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Compliance Updates

UKGC Executive Director Tim Miller Issues Fresh Warning to Industry

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Tim Miller, Executive Director of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), has delivered a warning to industry leaders at a recent speech.

In his keynote address entitled “New normal, higher expectations” at the Know Now 2021 conference, Miller claimed the UKGC has risen to the hardships of pandemic life.

He began by outlining the Commission’s successes to keep gambling fairer and safer “in the face of once in a century challenges.”

Miller spoke at length about the measures the regulator had taken in the lead up to and during the pandemic, to address changing consumer behaviours.

He touched on the efforts the Commission has made online, especially those aimed at protecting children and young people from predatory advertisers such as age-gating content and the use of Ad-Tech.

Miller also discussed several new rules that will come into force on 31 October, including a cap on slot spin speeds in online games at 2.5 seconds, as well as banning auto-play.

However, Miller’s tone changed when he reiterated the Commission’s commitment to keeping crime out of gambling.

“With rapid changes in technology we know we need to be increasingly fleet of foot and may need a broader range of tools to tackle emerging risks.”

This focus on crime formed a large portion of Miller’s speech. In it, he addressed the dangers of black-market gambling and the efforts that have been made to curb the presence of money laundering in the industry.

In particular, Miller emphasised the need for compliance and cooperation from operators.

“When we talk about the results of our ramped-up compliance and enforcement action in recent years, the focus is often on the failings of operators to minimise the risk of harm. But just as often operators we take action against have failed to meet our standards to prevent money laundering as well.”

Miller ended on an optimistic note, acknowledging the difficulties of the past year and the need for the Commission to raise its own standards while looking forward to the future.

He concluded: “The last 18 months have been a period of profound challenge for everyone, including the Gambling Commission. But despite the turbulence that all of our lives have faced, the Commission’s objectives have remained the same. It has not diverted us away from the course of making gambling fairer, safer and crime free.”

Compliance Updates

eGaming Integrity Launches to Enhance Compliance for OGRA Licence Holders and CSPs

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We proudly announce the official launch of eGaming Integrity, a specialised compliance services provider exclusively dedicated to protecting OGRA licence holders and the CSPs that support them.

Our mission is to enable online gambling operators, and the CSPs that support them, with the tools they need to thrive in the Isle of Man, ensuring integrity, transparency, and adherence to industry standards.

The Isle of Man eGaming sector continues to grow at a rapid pace, with the number of OGRA licensees more than doubling in recent years. With the sector having grown so quickly, it has led to a shortage of highly qualified, well trained, and egaming experienced compliance and AML professionals locally. This skills shortage presents a significant challenge for online gambling operators licensed here.

With our team of industry experts and former regulators, eGaming Integrity enables businesses to remain compliant with the stringent regulatory requirements under the Isle of Man licence through our tailored services which include mock audits, remediation, and internal audits.

Speaking about the requirement for such services, Emma Shilling, eGaming Integrity director said “licensed online gambling operators and local Corporate Service Providers have been looking for a credible provider to offer specialist services beyond day-to-day compliance. We’ve already helped several CSPs navigate the sector in previous roles, where eGaming isn’t always the primary area of expertise so businesses have sought our experience and industry knowledge to help them service their clients more effectively.”

Fellow director, Nick Bowden added “our in-depth evaluations prepare operators for regulatory visits, remediation support to bring businesses back into good standing with the regulator, and independent assurance makes sure risk management, governance and internal control processes are operating effectively.

eGaming Integrity are now working with a number of OGRA licence holders and local CSPs, providing customised compliance and regulatory advisory services that align with business objectives and operational intricacies.

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Australia

Australia Enforces Credit Card Ban for Online Gambling

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Australia has enforced an online gambling credit card ban, meaning that players can no longer use them as a payment method.

Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) and its members have been strong supporters of this measure and have worked with the Commonwealth Government and the financial services industry since 2021 to deliver this credit card ban.

Responsible Wagering Australia CEO Kai Cantwell said that this change was much needed, as Australians should only be gambling with money that they have.

“This is an important measure to protect customers, making it easier for people to stay in control of their own gambling behaviour,” Mr Cantwell said.

“It will complement the existing offering of safer gambling account management tools by RWA members.

“RWA and its members support the extension of this measure to all forms of gambling that have been exempted from the ban such as lotteries and keno.

“If consumer protection measures aren’t consistent across all forms of gambling it will incentivise vulnerable Australians to move to less-regulated types of gambling, where they are more at risk of harm.”

RWA members provide a range of tools to ensure people can gamble safely, many of which have been adopted by the Commonwealth Government as part of the National Consumer Protection Framework (NCPF).

“The NCPF is expected to be evaluated shortly and we look forward to engaging in this process to ensure that consumer protection tools are fit-for-purpose and support a safe and sustainable regulated gambling environment,” Mr Cantwell said.

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Compliance Updates

Ukraine Regulator KRAIL Blocks 371 Illegal Gambling Sites

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The Ukrainian Commission for the Regulation of Gambling and Lotteries (KRAIL) has announced that it has blocked 371 unlicensed gambling websites. It said joint action with the security service led to the issue of Order No. 451/2256, which instructs service providers to block the domains using Domain Name System (DNS) servers.

KRAIL said that during April and May it issued 1000 orders to limit access to domain names and subdomains.

While KRAIL remains operational, Ukraine’s parliament voted in April to disband the regulator. There had been criticism of the regulator’s collegial structure, which requires at least five of its six members to be present for meetings to be valid. Amid disruption caused by military service following the Russian invasion, this has often led to meetings being cancelled and long delays for licence applications.

There will be a second reading of the bill before it can be signed by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The liquidation of KRAIL would put gambling regulation under the digital transformation ministry until a new regulator is established.

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