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Gambling Affiliates’ Guide to GDPR

George Miller

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Gambling Affiliates’ Guide to GDPR
Reading Time: 6 minutes

As of the 25th May 2018, the GDPR comes into effect, and its influence will be felt across virtually every industry imaginable where data is being collected and used on individuals located in the EU. Its overall aim is to ensure better protection of consumers’ information, both online and offline, by enforcing regulations on how data is collected, processed and secured.

What is GDPR?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It’s the result of over 6 years of preparation and consultation over data privacy concerns for EU consumers. The way in which data is collected and used today is profoundly different to how it was a decade ago. According to a report published in 2016 by IBM, “90 percent of the world’s data had been created in the last 12 months” and “many data analysts are suggesting the digital

universe will be 40 times bigger by 2020”.

 

Prior to GDPR, the ‘Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC’ attempted to harmonise the practices of EU member states in terms of their approach to data privacy. Directive 95/46/EC built on the ‘Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data’ first published in 1980, which was acknowledged by both the European Union and the United States, as a way to protect personal data and individuals’ privacy.

 

These guidelines still form the basis for the GDPR, but as they and Directive 95/46/EC were merely guidelines and directives, a more stringent and consistent approach was required to “protect the fundamental rights of individuals throughout future waves of innovation”.

 

The GDPR not only unifies the approach to data privacy across the EU, it also regulates it, meaning it is enforceable by law, and in turn carries penalties of up to 4% of annual turnover, or €20 million, whichever is the greater.

 

Pinch yourself all you like, this is happening affiliates, and failure to act now is nothing short of corporate suicide..!

Consent

The main way in which the GDPR aims to protect data subjects (individuals), is through consent. Data subjects must be made aware of the data being collected on them, why it is being collected, what will be done with it, and how long it will be retained for.

Personal Data

The most important thing for affiliates to realise is what Personal Data includes. It doesn’t stop at names, email addresses and phone numbers; it extends to social media posts, IP addresses, and even information stored in tracking cookies.

The GDPR defines it as..

any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person

 

And importantly..

an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person”.

 

The use of the words ‘directly or indirectly’ is important here. Just because a person’s name and address isn’t stored in a cookie, it doesn’t mean that the information in that cookie can’t be used to identify them. Cookies used by ad networks are able to track an individual from one site to the next, extremely well. In fact, they can potentially track a user across millions of websites.

 

Not only must you pay attention to any data you are collecting directly from individuals, such as name, phone number, email address; you must also think about what tracking codes and analytics software you have installed on your websites, which are used to build a ‘profile’ of someone, usually for advertising purposes.

 

Standard analytics code doesn’t track users across websites, so providing you don’t have any advertising features enabled in your Google Analytics (or other) code, then you won’t necessarily need to obtain consent before setting those cookies. Anything more will require clear and concise consent from your visitors though, ensuring the request for consent includes what, why, and how that data is being collected and used.

Informed Choice

The ‘Cookie Law’ introduced in 2011 (yes, it’s been 7 years!) targeted the usage of non-essential cookies i.e. those not entirely necessary for the basic functionality of a website. However, it didn’t offer users much control or choice.

 

The GDPR aims to change this in that users should be given a choice as to whether or not they agree to non-essential cookies being stored on their computer/browser. Now, accepting that cookies used by standard analytics software aren’t essential, and that they don’t contain ‘personal data’, then where does that leave us? Well, the answer lies in transparency. So long as you are clear in your ‘request for consent’ that the cookies used in your analytics software don’t collect identifiable data, nor are they shared across websites, then you should be fine. Otherwise, if they do (i.e. you have advertising features enabled), you must obtain consent from each and every visitor before setting those cookies.

Newsletter Subscriptions & Accounts

Similarly, if you have a newsletter subscription or account creation feature on your website, then you must obtain consent from users before you can collect their data. Common practice has usually been to present a “Send me occasional news by email” or “I agree to the website T&Cs” checkbox to users. This practice is now imperative, and furthermore, the declaration should be a request for consent, and should point to your Privacy Policy (it can’t be hidden in your T&Cs) which contains the full ‘request for consent’ in a clear and intelligible form, remembering to detail the what, why’s and how’s.

 

And whatever you do, don’t pre-tick the checkbox, or have any kind of “opt-out” option. Consent must be definitive, and unambiguous, and a timestamp of when that consent was obtained, and what the user was consenting to, must be recorded for audit purposes.

 

If your current privacy policy doesn’t satisfy the conditions of the GDPR, then you will need to obtain additional consent from your existing users or subscriber base.

