UKGC publishes Compliance and Enforcement Report
The Gambling Commission has 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.
This report covers the financial year 2020 – 2021, a period during which Commission casework led to the suspension of five operator licences and the revocation of licences for one operator and nine personal management licence holders.
It also saw a total of £32.1 million being paid by 15 gambling businesses as a result of fines or regulatory settlements – more than any previous year.
Gambling Commission Chief Executive Andrew Rhodes said: “As the Commission’s new Chief Executive, I am impressed by the amount of enforcement work carried out, but it is also disappointing that it should be necessary. Looking back at enforcement in 2020/21 we see the same two weaknesses in almost every case – operators failing to adhere to social responsibility and anti-money laundering rules.
“These regulations are there for two very good reasons – to protect people and ensure that gambling is crime-free. These rules underpin two of the three licensing objectives, without which it would be impossible for us to permit gambling as laid out in the Gambling Act 2005. So, adherence should be at the forefront of every operator’s mind.
He continued: “The reasons for these failings are almost as concerning as the failings themselves. Our casework reveals that operators are either not making suitable resources available or are simply putting commercial objectives ahead of regulatory ones. This is simply unacceptable and will be seen as such by others in the industry who work hard to achieve compliance.”
Mr Rhodes added: “Of course, I know that many gambling firms have had a difficult 18 months, and that the future of many companies was unclear. Hard decisions were made to save jobs and livelihoods.
“Whilst the threat of COVID-19 hasn’t gone away, the gambling sector has largely resumed operations. As Great Britain’s regulator for the gambling industry, we still see far too many breaches of regulations where everyone in the industry agrees we should not see them. The industry has the resources, skills and knowledge to change this.”
Sportradar Identifies 1212 Suspicious Matches in 2022
Sportradar Integrity Services, a unit of Sportradar and a global supplier of sports integrity solutions, has issued its second annual report, “Betting Corruption and Match-fixing in 2022”, revealing the company identified 1212 suspicious matches in total in 2022, within 12 sports and in 92 countries from the 850,000 matches the company now monitors across 70+ sports globally.
While reflecting an increase of 34% from 2021, the total number of suspicious matches indicates that match-fixing occurs at a low percentage within global sport. Overall, the data confirms that 99.5% of sporting events are free from match-fixing, with no single sport having a suspicious match ratio greater than 1%.
Advancements in Sportradar’s Artificial Intelligence (AI), integrated with the Universal Fraud Detection System (UFDS), has helped to detect 438 of these matches. The application of this technology in the system has increased the amount of data points processed for every single match the company monitors to 500+ including odds, turnover and statistical data related to the game state. This processing is happening continuously through the life cycle of a match’s betting markets, from the moment it is first offered to the moment it ends. Annually, this equates to analysing 30 billion odds changes from 600+ betting operators.
AI also analyses account-level betting data to help confirm otherwise undetectable micro-level suspicious betting activity. The model is periodically retrained on the latest data to ensure it can evolve and detect new methods of match-fixing. When all markets are settled, the model computes a prediction as to whether the match is potentially suspicious or not – providing our expert analysts with all the necessary information required to make an informed decision.
In addition to advances in technology, in 2022, the number of criminal and sporting sanctions the company supported its partners with also increased from 72 to 169, up 135% from 2021, reflecting a focus by leagues and federations to address the threat that match-fixing presents to the integrity of sport. Using Sportradar Integrity Services’ findings as evidence, sanctions were imposed by sport federations or criminal courts on those deemed guilty of cheating sport and breaking the law.
Key findings from Sportradar’s integrity report are as follows:
- The AI model developed by Sportradar for its UFDS in 2022 directly identified 438 suspicious matches (36% of annual total), leveraging the vast amount of data the company already has on suspicious betting activity and reflecting the important role that technology can play in the monitoring process.
- Soccer continued to have the highest number of suspicious matches (775), but one of the key trends of 2022 was the sharp rise in suspicious basketball matches (220), which increased by approximately 250% compared to 2021.
- Europe continues to see the highest number of suspicious matches (630) followed by Asia (240) and South America (225) in total across all sports. Compared to 2021, the number of suspicious matches has risen in each region except North America and Oceania.
- The trend from 2021 of lower-level competitions being affected has continued. In 2022, 52% of suspicious soccer matches came from the third tier or lower, including regional leagues and youth competitions.
Andreas Krannich, Managing Director of Sportradar Integrity Services, said: “We’ve taken an even more pro-active approach to uncovering match-fixing in 2022, from implementing a new AI model to developing more formal working relationships with bookmakers through the launch of our Integrity Exchange, which resulted in more than 300 alerts.
“Our technology enables us to monitor more matches on a deeper level, providing more precise and accurate insights to help aid partners, clients and the wider sports industry in efforts to safeguard sporting events from corruption. We look forward to supporting even more sports federation and law enforcement partners in 2023.”
SkillOnNet Among First Three OK’d for Swedish B2B Software License
Content provider SkillonNet gets green light from gaming regulators in new Swedish B2B software licensing system.
SkillOnNet, a leading provider of online gaming software, has announced it is one of the first companies to receive the new B2B license for gaming software in Sweden. Swedish gaming regulator Spelinspektionen confirmed Monday that of 60 applications it had received, the Malta-based company was among the first three to be licensed.
Legislation approved by the Swedish government late last year requires not just online gaming operators but also software suppliers to be licensed in the country as of July 1. The new law is part of the government’s efforts to discourage illegal online gambling and improve channelisation in the market.
“We are proud to be among the first companies to receive this new license,” said Michael Golembo, Director of Sales and Marketing at SkillOnNet. “As a responsible gaming provider, we support any measures that promote safe and legal gambling practices. We believe that this license will help to ensure that all operators in the Swedish market are complying with the necessary regulations.”
SkillOnNet’s platform is designed to provide a wide range of online gaming options to players, including slots, table games and live casino. The company’s software is licensed in multiple jurisdictions and has been proven to be reliable and secure.
“We are excited to continue working with our partners in Sweden and other jurisdictions to provide the best possible gaming experience for players,” said Golembo. “We believe that our platform is well-positioned to meet the needs of the evolving online gaming market.”
Sweden Issues First Supplier Licences
Spelinspektionen has announced that it has issued its first three gaming supplier licences.
Programutvecklarna i Norrköping AB, Skill On Net and Synot Games will become the first licenced gaming suppliers in Sweden as of 1 July 2023, with the permits covering an initial five year period.
Further applications will be accepted from 1 March, and Spelinspektionen has outlined that “around 60” have so far been received and are currently being processed.
Sweden first began moving towards adopting a B2B licensing system last year, with licensing requirements for gaming software introduced by the Riksdag in mid-November.
The Ministry of Finance (Finansdepartementet), one of the most influential ministries on Swedish gambling policy, endorsed the reform, which incorporated B2B licences under the existing Swedish Gambling Act upon parliamentary approval.
“The purpose of introducing the requirement is to increase channelling and thereby discourage illegal gambling,” the regulator explained in its latest update.
“Unlicensed game operators must not be able to use suppliers who manufacture, provide, install and/or change game software for game operators who have a licence in Sweden.”
A consultation period on B2B licences began in May 2022, after which companies were informed that new requirements would be adopted for all online gaming software suppliers and game developers.
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