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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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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.

George Miller started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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Industry News

Novomatic signs deal with Casino di Venezia

Niji Ng

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Novomatic signs deal with Casino di Venezia
Photo Source: novomatic.com
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Novomatic has signed an agreement with Casino di Venezia for developing slot machines and software. As per the agreement, Novomatic will develop software for the entire slot park in the two venues of the Venetian Casino, Ca` Vendramin Calergi, a 16th century historic building overlooking the Grand Canal, and Ca` Noghera, a modern venue located near Venice airport.

Novomatic Chief Operating Officer DI Ryszard Presch said: “With Casino di Venezia, we have gained an important partner who shares our dedication to expanding the range of services available to players and operators. For this reason, we constantly work to improve the gaming experience, so that the time spent at the Casino is more efficient and safe.”

Alessandro Catarossi, General Manager of Casino di Venezia said: “The new software, which will be installed in the medium and long term on a fleet of more than 600 machines, will enhance the services available to our customers and will help to make the slot machines even more efficient and secure.”

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AGEM inducts six more members

Niji Ng

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AGEM inducts six more members
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The Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM), an international trade association of gaming suppliers, has inducted six new companies. The association’s board of directors approved the membership of the new applicants. With this, the membership rose to 172 members.

The six new AGEM members are the following:

1. Acuris Risk Intelligence: Based in London, Acuris Risk Intelligence combines expert human analysts and state-of-the-art technology to help organisations manage risk in business relationships effectively;

2. CS-1 Transportation: a logistics provider based in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, with offices in Phoenix and Las Vegas. CS-1 specialises in the secure transport and movement of gaming equipment;

3. Eclipse Gaming: headquartered in Duluth, Georgia, Eclipse Gaming develops slot games and innovative solutions to engage the audience and deliver measurable results for its partners;

4. Fennemore Craig, P.C.: A law firm with a strong gaming and hospitality practice and a history of representing casino operators, tech companies and investors. Based in Phoenix with offices in Reno and Las Vegas;

5. Global Gambling Guidance Group (G4): Dutch-based G4 offers international accreditation and certification of responsible gambling standards for the global gambling industry; and

6. NRT Technology Corp.: a Toronto-based firm that designs and develops next-generation payment systems, financial and marketing kiosks and digital and mobile services.

 

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Blueprint Gaming integrates slots portfolio with SBTech

George Miller

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Blueprint Gaming integrates slots portfolio with SBTech
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Sports betting supplier significantly enhances casino offering

 

Leading slots developer Blueprint Gaming has further expanded its global reach after integrating its portfolio of games with sports betting solutions specialists SBTech.

As part of this new partnership, SBTech’s fast-growing operator network will now have access to one of the industry’s most diverse range of games for the first time.

Popular Blueprint releases such as Fishin’ Frenzy, King Kong Cash and Wish Upon A Jackpot, as well as its increasingly sought-after range of Megaways™ titles, under license from Big Time Gaming, have all been seamlessly integrated onto the SBTech platform.

This latest deal marks another important step in Blueprint Gaming’s strategic ambitions to increase its international footprint across the global gaming industry.

Siôr Walbyoff, Head of Business Development at Blueprint Gaming, said: “Partnering with SBTech gives us reach into new territories and customers across Europe, further solidifying our position as a premier content supplier across the iGaming industry.

“We’re excited about launching our latest content across the SBTech customer network.” 

Andrew Cochrane, Chief Development Officer of SBTech, said: “We’re delighted to add yet more leading casino content to our platform with our partnership with Blueprint Gaming and look forward to launching its core product content across our network of platform partners.

“The addition of branded games, such as Ted and Thundercats, along with its top performing Megaways™ titles, will complement our existing product offering and drive further casino revenue growth for our partners.”

 

About Blueprint Gaming

Blueprint Gaming is a leading UK based game studio and part of Germany’s Gauselmann Group. It creates exciting slot games for the global online and mobile markets and its games are also available to be played on over 100,000 land-based gaming terminals across the UK, Germany and Italy.As well as its original content, which has become hugely popular, it has developed successful slots based on a broad range of third party brands, offering players familiarity and operators unique marketing opportunities. Blueprint Gaming design and development team strives to push creative boundaries in the creation of slots that are as successful for its operating partners as they are entertaining and engaging for its players.

Blueprint is licensed to develop and supply online games by the UK Gambling Commission and Alderney Gambling Control Commission. The company’s slot release The Goonies picked up the “Game of the Year” crown at the Gaming Intelligence Awards 2019.

 

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