 

In addition, “it must be as easy to withdraw consent as it is to give it”. Users must be offered an option to unsubscribe in all communications, or delete their account on your platform.

 

Think about what data you’re collecting, and whether you really need to. Obtaining consent to collect that data may present more risks than what it’s worth. Additionally, if you later decide to start collecting more data than is detailed in your original privacy policy (or the terms of your privacy policy change), then you will need to obtain additional consent to the updated privacy policy.

Affiliate Tracking Codes

Affiliate tracking cookies are fundamental to online gambling affiliates. Most affiliates are unlikely to want to offer users the ability to disable their tracking codes, and strictly speaking, as the cookies do not (shouldn’t) contain identifiable data that is shared between websites, then it might not be necessary.

 

However, affiliates should still be crystal clear about what cookies may be set as a result of clicking links on their site, why they’re being set, and how they’re being used.  It would also be prudent to offer advice about how users can block these kinds of cookies, for those who choose not to have them set.

Data Subject Rights

The GDPR also empowers individuals with control over their data, as well as outlines a number of responsibilities organisations must adhere to in order to fulfil individuals’ rights to access and control the data held on them.

 

Affiliates must be aware of their responsibilities, and put plans in place to be able to handle those responsibilities:-

Right to Access

Data subjects have the right to know what data is held on them, and how it is being used. They also have the right to request access to that data, which must be delivered to them with 1 month of the the request, in a standard electronic format, free of charge, such that they can transmit that data to another data controller (organisation) should they wish to (Data Portability).

Right To Be Forgotten

Data subjects will also have the right to be forgotten and have any data held on them deleted. Such data will include their personal information, as well as any data which could lead to them being identified, directly or indirectly. If you have implemented any tracking solutions which create a link between the data you hold, and data stored in third party software, then that link will also need to be deleted, and potentially the data stored in the third party software.

Privacy by Design & Security

The GDPR will enforce strict penalties on organisations that have failed to invest appropriate resources into securing their systems, and preventing access of data to unauthorised persons, both online and offline…

 

“The controller shall..implement appropriate technical and organisational measures..in an effective way..in order to meet the requirements of this Regulation and protect the rights of data subjects”.

 

Affiliates should ensure that any data they collect and process has been secured from the outset. If freelancers, designers or content writers have access to data unnecessarily, then it should be restricted. Similarly, any physical data should be locked safely away to prevent unauthorised access, and any new systems or website features should be designed with data privacy in mind.

 

Thought should also be given to data that can be encrypted – it may no longer be acceptable to only encrypt passwords.

Breach Notification

Organisations will be required to notify their appropriate Data Protection Authority within 72 hours of a data breach, where that breach is likely to “result in a risk for the rights and freedoms of individuals”. The gambling industry carries many negative connotations – most individuals probably wouldn’t want their identity associated with a gambling-related website, and so any data breach in this industry is likely to fall into the above category.

Data Protection Officers

Organisations who deal with large scale data processing or ‘special’ categories of data will be required to appoint a Data Protection Officer. Whilst this might not apply to most affiliates, they must understand their responsibilities as data controllers (and/or processors) to ensure the safety and security of data they hold, and ensure it isn’t shared or otherwise fall into the wrong hands. They should keep appropriate internal records, and ensure that their records are auditable.

 

This article contains general information for affiliates to make their own informed decisions about the upcoming GDPR. You must not rely on the information in this article as an alternative to professional legal advice.  The article has been contributed by Pavlos Sideris of Cashbacker – the leading gambling cashback community.

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Affiliate Industry

GambleRock.com Launches a Social Online Gambling Community

George Miller

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GambleRock.com Launches a Social Online Gambling Community
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Introducing, GambleRock.com! Players, affiliates and gaming sites are all welcome to join the fastest growing community for the online gambling industry

 

A newfangled online casino community is now live for gamblers looking for the freshest gaming news, honest casino reviews, top 10 rankings and prodigious welcome bonus offers. Introducing, GambleRock.com! Players, affiliates and gaming sites are all welcome to join the fastest growing community for the online gambling industry.

The website is free for everyone and connects gamblers directly with online betting sites through its social media like features: private messaging, friends and followers, status updates, activity feeds, WordPress blogs and community discussion forums.

Launched in May 2019, the social gambling community already has members sharing their thoughts and providing helpful tips in the GambleRock forum. It aims to connect players with affiliates, casinos and sports betting websites. The community also provides trusted online casino reviews and lists the top ranked gambling sites organized by country. i-Gaming affiliates and casino affiliate programs are encouraged to share information about their websites and develop business brand pages on gamblerock.com.

