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UK Government launches review to ensure gambling laws are fit for digital age

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The UK Continues to Experience a Surge in Online Casino Gaming
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The Culture Secretary has launched a major and wide-ranging review of gambling laws to ensure they are fit for the digital age as committed to in the manifesto.

Online restrictions, marketing and the powers of the Gambling Commission will be looked at as part of a call for evidence, to examine in detail how gambling has changed over the past 15 years.

Protections for online gamblers like stake and spend limits, advertising and promotional offers and whether extra protections for young adults are needed will all be explored.

The findings will be used to inform any changes to the Gambling Act 2005 to ensure customer protection is at the heart of the regulations, while giving those that gamble safely the freedom to do so.

The review will also look at evidence on the action customers can take where they feel operators have breached social responsibility requirements, such as intervening to protect customers showing clear signs of problematic play, and how to ensure children and young people are kept safe from gambling-related harm.

The Government recognises the need to balance the enjoyment people get from gambling with the right regulatory framework and protections.

It has also been announced today that the minimum age for playing the National Lottery will be raised from 16 to 18 from October 2021.

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden, said:
“Whilst millions gamble responsibly, the Gambling Act is an analogue law in a digital age. From an era of having a flutter in a high street bookmaker, casino, racecourse or seaside pier, the industry has evolved at breakneck speed.

“This comprehensive review will ensure we are tackling problem gambling in all its forms to protect children and vulnerable people. It will also help those who enjoy placing a bet to do so safely.

“This builds upon our clear track record of introducing tough measures to protect people from the risk of gambling harm – banning the use of credit cards, launching tighter age verification checks and cutting the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals.”

Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage Nigel Huddleston said:
“We’re committed to protecting young people from gambling related harm which is why we are raising the minimum age for the National Lottery. Patterns of play have changed since its inception, with a shift towards online games, and this change will help make sure the National Lottery, although already low-risk, is not a gateway to problem gambling.”

It follows a range of measures recently introduced by the Government to protect consumers from the risk of gambling-related harm. These include cutting the maximum stake on fixed odds betting terminals, bringing in tighter age and identity checks for online gambling, banning gambling using credit cards and expanding national specialist support through the NHS Long Term Plan.

In September the Government launched a call for evidence to explore young people’s experiences of loot boxes in video games. This will provide a clearer picture of the size of the loot box market in the UK and fully examine any evidence of harms or links to problem gambling.

The review of the Gambling Act 2005 will also consider the Gambling Commission’s powers and resources to ensure it can keep pace with the licensed sector and tackle the black market.

In October the Gambling Commission introduced new rules on VIP schemes, and has called for evidence around how to ensure operators identify and intervene where people are at risk of harm, including through carrying out affordability checks. The Commission will also soon set out new rules on safer game design for online slots and withdrawing winnings.

Alongside the launch of the review, the Government is announcing its decision to raise the minimum age to play the National Lottery from 16 to 18, to protect young people from gambling related harm.

Since it began in 1994 the National Lottery’s games portfolio has changed significantly and there has been a growing trend towards online play and instant win games like scratchcards. Following a consultation, from October 2021 it will be illegal to sell all National Lottery products to under 18s.

The Government is working with the Gambling Commission and Camelot to roll out the new age limit across the National Lottery products as quickly as possible and to ensure that it is in place by October. Under current plans, online sales to 16 and 17 year olds will stop in April 2021.

Source: gov.uk

Compliance Updates

The Newest EGT Progressive Jackpot System is Now Available in Romania with Type Approval

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The newest EGT progressive jackpot system, Bell Link, is now available in Romania with Type Approval. All operators interested in EGT’s jackpot novelty can order the Bell Link system to install it in their gaming halls to the delight of those who cross their threshold.

Bell Link is a multi-level progressive jackpot that offers the player the option of a mystery jackpot with four exciting levels Minor, Mini, Grand, and Major. Grand and Major are the two progressive levels that are common to all games and bets, while the Minor and Mini levels are fixed, changing their values according to different denominations.

