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New Survey Shows Huge Public Support for Gambling Law Reforms in Northern Ireland

Niji Narayan

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New Survey Shows Huge Public Support for Gambling Law Reforms in Northern Ireland
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According to a new poll, the majority of people in Northern Ireland support reforming the country’s gambling laws. The research was carried out by the polling company LucidTalk on behalf of social policy charity CARE NI, which is campaigning for gambling law change.

Northern Ireland’s gambling legislation dates back to 1985 and critics argue it is not in line with the digital age.

According to the Department for Communities’ 2017 research, the north has a problem gambling prevalence rate of 2.3% – more than four times higher than England where it stands at 0.5%. In Scotland, the figure is 0.7% and in Wales 1.1%.

The department held a public consultation last year on the issue, but the final report has not yet been published.

When polling company LucidTalk asked what best described their position, 92% said maximum stakes and prizes online should be regulated by law, with only 8% saying there should be no limit.

Meanwhile, 90% either strongly support (68%) or support (22%) the idea of a mandatory levy for gambling firms, while just 5% were either strongly opposed or opposed to the idea of the levy. There were 1878 responses to the survey.

Public policy officer Mark Baillie described current laws as “hopelessly out of date and belong to a different era where online gambling didn’t exist.”

“Times have changed and the recent lockdown here in Northern Ireland has only increased the pressure on people with gambling addictions.

“The uncomfortable truth is that Northern Ireland has a real problem with gambling related harms and this means it’s all the more urgent to reform our current laws.

“This polling very clearly shows doing so would be hugely popular with the general population with the clear majority supportive on stake and prize limits on online games regulated by law and a mandatory levy on betting firms.

“CARE NI responded to the Department of Communities consultation on problem gambling and we look forward to the results being published soon.

“Our politicians must make this issue a priority and address the exploitation of vulnerable people thanks to a poorly regulated gambling industry.”

Compliance Updates

Complitech hits 10,000 technical compliance requirements with Greece listing

George Miller

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Complitech hits 10,000 technical compliance requirements with Greece listing
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Complitech, the gaming industry’s only product and technical compliance database, has hit a major landmark with the listing of its 10,000th requirement, after adding Greece to its selection of jurisdictions.

The addition means Complitech users can now download, sort, analyse and compare more than 10,000 technical compliance requirements from 27 regulated online gaming jurisdictions within seconds.

These requirements are translated into English and kept up to date by a team of compliance experts, with new markets added as they open. As well as Greece, full technical compliance requirements from Germany and the Netherlands will soon be available to Complitech users.

The database has quickly become a must-have tool for suppliers looking to expand their global footprint within regulated markets. On average, Complitech users are able to enter new jurisdictions 60 percent faster than competitors.

Francesco Bianchi, Director of Compliance Operations at Maxima Compliance, said: “It has been a little over six months since we launched Complitech, so it is a fantastic achievement to have already hit such a landmark.

“A huge amount of work has been put in by the team to ensure that compliance managers and product owners no longer need to spend weeks researching and translating these requirements themselves.

“Complitech not only streamlines and optimises the process of entering new regulated markets, but its powerful gap analysis tools mean it can be used to identify new strategic opportunities for your business.”

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Compliance Updates

Belgium Implements Capacity Limit for Land-based Gaming Venues

Niji Narayan

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Belgium Implements Capacity Limit for Land-based Gaming Venues
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The Belgian government has published a new decree limiting the capacity at land-based gaming venues in the country to a maximum of 40 people as the number of Covid-19 cases increases.

Also, casinos, gambling halls and betting shops must remain closed between 11:30 pm and 6:00 am, and upon arrival, customers must register their details for contact tracing.

The sale of food and drink onsite is prohibited, and customers are also obliged to wear masks, a rule which has been in effect in all public places in Belgium since July.

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Australia

AUSTRAC Launches Formal Investigation into Crown Melbourne Over AML Concerns

Niji Narayan

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AUSTRAC Launches Formal Investigation into Crown Melbourne Over AML Concerns
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AUSTRAC, Australia’s financial crime watchdog, has launched a formal investigation into potential infringements of the country’s anti-money laundering laws by Crown Resorts.

In a Monday morning filing with the Australian Securities Exchange, Crown revealed that it had been informed of the investigation by AUSTRAC after the authority’s Regulatory Operations branch identified potential non-compliance by Crown Melbourne of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Act 2006 and the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Rules 2007.

The potential non-compliance relates to “ongoing customer due diligence, and adopting, maintain and complying with an anti-money laundering/counter terrorism financing program,” Crown said.

It added that the concerns were identified “in the course of a compliance assessment that commenced in September 2019 and focused on Crown Melbourne’s management of customers identified as high risk and politically exposed persons.”

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