
The site was taken offline in May 2017 on the orders of the Buenos Aires prosecutor following complaints from ALEA that the site accepted bets from Buenos Aires residents.
It resumed operations in January 2018 after a court overturned the ban and restricted its offering to players located in Misiones.
La Rioja’s gambling regulator said that it will leverage the experience of Misiones to develop iGaming regulations that allow adults in the province to play games from their mobile and desktop devices.
“It is important to note that we aim to innovate the development of gambling by integrating new information and communication technologies, which does not mean that there will be no limitations to prevent gambling,” said Ajalar administrator Ramón Vera.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) has partnered with the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) to launch a new campaign to combat the unchecked spread of illegal gaming machines across the US.
The campaign will focus on providing state and local policymakers, law enforcement, and regulatory agencies with new resources and tools to stop the proliferation of unregulated gaming machines, targeting key states such as Pennsylvania, Missouri and Virginia where the spread of unregulated machines has been particularly extreme.
The two associations have released a fact sheet that distinguishes between the regulated casino, lottery and distributed gaming markets and the unregulated, highlighting the negative consequences of the spread of illegal machines.
This includes an increase in criminal activity and a lack of player protections, along with potential solutions to combat the problem by establishing small state and local government task forces.
“Stamping out the illegal market that threatens the safety of consumers will always be one of the gaming industry’s highest priorities,” said AGA president and CEO Bill Miller. “We are proud to work with the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers and our fellow industry partners to combat the spread of illegal machines.
“The AGA is encouraged that policymakers in some states such as Virginia have begun to recognize the dangers of these machines and have taken recent legislative action toward outlawing them. Unfortunately, other jurisdictions where these machines have become pervasive may believe their only recourse is to regulate and tax them. Rewarding bad behavior is not the answer, and we hope our education efforts will make it clear that the only real solution is to stop the spread of these devices.”
AGEM executive director Marcus Prater commented: “The regulated gaming industry has rarely been more united on a singular issue and now we have a tool to address the misinformation and deception that unregulated machine companies use to confound law enforcement, the courts, and local citizens.
“The spread of these machines represents a serious threat to the overall regulated market that has invested billions in infrastructure while also creating thousands of jobs and substantial tax benefits in the communities they serve. Moreover, unregulated machines prey on confused players who see slot machine symbols and think they’re getting a fair chance when they absolutely are not.”
More than 20 gaming associations have joined the AGA and AGEM in opposition to the spread of illegal gaming, including the National Indian Gaming Association, the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries, the International Center for Responsible Gaming, the National Council on Problem Gambling, multiple state casino and tribal associations, and both of the leading independent gaming equipment test labs.
Spain’s gambling regulator has launched a public consultation into new marketing and responsible gambling regulations.
Gambling regulator La Dirección General de Ordenación del Juego (DGOJ) published the Draft Royal Decree on Commercial Communications for Gambling activities on February 24, with public responses due to by March 16.
The new regulations are designed to strengthen the 2011 law under which Spain’s regulated online gaming market launched in 2012, since when gambling advertising has increased unabated to the point of sparking a public backlash.
The draft royal decree states that parliamentarians share the public’s concern and aim to balance the commercial interests of operators with adequate protections for consumers, particularly young people.
The 138-page document sets new responsible gambling requirements for operators and also introduces new rules for advertising, promotions and sponsorship.
The new marketing regulations apply to gambling operators and their affiliates and prohibit them from advertising using brands, trademarks or commercial images they do not own, as well as prohibiting any reference to another operator’s games or intellectual property without authorisation.
All advertising must be truthful and socially responsible so as not to promote excessive gambling, and the use of imagery such as luxury products or money will be considered a breach of the social responsibility requirement. Ads that encourage the viewer to share the message of the ad with others will also be deemed irresponsible.
In addition to general rules regarding responsible gambling messaging and preventing children from being exposed to gambling advertising, the draft royal decree sets specific rules by gambling activity and medium.
Sponsorship agreements involving naming rights to sporting venues will be prohibited, as will any naming rights related to sports teams or any other entity outside the betting and gaming sector. Sponsorship of well-known figures and their use in marketing is also prohibited.
No promotional offers will be allowed for new customers above €100 in value, with the draft also giving the regulator authority to set limits on the value of promotions to existing customers.
Bonuses must be shown separately from deposited funds in a player’s account and the bonus rules should not prevent players from withdrawing deposited funds, while loyalty bonuses can only be offered without requiring players to complete a number of bets or games for the bonus to be released.
Players who have increased their deposit limit must be excluded from promotions for a period of 30 days after the increase, and no promotions may be sent to players who have closed their account.
Free games can only be offered to registered players who are logged in and must accurately replicate the chances of winning compared to the real-money version of the game so as not to give players a false impression.
Radio and television advertising will only be allowed between 1am and 5am, although live sports broadcasts between 8pm and 5am may include ads which do not reference promotions or bonuses of any kind; calls to action such as ‘bet now’; or early cash-out or odds.
Operators must not use well-known characters in ads, real or fictional, with exceptions for characters made famous by the ad and narrators of live broadcasts, and all commercial communications must be immediately identifiable as such.
The advertising rules also set exemptions for pari-mutuel betting, instant lotteries and bingo, which may be advertised from 10pm to 6am in programming rated 18+.
The restrictions do not apply to lottery draw games, which may be advertised freely except for before, during and after programming primarily aimed at children.
Gambling promotions on Twitter and other social networks will also be restricted, with every post from an operator’s official account deemed to be a commercial communication, excluding graphical representations or retransmission of a sporting event.
Every fourth post must be a responsible gambling message and operators must make use of any tools available from social networks to prevent minors from following their accounts.
The draft decree also sets out the requirements for a comprehensive social responsibility policy, including problem gambling prevention mechanisms, self-exclusion and self-prohibition, and compliance.
The Draft Royal Decree on Commercial Communications for Gambling Activities is scheduled to come into force on July 1, 2020.