The newest EGT progressive jackpot includes not only the four levels and the Bonus Link game but also the Reels Boost mode, features that enrich the gaming experience of the players in the locations where the Bell Link jackpot system has been installed while giving many extras to the lucky ones.

Each of the four jackpot levels is triggered by a different coloured bell. Minor and Mini jackpot bells are purple and blue and can be won multiple times during the Bell Link bonus; the Grand and Major levels can be attained that way too, as well as with any bet that brings a green bell or a trio of festive red bells that signal the win of the highest Grand.

If the Reels Boost feature can unleash a mode of 20 reel positions for a richer and longer game experience, the Bell Link bonus is a thrill ride for every player, and it can be triggered when 5 or more bells appear on the screen and gives away 3 free spins.

The Bell Link EGT jackpot has been specifically designed to be compatible with all EGT slots in the General Series, both in the new generation using the latest and most innovative technologies and their previous variants backed by the high stability of the Exciter III platform.

To display the values of the four jackpot levels, Bell Link uses both the Rainbow panel and the General jackpot panel available in two different sizes, with two sides and state-of-the-art technology that allows players to see the information displayed in full.

At the same time, there are 10 games available that enthusiasts can approach as compatible with the Bell Link jackpot. Well-known and popular titles over the years that arouse curiosity and generate multiple winning opportunities, including 20 Super Hot, 40 Super Hot, Burning Hot, Shining Crown, Vampire Night and others just as famous.

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Compliance Updates

MGA issues Closed Consultation regarding amendments to Player Protection Directive

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MGA issues Closed Consultation regarding amendments to Player Protection Directive
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The Malta Gaming Authority has launched a closed consultation with its licensees regarding its proposed amendments to the Player Protection Directive (Directive 2 of 2018) (the ‘Directive’). The amendments are aimed to strengthen and clarify the current player protection framework. This framework will support the Authority’s initiatives moving forward and shall facilitate the Authority’s plans to continuously improve the player protection framework, including the eventual publication of detailed player protection guidelines for Licensees. The Authority is in the process of conducting detailed research and garnering expert experience to serve as the foundation for the eventual publication of such guidelines.

As a first step, the amendments being proposed that are subject to the ongoing closed consultation delve into, inter alia, the licensees’ obligations regarding their responsible gaming policies and procedures and the introduction of five (5) markers of harm that must be considered by licensees when determining effective measures and processes to detect and address problem gambling. Provisions relating to real-money reinforcement and staff training have also been included in the proposed amendments.

The amendments are being proposed on the basis of a review of the key sections of the Directive carried out by an expert in the field, and on the basis of the Authority’s own research and experience garnered through the Responsible Gaming Unit’s audits and familiarisation visits.

The ongoing consultation shall give the opportunity to licensees to provide their feedback, if any, regarding the proposed amendments. The consultation period shall run until the 14th October 2022.

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Compliance Updates

1Click Games receives the prestigious ISO 27001 Information Security Certificate

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The ISO 27001 certificate is a worldwide information security management standard that allows organizations in the online gambling industry and other sectors to manage asset security. It establishes, in particular, how information security risk management processes should be built and what controls should be used. ISO 27001 certification allows 1Click Games to offer additional guarantees to our customers regarding information security and data processing.

This year, the compliance of 1Click Games with ISO 27001 international standards was checked by one of the world’s leading independent auditors. The auditors assessed how our services comply with the requirements of the International Organization for Standardization, including management processes, the use of technologies and equipment. The analysis showed that the risk management system in the services is built and developed on the basis of the best world practices and fully provides the necessary information protection.

Maxim T., CEO at 1Click Games, says: “Data protection is one of the cornerstones of our business, and ISO 27001 certification demonstrates how seriously we take this responsibility and these strict standards. The certification process, took many hours of detailed checks. However, along with the satisfaction of the result, we recognize that this is only part of our ongoing responsibility to ensure the maximum possible safety of our customers. Besides, information security is never a static process, and in order to continue to set our services at the highest possible level, we requested one of the strictest certificates — ISO 27001 — and received it.”

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