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Compliance Updates

UKGC Publishes First National Strategic Assessment

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UKGC Publishes First National Strategic Assessment
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The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has published its first-ever National Strategic Assessment.

The document uses the latest available evidence, from various sources and case studies, to assess the issues and risks gambling presents to consumers and the public. It sets out UKGC’s priority actions to address those risks and issues, as well as highlighting a number of areas where significant progress is already made to make gambling safer.

Neil McArthur, Chief Executive of UKGC, said: “We will use our National Strategic Assessment as the foundation for prioritising our work over the coming months and years.

“We look forward to working with the government on the forthcoming review of the Gambling Act and alongside that work we will be working hard to address the issues that we have identified in our Strategic Assessment.

“We have demonstrated that we are willing and able to respond quickly to emerging issues and risks and that we will use the full range of our powers to protect consumers. We and have made considerable progress in many areas to make gambling safer – but we want to go further and faster.”

UKGC has also published its annual Compliance and Enforcement Report – a document featuring the findings of the regulator’s extensive casework against licence holders and detailing where the industry needs to raise standards.

Mr McArthur said: “Holding an operating licence or a personal licence is a privilege, not a right, and we expect our licensees to protect consumers from harm and treat them fairly.

“Our latest report shows that where licensees fail to meet the standards we expect, we will take tough action, including the suspension and revocation of licences. It also charts how we are shifting our focus towards personal management licence holders – those in boardrooms and senior positions need to live up to their responsibilities and we will continue to hold people to account for failings they knew, or ought to have known, about.

“Everyone has a part to play to make gambling safer and learning the lessons from the failings identified in this report is one way of doing that.”

Compliance Updates

UKGC Fines Betway £400,000 for Marketing on Children’s Webpages

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Online gaming operator Betway has been fined £408,915 by the UK Gambling Commission for marketing on the children’s pages of West Ham United Football Club’s website.

Commission enquiries revealed that between 14 April 2020 and 6 November 2021 the operator’s gambling logo, which linked to its website, was displayed on a webpage offering the opportunity to print a teddy bear for children to colour in.

Enquiries also revealed a logo with a link to the operator’s webpage featured on the “Young Hammers at Home” webpage between 24 October 2021 and 15 November 2021.

Both advertisements breached Commission rules stating gambling advertising must be socially responsible.

Leanne Oxley, Gambling Commission Director of Enforcement, said: “Protecting children from gambling harm is at the heart of what we do.

“Although there is no suggestion that the operator was deliberately targeting children, or that children had been allowed to gamble, we take the breach of any rules aimed at protecting children extremely seriously.

“We note the remedial actions since taken by licensee but advise all operators to learn from this case and ensure that they take responsibility and have the correct processes in place so that websites directed at children do not include advertisements for gambling.”

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Compliance Updates

STATEMENT FROM LIVESPINS

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Twitch’s statement banning remote licensed gambling sites from being streamed has made waves across the industry today. At HappyHour, we’ve long anticipated such news and what is certain is that gambling on mainstream media platforms will be volatile. We believe that the industry itself needs to take control of the space and provide a healthy, sustainable and highly engaging offer.

We foresee community and social experiences will be the future of online casino, which is why we invested heavily into Livespins.

Livespins gives the operators themselves the power to host a fully certified turnkey streaming platform on their website with the rigor and player protection lacking on mainstream media. Livespins offers players the ability to view and play the games they love, with reliable idols, through the account and balance they have created – where age checks, responsible gambling tools, and general safe play policies and processes are already in place.

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Compliance Updates

Swedish Gambling Regulator Orders Unlicensed Casineia to Exit Market

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Casineia operator Ease Gaming NV has been banned from offering games of chance in Sweden following a decision by Swedish gambling regulator Spelinspektionen.

Casineia is an online casino operated by Ease Gaming, which is based in Curaçao. The operator does not have a Swedish licence and so, according to Sweden’s 2019 Gambling Act, is ineligible to operate in the Nordic country. Despite this, an investigation by Spelinspektionen found that the site was available to and aimed at Swedish consumers.

Ease Gaming will also be prohibited from offering gambling activities in the country on its other websites: Slothive, Gamblii and Jinxcasino.

Spelinspektionen said: “The Gambling Act applies to games provided in Sweden, with specifically stated exceptions. It is a prohibitive legislation that is based on the principle that everyone who acts on the Swedish gaming market must have a licence. It is therefore not permitted to provide games without a licence when one is required.

“The purpose of the new regulation is for gambling to be channeled to offers from responsible, reliable and controllable players. The regulation is based on the fact that everyone who acts on the Swedish gambling market must have a Swedish gambling licence and that other actors without a licence must be shut out.

“Spelinspektionen considers that, with regard to consumer protection and to guarantee gaming safety, it is important that the decision is complied with immediately.”

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