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Compliance Updates

Deadline approaching for Global Regulatory Awards 2020 submissions

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February 14th is last chance to nominate individuals and teams for awards recognising excellence in compliance 

The deadline for submissions to the GamblingCompliance Global Regulatory Awards (GRAs) 2020 is fast approaching and this year’s event will be more relevant than ever following increased scrutiny in the sector.

The deadline to submit nominations for the fourth edition of the GRAs is on the 14th of February and this year, the event features a record 18 categories recognising individuals and teams that work in the fields of regulatory compliance and responsible gaming.

The importance of the GRAs has continually grown since its inception in 2017 and with several jurisdictions currently strengthening its regulatory approach and introducing stricter rules around responsible gaming, the 2020 edition of the event is all the more relevant.

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Many former award recipients have seen their reputations as leaders in regulatory compliance and responsible gambling enhanced after receiving GRAs recognition, the highest honour in this specialist field.

The event, which will this year take place on 22nd of April in London, is run by GamblingCompliance, part of VIXIO Regulatory Intelligence, the leading provider of legal, regulatory and business intelligence to the global gambling industry. Winners are selected by an independent panel of 14 industry judges led by an external independent adjudicator, ensuring that the GRAs are the most high-quality and transparent awards in the gambling industry.

Nominations are now open until 14th February to individuals, teams, businesses and industry newcomers and veterans alike.

Frances Fenemore, Chief Marketing Officer at VIXIO Regulatory Intelligence, said: “The industry is facing ever-increasing pressure from regulators and compliance is now top of all stakeholders’ agendas.

“Each year we have seen the GRAs grow and we expect this year to be no different with some excellent work currently being done around responsible gambling and we look forward to celebrating the individuals and teams that have contributed to evolving and improving this field.”

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Compliance Updates

UKGC Data Analytics Manager Jason Davies Explains the Changes to Regulatory Returns Submissions Required by Licensees

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The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has recently made a significant shift in regulatory reporting requirements for all licensed operators. Previously operators were obligated to submit regulatory returns annually, but under the new rules submissions will be required every quarter.

UKGC Data Analytics Manager, Jason Davies, explains the changes to regulatory returns submissions required by licensees.

“On 1 July 2024 the Gambling Commission updated Licence Condition 15.3.1 – General and regulatory returns of the Licence Conditions and Code of Practice (LCCP) to require all licensees to submit their regulatory returns on a quarterly basis within 28 days of the end of the reporting period. Quarterly returns support our aim to be a risk-based, evidence led and outcomes focused regulator and contribute towards our aspirations outlined in our Corporate Strategy 2024 to 2027 to use data and analytics to make gambling regulation more effective.

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“As well as quarterly submissions for all licensees, we have introduced harmonised reporting periods which means all licensees submit data for the same time period, in the first instance for the period 1 July 2024 to 30 September 2024. This is important as more regular data, coupled with harmonised reporting periods will ensure the Commission can analyse changes in the market on a timely basis and manage our income more effectively. It will also mean we can publish this information more frequently, for those wanting to use our official statistics on the gambling market for their own work.

“Whilst we are aware that when we consulted on this change to regulatory returns there was a concern amongst some licensees about the increased frequency of reporting, we have tried to balance this out by removing a significant number of questions from regulatory returns across all return types. We’ve listed all of the questions we have removed within the Question removal section of Regulatory returns changes – effective from 1 July 2024.

“The transition to quarterly regulatory returns on the 1 July 2024 means that most licensees will have seen their last regulatory return (whether they were previously on an annual or quarterly cycle) changed to have an end date of 30 June 2024. We’ve had to do this to align licensees to the new reporting schedule from 1 July, but it means that most licensees will need to submit a partial return. These partial returns are due by the 28 July 2024 (for any licensees who previously completed a quarterly return) or 12 August 2024 (for any licensee who previously completed an annual return). You can log into eServices and complete this now.

“We’ve also updated the Regulatory returns guidance, so far we’ve removed any reference to fields which have been removed from regulatory returns from 1 July 2024 onwards and also added in definitions for fields which were previously automatically calculated within eServices.

“We have some more work to do on the guidance, acting on feedback that licensees shared with us in an early part of the regulatory returns project, where they told us that the guidance for some questions was unclear. We’ll be reviewing these and make sure they are updated by the end of August. Fundamentally we would not be changing what we are asking for, but we’ll try and add some more clarity.”

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The post UKGC Data Analytics Manager Jason Davies Explains the Changes to Regulatory Returns Submissions Required by Licensees appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Compliance Updates

Michigan Gaming Control Board Rejects Recent Claims Regarding Skill Games

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The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has refuted recent assertions questioning the legitimacy of its efforts to protect citizens by combating illegal gambling within the state, particularly in relation to the rise of casino-style electronic gaming machines that self-identify as “skill games.”

