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Compliance Updates

UK to Introduce Tough New Rules for Gambling Ads to Safeguard Young People

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The Committee for Advertising Practice (CAP) has announced the introduction of tough new rules for gambling ads to safeguard young people and vulnerable audiences.

These rules will significantly impact gambling advertisers looking to promote their brands using prominent sports people and celebrities as well as individuals like social media influencers, who are of strong appeal to those under 18.

The new rules state that gambling and lottery ads must not:

“be likely to be of strong appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture.”

This is a step-change from the existing rules that gambling ads must not be of “particular appeal” to children. A “strong” appeal test prohibits content (imagery, themes and characters) that has a strong level of appeal to under-18s regardless of how it is viewed by adults.

In practice, this will significantly restrict the imagery and references that gambling ads will be allowed to use and should decrease the potential for gambling ads to attract the attention of under-18s in an audience. For example, ads will not be able to use:

  • Topflight footballers and footballers with a considerable following among under-18 on social media.
  • All sportspeople well-known to under-18s, including sportspeople with a considerable volume of under-18 followers on social media.
  • References to video game content and gameplay popular with under-18s.
  • Stars from reality shows popular with under-18s, such as Love Island.

Advertisers have until 1 October 2022, when the rules will come into effect.

“The days of gambling ads featuring sports stars, video game imagery and other content of strong appeal to under-18s are numbered. By ending these practices, our new rules invite a new era for gambling ads, more particular to the adult audience they can target and more befitting of the age-restricted product they’re promoting,” Shahriar Coupal, Director of CAP, said.

Compliance Updates

Spinomenal secures B2B UKGC licence

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Spinomenal secures B2B UKGC licence
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Spinomenal, the leading iGaming content provider, has secured its B2B licence from the UKGC to open further opportunities within one of the world’s premium markets.

Spinomenal’s rich roster of slot games is now readily available for UK operators, which includes Lucky Jack – Lost Jungle, Wolf Fang, Demi Gods III as well as the revolutionary shared Spinomenal Universe.

The star content provider now boasts gaming licences for a wave of the most highly coveted regulated territories. The UKGC licence joins approval from the Malta Gaming Authority, Sweden, Netherlands and Romania.

Retro Gaming, a classic slots studio powered by Spinomenal, is now also in position to extend its reach and allow partners to diversify their offering with nostalgic entertainment.

Spinomenal’s Head of Partnerships Olga Sirokha, commented: “Securing our UK gaming licence is a huge moment as it allows us to share our outstanding slots library with partners working in this prestigious market. Our Retro Gaming project is gaining momentum all the time and we expect this to accelerate now we’re able to target UK-licensed operators with its range of classic entertainment products.”

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Compliance Updates

Smarkets Fined £630,000 for AML and Social Responsibility Failings

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The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has handed a £630,000 fine to betting exchange Smarkets after identifying a series of anti-money laundering and social responsibility failings, including letting a player deposit a six-figure sum without appropriate checks.

According to UKGC, Smarkets allowed customers to gamble without carrying out sufficient source-of-funds checks, while the operator was also found to have failed to identify and interact with customers at risk of experiencing harm.

Specific examples published by the Commission included one customer being allowed to deposit £395,000 during a four-month period, without appropriate source of funds checks being carried out by Smarkets.

The Commission also highlighted a case where an individual was able to transfer significant levels of funds between accounts without scrutiny or source-of-funds checks.

Sarah Gardner, Commission Deputy CEO, said: “This case was identified through compliance checks and once again highlights how we will take action against gambling operators who fail their customers.

“Our investigation into Smarkets unearthed a variety of failures where customers were put at risk of gambling harm.

“It was obvious that poor systems and processes were in place which contributed to these breaches, driven by the company’s failure to effectively implement its policies and controls.”

The operator has also received a formal warning and will undergo an audit to ensure it is effectively implementing its anti-money laundering and social responsibility policies, procedures and controls, in line with section 117(1)(b) of the Gambling Act 2005.

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Openbox Gaming offers gateway to Asia

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Openbox Gaming offers gateway to Asia
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New provider will deliver fresh content opportunitues to both operators and suppliers

Openbox Gaming, a fast-growing distributor of iGaming content across Asia and other markets, has been issued an IOM OGRA Software Supplier licence by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC).

Having secured the Software Supplier licence, one of the industry’s newest iGaming distributors with a unique USP will be in a position to supply a portfolio of online casino games from a variety of internal and external suppliers, to licensed B2B gaming partners and B2C operators.

Richard Hogg, CEO of Openbox Gaming, commented: “We are excited to be able to continue in our mission to deliver gaming content to regulated jurisdictions worldwide and see this as a major step in achieving those objectives. We selected the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission due to its established and proven reputation and its robust licensing process, which provides the ideal platform for our expansion into regulated markets.”

Tony Ure, Head of eGaming, Digital Isle of Man added: “It is a pleasure to welcome Openbox Gaming to the Island. Ensuring that the Island has a supportive ecosystem for gaming companies to operate their business, whilst maintaining our reputation as a highly regulated jurisdiction that prides itself on player protection is key to continuing the growth of this sector on the Isle of Man. I wish Openbox Gaming every success with their future ventures.”

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