GambleRock members have discussions on different topics in the community forum. Players will find exclusive casino bonuses and new casino promo codes from highly trusted gambling websites. Active discussion categories for online betting matters are accessible in the forums. GambleRock offers members a free dispute and mediation service for any complaints they have with an Internet gambling site. Submit your complaint to the online casino complaints forum and they’ll contact you to try and help you collect payments and resolve the matter (no cost to you).

The GambleRock top 10 online casinos list is for people who want to play for real money. In addition to their current rankings, they are also developing further lists of trusted online casinos based on the country where players are located in. The reviews are trustworthy, reliable and to the point. Learn useful betting strategies for casino games before making your decision on where to play.

Stay abreast with gambling laws and other issues affecting the online gambling community. Dive deep into the news and read important and extensive news from the industry. Its noteworthy news stories are gathered from credible news sources like CNN, Wall Street Journal, BBC News, Bloomberg, AP News, etc. Every gambling news story that you’ll read on GambleRock is from a trustworthy source.

 

Source: GambleRock

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Affiliate Industry

CasinoFair launches pioneering real-time referral program

George Miller

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CasinoFair launches pioneering real-time referral program
Reading Time: 2 minutes

‘Famous For Fairness’ CasinoFair, has today launched its game changing referral programme.

 

The technology, leveraged using the FunFair platform, guarantees real-time payments, and full transparency throughout, and anyone can sign up and earn as a referrer immediately.

The limited time Universal Offer at launch will deliver instant revenue to partners in real time direct to a nominated Ethereum wallet at the end of every affiliated game session.

Referrers no longer need to wait until the month or quarter end to receive payment, with smart contract technology ensuring revenues are paid as players play, and with all earnings transparent on the blockchain.

CasinoFair pays commissions on wagers guaranteeing income, paid in FUN, no matter if the player wins or loses, marking a progressive move away from the more traditional format based on player losses and luck, which regularly sees affiliates lose out.

The program will add an extra social dimension to CasinoFair’s new generation of casino offering, complementing its millennial-focused games portfolio and Guaranteed Fair technology.

Lloyd Purser, MD of CasinoFair, said: “We’re truly excited to launch this groundbreaking new affiliate technology which we see as the future of affiliate partnerships.

“We’ll be showcasing our real time, guaranteed payments and drastically cut admin to partners for the first time at iGB Live next week, and we encourage all to come along and see our innovation first hand on stand E16.”

To mark the launch of this innovative program, CasinoFair is running a promotion which will see the top three referrers by their player wagers rewarded with a prize pool of 500,000 FUN.

For more information and for those interested in becoming a referrer can sign-up here, while organisations looking to become an affiliate partner can register their interest here.

CasinoFair and FunFair Technologies will be showcasing this technology for the first time on stand E16 at iGB Live!, Amsterdam, 17-18th July.

 

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Affiliate Industry

GiG granted affiliate licence in Romania

George Miller

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GiG granted affiliate licence in Romania
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (GiG) has been granted a Class II licence, allowing GiG to enter the regulated Romanian market with affiliate marketing services. The licence allows GiG’s Media Services to refer traffic to online casino and sportsbook operators holding a licence to operate in Romania.

GiG’s Media Services operates the media assets, the publishing and paid media teams of the Company and is one of the market leaders with a solid track record. Entering Romania is an opportunity for the media vertical to take advantage of its proprietary technology and know-how and follows GiG’s strategy to expand into regulated markets.

Richard Brown, Chief Operating Officer at GiG says: “We are excited to extend our market reach by starting to refer end users to operators with a Romanian licence. We are expanding into another regulated market where we will be able to utilise the full range of marketing channels available across both the sports and casino verticals. Romania is still a developing market and with good projected underlying growth in the online sector which has accelerated in the last couple of years.“  

Approximately 19% of all gambling in Romania is made online in a market worth USD1.5bn (2019e) based on total gambling gross win. Online gambling is estimated to grow by 12% from 2019 to 2020 and to reach more than 30% of total gambling by 2024*.

*Source: H2GC

 

About Gaming Innovation Group:

Gaming Innovation Group Inc. is a technology company providing products and services throughout the entire value chain in the iGaming industry. Founded in 2012, Gaming Innovation Group’s vision is ‘To open up iGaming and make it fair and fun for all’. Through its ecosystem of products and services, it is connecting operators, suppliers and users, to create the best iGaming experiences in the world. Gaming Innovation Group operates out of Malta and is listed in the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol GiG. www.gig.com 

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