Last Thursday (Sejm) and Friday (Senat), an amendment to the Polish Gambling Act was adopted. Once signed by the Polish president and published, it will come into force on 1 April 2017. Its official aim is to increase the protection of players against risks related to excessive gambling and to decrease the unlicensed market. However, it extends the number of games permitted in Poland and includes a couple of revolutionary changes:
Category Archive: Advertising
Following the conclusion of the industry consulation, the Gambling Commisson has confirmed the new licence condition wording on placing digital adverts responsibly, as follows;
a) ensure that they do not place digital advertisements on websites providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content.
b) take all reasonable steps to ensure that third parties with whom they contract for the provision of any aspect of their business related to the licensed activities do not place digital advertisements on websites providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content.
c) ensure that the terms upon which they contract with such third parties enable them, subject to compliance with any dispute resolution provisions, to terminate the third party’s contract promptly if, in the Licensee’s reasonable opinion, the third party has been responsible for placing digital advertisements for the licensed activities on such websites.
The Commission’s response to the consultation can be read in full here.
According to the statement of the Polish Minister of Finance, Paweł Szałamacha (the Gambling Regulator), proposals for the new Polish Gambling Act were to be presented by the end of April 2016. To date this has not been done. However, on Sunday 15 May, a press conference was organized by Minister Jarosław Gowin (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Science and Higher Education, representing the right wing party Polska Razem) and Zbigniew Boniek (President of Polish Football Association).
During the press conference, Minister Gowin outlined his proposals for the new law regulating betting and card games like poker. Under the new law, betting and card games like poker should be ‘excluded’ from the Gambling Law.
With respect to betting, the gaming tax should be based on 20% GGR instead of the current 12% turnover tax. According to the authors of the proposal, this should generate income of PLN 200 million (i.e. EUR 50 million) for the state budget. Further, since there should be some liberalization with respect to advertising and sponsoring, sports team in Poland should earn an additional PLN 100 million (i.e. EUR 25 million). 10% of the revenue from gaming tax should be allocated to socially important initiatives. Namely, 7% should be given to the Polish Olympic Committee and used to support youth sport, while the remaining 3% should be used to combat gambling addiction.
According to the authors of the proposal, it should result in the situation where 70% of the Polish betting market is regulated, because the new law should permit the blocking of both IP and payments of operators that do not have a valid Polish licence.
With respect to poker, which is currently permitted only in licenced land-based casinos, the new law should permit online poker and the organizing of tournaments by licenced operators. It should also de-criminalise poker games played in private houses as a social card game (which is currently prohibited and subject to fines and even imprisonment).
The proposals for the new law were not prepared by the main party in the Polish government – PIS (Law and Justice); however, Minister Gowin hopes that they will gain its support and be adopted by the Polish parliament.
Following a press conference on 2 April during which the Polish Minister of Finance announced that a draft of the new Polish Gambling Act should be ready by the end of the month, the media has been discussing how it may regulate gambling in Poland. There is a suggestion that the new regulations will be based on the Danish model and that it will include a gaming tax of (depending on the source) between 10% and 20% of GGR.
It is suspected that the new regulations will extend the list of permitted online gambling activities from online betting to include online poker (including live poker) and online casinos. It is expected that there will be a moderate fee for obtaining a gambling licence and that advertising and sponsoring rules will be liberalized. As well as providing an additional source for the Polish government to finance its family support program “500+” (PLN 500 monthly for each second and next child in a given family), the new law should also encourage gambling operators to spend more on sponsoring sport in Poland.
On the other hand, it is also speculated that the new law may introduce more effective measures to prevent Polish residents from using websites of unlicenced operators, such as IP blocking or payment blocking. Totalizator Sportowy (a state-owned company) would like to have a back-tax introduced for offshore operators as is the case in Romania.
The Bavarian Constitutional Court (BayVerfGH) had to decide whether the German State Treaty on Games of Chance is constitutional. It decided that two sections of the State Treaty are unconstitutional. The first section is § 4a III 2 which enables the German prime minister conference to decide over the quantity of licenses for sport betting companies. The second section is § 5 IV which enables the so called “Gluecksspielkollegium” to enact guide lines for advertising. The BayVerfGH held that both sections are unconstitutional because of violations of the rule-of-law principle.
Dr. Michael Stulz-Herrnstadt (partner) and Christoph Engelmann (associate) commented on the BayVerfGH’s decision in the German magazine “GRUR-Prax” 2015 p. 491. The article can be viewed here (in German, subscription based).
The High Administrative Court of Bavaria (BayVGH) had to decide whether the TV broadcasting of advertising for sports betting can be prohibited if the sports betting company has been selected for a sports betting license that has not been issued yet. The state media authorities decided to only proceed against tv advertising for sports betting if the relevant gambling authority decides to proceed against the sports betting company.
