With the biggest week of UK racing taking place at Cheltenham this week, many occasional bettors are likely to be preparing to have one of their first flutters of the year.
Event organiser The Jockey Club reported a whopping 280,000 racegoers over the four-day event last year and OpenBet, the platform that took bets for leading bookies such as William Hill, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power, SkyBet and Betfair, processed bets worth more than half a billion pounds.
But leading gambling licensing law firm Poppleston Allen has warned that punters might be asked for more than just money when they go to place their bets this year, thanks to the increasing trend among bookmakers to carry out affordability checks on their customers.
“Since last year’s major racing events took place, we’ve seen a rise in bookmakers undertaking affordability checks and asking players to provide documentation such as payslips and bank statements to prove they can afford to gamble,” said Felix Faulkner, solicitor at Poppleston Allen.
“A recent study of more than 1,000 bettors carried out by YouGov for sports betting community OLBG found that 22% had been asked for payslips, bank statements or similar documents by at least one bookmaker[i].
“If a betting establishment asks a customer for financial information and they are unable or unwilling to provide it, the company is well within its rights to refuse to take their bet. Bookmakers have a legal responsibility under their operating licence conditions to minimise the risk of customers experiencing gambling harm. If they have concerns a customer might be trying to bet more than they can afford, it is advisable they refuse the bet.”
Gambling companies are regulated by the Gambling Commission, which provides guidance that suggests that they should consider customers’ affordability when interacting with customers. However, the guidance does not set limits or thresholds at which gambling companies need to ask for proof customers can afford their gambling.
There have been credible rumours that the forthcoming government White Paper on gambling reform will propose mandatory limits, but the publication of this has been repeatedly delayed due to changes in government departments.
Faulkner said: “There is an element of uncertainty in the market at present. The current Gambling Commission guidance[ii] for premises-based operators, which applies to on-course bookmakers, states that Commission research found some operators had set ‘inappropriately high’ thresholds in the past.
“However, at present there are no hard and fast rules on what is an appropriate level that should prompt bookmakers to ask customers for proof their gambling is affordable to them. This has resulted in gambling companies setting their own rules on when it is appropriate to carry out financial checks on customers and this has led to some differences between bookmakers.
“It remains to be seen how the various on-course bookmakers will interpret the guidance this year. In practice it can be difficult for them to work out who can afford what if there is a race starting in one minute and there are 20 people waving money at them to put a bet on, however compliance with licence conditions is mandatory and operators should always act responsibly.”
ProgressPlay brings forward the future of casino management with revolutionary AI
Once again, casino and sports platform provider ProgressPlay are ahead of their time with a new wave of technology innovation that has helped the company to attend major shows during 2023 with soaring confidence based on pioneering proprietary technological advances that have featured strongly in annual awards shows.
The company’s future-centred thinking and ambitious AI product development attracted a raft of operators and partners attending last week’s SiGMA Europe in Malta. A raft of casino operators during the show had the opportunity to see firsthand ProgressPlay’s new tech which offers a comprehensive gaming management solution across multiple channels and products.
ProgressPlay’s enhanced iGaming platform provides operators with a powerful real-time AI-driven proprietary flow tool for optimising the performance of an online casino in a dynamic data ecosystem. Real-time player interaction provides compliance teams with the information to manage and interact with players.
Last year, ProgressPlay undertook an ambitious reframe of their technology with new proprietary Responsible Gambling automation and tools at its heart. ProgressPlay’s new platform manages player accounts, payments, bonuses, loyalty programs, fraud prevention and games, using robust tools and analytics.
ProgressPlay Sales Manager Marina Nahhas said: “ProgressPlay’s innovative Responsible Gambling software covers topics like KYC, player activity, affordability levels, and a transparent audit trail. These topics resonate heavily with operators and we were delighted with the level of engagement around this revenue-critical activity during the week we spent in Malta.”
ProgressPlay’s combo sportsbook and comprehensive turnkey solution, including casino platform, player management, payments module, and affiliate software are designed to boost operators seeking to effectively drive both revenue and efficiency with the latest cutting-edge technology.
Over 150 online casino brands have partnered with ProgressPlay covering a unique combination of casino games and sports-betting. ProgressPlay’s sportsbook offers up to 40,000 live betting markets and services across 20 languages while the latest platform offers a slick AI-driven UI/UX, and extensive value-added services alongside thousands of casino games, including slots, online casino, live casino, poker, table games, and sportsbook, across all devices and currencies.
