Connect with us
SIS

Press Releases

Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling publishes literature review

George Miller

Published

on

Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling publishes literature review
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

An academic literature review has revealed a dearth of knowledge worldwide about the links between crime and problem gambling – so the Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling is to embark on a new research programme.

The Commission, set up by the Howard League for Penal Reform, began looking into the issue last year and carried out a literature review, which was published on Monday, 1st of June. The review found that, while millions of people are affected by gambling either directly or indirectly, there appear to be fewer than 50 peer-reviewed papers in the last 25 years that address the links between problem gambling and crime specifically.

In response, the Commission intends to conduct its own research, in three strands: the first project will look at the prevalence of gambling-related crime; the second will consider the lived experience of people caught up in the system; and the third will explore sentencers’ awareness of the issue.

Chaired by Lord Goldsmith QC, the Commission seeks to establish what the links between problem gambling and crime are; what impact they have on communities and wider society; and what steps could be taken to reduce crime and make people safer.

Lord Goldsmith QC, Chair of the Commission on Crime and Problem Gambling, said: “Concern about harmful gambling activity has been growing for some time, but this is the first commission to focus specifically on the relationship between problem gambling and crime.

“From people getting into debt and defrauding family members or employers, to domestic violence and other crimes relating to gambling-related stress, we know anecdotally that police stations, courts and prisons see significant numbers of cases – but only a handful of academic studies have looked at this across the globe.

“The criminal justice system itself does very little work to capture the scale of the challenge and even less in terms of offering interventions like those we see for alcohol or drug problems. This has to change and our Commission can play a key role in improving the response to disordered gambling and crime.”

The literature review covers jurisdictions including Australasia, the US, Canada, Germany, Scandinavia and the UK. It reveals that, while the overall quantity of research is not huge, there is a consistency in findings across all jurisdictions.

Researchers have found high prevalence rates of people committing crimes to fund their gambling. A wide variety of crimes are committed as a result of gambling addiction; not just ‘white collar’ crimes such as theft and fraud, but also offences that occur in public spaces such as street robbery. There is significant evidence of domestic abuse and child neglect linked to problem and pathological gambling.

Studies have indicated that the more complex, prolonged and persistent a gambling problem is, the more likely it is that a crime will be committed and, indeed, that many crimes may result.

Although there has been a growing understanding that gambling addiction is a behavioural disorder, little of this has been translated to sentencing; problem gambling is not considered to be a mitigating factor in sentencing in the way mental health problems or drug and alcohol addiction are.

Research suggests that, in spite of extremely high rates of gambling addiction among prisoners, prisons offer only limited treatment. There is evidence of resistance to undertaking treatment among prisoners.

Several of the studies reviewed agreed that a custodial sentence, especially when no treatment is available for gambling addiction, was not a cost-effective way of avoiding further harm to the individual or society once the sentence is completed.

A small number of specialised gambling courts have been established in the US, with the aim of ensuring that people with gambling addictions who are in trouble with the law receive appropriate treatment. There is limited data on the success or otherwise of these initiatives.

Research is needed into the potential effect of gambling addiction treatment on the rate of recidivism, as well as more general research on how best to help vulnerable populations avoid the criminal justice system.

The literature review was written by Sarah Ramanauskas, Senior Partner at Gambling Integrity, who sits on the Commission.

 

Source

European Gaming News

Europe’s Video Games Industry Concerned by Court of Justice Judgement on Schrems V Facebook Data Case

George Miller

Published

on

Europe's Video Games Industry Concerned by Court of Justice Judgement on Schrems V Facebook Data Case
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Europe’s video games industry is disappointed at today’s important decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in the long-running Schrems v. Facebook Ireland case (Case C-311/18) that jeopardises the ability of European companies to continue to transfer data between EU Member States and the US.  The CJEU has ruled that, whilst data transfer agreements used by Facebook and other companies to share European users’ digital data with third countries are valid so long as the country “ensures an adequate level of data protection”, the EU-US Data Protection Shield (otherwise known as the Privacy Shield), that provides companies on both sides of the atlantic with a clear and cost-effective mechanism to comply with data protection requirements, has been ruled invalid.

