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How the Regulatory Environment for Online Gaming is Evolving

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How the Regulatory Environment for Online Gaming is Evolving
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In many countries, online gaming isn’t part of the regulatory environment. That’s because most gaming laws were passed long before the Internet came along. Where online casinos are allowed, the rules aren’t written in stone.

They change frequently, often to adjust tax rate or raise regulatory standards. That said, the world is slowly changing its stance on online casinos. An industry traditionally rejected by politicians and lobbyists is now welcomed, albeit with fast-changing rules.

Below is an overview of the evolving regulatory framework of online gaming globally.

Emphasizing Transparency

If you have visited an online casino lately, you must have realized they are more transparent than ever before. They no longer hide their license numbers, office addresses or contact details.

Instead, they provide every piece of information you need.

Online casinos aren’t suddenly transparent out of their own kindness. They’ve been directed to become more open with their customers. That way, no one has to create an account and spend money at a gaming site based on misleading information.

That transparency is pretty crucial when it comes to payments and bonuses. On the one hand, you want to know about fees, limits and processing times beforehand. On the flip side, you want to accept bonuses only after you understand their terms and conditions.

Of course, not all casinos are entirely transparent. In many cases, you’ll need to read their terms and conditions to discover the nitty gritty of their services. For example, they might reveal their bonus wagering requirements beforehand. But they could hide information about withdrawal limits in their terms and conditions webpages.

Encouraging Social Responsibility

Social responsibility has been a trending topic for the past five years. It’s something everyone involved in the online gaming sector wants to talk about for selfless or business reasons. In Britain, the UKGC requires operators to have tools and partnerships with programs that can help problem gamblers.

It also works with non-profit organizations to help raise the standards for safe casino gaming or to help players in some way. With that in mind, nearly every online casino in Britain has a way of preventing casino harm.

At some websites, you get software to restrict your weekly and monthly budgets. Also, you receive a hotline or link to a website you can call if you need intervention. These days, online casino also works with Gamstop—an NGO that helps casino players self-exclude from gaming websites in the UK.

How Gamstop Works

Gamstop provides you with an online form on which you fill your name, date of birth, email address, mobile number and home address. You also specific how long you want to be excluded from online casinos: six months, one or five years.

After that, it circulates your information every online casino licensed by the UKGC. It also orders them to blacklist you for the time you specified. After your self-exclusion period is over, you can contact Gamstop to deactivate your account.

Unfortunately, your records don’t just fade away. Every online casino gets a memo that you’ve registered for Gamstop’s program in the past. Some casinos might then reject you fearing you could still have problem gaming.

There’s an alternative, though, and you can find more information here. But basically, it helps you find safe casinos not regulated by the UKGC. Also, they don’t work with Gamstop, so you don’t have to worry not finding a gaming website.

Regional Regulation in North America

In both the US and Canada, online gambling regulation is now a regional issue. In the US, states legalize and regulate the industry. In Canada, provinces make the rules and authorize operators to run online casinos.

There are several more countries where online gaming is regulated on a regional level:

Germany, South Africa and Australia, to name a few. And all of them cite one benefit: it’s easier to regulate gaming markets within a province or state compared to national level.

Will Britain follow suit? Unlikely. The UK shows no signs of taking away the gaming regulatory mandate from the UKGC and genuinely so. For a long time, Britain has been a paragon of how to regulate online casinos professionally and transparently.

As such, the focus isn’t be on devolving online casinos. It is on regulating it properly regardless of who does it. After all, the majority of countries aren’t large enough to devolve online gaming.

Relaxed Advertising Laws

For a long time, most countries had strict gambling advertising rules. Some nations like Spain still have prohibitive advertising laws for remote gaming companies. But generally speaking, the world is moving towards an environment where operators can market their content freely.

For example, online casinos are no longer prohibited from advertising on television. Sure, they can’t run adverts during the day. But they have an allocated time when they can market their games and bonuses.

Likewise, they can also advertise on websites and mobile apps. The only restriction is to avoid running ads on websites frequented by children. Additionally, they can’t involve young persons in their marketing efforts.

Expanding and Privatizing Gaming Businesses

In many countries where online gaming is legal, operators didn’t always have the freedom to offer all gaming positions. In contrast, players didn’t always have the choice on where they can bet on sports.

Instead, some countries used to run online gaming through monopoly government agencies.

Norway still uses that system. But more countries globally are privatizing gaming so that players have a variety of casinos to use.

In contrast, countries are also expanding their lists of allowed gaming positions. As a result, slot websites no longer have a limit on the number of machines they can provide. And they are not prohibited to provide certain games for any reason.

