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UKGC: New rules to make online gambling in Britain fairer and safer

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UKGC: New rules to make online gambling in Britain fairer and safer
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The UK Gambling Commission has announced new rules which online operators must follow to make gambling safer and fairer.

The new rules, which follow an open consultation, will ensure operators verify customers’ age and identity details faster which will benefit consumers.

Safer for children

Until now, online gambling businesses have been allowed 72 hours to carry out age verification checks. The operator cannot permit customers to withdraw winnings until age verification has been completed and must return stakes if the person is found to be underage.

But to guard against the risk of children gambling, new rules mean operators must verify customer age before the customer can:

  • deposit funds into an account
  • gamble with the licensee with either their own money or a free bet or bonus.

In addition, the Commission is now also insisting that customers must be age verified before they are able to access free-to-play versions of gambling games on licensees’ websites. While free-to-play games are not technically gambling (there is no prize involved), there is no legitimate reason why they should be available to children.

Fairer and safer

In March 2018 the Commission announced that some online operators were treating customers unfairly by requesting additional identity information when the customer attempted to withdraw winnings. Around 15% of complaints to its contact centre were about licensees not allowing a customer to withdraw funds until they submit certain forms of ID.

The new rules require remote licensees to:

  • verify, as a minimum, the name, address and date of birth of a customer before allowing them to gamble
  • ask for any additional verification information promptly
  • inform customers, before they can deposit funds, of the types of identity documents or other information that might be required, the circumstances in which the information might be required, and how it should be supplied to the licensee
  • take reasonable steps to ensure that information on their customers’ identities remains accurate.

The changes will help operators better prevent harm or detect criminal activity because they have more information about their customers. In addition, the changes will mean that operators cannot demand that customers submit ID as a condition of cashing out, if they could have asked for that information earlier.

However, these measures won’t relate to online gambling sites with no verification that have integrated Pay N’ Play platform, as they use Bank ID instead of many documents.

Finally, the changes will increase the likelihood that someone will be identified if they attempt to gamble while self-excluded. This applies equally to the operator’s own self-exclusion schemes and the online multi-operator self-exclusion scheme, Gamstop. This is because effective verification by operators will mean that a customer will not be verified, and therefore unable to gamble, until they provide correct details. These details will then be checked against both the operator’s own self-exclusion database and the verified data held by Gamstop.

Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission Chief Executive, said: “These changes will protect children and the vulnerable from gambling-related harm, and reduce the risk of crime linked to gambling.  They will also make gambling fairer by helping consumers collect their winnings without unnecessary delay.’’

“Britain’s online gambling market is the largest regulated market in the world and we want to make sure it is the safest and the fairest. Today’s changes follow our review of online gambling and our ongoing widespread regulatory action into the online sector.  We will keep using our powers to raise standards for consumers.”

Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said:

“These significant changes mean operators must check someone’s age before they gamble, and not after. They rightly add an extra layer of protection for children and young people who attempt to gamble online. By extending strong age verification rules to free-to-play games we are creating a much safer online environment for children, helping to shut down a possible gateway to gambling- related harm.”

The new rules come into force on 7 May.

The Gambling Commission will shortly be launching a consultation on plans to make explicit our expectations about how to interact with a customer who may be experiencing gambling-related harm and will be calling for evidence on the use of gambling blocking software.

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Casino Plus Bonus: New English Edition is live!

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Casino Plus Bonus, the leading German gambling news and review portal has finally launched its English language Edition! It features exclusive news covering everything you need to know about the international Gambling scene. The goal of the new Casino Plus Bonus version is to bring the successful concept of this leading iGaming informational platform to an international scale. While the portal has originally been a reference point for gamblers across Germany, Switzerland and Austria, it is now available for a Worldwide audience.

What is new for Casino Plus Bonus?

With the beta-testing complete, the English Edition of Casino Plus Bonus is now fully functional and available on all devices. One interesting feature is that the English-language version has a special technological focus on mobile devices. This is due to the ever growing popularity of mobile gaming.

Jack Bannon, publisher of the English Edition, said:

“The English-language version of Casino Plus Bonus is a very challenging and motivating undertaking. We are starting from an influential position with credible brand recognition crossing over from the German language versions of the portal. We are already taking the different cultural and behavioral particularities of an international audience into consideration, as well as recognizing the multiple regulation frameworks across various jurisdictions. Naturally, our goal is to consistently keep readers fully informed on developments in their respective market and offer the best casino promotions available to our audience.”