The Court of Justice ruled that “the limitations on the protection of personal data arising from the domestic law of the United States on the access and use by US public authorities (. . .) are not circumscribed in a way that satisfies requirements that are essentially equivalent to those required under EU law”.

ISFE CEO Simon Little said: “A solution must be found. The transfer of data between the EU and the US is crucial to the full functioning and continued growth of Europe’s €21bn-strong video games industry.  Our industry is fully committed to the security of player data and supports the European Commission’s work to modernise European data protection rules and to improve the mechanisms for transferring data to third countries, but today’s decision is a blow to the ability of European games companies to reach a global market.”

EGDF COO Jari-Pekka Kaleva said: “The free flow of data between Europe and the US is crucial for game developer studios.  This ruling by the CJEU has the potential to create a significant regulatory market access barrier for European SMEs operating in global digital markets and it will adversely impact anyone working in Europe’s digital economy. Government officials and policy makers in Washington and in Brussels need to act quickly to build a new, more reliable framework for data transfers securing high standards on privacy and enabling the much-needed digital growth on both sides of the Atlantic.” 

Continue Reading

Latest News

Playtech launches Age of the Gods: God of Storms Community Live Slots

George Miller

Published

on

Playtech launches Age of the Gods: God of Storms Community Live Slots
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

Playtech, exclusively launched the second game in its Community Live Slots series – Age of the Gods™: God of Storms – across certain Flutter Entertainment brands at the start of this month.

Launching late last year with the highly popular Buffalo Blitz™, Community Live Slots is a cross-vertical concept that turns slot play into a collective experience – the first live game to feature “community spins”, with all participating players playing a single game together. Based in a live studio, with a host leading the game and providing commentary, Community Live Slots is designed to create a game show feel, bringing slot play to life in a totally new way. With Live streamers as hosts, God of Storms recreates the streamer environment with sound and wind effects, plus industry-first integrated players chat functionality.

Players begin by choosing their overall limit, number of spins and bet per spin, with the game continuing automatically with spins every few seconds. Community Live Slots also supports Free Spins bonusing – the first game in the live arena to do so.

Launched in 2016, Age of the Gods™ has become one of the major success stories of the gaming industry, with the popularity of the slots series soon expanding across verticals, with Live Casino, Bingo and Poker variants. One of the earliest games in the series, God of Storms™ has proved something of an evergreen hit.

Edo Haitin, CEO at Playtech Live Casino, comments: “We’ve seen a fantastic response to Community Live Slots with Buffalo Blitz™, and are delighted to be bringing the ever-popular Age of the Gods™ brand to this new audience. Live Casino is essentially an entertainment-focused experience, and, in Community Live Slots, we are delivering an engaging and a truly collaborative new style of gameplay. Playable from just 1p a spin, God of Storms™ is consistently popular with newcomers to slots and seasoned players, and as such was a clear choice for attracting a wider audience to Community Live Slots.

“The success of live play streaming services demonstrates a player demand for an interactive feel – the experience you would enjoy when playing alongside others in a land-based casino. Community Live Slots recreates that feeling for players, as well as creating an exciting cross-sell opportunity for operators – particularly with a series such as Age of the Gods™, which is already a proven cross-vertical success.”

Launched as a limited exclusive across certain Flutter Entertainment brands, Age of the Gods™: God of Storms™ Live is now available network-wide.

Continue Reading

Asia

Record turnover at Happy Valley for Hong Kong racing’s season finale

George Miller

Published

on

Record turnover at Happy Valley for Hong Kong racing’s season finale
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Hong Kong’s “season like no other” ended at Happy Valley on Wednesday 15th July with turnover of HK$1.6 billion (£160 million), a record for a fixture at the iconic city-side venue.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club navigated the uncertainty of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic decisively, implementing measures that protected public and employee health, and enabled the sport to continue; and also managed issues related to demonstrations in the city, which caused significant traffic disruptions to customers and staff, and which had a significant impact on attendance.