The BayVGH ruled that the state media authority acts contradictorily if it proceeds against the broadcaster without the corresponding decision of the gambling authority. It ruled in accordance with the court of lower instance (VG München) that the sustained licensing process cannot be held against the sports betting companies
especially as the (single) state licensed sports betting company is allowed to stay in business while private companies are waiting for the new licenses.
Dr. Michael Stulz-Herrnstadt (partner) and Christoph Engelmann (associate) commented on the BayVGH’s decision in the German magazine “Zeitschrift fuer Wett- und Gluecksspielrecht” (ZfWG) 2015 pp. 250-252. The article can be downloaded here (in German).
A look at the IGRG’s second edition of the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising
By Claire Sng and Xi Chen
With the 2015 Rugby World Cup on the horizon and sport at the forefront of our minds, it is interesting to consider the 2nd Edition of the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising (“Revised Code”), dealing with, amongst other things, the rules relating to the watershed for gambling television advertising and the exception for advertising of sports betting around televised sporting events.
In a recent adjudication, the Advertising Standards Authority (“ASA”) has issued a timely reminder of the need to place sufficient prominence to significant terms of a promotion in marketing messages. The adjudication comes in the midst of operators being asked by the Gambling Commission to demonstrate compliance with their marketing obligations under the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (“LCCP”).
The ASA concluded that the advert in question, which appeared on a full page of the operator’s website, had not stated significant limitations and qualifications of the ‘free bet’ offer. The LCCP require operators to ensure that significant conditions are made clear in the adverts themselves or, if the advert is significantly limited in space (e.g. banner ads), that significant terms are prominently displayed no further than “one-click” away.
Importantly, the ASA determined that, as the advert appeared as a full page on the operator’s own website, the advert was not significantly limited by space, and determined that the material terms of the offer should have been stated in the advert itself, rather than being one-click away. The advert was therefore misleading and breached the CAP Code.
It comes as a reminder to operators of their compliance obligations in the marketing of promotions, an area which has maintained a high level of public interest and regulatory scrutiny.
You can read the ASA’s adjudication here.
By Jack Randles and John Wilks
The UK’s Committee of Advertising Practice (“CAP”) has introduced changes to the provisions of its advertising code which deal with the running of sales promotions, including prize promotions. The full regulatory statement explaining and setting out the changes is here. The amendments to Chapter 8 of the CAP Code came into force on 1 May 2015. The main aim of the changes was to increase consistency with European legislation.
Much has been made of the recent review of gambling advertising, with the marketing of free bets and bonus offers continuing to be a focus, prompted by an increase in the number of complaints about these types of offer. Claire Sng, of DLA Piper, assesses the challenges faced by operators following the commitment made to police free bet offers more closely.
Read article How ‘Free’ is your ‘Free Bet’ Promotion? which appears in the March/April edition of iGaming Business.
Today it has been published by the Spanish Gambling Authorities (Dirección General de Ordenación el Juego– “DGOJ”) the draft version of the Royal Decree on gambling advertising activities.
This draft Spanish Royal Decree will be subject to public comments until next 17 April 2015, therefore operators or interested parties within the industry are entitled to provide the DGOJ with their comments until 17 April 2015. You will be able to find the Spanish version of this Draft Spanish Royal Decree here.
By: Paula González de Castejón
The long awaited Spanish Regulation on Responsible Advertising and Online Gambling is currently undergoing a legislative process. All the political groups present in the Spanish Senate have recently brought a joint motion in order to request the Spanish Government to immediately start processing said Regulation.
The Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP), which write and maintain the UK’s Advertising Codes, has published its latest advice on marketers wishing to place adverts for gambling products. Read their latest advice here.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), the UK’s advertising watchdog, has published a report into its application of the UK advertising codes to gambling advertising.
The ASA report is one of four reviews commissioned by the UK government to investigate the current regulation of gambling advertisements.
Read the full report here.
On 30 April 2014, the Government published its Gambling Protections and Controls document which details the statutory measures it intends to take in relation to a number of gambling related issues.
DLA Piper’s global Advertising Group is pleased to present the 2014 edition of our Prize Promotions Across the World Handbook, covering 20 jurisdictions.
The purpose of this Handbook is to introduce clients to some of the key requirements surrounding prize promotions, from the management of the early stages, to issues which are potentially problematic.
This publication follows DLA Piper’s recent publication of the 3rd Edition of the Data Protection Laws of the World Handbook.
Both publications demonstrate our unrivalled platform and ability to advise clients wherever their business takes them.
To access the Prize Promotions Across the World Handbook, please click here.
The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill continues its progress through the legislature and we await Royal Assent. Throughout the process, amendments have been discussed in the House of Commons and, lately, in the House of Lords, the British legislature’s upper chamber. One such recent amendment calls for a consultation on remote gambling advertising.