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Sky Bet issued £1 million fine by the UK gambling commission

Athira A

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Sky Bet will pay £1 million after they failed to stop taking bets from hundreds of self-excluded gamblers, and continued to stay in contact with thousands. Photo credits: https://www.google.co.in
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The UK Gambling Commission issued a £1 million ($1.4 million) fine against Sky Bet, the British-based gambling company explicating  that hundreds of people were capable of placing bets on the online gambling company’s website irrespective of the notifications to stop doing so.

The fine is related to what is  known as self-exclusion programme, which enables  customers to make  the operators aware that they no longer want to be allowed to gamble on their sites, in their shops, or at casinos. These tools can be utilized by those who know they have gambling problems, or by vulnerable individuals who are under the threat of developing compulsive habits.

According to the investigation of the Gambling Commission, 736 Sky Bet customers were able to open new accounts despite being requested to be blocked. Many of these individuals even used the same information to open the new accounts, something that should have immediately triggered red flags for the company.Thousands more contacted after exclusion.But that was only the tip of the iceberg, as the Gambling Commission found problems with how Sky Bet dealt with tens of thousands of other self-excluded customers.

More than 36,000 bettors did not have their remaining balances returned to them after closing their accounts with the firm. In addition, about 50,000 self-excluded individuals continued to get marketing materials from Sky Bet, typically by email, text, or mobile notifications from the company’s app.

Taking all of these incidents into consideration, the Gambling Commission said that this was more than a few isolated cases, making a fairly severe fine appropriate.

Source: onlinegambling.com

Athira is a self-described “logophile” – a lover of words. She loves updating her vocabulary and playing around with words, to frame a sensible world of letters. Letters come alive when they become words and when words become sentences. And that’s her job, to put them together in a meaningful way without loosing its essence. She has written content for websites, articles and poems for an international magazine, and press releases as well. She also loves writing on social media. She holds a Masters degree in bio-technology, but she has always been interested in the organic farming of words. Besides writing content for our daily news feed, she is also working as staff writer/editor with Impressions Content Management, based in Kerala, India, which offers writing and editing services to clients around the world.

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ASA censors William Hill advertisements

Niji Ng

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ASA censors William Hill advertisements
Image Credit: Nintendo
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UK’s advertisement watchdog the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned the advertisement campaign of William Hill. The authority deemed that the advertisement was served to under-18s after Google’s ad placement programme placed it in a Nintendo Mario Kart app.

The ad, which appeared within an app called New Mario Kart 8 Trick, advertised William Hill’s online “Vegas games,” followed by a button which said “Install.” The app had a PEGI rating 3 – meaning that it was considered suitable for all audiences.

William Hill said its Mario Kart brand is not targeted at children.

It said the game in which the ad was seen was based on Mario Kart and that Nintendo had reported that in 2017, 86 per cent of Nintendo Switch players were over 18 and that Mario Kart was one of the main games available on the platform. It argued that although the figures were subjective, it considered that it was a good indication that Mario Kart was used by the “older generation.”

However, the ASA suggested that its audiences included under-18s, and that gambling ads were not appropriate around related media. It told William Hill to ensure its ads had appropriate targeting in the future, and that “the ad must not be used again without further, specific targeting to minimise the likelihood of under-18s being exposed to it.”

William Hill said that it “would ever knowingly target children or people under the age of 18 and that their intention was always to advertise and market to consumers who were 18+.” The brand said that it had used Google’s Universal App Campaign and that it had minimal control over the placement of ads across the tech giant’s search, display network, YouTube and Play Store properties.

 

Source: 5StarMedia

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Indian police cracks illegal gambling ring

Niji Ng

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Photo Source: indiatimes.com
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The police in the Indian capital of Delhi has busted an illegal online gambling ring. The gambling operations were being conducted from a residential building in New Ashok Nagar in east Delhi. The police arrested 14 persons, including the alleged owner and manager of the casino, for running the gambling ring, and 12 persons for participating in the gambling. The main figure behind the operation, who was only identified as “Deepak,” remains at large.

In India, gambling is legally prohibited apart from a few chosen locations, such as Goa. But the police indicated that the gaming endeavour could be tied to a money-laundering scheme as well. They seised a diary containing numerous transactions and customers’ names, 10 computer systems and a small amount of cash.

Pankaj Singh, the police department’s deputy commissioner, said the department had received several tips over the course of a few days prior to the raid. When a tip on Sunday indicated that the games were in progress in the first floor of the three-story building, cops moved in and made their arrests.

Singh was quoted by DNAIndia saying, “Our team raided the flat and found 12 people gambling online. The entire flat had been turned into a makeshift casino parlour and 10 computers with Internet connections had been installed in the house solely for gambling.”

The casino’s alleged owner, Amit Guttan, and his manager, “Neeraj,” were taken into custody along with the 12 gamblers. They were all released on bail after being booked for offenses under the Delhi Public Gambling Act.

The gambling group was reportedly formed through WhatsApp and regular customers recruited additional members. No outside individuals were allowed into the group. After paying an entry fee, the gamblers were provided with the password in order to play games online.

A police officer involved in the case added, “Roulette was the most popular game for these people because the winner was given a return which was 36 times the money they gambled.”

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Industry News

Gamstop appoints Jenny Watson as the new chair

Niji Ng

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Gamstop appoints Jenny Watson as the new chair
Photo Source: igamingbusiness.com
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Gamstop, a US-based video game and consumer electronics provider, has appointed Jenny Watson as the new chair of the organisation’s National Online Self-Exclusion Scheme.

The appointment of Watson, a former chair of the UK’s Electoral Commission, will trigger a series of changes to board positions in advance of the full launch, Gamstop said.

“My immediate priorities will be to recruit additional independent board members and to put in place an initial evaluation of the scheme following the first six months of operation, which will help Gamstop’s future development,” said Watson, currently the chair of The House of St. Barnabas, as well as the Portman Group’s Independent Complaints Panel.

However, although there is still a need to bring in new board members, Gamstop is anticipating a formal launch “to take place soon” despite delays since the initiative was first unveiled nearly 16 months ago.

The UK’s new national online self-exclusion scheme, supported by the Remote Gambling Association, was revealed in June 2017.

A formal launch was initially earmarked for before the end of last year, before in December the target date was postponed until spring 2018.

Reynolds-Jones, who did not elaborate on the reasons for the delays in the formal launch so far, added that “exact numbers have not yet been identified” for the independent board director roles. However, she added that they would have “specific skillsets and experience to further develop the governance and values of the scheme.”

The scheme will enable UK consumers to exclude themselves via a single website process from all online gambling operators that are licensed by the Gambling Commission.

The website will also set out other measures that are available to help people manage their gambling and will signpost specialist advice and support services for those who might benefit from it.

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