Mr. Winfried Engelbrecht-Bresges, Chief Executive Officer at the Hong Kong Jockey Club, commented: “While we recognise that the Coronavirus situation is an ongoing battle, and we must remain vigilant, I can say that it has been heartening to see the Hong Kong community pull together and play a crucial part in combatting its effects; the Hong Kong Jockey Club has been quick to reflect and enact those safeguarding measures and policies while continuing to race.

“We are pleased to have been able to complete a full season but of course our prime focus throughout, and a real challenge, was to act responsibly to protect the public health and safety of our staff, customers and the wider community, at every turn, while at the same time balancing that with the desire for our sport to continue.”

 

Turnover and contributions

Hong Kong’s total racing turnover in the 2019/20 season was HK$121.6 billion (£12.2 billion) which was down only 2.6 percent on the previous season and was still the third-highest ever despite COVID-19 placing severe pressure on domestic wagering in Hong Kong.

The turnover on Hong Kong racing by Hong Kong customers understandably declined by 8.3 percent due to the effects of the Club’s 100 OCCBs (off-course betting branches) being closed or operating on reduced opening from early February, and fans unable to attend the racecourse for almost half the season.

Turnover dipped by almost 26 percent in early February but wagering rallied through the later part of the season and climaxed with Happy Valley’s record turnover at the finale fixture. The impacts on OCBBs necessitated a change and resulted in the Club helping customers migrate online.

There were further positives as total commingling turnover increased to a record HK$23.58 billion (£2.36 billion), up 25.3 percent on last season; and Hong Kong racing fans continued to show a growing interest in the sport overseas, as evidenced in the 12.9 percent increase in the Club’s simulcast turnover.

Mr. Engelbrecht-Bresges said: “Our overall season’s racing turnover of more than HK$121 billion is pleasing in light of the significant challenges as it only reduced by 2.6 percent. Commingling continues to be a huge growth area for the Club.”

Mr. Engelbrecht-Bresges noted the “strategic value of commingling,” in which people from around the world participate and bet on Hong Kong racing, and observed that the figures show the global appeal and growing interest in Hong Kong racing around the world.

“We are pleased with how popular our simulcasts are with Hong Kong customers and we are keen to do more,” he said.

“Furthermore, we are pleased with how much interest our customers have in our simulcast programmes from the leading race meetings around the world. We saw this even more in the second World Pool at Royal Ascot, which proved a huge success – with individual race turnover up by more than 49 percent on 2019 – and we look forward to expanding the World Pool concept next season, with Hong Kong as a vital hub for global wagering.”

The Hong Kong Jockey Club runs racing with a core purpose being the betterment of society as a whole; the Club is the city’s largest tax payer and this racing season alone has paid HK$12.113 billion (£1.21 billion) to the Hong Kong government, while a significant contribution, including special emergency COVID-19 funding support, has been paid in charitable contributions to a wide range of causes.

Mr. Engelbrecht-Bresges said: “There was a compelling public interest element to our desire to continue racing through COVID-19, from Chinese New Year to the end of the season, during which time our tax contribution from racing was more than HK$6.2 billion (£620 million). This has enabled us to not only keep donations at last year’s level but also increase it due to our contributions via the COVID-19 Emergency Fund.

“We are incredibly proud that the Club could continue to make such a contribution and, the benefits of completing a full season will be felt by millions of people across Hong Kong over the coming months.”

The CEO praised the resilience of the Hong Kong community and thanked racing fans, owners, Club members, horsemen, the media, and Club staff in particular, for their patience, dedication and efforts in ensuring the 2019/20 racing season was able to continue in safety.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
NSoft

Global Gaming Industry Newsletter – Weekly Digest (sent every Wednesday)

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from European Gaming Media and Events:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here. Read more about European Gaming Media and Event's Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Subscribe to our News via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to our news and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Trending

Notice for AdBlock users

We are constantly showing banners about important news regarding events and product launches. Please turn AdBlock off in order to see these areas.