Why Valery Bollier believes DFS must have a specific licence

Why Valery Bollier believes DFS must have a specific licence

Wednesday, August 31, 2016 Posted by Andy McCarron
The MGA is working on a framework for 'games of skill'

The Malta Gaming Authority is working on developing a unique framework and individual licence for skill based games such as fantasy sports. The initial step to this was confirming that DFS is now exempt from requiring a gambling licence in the region.

Malta based DFS operator Oulala is strongly in support of such a decision. Oulala CEO, Valery Bollier, took the time to speak with Totally Gaming about why he believes that this is so necessary.

He said: “Because our game is so different from any other iGaming activities that it urgently requires a specific legal frame. There are two main differences.

“The first is that DFS is a real skill game and not a game of luck. This means that if people can use their knowledge to win, we must absolutely find ways to prevent professional players, whom we usually refer to as sharks, from constantly taking the money of the casual players; the little fish. Legislators therefore have an active role to play in safeguarding the balance of our ecosystem, for instance by forcing operators to cap amounts, the numbers of teams and so on in order to annihilate any possible interest for professional players.”

He continued: “The second is that DFS is a real social game. Customers are playing against each other. Usually they are even playing within their circles (offices, sports clubs, university friends…). This is a very new usage that also calls for a specific licence.”

In response to being asked whether he expects this move by Malta to be mimicked by other regulators worldwide, Bollier stated: “Of course. Regulators from other European countries have already begun taking a closer look at what Malta is working on, most of whom were in Malta for the IAGA conference on the 2nd of June.

“By nature, changes never come from major countries or companies, however usually they follow quickly when they realize that it is the wise path to take. Malta is once again showing the way and I believe that this will give them a long term advantage.”

Totally Gaming says: The battle of whether DFS is a game of skill or luck rattles on with the Malta Gaming Authority strongly taking the side of operators such as Oulala which resolutely state that it is the former. This decision by Malta is likely to kickstart discussions amongst regulators worldwide over whether fantasy sports warrant a separate licence from their gambling peers.

 

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