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

George Miller

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UKGC: New rules to make online gambling in Britain fairer and safer
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Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

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.

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.

Industry News

Casino Technology Rebrands as CT Gaming

Niji Narayan

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Casino Technology Rebrands as CT Gaming
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Casino Technology has announced its rebranding and name change. CT Gaming will be the new brand name of Casino Technology as of January 1, 2020.

The change is driven by the company’s growth, expanded innovations and its desire to better reflect its commitment to be at the forefront of the ever-changing technology environment and customer demands.

“As we marked 20 years in business this year, we recognised the need to better communicate our vision for the next period. Building on our core and looking into the future objective to embrace innovation and focus on the new generation of players, it was clear that rebranding was in order. The new name mirrors our constant drive to improve and be in the van of unleashing unconventional concepts and shaping trends. Our team embraced the rebranding decision enthusiastically and are charged with new ideas, commitment and motivation to deliver the best of their expertise,” Milo Borissov, founder and president of the company said.

“CT Gaming represents the evolution in our company, reflecting and merging our genesis into this new era. We will continue to strive to deliver the best customer services and bring excellence at all levels to our partners and customers, solidifying loyal and meaningful relationships that shape our industry’s tomorrow,” Rossi McKee, vice president of the company said.

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Industry News

Europe’s Online Gambling Market Grows 11% in 2018

Niji Narayan

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Europe’s Online Gambling Market Grows 11% in 2018
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Europe’s online gambling market has shown an impressive growth last year.

According to the market data published by the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) in partnership with H2 Gambling Capital, Europe’s online gambling market grew 11% from €20 billion GGR in 2017 to €22.2 billion GGR in 2018.

According to the new data, EGBA members had 16.5 million active customers and generated €5.41 billion in online gambling GGR in 2018. The UK market (34.2%) accounted for the largest portion of the total EU online gambling market, with a market value of €7.3 billion GGR.

Sports betting was the most popular online gambling activity with 42.5% of the total EU market share (worth €9.4 billion GGR), followed by casino games at 32.4% (€7.2 billion GGR), lottery at 12.6% (€2.8 billion GGR), poker at 5% (€1.1 billion GGR), bingo at 4.3% (€1 billion GGR), and other games with a 3.2% market share (€0.7 billion GGR).

As per the new data, 57% of online bets were placed from a desktop computer, while 43% of online bets were placed from phones and tablets – up from 39% in 2017 and highlighting a shift towards the use of mobile devices.

“Europe’s online gambling market continues to show a strong demand-driven growth and a switch to mobile devices. But its increased popularity reinforces the need for more consistent and strong consumer protections and industry standards across all EU countries. The current situation of diverging and sometimes conflicting regulations in EU countries is detrimental to consumers, authorities and operators alike,” Maarten Haijer, Secretary General of EGBA said.

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Industry News

Grand Casino Baden Chooses SafeCharge, a Nuvei company, to Power Payments for Its Online Platform

George Miller

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Grand Casino Baden Chooses SafeCharge, a Nuvei company, to Power Payments for Its Online Platform
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

One of Switzerland’s first licensed online casinos leveraging SafeCharge’s best-in-class payments technology for its iGaming service

SafeCharge, a Nuvei company, announces it has partnered with leading Swiss operator Grand Casino Baden to process credit card payments for its digital gaming platform jackpots.ch, developed by Gamanza. The collaboration provides Grand Casino Baden, a pioneer in online regulated gaming in the region, the ability to better address the needs of a growing audience of online gamers.

Earlier this year, Switzerland’s Federal Gaming Commission (ESBK) made the decision to regulate the country’s online gambling market, allowing Swiss land-based casinos to operate online. SafeCharge offers Visa and Mastercard acquiring services issued by Swiss banks, and through a single API integration that connects to over 180 payment methods, including local favorite Post Finance, enables jackpots.ch players the flexibility to pay through the method of their choice.

By utilising SafeCharge Cashier, Grand Casino Baden benefits from a frictionless payment experience for its online customers, delivering seamless deposits and withdrawals, plus compliance with anti-money laundering (AML) laws. SafeCharge handles the safeguarding of sensitive information, descoping the casino’s PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards) liability. Further, by integrating with SafeCharge Cashier, Grand Casino Baden aims to increase its readiness for complying with the EU’s revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) strong customer authentication (SCA) requirements.

“We knew that we had to partner with a technology player with the highest credentials and the ability to support our business within an extremely complex market, outside of EU legislations,” said Marcel Tobler, chief financial officer at Grand Casino Baden. “SafeCharge has been our preferred choice thanks to its proven track-record in the industry and unrivalled experience in fraud prevention and AML.”

“We are delighted to be working with the team at Grand Casino Baden to provide payments for its rapidly growing iGaming operation,” stated Yuval Ziv, MD of SafeCharge and head of global acquiring. “This partnership marked our entrance into the Swiss online gaming market, and we are excited at the prospect of our payments technology platform better servicing the region’s customers. As demonstrated by our long-standing collaborations with multiple tier 1 gaming operators, our solution is the ideal choice for institutions who require navigating the regulatory complexities of local markets without compromising user experience.”

Through this partnership, SafeCharge has displayed it is well-positioned to address the needs of the rapidly growing Swiss online gaming market. Fore more information about SafeCharge Cashier, click here.

 

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