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Compliance Updates

UKGC Publishes First National Strategic Assessment

Niji Narayan

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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

Camelot to Enforce 18+ Age Restriction on UK National Lottery Products from April 22

Niji Narayan

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Camelot to Enforce 18+ Age Restriction on UK National Lottery Products from April 22
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The Camelot Group has announced that it will enforce an 18+ age restriction on all its UK National Lottery products from April 22, six months ahead of the UK Government’s October deadline to introduce the measure.

From that date, anyone under the age of 18 will no longer be able to purchase any of the national lottery operator’s products, whether that be online or in a retail environment.

The UK Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced last December that it would be raising the minimum age to play the lottery from 16 to 18 years following the release of its “Review of the Gambling Act 2005 Terms of Reference and Call for Evidence” policy paper.

Originally, online lottery sales to under-18s were to be banned first from April, with a deadline of implementation across retail by October 2021, but now Camelot has acted to enforce the age limit across all verticals sooner than required.

A Camelot spokesperson said: “From 22 April 2021, players must be 18 or over to play National Lottery games online, in-store and on the app. This is in line with the government’s decision to raise the legal minimum age to play The National Lottery, which we fully support.

“Encouraging healthy play is at the heart of everything we do. Remember, you can set limits for the amount you deposit and spend each week, moderate your Instant Win Games play limit or even take a break from playing.”

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Melco becomes first in Macau and the Philippines to receive esteemed third-party Responsible Gaming accreditation RG Check

George Miller

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Melco becomes first in Macau and the Philippines to receive esteemed third-party Responsible Gaming accreditation RG Check
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Melco Resorts & Entertainment announces it has become the first integrated resort operator in Macau and the Philippines to achieve the esteemed international third-party responsible gaming accreditation RG Check, with its entire integrated resort portfolio including Altira Macau, City of Dreams Macau, Studio City and City of Dreams Manila receiving the certification. Developed by the Responsible Gambling Council, RG Check is the world’s most comprehensive and rigorous responsible gaming accreditation program. It is designed to meet or exceed all existing responsible gaming regulatory requirements and is valid for three years. Accreditation is reviewed by a prestigious and independent panel of responsible gaming specialists.

Mr. Lawrence Ho, Chairman & CEO of Melco, said, “Responsible gaming continues to be at the core of our commitment to society as we continue to offer the highest standards of service whilst striving to ensure the provision of a safe and fair gaming experience for all our valued guests. We are committed to the development and maintenance of a culture of responsible gaming in every jurisdiction in which we operate, respecting and fully cooperating with international government and gaming regulators. We would like to take this opportunity to thank the organizers and our many dedicated colleagues who made this achievement possible.”

Ms. Shelley White, CEO of Responsible Gambling Council, said, “We commend Melco on demonstrating their commitment to responsible gaming and being the first operator to achieve RG Check accreditation for venues in Macau and the Philippines. RG Check is an important tool for continuous improvement, helping operators manage risk and increase the effectiveness of their RG programming. RGC is proud to be able to support Melco’s efforts in player education, employee training and harm minimization with evidence-based best practices in areas of responsible gaming.”

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Compliance Updates

Casino Cosmopol Receives New Five-year Licence

Niji Narayan

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Casino Cosmopol Receives New Five-year Licence
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Swedish regulator Spelinspektionen has awarded a new five-year licence to Svenska Spel’s land-based casino subsidiary Casino Cosmopol.

The licence renewal, effective from this year, comes despite the fact that Casino Cosmopol has been un-operational for more than a year owing to the closure of its casinos due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Svenska-Spel, Sweden’s state-owned former gaming monopoly, which still has a monopoly over land-based casinos, closed all four of its Casino Cosmopol venues in March 2020.

At the time, the brand had casinos in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Sundsvall. Svenska Spel has since decided to close the Sundsvall casino permanently. The venue had been billed as Sweden’s first international casino when it opened in 2001.

As a result of the closure of venues, Spelinspektionen did not inspect the Casino Cosmopol as part of the licence renewal process.

The Swedish press has also reported that the gaming regulator did not examine whether Casino Cosmopol had correctly amended its money-laundering controls following a fine issued in 2018.

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