What does Casino Plus Bonus feature?

Casino Plus Bonus is a leading informational platform that covers news about the casino industry, game producers and new game releases, as well as interviews with important personalities in the gambling industry.  It also has a dedicated team of experts in the casino testing field, that review and provide ratings for online casino provider. Additionally, Casino Plus Bonus offers a great selection of service articles, such as how-to-guides, as well as a wide selection of exclusive casino bonuses.

The International Edition will have a focus on Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland as main English-speaking countries. However, also India and other countries that have an audience that searches and reads iGaming content in English, for example CEE will be taken into consideration. Each country has licensed casino operators that offer special deals and Casino Plus Bonus takes that into account with dedicated casino listings.

What does the English Edition of Casino Plus Bonus focus on?

Apart from the usual features of Casino Plus Bonus, the new English version will have a new focus:  The new English-language portal will pay particular attention to special promotions. Every promotion will be tested and validated before it is published to the target audience. Most of those promotions  include no deposit bonuses and free spins and are exclusive for the readership.

Moreover, the English Edition will have a focus on English-speaking countries, such as Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, as well as India and other countries that have an audience that searches and reads iGaming content in English.

Georg Heinrich, Founder and Publisher of the German edition added:

“We are extremely happy to have Jack Bannon and his team on board. We believe that parts of our winning concept translated into leadership on the German market can also be transferred into the creation of an informational iGaming portal for an international audience. Furthermore, Jack has extensive publishing experience in the gambling field and will develop the international edition of our iGaming informational product further.”

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FDJ Launches New Payment Solution Nirio

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FDJ Launches New Payment Solution Nirio
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French national lottery operator Française des Jeux (FDJ) has launched a new payment solution designed to help households pay their rent and bills.

Nirio was announced earlier this year and represents a collaboration between FDJ and the French Confederation of Tobacconists.

This solution will supposedly allow citizens to pay their water, gas, electricity or telephone bills – as well as rent – at authorised outlets.

FDJ explained how Nirio works: “After scanning their invoice using the Nirio application, the user will have a payment QR code generated on their smartphone, which they can present to a partner merchant.

“After checking their identity document, the user can pay the bill in cash or by card. A proof of payment will then be given to them.”

Currently, 10,000 FDJ partner merchants have signed up to offer Nirio, of which more than half are already approved by France’s Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (ACPR).

FDJ has also partnered with housing firm Seqens, who will now, through Nirio, accept rent payments in cash or by card at approved points of sale.

According to FDJ, six million households in France do not wish to use direct debit to pay their bills. Consequently, it believes Nirio will serve as a preferable alternative.

“What is important for our group is to put people back at the heart of the payment of daily bills, by offering an alternative, practical and fast way for people who are sometimes far from urban areas or resistant to online payment,” said Raphaël Botbol, FDJ’s Strategy, Innovation and New Activities Director.

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Win Systems Appoints Angelo Palmisano as its Chief Strategy Officer

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Win Systems Appoints Angelo Palmisano as its Chief Strategy Officer
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Win Systems, the leading provider of technology for the gaming and entertainment industry, has appointed Angelo Palmisano as its Chief Strategy Officer (CSO). In his new position, Angelo will be responsible for defining Win Systems’ product and business strategy, working closely with Dario Zutel (Executive Chairman) and Eric Benchimol (CEO).

Angelo’s sterling reputation in the gaming industry began when he founded Paltronics in 1992. Angelo was responsible for leading and growing the casino systems company until Aristocrat acquired part of Paltronics in 2014. At that time, Angelo also joined the multinational as senior vice president of global product and innovation, a position he held until 2021. His extensive knowledge of the industry and customers, and his business vision will be key to driving Win Systems’ growth and consolidation among the industry’s major global suppliers.

“I would like to warmly welcome Angelo to the great Win Systems family. We have known each other for many years, and I do not doubt that his enthusiasm, knowledge, and foresight will be key in our path to excellence,” Dario Zutel, Executive Chairman of Win Systems, said.

“We are delighted with Angelo’s appointment, he will bring a new vision to our growth strategy. We are convinced that we will be able to push Win Systems even further in those markets where we still have great development potential,” Eric Benchimol, CEO of Win Systems, said.

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