In recent years, there has been a notable increase in the presence of electronic gaming machines in bars and restaurants across Michigan. The suppliers of these machines misleadingly contend that the games include an element of skill and are therefore exempt from Michigan’s gambling prohibitions. Specifically, they claim that the games qualify as “redemption games” under MCL 750.310b, which allows a limited and very narrow exception to Michigan’s gambling prohibitions.

“As the regulatory authority overseeing the three Detroit commercial casinos and online gaming in Michigan, the MGCB is committed to upholding the integrity of the state’s gambling regulations and ensuring a fair and responsible gaming environment for all citizens. It is essential to clarify that these casino-style electronic gaming machines are not exempt from Michigan’s penal code, and individuals operating or utilizing them are subject to enforcement actions by the state,” MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams said.

Ongoing investigations by the MGCB have consistently established that the operation of these games does not comply with the strict requirements of MCL 750.310b because these games operate in a manner that is identical to a slot machine, whereby winning depends primarily upon fortuitous or accidental circumstances beyond the control of the player. Patterns observed with the illegal use of casino-style electronic gaming machines have included the use of cash as prizes, issuance of Visa gift cards, and false claims of legality and/or state authorization. Operations of these unregulated gaming machines put citizens at risk — because they have no recourse should they be misled, cheated, or otherwise taken advantage of — and results in a loss of state revenue, depriving Michigan citizens of taxes and revenue used to support schools through the School Aid Fund and communities and local governments with essential state funding dollars.

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Comprehensive joint investigations conducted by the MGCB and the Michigan Attorney General’s Office in the past five years have resulted in 29 individuals being convicted of 27 felonies and 16 misdemeanors. These investigations have also resulted in 436 illegal machines seized, along with $176,001.69 in cash and $15,415 in Visa, MasterCard, and/or Simon gift cards.

“The public is being misled when told that skill and gift cards equate to the legality of a machine. What is being ignored is that the machines in question have been played and/or examined by investigators and determined to be casino-style slot machines for which winning depends on chance. And by law they do not qualify as a redemption game exception to the penal code. The mere use of a gift card as a prize does not render the machine legal,” ,” Williams said.

Unregulated machines used illegally lack the necessary consumer safeguards that licensed and regulated establishments provide, leaving the individuals who use them susceptible to unfair practices. More importantly, they offer no player protections and do not allow patrons to influence game outcomes through skill or strategy. This lack of oversight poses significant risks, particularly when minors can access these machines, potentially increasing the likelihood of future gambling problems among youth.

“The presence of unregulated casino-style electronic gaming machines in restaurants and small businesses risks grooming minors for gambling at an early age. This can have damaging consequences on their future well-being, potentially desensitizing them to the negative impacts of gambling, leading to addiction and financial problems later in life. Kids don’t need access or exposure to slot machines when they go out to enjoy a burger and fries or a pizza. If it’s not on the menu, it should not be available,” Williams added.

The MGCB has provided businesses with educational materials to ensure that any machine they are considering having in their business complies with Michigan law. Additionally, these materials have been uploaded to the MGCB website for public consumption. But the MGCB’s efforts continue to be undermined by the repeated spreading of misinformation, causing the illegal use of these machines to expand across Michigan.

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The MGCB has also made it clear that it is not hindering local business owners’ ability to increase profits. Businesses engaged in the use of these machines are committing criminal acts with false assurances that their conduct is legal. In cases where investigations into casino-style slot machines have taken place at bars and restaurants, each of the affected business owner(s) were served adequate, advance warning that they were not in compliance with the law by way of cease-and-desist letters that provided them an opportunity to comply before enforcement action, including criminal charges, was taken.

“The MGCB encourages business owners to contact the agency should they have any questions on whether a gaming machine they have in their establishment complies with the law. Our goal is education and compliance. Any suggestion otherwise is simply not true,” Williams said.

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Compliance Updates

Spillemyndigheden: Consultation on Updated Certification Programme for Betting and Online Casino

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The Danish Gambling Authority (DGA) has updated the certification programme for betting and online casino because of the introduction of supplier licences from January 1, 2025.

Interested parties can comment on the update. Comments must be sent to the DGA no later than August 19, 2024. Comments must be submitted by using the contact form.

The updated certification programme for betting and online casino will come into force on January 1, 2025. From July1, 2025, it is mandatory to use the new certification programme, but it is recommended that game suppliers and game operators adopt the updated certification programme as soon as possible.

