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Compliance Updates

UKGC Issues Stricter Consumer Protection Rules for Lockdown

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The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has published more stringent rules for online operators for protecting customers during lock down. The new set of rules come after new evidence has surfaced that show some gamblers maybe at greater risk of harm during lockdown. The new guidelines deal with the need for affordability checks, prevention of reverse withdrawals and restrictions on bonus offers.

The Commission had collected data through the gambling industry and also through YouGov surveys. The data show that during lockdown gambling participation is down overall. This reflects the closure of land based venues and the cancellation of sporting events, with only a small number of people starting to gamble for the first time.

Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur said: “Operators must use the data they hold to protect their customers and now, more than ever, it’s vital that online operators really know their customers by monitoring how long they are playing for and understanding how financial uncertainty is impacting them and what they can afford to gamble with.  To ensure operators do that, we are strengthening our guidance and expect operators to take account of that to prevent bonus offers or inducements being offered to customers who are showing any sign of harm‘’

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Work was already underway to address many of these issues but this means we will now accelerate this work due to the unique situation that many consumers will find themselves in during lockdown.

‘’We will continue to monitor and publish the data that we are collecting and we will take further measures if required. We are monitoring online operators closely and if we see irresponsible behaviour we will step in immediately, suspending licences if we need to.”

Minister for Sports, Tourism and Heritage Nigel Huddleston said:”It is vital that people are protected from the threat of gambling related harm and I welcome these latest steps from the Gambling Commission.We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will not hesitate to take further action if required.”

The data also shows that in terms of time spent gambling, while overall session length has decreased, there has been an increase in the number of sessions that are played for over an hour.

The Commission has reviewed its current guidance in light of the risks that some players may be experiencing harm while in lockdown, and online operators must now take account of the Commission’s additional guidance, which makes clear they should:

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  • Prevent reverse withdrawal options for customers until further notice
  • Cease to offer bonuses or promotions to all customers who are displaying indicators of harm
  • Interact with customers who have been playing for an hour in a single session of play
  • Review thresholds and triggers for new customers to reflect the operator’s lack of knowledge of that individual’s play and spend patterns
  • Conduct affordability assessments for individuals picked up by existing or new thresholds and triggers which indicate consumers experiencing harm – limiting or blocking further play until those checks have been concluded and supporting evidence obtained, and;
  • Implement processes that ensure the continual monitoring of their customer base – identifying patterns of play, spend or behaviours have changed in recent weeks.
  • Online operators will be expected to make changes to act on this guidance as soon as possible. The Commission will bring forward plans to consult on whether further targeted player protection measures are required on a permanent basis.
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Compliance Updates

eGaming Integrity Launches to Enhance Compliance for OGRA Licence Holders and CSPs

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We proudly announce the official launch of eGaming Integrity, a specialised compliance services provider exclusively dedicated to protecting OGRA licence holders and the CSPs that support them.

Our mission is to enable online gambling operators, and the CSPs that support them, with the tools they need to thrive in the Isle of Man, ensuring integrity, transparency, and adherence to industry standards.

The Isle of Man eGaming sector continues to grow at a rapid pace, with the number of OGRA licensees more than doubling in recent years. With the sector having grown so quickly, it has led to a shortage of highly qualified, well trained, and egaming experienced compliance and AML professionals locally. This skills shortage presents a significant challenge for online gambling operators licensed here.

With our team of industry experts and former regulators, eGaming Integrity enables businesses to remain compliant with the stringent regulatory requirements under the Isle of Man licence through our tailored services which include mock audits, remediation, and internal audits.

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Speaking about the requirement for such services, Emma Shilling, eGaming Integrity director said “licensed online gambling operators and local Corporate Service Providers have been looking for a credible provider to offer specialist services beyond day-to-day compliance. We’ve already helped several CSPs navigate the sector in previous roles, where eGaming isn’t always the primary area of expertise so businesses have sought our experience and industry knowledge to help them service their clients more effectively.”

Fellow director, Nick Bowden added “our in-depth evaluations prepare operators for regulatory visits, remediation support to bring businesses back into good standing with the regulator, and independent assurance makes sure risk management, governance and internal control processes are operating effectively.

eGaming Integrity are now working with a number of OGRA licence holders and local CSPs, providing customised compliance and regulatory advisory services that align with business objectives and operational intricacies.

The post eGaming Integrity Launches to Enhance Compliance for OGRA Licence Holders and CSPs appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Australia Enforces Credit Card Ban for Online Gambling

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Australia has enforced an online gambling credit card ban, meaning that players can no longer use them as a payment method.

Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) and its members have been strong supporters of this measure and have worked with the Commonwealth Government and the financial services industry since 2021 to deliver this credit card ban.

Responsible Wagering Australia CEO Kai Cantwell said that this change was much needed, as Australians should only be gambling with money that they have.

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“This is an important measure to protect customers, making it easier for people to stay in control of their own gambling behaviour,” Mr Cantwell said.

“It will complement the existing offering of safer gambling account management tools by RWA members.

“RWA and its members support the extension of this measure to all forms of gambling that have been exempted from the ban such as lotteries and keno.

“If consumer protection measures aren’t consistent across all forms of gambling it will incentivise vulnerable Australians to move to less-regulated types of gambling, where they are more at risk of harm.”

RWA members provide a range of tools to ensure people can gamble safely, many of which have been adopted by the Commonwealth Government as part of the National Consumer Protection Framework (NCPF).

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“The NCPF is expected to be evaluated shortly and we look forward to engaging in this process to ensure that consumer protection tools are fit-for-purpose and support a safe and sustainable regulated gambling environment,” Mr Cantwell said.

The post Australia Enforces Credit Card Ban for Online Gambling appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Compliance Updates

Ukraine Regulator KRAIL Blocks 371 Illegal Gambling Sites

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The Ukrainian Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL) has announced that it has blocked 371 unlicensed gambling websites. It said joint action with the security service led to the issue of Order No. 451/2256, which instructs service providers to block the domains using Domain Name System (DNS) servers.

KRAIL said that during April and May it issued 1000 orders to limit access to domain names and subdomains.

While KRAIL remains operational, Ukraine’s parliament voted in April to disband the regulator. There had been criticism of the regulator’s collegial structure, which requires at least five of its six members to be present for meetings to be valid. Amid disruption caused by military service following the Russian invasion, this has often led to meetings being cancelled and long delays for licence applications.

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There will be a second reading of the bill before it can be signed by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The liquidation of KRAIL would put gambling regulation under the digital transformation ministry until a new regulator is established.

The post Ukraine Regulator KRAIL Blocks 371 Illegal Gambling Sites appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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