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Compliance Updates

UKGC Appoints Andrew Rhodes as Interim CEO

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UKGC Appoints Andrew Rhodes as Interim CEO
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The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has appointed Andrew Rhodes as its new interim CEO.

With over 20 years of private and public sector experience, Andrew will join the Gambling Commission later this month to take up the post for an 18-month period. The Commission’s previous chief executive, Neil McArthur, left his role in March.

Andrew joins the Commission from Swansea University where he was Registrar and COO. Prior to his role in Swansea University, Andrew has held senior roles at a range of organisations including the Department for Work and Pensions, Food Standards Agency and the DVLA.

Andrew Rhodes said: “The Gambling Commission is one of the world’s highest profile and most respected regulators so I am delighted to join the team at such an important time. Protecting the public and players from gambling harm will continue to be central to our work and I am looking forward to meeting people from across the industry and those with lived experience to understand the issues and opportunities which lay ahead.

“This is a great time to have the opportunity to work in gambling regulation. The Government’s Gambling Act Review represents a fantastic opportunity to deliver real and sustained improvements in the way gambling is provided and regulated. As the regulator we have a unique and important role to play at the forefront of that change.”

Bill Moyes, Chairman of UKGC, said: “Andrew has a first-class track record of delivery, strong leadership and innovation both in the private sector and in the civil service.

“I have no doubt he will prove to be an exceptional appointment here at the Commission and it comes at a time when the spotlight is on gambling regulation and operators. I am looking forward to working closely with Andrew as I prepare to hand over to a new chair in September.”

Asia

China to Expand Blacklist of Overseas Gambling Destinations Again

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China to Expand Blacklist of Overseas Gambling Destinations Again
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China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has announced its plans to introduce a “third batch” of blacklist measures aimed at overseas tourist destinations that attract Chinese tourists for gambling activities.

The ministry also said it would work with several other government departments to “suspend tour groups and arrangement of tourist visas” for outbound travel to these destinations.

As with earlier official mentions of China’s overseas-gambling blacklist, the latest announcement did not identify the places concerned.

The ministry mentioned on Friday its previous approach of including several overseas destinations – in “two batches” – in its “blacklist system” for cross-border gambling tourist destinations. It said such an approach was to “better regulate the travel market” and “safeguard the lives and financial safety of Chinese citizens”.

“The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is to adopt a measure to blacklist a third batch of travel destinations, in response to the recent developments whereby some cities abroad have lured Chinese tourists for gambling activities,” stated the ministry.

It added: “The ministry will – together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Public Security, the National Immigration Administration and the Civil Aviation Administration of China – adopt measures to suspend outbound tour groups and the arrangement of tourist visas for trips to these cities and attractions abroad that are on the ‘blacklist’; and reinforce the restrictive measures on business jets [travel] and charter services.”

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism also noted that the “blacklist” of travel destinations would be “dynamically adjusted” in accordance to any changes seen in overseas markets.

Under a new amendment in mainland China criminal law – with effect from March 1 – anyone who “organises” trips for mainland Chinese for the purpose of overseas gambling will be deemed to have committed a criminal act.

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Central Europe

HooYu Launches New KYC Solution for German Gambling Market

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HooYu Launches New KYC Solution for German Gambling Market
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Leading KYC provider HooYu has launched a new KYC solution for the German gambling market.

The single solution orchestrates Schufa identity data checks, KJM-approved facial biometrics and ID document validation, video verification with a live human agent, PEPs and Sanctions watchlist screening and payment card checks.

This range of services can be orchestrated via HooYu to make gaming operators fully compliant with age verification and KYC requirements in the German market. The five services can be orchestrated to deliver different journeys for different customer lifecycle stages such as sign-up, high-value deposit, fraud risk and pay-out.

“The HooYu suite of services truly supports German gaming operators to meet age verification and AML compliance requirements,” Jochen Biewer, German gambling licensing expert and Managing Director of Chevron Consultants GmBH, said.

“HooYu is a KYC orchestration and customer onboarding platform that not only helps operators to build KYC processes, but to maximise customer onboarding success rates. German operators can now use one HooYu API to call on any or all of these services as part of their age verification, fraud or anti-money laundering controls,” David Pope, Marketing Director at HooYu, said.

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Compliance Updates

Dutch Gambling Regulator Imposes €500,000 Fine on N1 Interactive Limited

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Dutch Gambling Regulator Imposes €500,000 Fine on N1 Interactive Limited
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Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has imposed a fine of €500,000 (£425,967.50) on Maltese-based company N1 Interactive Limited.

Since the Netherlands operates a regulated offline gambling market, whereby online gambling is not yet (but soon to be) allowed, N1 received a fine for offering illegal gaming to Dutch players.

Words like “Amsterdam” were used as bonus codes aimed towards the Dutch audience, alongside zero indication on the N1 website of the Netherlands being a prohibited country for online gaming. The amount of the fine was determined across a number of circumstances; and extra fines were accrued by N1 for failing to add a visible age verification option alongside charging players extra for “inactivity fees”.

Legally, offering any online gambling is only permitted if a company has a licence. It is especially unlawful to offer any type of online gambling via the internet to the Netherlands, a country which previously banned online gambling, and according to the KSA is deemed as “forbidden”.

There seems to be a slight revamp in this regulation since 1 April when the Remote Gambling Act (KOA) came into effect. With this, it will now be possible to apply for a licence to offer online gaming from 1 October 2021.

With a view to protecting the Netherlands from illegal online gambling, the KSA has ensured N1’s website, Betchan, has since been removed and is no longer accessible.

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