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Later this year the Danish Gambling Authority will issue updated standard reports along with the final version of the certification programme.

CHANGES

The purpose with the update is to make it more clear, which requirements licence holders and game suppliers respectively shall comply with looking forward. Furthermore, it is a part of the preparation for the introduction of the DGA’s games register, which will handle RNG- and game certificates.

Several linguistic adjustments have been made throughout the documents. In addition, the following significant changes and additions should be mentioned:

  • In SCP.00 ‘General requirements’ the following new definitions have been added: ‘Licence holder’, ‘game supplier’, ‘base platform’, ‘game platform’ and ‘game certificate’. Furthermore, the definition ‘Testing’ has been renamed to ‘Test’ and rephrased, and the definitions ‘inspection’ and ‘gambling system’ have been rephrased.
  • Looking forward licence holders and game suppliers are responsible for their own certification. This means that each actor is responsible for having certifications done and reported to the DGA. The licence holder’s former obligation to compile reports from game suppliers has been removed, because looking forward game suppliers will have their own licence and responsibility. Licence holders must still be aware of suppliers of their base platform.
  • A general change has been made to the role as supervisor, who is amongst other responsible for signing the standard reports. Looking forward the requirements for a supervisor is based on requirements for a supervisor in e.g., ISO, PCI, or CREST (see section 2.3 in SCP.00).
  • Looking forward the deadline for submitting standard reports is 1 month across all documents. Today the deadline is 2 months in several certification areas. This change is made because the licence holder’s obligation for compilation of reports from supplier licences has been removed, which the DGA considers will make the documentation and reporting of the certification process less complex and time consuming.
  • The testing- and inspection standards are omitted, and the following new documents are added:
  1. 01 ‘Requirements for RNG’ is based on requirements from the previous testing standards, but looking forward the document only contains requirements for RNG. The rest of the requirements from the testing standards are moved to SCP.07.01-03 ‘Requirements for games’, which are 3 new documents, which only contains requirements for games. See further information below.
  2. 02 ‘Requirements for base platform’ is based on requirements from the previous inspection standards, but looking forward the document only contains requirements for the base platform, which primarily covers handling of the player account. The rest of the requirements from the inspection standards are moved to SCP.07.01-03 ‘Requirements for games’. It is only the licence holder who shall be certified in accordance with the requirements in SCP.02.
  3. 07 ‘Requirements for games’ are based on requirements from the previous testing- and inspection standards, but only contain requirements for games – online betting (SCP.07.01), land-based betting (SCP.07.02) and online casino (SCP.07.03) respectively. Games suppliers shall be certified in accordance with requirements in these documents. If a licence holder produces games for their own game offer, then the licence holder is also obligated to be certified in accordance with these requirements.
  • According to SCP.01 ‘Requirements for RNG’ it is possible to postpone the certification up to 1 month. This option is also added to the new documents SCP.07 ‘Requirements for games’. RNG- and game certificates shall be uploaded to the games register 1 month at the latest after the test- and inspection have been completed. Postponing the certification means, that the certification can be completed 1 month later, but the certificate shall still be uploaded to the games register within the same deadline.
  • In SCP.04 ‘Requirements for penetration testing’ CREST accreditation is added as a recognized accreditation for companies, who perform penetration testing (see section 2.2.1).
  • In SCP.05 ‘Requirements for vulnerability scanning’ CREST accreditation is added as a recognized accreditation for companies, who perform vulnerability scans (see section 2.2.1). Furthermore, CREST CPSA and CRT certifications are added as recognized personal certifications for personnel, who plans vulnerability scans (see section 2.2.2).
  • In SCP.06 ‘Change management system’ section 4.3 about the process for approval of system changes has been changed. Since game suppliers will have their own licence looking forward, and thereby have the responsibility for their certifications themselves, they shall no longer seek approval from the licence holder ahead of making a system change. The game supplier must still be aware of situations, where it can be necessary to involve the licence holder and vice versa.
  • In SCP.06 ‘Change management programme’ a new section with a requirement about system changes, which include integration between the base- and game platform, has been added. The requirement means, that the licence holder and game supplier shall establish a business process which ensures, that the base- and game platform functions correctly after integration. The DGA do not think, that this requirement will entail further burdens on the licence holder and game supplier, since it must be expected that measures have already been taken today to ensure, that the gambling system functions correctly. The business process shall be approved by the testing organisation in connection with the annual certification of SCP.06.

The DGA draws attention to, that a consequence of the update is, that the certification programme for betting and online casino no longer has the same structure as the certification programme for lotteries and land-based casino.

The post Spillemyndigheden: Consultation on Updated Certification Programme for Betting and Online Casino appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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