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Compliance Updates

Joint Competition and Markets Authority / Gambling Commission letter to the gambling sector

George Miller

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Joint Competition and Markets Authority / Gambling Commission letter to the gambling sector
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

“The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and Gambling Commission (the Commission) have now concluded their joint programme of work concerning suspected breaches of consumer protection law in the remote gambling sector.

This work focused in particular on the fairness, transparency and potential for consumers to be misled by a number of terms and practices relating to online bonus promotions, and on obstacles preventing withdrawal of customer funds.

The CMA’s work with the Commission has resulted in significant changes by the sector. Six gambling firms provided undertakings to the CMA: Ladbrokes, William Hill, PT Entertainment, BGO, Jumpman Gaming and Progress Play. Each of these firms committed not to continue or repeat certain practices which the CMA considered were unfair. But the impact of this work has been felt across the entire sector.

Our joint work provided a sharp focus on aspects of online gambling and exposed significant shortcomings within the sector that had undermined consumer trust and confidence. The Commission mandated that all gambling firms would need to comply with the requirements set out in the published undertakings, not just those firms that agreed to them.

The findings from this work, and our expectations of you, have been well publicised, and all gambling firms should, by now, have amended their terms and practices to meet the requirements set out in the undertakings.

However, for you to comply fully with your consumer law and licensing responsibilities, you must go further than simply complying with the published undertakings. You need to audit all your terms and conditions, examine your business systems and practices, embed compliance and, importantly, continually review these to ensure that you maintain high standards of consumer protection in the future.

To be compliant also requires critical scrutiny of the practices of those that you deal with, including affiliates and third-party suppliers of systems, software and call centres, as you are responsible for their actions in accordance with the Commission’s Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP).

The updated provisions in LCCP, which came into force on 31 October 2018, mean that the Commission can take swift and firm action if you do not comply with consumer law and ensure that your customers are treated fairly at all stages of the customer journey.

We have seen indications of the wider sector working to make changes to the way in which promotions are constructed and promoted to consumers. Recent figures from the Independent Betting Adjudication Service highlighted a significant reduction in the number of disputes raised by consumers over bonuses and other promotions.

Making changes to promotions and withdrawal practices is an important start, but it is only one aspect of achieving compliance. More needs to be done by the sector to win back consumer trust. The best operators going forward will be those who lead by example, build on the work undertaken by the CMA and treat their customers fairly and responsibly. The Commission will continue to look at how firms treat consumers and the terms and practices that they employ when assessing suitability to hold a gambling licence. As well as undertaking compliance activity, the Commission continues to work to make gambling fairer. For example, the Commission has introduced new rules around ID verification that will allow consumers to collect their winnings without unnecessary delay.

Although the CMA does not intend to take any further action in connection with its investigation, it is not the end of its relationship with the Commission or its interest in the sector. The CMA will continue to work with and support the Commission as it progresses its compliance work, and as it continues to tackle unfair terms and practices to ensure the fair treatment of consumers.  It is important that you learn from the work that we have undertaken and ensure that compliance with consumer law is at the heart of your business model. This is essential for the sector to rebuild and maintain consumer trust.”

Yours faithfully, George Lusty, Senior Director Competition and Markets Authority

Yours faithfully, Paul Hope, Executive Director Gambling Commission

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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Canada Amends the Criminal Code Offence of Money Laundering

Niji Narayan

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Canada Amends the Criminal Code Offence of Money Laundering
Photo Source: theguardian.pe.ca
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

The Government of Canada has amended the Criminal Code offence of money laundering. The regulation changes criminalise moving money on behalf of someone despite money laundering suspicions.

“This change modernises Canada’s money laundering criminal offences to be consistent with key allies (e.g. U.K. and Australia) and provides an additional tool to disrupt and more effectively investigate and prosecute money laundering, particularly when dealing with sophisticated actors such as professional launderers,” Finance Department spokesman Greg Sommerville said.

Canada also considers other recommendations produced in the past 18 months. 120 recommendations were filed, but only 19 have been approved so far.

“Canada has fallen so far behind for so many years, we’re playing catch-up,” James Cohen, executive director of Transparency International Canada said.

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Compliance Updates

Spain Approves the Creation of Commission to Combat Sports Manipulation

Niji Narayan

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Spain Approves the Creation of Commission to Combat Sports Manipulation
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The Ministry of the Presidency in Spain has approved the creation of a national commission to combat match-fixing and betting-related fraud.

According to the Ministry, the commission will “develop action plans [and] recommendations or diagnoses to detect, prevent and combat illegal actions in the field of sports competitions and fraud in betting.”

Members of the commission will include representatives of Spain’s gambling regulator (DGOJ), the National Police, the Civil Guard, the Higher Sports Council and persons related to sports competitions and the betting sector. The Commission will be chaired on a rotating basis by the head of the DGOJ and the Directorate General of Sports.

The commission’s first task will be to develop a new early warning system developed by the DGOJ, which is intended to act as a point of communication to prevent match-fixing and fraud.

“Corruption linked to the manipulation of sports competitions and betting-related fraud are two of the greatest threats to sport and horse racing, as it undermines each sport’s core values ​​and ruins the experience for fans and spectators. For this reason… the Government has considered it necessary to establish at the national level a formalised channel of dialogue and cooperation between public authorities, sports organizations, organizers of competitions sports and representatives of the gaming sector,” the Ministry said.

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Compliance Updates

Sports Betting Becomes Legal in New Hampshire

Niji Narayan

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Sports Betting Becomes Legal in New Hampshire
Photo Source: reviewjournal.com
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

New Hampshire has become the latest U.S. state to legalise sports gambling. Gov. Chris Sununu signed into law a measure that legalises betting on professional sports and most Division I college sports, excluding games involving New Hampshire schools. The state Lottery Commission will regulate the new industry.

“We can do it with a lot of confidence because it’s being done responsibly, and it’s being done with an organization here at the lottery that just knows what they’re doing. They know how to get this stuff off the ground,” Sununu said.

Opponents had argued sports betting would continue the state’s reliance on problematic revenue sources, including alcohol and cigarettes, the so-called “sin taxes.” But supporters argued legalising of sports betting will bring black-market activity to the surface and provide support for problem gamblers through a new organisation focused on education, prevention and treatment.

“I’m happy we’re bringing an illicit activity into the light for our citizens of New Hampshire and allowing for some consumer protections,” Rep. Timothy Lang said. He called it a win for residents, communities, the state and public education.

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