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Compliance Updates

UK’s Gambling Commission publishes tougher ad rules

Niji Narayan

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The UK’s Gambling Commission has released a new set of updated rules regarding advertising, which are more stringent and tougher than the older set of rules. The commission said that the new set of rules “provide stronger protection for consumers and ensure they are treated fairly by gambling businesses.”

The new rules are set to come into effect from October 31 this year. The new rules empower the commission to sanction operators who break advertising rules and even impose fines.

Gambling companies will also face action for advertising failings by third-party affiliates, while the commission can also punish operators that send “spam” marketing emails or texts.

The commission also said the new rules will make it quicker and easier to react to breaches of consumer law, such as unfair and misleading practices.

In addition, companies will now have access to an improved complaints process, which will include an eight-week deadline to resolve such issues.

The move comes after the commission last month urged the UK industry to “step up” in order to help the regulator improve standards across the sector.

Neil McArthur, chief executive of the Gambling Commission, said that the latest changes “will protect consumers from irresponsible advertising and misleading promotions, ensure that they can withdraw their money more easily, and will mean that firms have to deal with complaints more swiftly”.

Responding to today’s announcement, Clive Hawkswood, chief executive of the Remote Gambling Association (RGA), told iGamingBusiness.com that while it is too early to assess the overall impact of the new requirements as a package, “none of these changes should come as a surprise to anyone.”

Hawkswood added: “The industry has already acknowledged the need for improvement in some of the key areas such as complaints-handling and the flaws previously identified by the Competition and Market Authority (CMA).”

Hawkswood also told iGamingBusiness.com that although the RGA initially raised concerns about using regulatory powers to underpin the voluntary regulation system for campaigns overseen by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), it shares the commission’s objective of “maximising compliance through improved guidance and transparency.”

He added: “There are many in the industry who continue to have reservations about the subjectivity that is inherent in many of the ASA’s rulings – for example, in determining what might be considered to be advertising that is ‘of particular appeal to children’ – but we are already working with them to get a better understanding of the decision-making processes.”

Niji Narayan has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. He reports gaming industry headlines from all around the globe.

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Africa

Mlungisi Mvoko Sees Gaming as Revenue Source for Eastern Cape Province

Niji Narayan

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Photo source: myjewishlearning.com
Reading Time: 1 minute

Mlungisi Mvoko, member of the executive council for Economic Development, has told that new technologies and gaming could lead to an increase in the revenue base for the Eastern Cape Province.

“It is still our fervent belief that through the infusion of new technologies in the 4th Industrial Revolution and optimal regulation, gaming could lead to an increase in the revenue base of the province,” Mvoko said while attending the 15th Gaming Regulators Africa Forum.

“It comes as no surprise that technology has had a remarkable impact on the gaming industry. So, if you are wondering how technology is impacting the gaming industry then you need to look no further than how a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin has revolutionized the realm of online users,” he added.

The 15th Gaming Regulators Africa Forum, themed “Fourth Industrial Revolution and its Impact on Gaming in Africa,” brings together representatives from countries which include Angola, Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The conference focuses on global economy shifts and the impact of this on the global gaming industry. Mvoko told delegates that the shift to legalise gambling and the growth in the sector has benefited provincial treasury.

He said the industry had given consumers an additional choice of recreation, generated considerable tax revenue and increased employment. Mvoko said the provincial economy grew by an estimated R985 million over the last five years as a result of the gambling industry.

The Eastern Cape economy was predominantly driven by car manufacturing and tourism industries. But the ongoing global economic crisis has brought about an indirect decline in both industries.

Mvoko said the gaming and gambling industry must be boosted in a manner that supported and facilitated economic development.

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Compliance Updates

Spain Moves Forward on Gambling Ads Ban

Niji Narayan

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Photo source: casinobeats.com
Reading Time: 1 minute

The PSOE minority government in Spain is going to accept all the recommendations of Ombudsman Francisco Fernández Marugán to ban gambling advertising.

The Ministry of Finance has accepted the Ombudsman’s recommendations. That way, departments would have to enforce new restrictions on the gaming industry. The authorities will soon draft a Royal Decree to establish restrictions on gambling advertising in Spain.

The Ombudsman filed his recommendation with the ministries of Treasury and the Health, Consumer and Welfare. Within the filing, he asked for a complete ban on gambling advertising in Spain.

“kids’ viewing time needs to be clean of gambling ads and no celebrities should be shown advertising gambling,” he said.

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Compliance Updates

Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft to Disclose Loot Boxes Odds

Niji Narayan

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The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) has revealed that the console makers are working on policies that will require disclosure on loot boxes odds. Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft are working on policies that would require a loot boxes disclosure on their systems.

“These required disclosures will also apply to game updates if the update adds new loot box features. The precise timing of this disclosure requirement is still being worked out, but the console makers are targeting 2020 for the implementation of the policy,” Michael Warnecke, ESA chief counsel of tech policy said.

The list of member companies that committed to implementing the changes include: Activision Blizzard, Bandai Namco Entertainment, Bethesda, Bungie, Electronic Arts, Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony Interactive Entertainment, Take-Two Interactive, Ubisoft, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Wizards of the Coast.

“I’m happy to announce this morning that Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony indicated to ESA a commitment to new platform policies with respect to the use of paid loot boxes in games developed for their platform. Specifically, this would apply to new games and game updates that add loot box features. And it would require the disclosure of the relative rarity or probabilities of obtaining randomised virtual items in games that are available on their platforms,” Warnecke said.

“The major console makers are committing to new platform policies that will require paid loot boxes in games developed for their platforms to disclose information on the relative rarity or probability of obtaining randomised virtual items,” Warnecke added.

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