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New UK Gambling Commission research shows more progress needed to tackle problem gambling

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UK Gambling Commission research shows more progress needed to tackle problem gambling
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Following new research published by the Gambling Commission last week, the regulator has called for a renewed focus on addressing the harms that can arise from problem gambling.

The report provides, for the first time since 2010, a comprehensive analysis(1) of gambling across all nations of Great Britain – examining the rates of participation, at-risk gambling and problem gambling, and explores the associated characteristics and behaviours.

Tim Miller, Commission executive director, says: “For many, gambling is an enjoyable leisure activity. But for some people gambling can become a problem with serious consequences for them, their families and their communities.

“Whilst overall problem gambling rates in Britain have remained statistically stable, our research suggests that in excess of two million people are at-risk or classed as problem gamblers, with very many more impacted by the wider consequences of gambling-related harm.

Tim adds: “We have a clear commitment to make gambling fairer and safer and these figures show that this is a significant challenge. Success will depend upon us, the industry, government and others, all working together with a shared purpose to protect consumers. The pace of change to date simply hasn’t been fast enough – more needs to be done to address problem gambling.

Sir Chris Kelly, Chairman of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board – the Commission’s expert advisor for research, education and treatment – said: “These new findings show that gambling continues to cause harm to a significant number of people in Great Britain. They underline the importance of the National Responsible Gambling Strategy being pursued with vigour by everyone with a role to play in its delivery.

“The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board’s published assessment of progress with the first year of the Strategy identified a number of priority actions where more can and should be done. Gambling operators have a responsibility for leading a large part of this agenda and need to demonstrate they are making a positive impact through their work to protect customers and promote safe play.

Headline findings

  • 1.4% of gamblers were classed as problem gamblers (0.8% of the population), with 6.4% at-risk (3.9% of the population) – which is similar to the rate published in the 2012 report.
  • Problem gambling was more prevalent among people who had participated in a multiple gambling activities in the past year, than those that had just participated in one.
  • 63% of adults (aged 16 and over) in Great Britain had gambled in the past year.
  • Men (66%) are more likely to gambling than women (59%).
  • Most popular gambling activities were: National Lottery draws (46%), scratchcards (23%) and other lotteries (15%).
  • Overall participation was highest among the middle age groups and lowest among the youngest and oldest age groups.
  • Those in employment or training were more likely to gamble (69%). Participation by those unemployed was at 56% and 57% for those retired.
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MiFinity enable N1 Interactive’s payment expansion

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MiFinity, the secure iGaming eWallet, today announced a new partnership with online casino operator N1 Interactive Limited. The MiFinity eWallet will now be available as a payment method for customers in some of N1 Interactive’s European markets across 37 brands.

As one of the most popular casino brands on the market, N1 Interactive offers a wide range of payment methods for players in different regions. MiFinity will be working with N1 Interactive to help increase conversions by providing players with their preferred payment method via the MiFinity eWallet.

Paul Kavanagh, CEO at MiFinity, said: “We have considerable experience in N1 Interactive’s key European markets, providing customers with localised payment methods via our eWallet. With over 40 integrated payment methods, we can significantly reduce the risk of a player abandoning the cashier across all N1 Interactive’s live brands.”

N1 Interactive added: “We’ve onboarded MiFinity because they offer a wide range of local payment methods in our target markets, as well as having an in-depth understanding of these markets. With their support, we can provide better service to our players and streamline the payment journey, increasing conversions and removing transaction barriers.”

With the MiFinity iFrame, brands like Casino Universe, Slot Hunter Casino and N1 Casino can provide players with the option to use their MiFinity eWallet within the cashier experience. Once players have signed up for a MiFinity eWallet, they can choose their preferred local payment method to transfer funds. Then, players simply select the MiFinity option directly in the cashier for deposits and withdrawals when playing online.

Paul Kavanagh said: “Removing unnecessary steps in the payment journey, such as navigating to a 3rd party payment page, positively impacts conversion rates. Similarly, providing players with localised payment methods, multiple currencies, and multilingual options reduces the risk of cart abandonment. Our iFrame does all this within the brand’s cashier, providing a seamless customer experience.”

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ACMA Blocks Illegal Offshore Gambling and Affiliate Marketing Websites

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The ACMA has requested that Australian internet service providers (ISPs) block more illegal offshore gambling and affiliate marketing websites.

The sites include Casino Moons, Winnerama, Extra Vegas, Win Paradise, LegitGamblingSites and Gamblers Lab.

The ACMA investigated and found these services to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001.

Website blocking is one of a range of enforcement options to protect Australians against illegal online gambling. Since the ACMA made its first blocking request in November 2019, 568 illegal gambling and affiliate websites have been blocked.

Over 170 illegal services have also pulled out of the Australian market since the ACMA started enforcing new illegal offshore gambling rules in 2017.

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Compliance Updates

Entain to Pay £17M Penalty for Online and Retail Failures

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Entain, the global sports betting, gaming and interactive entertainment Group, has confirmed that it has agreed a regulatory settlement with the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) in respect of alleged historical licensing breaches. The regulatory settlement amounts to £14m in respect of Entain’s digital business and £3m in respect of its retail business.

Entain has entered into the regulatory settlement with the UKGC in order to bring the matter to a close and avoid further costly and protracted legal proceedings. Entain accepts that certain legacy systems and processes supporting the operations of its British business during 2019 and 2020 were not in line with the evolving regulatory expectations of the UKGC in respect to aspects of social responsibility and anti-money laundering (AML) safeguards. However, the Group also notes the UKGC’s statement that it found no evidence whatsoever of criminal spend within Entain’s operations.

The issues raised by the Commission relate to the period between December 2019 and October 2020, which predates the many changes in the area of safer gambling and AML that Entain has introduced. For instance, in 2021 Entain launched its Advanced Responsibility and Care (ARC) programme which, using revolutionary AI technology, operates in real-time and is individually tailored for each customer. The initial trials of ARC in the UK have shown a risk assessment accuracy of over 80%, a 120% uplift in the use of safer gambling tools by those most at risk and a 30% overall reduction in customers increasing their risk levels.

Furthermore, in May of this year, Entain was awarded the Advanced Safer Gambling Standard by GamCare, having evidenced the highest standards of player protection and social responsibility for its online and land-based gambling businesses in Great Britain.

As part of the settlement, Entain has also agreed to appoint a Board sponsor to oversee the implementation of any further improvements identified by the original 2020 compliance assessments and to undertake an independent audit of the relevant policies and procedures at a future date.

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