ProgressPlay CEO Itai Loewenstein said: “Commercial agreements are being driven by our breakthrough technology that enables deployment of our AI tools for greater efficiency and revenue-generation. SiGMA Europe has been the last stop in a busy year and we believe that since we first launched our new technology in London at the beginning of the year our sophisticated Responsible Gambling tool has quickly moved beyond the early-adopter stage.”
SiGMA Europe 2023 in Malta: Slotegrator shares key insights
Every year, SiGMA Europe gathers iGaming professionals together to connect, share insights, and sum up the year. This year, the event was visited by over 20,000 participants from over 100 countries. The Slotegrator team found the trip to be truly inspirational and is ready to share its insights.
SiGMA Europe was the best place to summarize the results of 2023. For Slotegrator, this year was dedicated to researching customers’ requirements and desires, players’ interests, and industry tendencies. Throughout the year, Slotegrator visited events in four huge iGaming markets – Africa, Asia, LatAm and Europe – to get a clear picture of what those markets are like.
At each of these events, the team gathered firsthand knowledge on how to improve Slotegrator’s flagship products and provide even better service to the company’s clients.
At SiGMA Europe 2023 in Malta, the Slotegrator team presented new features of its turnkey online casino platform and the phenomenal mobile solution – Telegram Casino – which was first presented by Slotegrator in 2017 and updated in 2022.
Slotegrator’s top managers also had plenty of meetings with partners about the company’s APIgrator solution – a unique solution for the fast and seamless integration of online casino games into gambling platforms. The solution incorporates more than 15,000 various slots, card games, live dealer games, and virtual sports from 100 world’s leading developers. In 2024, Slotegrator will present to the market plenty of new partnerships with providers from different parts of the world.
“SiGMA Europe 2023 was a great event for our team, as usual. To gather in such a great place to meet partners, to summarize preliminary results of the year, to outline plans for the future – it was the right decision,” says Yana Khaidukova, Managing Director at Slotegrator.
Slotegrator mentions that the composition of the iGaming world is changing: new companies have already appeared and will continue to appear not only for occuping a part of the existing market, but they form new niches, as they come with new spectacular offers and solutions. It is the reason why the competition increases many times, and it gives the industry new directions of development.
As for providers, their number is increasing very rapidly. Small companies are growing into large ones, which shows the success of their solutions, and new companies come with fresh ideas, games and experience that players like.
One trend that is only going to increase is the interest in crash games. Prominent studios are introducing new examples of fresh crash games. Leaders, who are already successful in this niche, such as Aviatrix, continue to modify their crash game and expand it into new markets and continue to win the hearts of new players by providing them with an amazing gaming experience.
According to the Slotegrator’s observations, many Asian companies took part in SiGMA Europe 2023, which suggests that the Asian vector will be very popular next year.
Here are some additional key insights from SiGMA Europe that the company will carry into next year:
- Responsible Gaming is growing more and more important to players, operators, and regulators.
- It’s essential to embrace innovation. New technologies can let operators offer players more choices and solve problems faster and more effectively.
- Operators need to keep increasing their security and anti-fraud measures. Scammers are always on the lookout for new ways to defraud casinos, so operators need to try and stay a few steps ahead of them.
- Players want to be a part of a community. Platform operators should create a welcoming atmosphere by offering features like multiplayer chats where players can connect with each other.
- It’s essential that online casinos show loyal players their appreciation. Better bonuses can keep players coming back, as well as referral programs where players earn rewards for bringing in new leads.
- Cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and blockchain tech in general are here to stay. Finding ways to integrate them can help you offer your players a better, more modern experience.
- Player behavior should be constantly analyzed in order to identify trends and enhance player retention strategies.
As for the last point, Slotegrator is set to release internal reports on the state of the industry that provide an analysis of player behavior and predictions for the development of the industry in 2024. To be one of the first to receive the reports, subscribe to Slotegrator’s social media channel here.
Since 2012, Slotegrator has been one of the iGaming industry’s leading software and business solution providers for online casino and sportsbook operators.
The company’s main focus is software development and support for online casino platforms, as well as the integration of game content and payment systems.
The company works with licensed game developers and offers a vast portfolio of casino content: slots, live casino games, poker, virtual sports, table games, lotteries, casual games, and data feeds for betting.
Slotegrator also provides consulting services in gambling license acquisition and business incorporation.
More information: https://slotegrator.pro/
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