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‘Think Train’ campaign launched for Easter Holidays

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Summary of bacta’s Spring Budget submission
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Millions of UK staycationers are being urged to travel by train where they can when they visit their favourite seaside and high-street arcades this Easter by bacta, the industry’s trade body.

The call to action comes as Britain faces a ‘cost of living crisis’, with fast-rising prices for food, fuel and many other household essentials.

The ONS recently said that CPI (consumer price index) inflation in the UK had hit a 30-year high of 6.2% in February, putting considerable pressure on consumers across the country.

Bacta also recognises this may be the first real chance for families and individuals to enjoy their Easter holidays without the anxiety and stress associated with Covid-19 rules and regulations.

However, with those new-found freedoms should come a sense of responsibility, to others, and to the environment.

One way to put this into action is by travelling green and reaching your destination by train, the most environmentally friendly public transport. Rail travel accounts for 14 grams of CO2 emissions per passenger mile, according to the European Environment Agency.

In comparison, 285 grams of CO2 emissions per passenger mile is generated by air travel, while 158 grams per passenger miles is created from car journeys.

The good news is that hundreds of seaside and high-street arcades are situated next to train stations across the country – from Blackpool to Brighton.

Travellers, however, should be aware of National Rail’s planned engineering works during the holiday period and should therefore check their travel plans before they travel.

CEO of bacta John White said: “With fuel prices rising and with most Covid-19 restrictions behind us, now is a great time to reconsider how we travel to our Easter Holidays.

“We are urging millions of staycationers across the UK to ‘Think Train’ as they plan their getaways for April. We hope when they next visit their favourite seaside arcade or adult gaming centre it will be via train power.

“This is a significant contributor to the UK economy. Before the pandemic, arcades and related activities contributed a significant turnover of £845m to the UK economy a Gross Value Added of £451m and were responsible for employing 19,235 people.”

UK Hospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls added: “Despite the pressure on people’s finances right now, we’re sure many thousands will be keen to take advantage of the fact that they’re at last free from Covid restrictions, and are eager to get out and about.

“Engineering works notwithstanding, a good way to do that would be to take advantage of our rail infrastructure, let the train take the strain, and enjoy all the fun that seaside hospitality venues provide, whether they’re pubs, bars, restaurants, gaming arcades or, of course, good old fish and chip shops.

Latest News

DGA: Danes’ Gambling Spend Increased in February 2024

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Denmark’s gambling regulator Spillemyndigheden has reported an increase in gambling spend for February 2024. The total gambling spend on betting, online casino, gaming machines and land-based casino amounted to DKK 587 million in February 2024. This corresponds to an increase of 18.3% compared to February 2023.

The total increase in the gambling spend is due to increases in all four gambling categories. Among other things, the spending on betting increased by 32.5%. The growth in betting may be explained by a lower RTP in February 2024 compared to February 2023.

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Industry News

IDnow Bridges the AI-human Divide with New Expert-led Video Verification Solution

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IDnow, a leading identity verification provider in Europe, has unveiled VideoIdent Flex, a new version of its expert-led video verification service that blends advanced AI technology with human interaction. The human-based video call solution, supported by AI, has been designed and built to boost customer conversion rates, reduce rising fraud attempts, increase inclusivity, and tackle an array of complex online verification scenarios, while offering a high-end service experience to end customers.

The company’s original expert-led product, VideoIdent, has been a cornerstone in identity verification for over a decade, serving the strictest requirements in highly regulated industries across Europe. VideoIdent Flex, re-engineered specifically for the UK market, represents a significant evolution, addressing the growing challenges of identity fraud, compliance related to Know-Your-Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) processes and ensuring fair access and inclusivity in today’s digital world outside of fully automated processes.

As remote identity verification becomes more crucial yet more challenging, VideoIdent Flex combines high-quality live video identity verification with hundreds of trained verification experts, thus ensuring that genuine customers gain equal access to digital services while effectively deterring fraudsters and money mules. Unlike fully automated solutions based on document liveness and biometric liveness features, this human-machine collaboration not only boosts onboarding rates and prevents fraud but also strengthens trust and confidence in both end users and organisations. VideoIdent Flex can also serve as a fallback service in case a fully automated solution fails.

Bertrand Bouteloup, Chief Commercial Officer at IDnow, said: “VideoIdent Flex marks a groundbreaking advancement in identity verification, merging AI-based technology with human intuition. In a landscape of evolving fraud tactics and steady UK bank branch closures, our solution draws on our decade’s worth of video verification experience and fraud insights, empowering UK businesses to maintain a competitive edge by offering a white glove service for VIP onboarding. With its unique combination of KYC-compliant identity verification, real-time fraud prevention solutions, and expert support, VideoIdent Flex is a powerful tool for the UK market.”

Whereas previously firms may have found video identification solutions to be excessive for their compliance requirement or out of reach due to costs, VideoIdent Flex opens up this option by customising checks as required by the respective regulatory bodies in financial services, mobility, telecommunications or gaming, to offer a streamlined solution fit for every industry and geography.

Bouteloup added: “Identity verification is incredibly nuanced; it’s as intricate as we are as human beings. This really compounds the importance of adopting a hybrid approach to identity – capitalising on the dual benefits of advanced technology when combined with human knowledge and awareness of social cues. With bank branches in the UK closing down, especially in the countryside, and interactions becoming more and more digital, our solution offers a means to maintain a human relationship between businesses and their end customers, no matter their age, disability or neurodiversity.

“VideoIdent Flex is designed from the ground up for organisations that cannot depend on a one-size-fits-all approach to ensuring their customers are who they say they are. In a world where fraud is consistently increasing, our video capability paired with our experts adds a powerful layer of security, especially for those businesses and customers that require a face-to-face interaction.”

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Australia

VGCCC Fines BlueBet AU$50,000 for Gambling Advertising Breaches

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BlueBet has been fined AU$50,000 by the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) for breaching gambling advertising regulations.

The company was found guilty of 43 charges related to displaying gambling advertisements on or above public roads, contravening the Gambling Regulation Act 2003.

The charges stemmed from an investigation initiated by VGCCC, following a complaint from a member of the public. The breaches occurred over a two-week period in August and September 2022, with BlueBet’s gambling advertisements appearing on digital billboards at various locations, including Point Cook, Laverton, Rockbank and Ravenhall.

Magistrate Greg Thomas, overseeing the case, expressed scepticism about BlueBet’s defence that it was unaware of the breaches, given the strategic placement of the billboards to target males aged 15-54 years old. While no conviction was recorded, Magistrate Thomas noted the high degree of negligence exhibited by BlueBet.

VGCCC CEO Annette Kimmitt AM said: “Gambling advertising has no place on public roads where it is readily visible to children and other vulnerable groups. These places are especially difficult to avoid as part of day-to-day activities. This decision sends a clear message to wagering providers that flout these protections for our community.”

Although Magistrate Thomas considered imposing a higher fine and recording a conviction, he took into account BlueBet’s guilty plea, cooperation with VGCCC and measures taken to prevent future breaches. BlueBet has implemented changes to prevent similar incidents and has cooperated with VGCCC throughout the process.

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