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Covid-19 – A message from UKGC chair, Neil McArthur to online gambling operators

George Miller

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Covid-19 - A message from UKGC chair, Neil McArthur to online gambling operators
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Since I wrote to you last week, the response to Covid-19 has affected everyone in Great Britain. 

Over the last week, I have spoken to representatives across the industry and understand the significant impact that these uncertain and unsettling events are having on your businesses, your customers and your employees. We have been drawing up an initial assessment on the impact recent events will have on the gambling industry and assessing how we should approach our own work over the coming months.

Protecting children and vulnerable people from being harmed by gambling has always been a major priority and we are very mindful – as you should be – of the fact that the risks of harm arising from online gambling have increased as a result of recent events. As you know, the social distancing measures that have been imposed this week now mean that anyone other than key workers will be at home for most of the day. We are already seeing reports of an increase in online slots, poker, casino gaming and virtual sports.

In light of these developments, whilst I recognise the enormous challenges businesses are facing, I want to make the Commission’s expectations absolutely clear:

  • Consumer protection must be paramount
    • We expect you to act responsibly, especially around individual customer affordability checks and increased social responsibility interactions.
    • We expect you to be very mindful that customers may be vulnerable and experiencing financial uncertainty, whilst others may be experiencing other effects of being isolated including, for example, feelings of anxiety, loneliness or boredom.
    • We expect you to know your customers and step in if they are showing signs that they are experiencing or at risk of harm.
  • Marketing must be conducted responsibly
    • We expect you to on-board new customers in a socially responsible way.
    • You must not exploit the current situation for marketing purposes and should be very cautious when seeking to cross-sell online gaming products to customers who signed up with you in order to bet.
    • We expect you to ensure that your affiliates are conducting themselves appropriately.
  • Compliance with licence conditions and codes of practice
    • We expect you to act in a way that minimises the risks to the licensing objectives.
    • Treat consumers fairly and communicate with them in a clear way that allows them to make a properly informed judgment about whether to gamble.
    • Work with the Commission in an open and co-operative way and act in accordance with both the letter or the spirit of the regulatory framework we have set.

If we see irresponsible behaviour we will step in immediately. So, whilst I know that the current climate is unprecedented, gambling operators must play their part in making sure that people are kept safe.

If you want to share your own analysis of impacts to the industry, or share other information that may be relevant to our work on this issue, you can talk to Ben Haden, Programme Director for Industry Insight, who is collating all of the information about how Covid-19 is affecting the industry.

If you have information or concerns about the behaviour of an operator then our Confidential Intelligence Hotline is continuing to take calls or you can email the team. Finally, you can continue to contact your Account Manager in the normal way to notify of any key events or questions you have during this time. If you have other questions or queries, please let us know and we will do our best to get you an answer.

Yours sincerely,
Neil McArthur

Industry News

Kalamba Launches New “Bullseye” Brand

Niji Narayan

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Kalamba Launches New “Bullseye” Brand
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Kalamba Games has launched its new brand named “Bullseye.” The new brand incorporates Kalamba’s proprietary remote gaming server (RGS) and promotional tools product offerings.

The Bullseye launch cements the Malta-based firm’s position as a next-generation supplier as it continues to invest in creating a strong brand and further expanding the company.

The new brand incorporates a range of Kalamba’s new promotional tools, which will initially be made available to partners that are directly integrated via the Bullseye RGS. The roll out is set to begin in H2 2020 and gives direct access to over 35 unique Kalamba titles.

“We’re very excited to bring the Bullseye brand to market as it reflects the team’s hard work in bringing the company further towards maturity and underlines our commitment to supporting our partners’ success,” Steve Cutler, CEO and co-founder of Kalamba, said.

“Bullseye represents the next stage in the core strategy and vision we established back in 2016. Naturally we look forward to building further on our games portfolio, but making titles interconnected via meta features and layers will ensure we build a market leading slots experience for the ages,” Steve Cutler added.

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Industry News

France’s ANJ Reveals New Leadership Team

Niji Narayan

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France’s ANJ Reveals New Leadership Team
Photo Source: lesechos.fr
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

France’s new gambling regulator L’Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) has announced a number of new appointments to its senior leadership team.

Officially launched this June, the ANJ will serve as France’s “single regulatory agency” for gambling, replacing ARJEL and further industry oversight responsibilities of the French Treasury and the Department of Agriculture.

Led by Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin, the current ANJ Chairman and former French State Counsellor for data protections, the ANJ has been tasked with developing two new frameworks to prioritise consumer protections and the prevention of financial crimes.

Joining Falque-Pierrotin’s executive team, the ANJ confirmed the appointment of former French Treasury counsellor Rémi Lataste as the Director-General who will oversee the agency’s budget responsibilities.

The ANJ’s day-to-day operations and resources will be led by Olivier Tournut as Secretary-General. Tournut is the former Chief Administrator for France’s CNIL IT and data protections agency, the federal department formerly led by Falque-Pierrotin.

Supporting ANJ’s new regulatory mandate, Falque-Pierrotin confirmed that former ARJEL executive Jean Baptiste Menguy will continue to hold the position of HR Director for the agency.

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Industry News

Digitain Partners with GameArt

Niji Narayan

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Digitain Partners with GameArt
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Online casino platform provider Digitain has partnered with game developer GameArt to expand its slot games offering.

Digitain will provide its partners with GameArt’s portfolio of HTML5 slots, which will be managed via Digitain’s Casino Games Dashboard. The deal further expands Digitain’s offering, which was recently strengthened in the absence of live sport.

 “We are delighted to add GameArt and their excellent range of slots to our casino product portfolio. We are committed to continually improve the quality of the content we provide to our partners – GameArt’s multi-language slots, with their state-of-the-art graphics, are a welcome addition to our casino offering,” Samvel Mkrtumyan, head of external communication at Digitain, said.

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