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Compliance Updates

UKGC confirms gambling on credit cards to be banned from April 2020

George Miller

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UKGC confirms gambling on credit cards to be banned from April 2020
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

The Gambling Commission has announced a ban on gambling businesses allowing consumers in Great Britain to use credit cards to gamble.

The ban, which comes into effect on 14 April, follows the Commission’s review of online gambling and the Government’s Review of Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures. A public consultation was carried out between August and November 2019.

24 million adults in Great Britain gamble, with 10.5 million of those gambling online. UK Finance estimate that 800,000* consumers use credit cards to gamble.

Separate research undertaken by the Commission shows that 22%** of online gamblers using credit cards to gamble are classed as problem gamblers – with even more at some risk of harm.

The ban, which will apply to all online and offline gambling products with the exception of non-remote lotteries, will provide a significant layer of additional protection to vulnerable people.

Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission chief executive, said: 

“Credit card gambling can lead to significant financial harm. The ban that we have announced today should minimise the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have.

“Research shows that 22% of online gamblers using credit cards are problem gamblers, with even more suffering some form of gambling harm.

‘“We also know that there are examples of consumers who have accumulated tens of thousands of pounds of debt through gambling because of credit card availability. There is also evidence that the fees charged by credit cards can exacerbate the situation because the consumer can try to chase losses to a greater extent.”

Mr McArthur said although he understood that some consumers used credit cards because they were convenient, the risk of harm to others was too high to allow the use of credit cards to continue.

“We realise that this change will inconvenience those consumers who use credit cards responsibly but we are satisfied that reducing the risk of harm to other consumers means that action must be taken.” he said. “But we will evaluate the ban and watch closely for any unintended circumstances for consumers.”

Mr McArthur warned that although likely to reduce gambling harm, the banning of credit cards needed to be accompanied by other efforts.

“The ban is part of our ongoing work to reduce gambling harm. We also need to continue the work we have been doing with gambling operators and the finance industry to ensure consumers only gamble with money they can afford to spend.”

Last year Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) ministers also met with banks and gambling operators to discuss their growing concerns, and how companies could use technology and customer data to help those at risk of developing gambling problems, including those using credit cards.

Culture Minister Helen Whately said: 

“Whilst millions gamble responsibly, I have also met people whose lives have been turned upside down by gambling addiction.

“There is clear evidence of harm from consumers betting with money they do not have, so it is absolutely right that we act decisively to protect them.

“In the past year we have introduced a wave of tougher measures, including cutting the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals, bringing in tighter age and identity checks for online gambling and expanding national specialist support through the NHS Long Term Plan. We have also secured a series of commitments from five leading gambling operators that will include £100 million funding towards treatment for problem gamblers.

“But there is more to do. We will be carrying out a review of the Gambling Act to ensure it is fit for the digital age and we will be launching a new nationwide addiction strategy in 2020.

“We will not hesitate to take any further action necessary to protect people from gambling harm.”

Today has also seen the Commission announce changes to licence conditions which will require all online gambling operators to participate in the GAMSTOP scheme and offer their customers the service from 31 March.

Neil McArthur said:

“We welcome the fact that GAMSTOP have got to this stage in their development and encourage them to continue to improve their offer, particularly in relation to preventing those who have self-excluded being targeted by direct marketing.

“It is important that self-exclusion schemes are as effective as possible and they will be most effective when used in combination with other blocking tools such as gambling blocking software and payment card blocking.

Helen Whately added: 

“We have been clear to all businesses that have connections to gambling, such as operators, social media platforms and banks, that they must be socially responsible and use the power of technology and data to help consumers manage their spending and protect them from harm.

“I have been encouraged by the majority of major high street banks introducing measures to allow customers to switch off spending on gambling through mobile apps.

“By making it a regulatory requirement for all online gambling websites licensed in Great Britain to sign up to Gamstop. I am confident that people who have taken the significant step to opt out of gambling will be well supported, alongside a wide range of other tools.”

Compliance Updates

IDnow is certified for operation of identification solutions via remote working

George Miller

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IDnow is certified for operation of identification solutions via remote working
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

IDnow, a leading provider of Identity Verification-as-a-Service solutions with over 250 customers in Europe, has received official certification from TÜV IT for the operation of identification solutions via teleworking. This marks an important milestone for the industry to be able to operate and expand the necessary customer identification for banking and business processes even under exceptional circumstances.

The independent testing institute TÜV IT has certified the IDnow security concept for the operation of video identification and Qualified Electronic Signatures (QES) via remote working. The certification proves that the security measures carried out by IDnow in remote working achieve an equivalent security level as in the certified high-security IDnow Ident Centers. In consideration of the Corona (COVID-19) pandemic, this certification is now of particular importance, as it allows IDnow’s identification solutions for high-security processes to be used unchanged and further expanded even under the current circumstances.

“It is very important to us to be able to provide our customers with a reliable service at all times – especially in the current situation. With our certified concept, we are equipped to continue to offer our employees a safe working environment and to provide our service in a fail-safe manner. We can activate these measures at any time”, says Andreas Bodczek, CEO of IDnow. “Right now, we see an increased demand for remote identification as well as an increase in online credit transactions. We are proud that with our products we can make a contribution to ensuring smooth business and banking processes even in times of social distancing and that we can meet this demand of society”, he adds.

In addition to this remote working concept, IDnow is particularly fail-safe in comparison to the rest of the industry, with a diversification to eleven geographically distributed ID centre locations. The sites are located in various cities across Germany and Europe. A software specially developed for this purpose distributes incoming identification requests simultaneously to all ID centres. In this way, a disruption of one identification centre location can be compensated by other locations without delay.

“Over the past few years, we have invested heavily in the resilience and security of our technology and infrastructure. This is now paying off especially well for our customers. In the last few days we have received a significantly increased number of enquiries from major customers interested in our service as a highly secure identification solution”, says Armin Bauer, co-founder and CTO of IDnow.

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Compliance Updates

Washington Governor Jay Inslee Signs Bill Allowing Sports Betting in Tribal Casinos

Niji Narayan

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Washington Governor Jay Inslee Signs Bill Allowing Sports Betting in Tribal Casinos
Photo Source: washingtontimes.com
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Washington Governor Jay Inslee has signed a bill that will allow sports gambling at tribal casinos in the state.

“This will allow people to participate in a new gaming activity that is safe and well-regulated by the tribes,” Inslee said.

Washington Indian Gaming Association Executive Director Rebecca Kaldor thanked Inslee for supporting the bill.

“The revenue generated by tribal gaming funds critical needs in our communities,” Kaldor said.

“Tribal communities and governments are currently dealing with the devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. As we recover from this crisis, the addition of this amenity will help tribal governments fund the essential services their members will need to get back up on their feet,” Kaldor added.

Supporters of the bill said betting on sports was widespread in Washington already and legalising it would protect consumers.

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Balkans

Bulgarian Gambling Regulator Suspends Eurofootball Licence

Niji Narayan

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Bulgarian Gambling Regulator Suspends Eurofootball Licence
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

The Bulgarian State Commission on Gambling has suspended the licence of bookmaker Eurofootball for three months over unpaid taxes.

The commission said that Eurofootball could resume betting activities if it pays 329 million levs ($182.11 million) to the state within three months.

Eurofootball was founded in 1990 and became hugely successful with more than 800 betting shops operating around the country.

The Bulgarian government has been unable to formulate a proper law governing sports betting for some time now. Eurofootball has been the sole bookmaker in the country for many years.

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