Conclusion

The online gaming industry is undergoing a progressive revolution. And it does not just mean there will be more gaming sites in the future. It means operators have more freedom on games to provide and how to market their services. In contrast, it means players have access to more and better gaming platforms.

Africa

GLI Africa Recognised for 20 Years of Accreditation

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GLI Africa Recognised for 20 Years of Accreditation
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Gaming Laboratories International (GLI®) in Africa has been awarded a certificate of recognition from the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) for maintaining its continuous accreditation for more than 20 years.

SANAS is recognised by the Accreditation for Conformity Assessment, Calibration and Good Laboratory Practice Act, 2006 (Act No. 19 of 2006) as the sole national accreditation body for providing an internationally recognised and effective accreditation.

GLI Africa is accredited by SANAS for Performance Testing (ISO/IEC 17025) and Inspection (ISO/IEC 17020), and the certificate recognises 20 uninterrupted years of accreditation for Performance Testing.

Devon Dalbock, General Manager of GLI Africa said, “This is a fantastic achievement for GLI Africa and demonstrates the extremely high standards the GLI team in Africa and globally consistently work to. This is also great news for our clients and suppliers looking to certify their products for the South African market. By trusting GLI with their compliance testing requirements, they can be assured of the highest levels of integrity and secure in the knowledge that their products will conform to local technical standards.

“The GLI team in Africa has continued to expand throughout the last 12 months to meet the global demand for GLI services with the introduction of 43 new team members, bringing the total to more than 90. We have also launched the GLI complete suite of Integrated Compliance Solutions, which provides companies of all sizes with the tools they need to comply with their regulatory and technical obligations, all in one place.”

GLI is recognized by accreditation bodies worldwide for accreditations to ISO standards for testing ((ISO/IEC 17025), field inspections ((ISO/IEC 17020), product certification (ISO/IEC 17065) and certification of information systems management systems (ISO/IEC 17021). This global scope of accreditations allows GLI the flexibility to serve our customers 24 days hours a day, seven days a week.

 

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Compliance Updates

UKGC Issues Fines to Two Operators over Social Responsibility Breaches

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The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has issued fines to two gaming companies that have breached social responsibility protocols.

Rank Digital Gaming (Alderney) Limited – trading as bellacasino.com, grosvenorcasino.com, meccabingo.com and meccagames.com – will have to pay £700,557 for social responsibility failures.

Annexio (Jersey) Limited – trading as lottogo.com – will have to pay £612,000 for both social responsibility and money laundering failures.

The settlement money will go to the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.

Helen Venn, Gambling Commission Executive Director, said: “We expect high standards from operators to ensure gambling in Britain is safe and crime free. Those businesses that fail to meet these standards will find themselves facing costly regulatory action.”

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Asia

Macau’s Draft Gaming Bill Outlines Tighter Control of Casinos, Junkets

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Macau’s Legislative Assembly has published the draft of a highly anticipated gaming bill on Tuesday that gave details on the Chinese territory’s goal of tightening its grip on casino firms and reining in so-called junket operators.

The proposed changes, which need legislators’ approval to become law, mark the biggest reform in two decades for the world’s biggest gambling hub in terms of money wagered and lay the ground for multibillion-dollar casino operators ahead of the expiration of their licenses this year.

The 44-page draft document – published in Chinese and Portuguese – comes after the government announced on Friday that the number of new licenses would be capped at six and the license term halved to 10 years.

The licences of the six operators, Wynn Macau, Sands China, MGM China, SJM Holdings, Galaxy Entertainment and Melco Resorts, are all due to expire in June. The government said all existing or potential operators need to apply through a new tender process.

The draft bill aimed to provide clarity on the role of the junket operators, middlemen tasked with bringing in high-rollers from mainland China. If approved, casino operators would no longer have dedicated junket rooms, and revenue-sharing arrangements between the two parties would be prohibited.

Macau will continue to issue junket licenses to approved VIP promoters but will restrict them to only operating in one concessionaire. Previously, Macau junkets were allowed to operate in all operators with multiple rooms. This is likely to further dilute their influence.

While a proposal for a government official to directly supervise the casinos was dropped after feedback from the operators, casinos will be subject to a review every three years when the city’s gaming regulator will examine their “contractual compliance in general”.

Each license holder will have a 30% cap on the number of shares that can be publicly listed while any major financial transactions must be communicated to authorities. The government said it has the right to terminate a casino’s contract for reasons including public interest or breaching its obligations.

Casino operators will have to draw up a plan to promote responsible gambling, while there will be a maximum number of gaming tables and machines each license holder will be allowed to operate, according to the bill.

The draft detailed what would be expected of new licensees, including support for local small- and medium-sized companies, activities of “public interest” and support for fields including science and the environment.

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