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UKGC: Information for operators re-opening land-based gambling premises

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UK Gambling Commission announces package of changes which make online games safer by design
Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

As restrictions on the lockdown ease the UKGC has published a number of frequently asked questions covering its expectations from land-based operators.

These FAQs are aimed at helping operators manage compliance with Government guidance on reopening with continued compliance with the Licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP).

The Commission is also reminding operators they are still expected to continue to follow Customer Interaction guidance as doors are reopened to consumers.

Frequently asked questions

Which premises can open from 15 June?

Just betting offices in England are able to open from 15 June.

 

Do Operators still have to meet all the Gambling Act and LCCP requirements?

Yes, there are no changes to operators’ obligations. We therefore expect operators to have confidence in their ability to be fully compliant with our requirements when they reopen. Where we find evidence of non-compliance, we will take swift action.  

 

Will the Commission undertake premises-based assessments?

The Commission’s approach will support the following Government objectives as set out in guidance:

  • To minimise the contact resulting from visits to stores or outlets
  • To minimise the number of unnecessary visits to offices
  • To minimise non-essential travel

This means that the Commission will look to obtain premises information by remote means. This includes requesting electronic data or recordings and where possible/necessary undertaking Skype meetings.

 

Will Licensing Authorities undertake premises-based assessments?

LA requirements remain the same. Individual LAs will undertake their own risk assessments and implement policies and procedures accordingly.

 

Who do I report my concerns to if I think government Covid-19 guidelines are not being followed correctly?

The Gambling Commission is not responsible for addressing breaches of Covid19 guidance. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE), Local Authorities, and local Police Forces (England & Wales only) have the relevant information on their websites.

 

Risk Assessments 

General business risk assessment

Whilst not a requirement, we would expect operators to consider the risks posed to compliance with the Act, LCCP and associated guidance. As such we may seek evidence to support this.

 

Do operators need to review their premises [local] risk assessment(s)?

Operators may have to implement changes to manage social distancing and to protect staff and customers. Where these changes are significant, and could affect the mitigation of local risks, operators must review and where necessary update their risk assessments.

 

Do operators need to update their AML risk assessment?

Land based operators in the regulated sector are required to regularly review their AML risk assessments. Casinos are not reopening in June, but we would expect them to review the risks when they do. Operators in the unregulated sector are expected to review the risks and if required update any risk assessments.

 

Premises  

What do operators need to consider if they are putting screens around machines for customer protection?

Operators must ensure that whatever measures they put in place to socially distance customers, staff can continue to supervise the premises, monitor customers behaviour for signs of gambling-related harm and monitor compliance with age-restrictions.

 

Do the social distancing rules mean customer interactions are suspended?

No. Operators must ensure that staff can and do undertake customer interactions that are meaningful and effective and that they comply with the LCCP and with our Customer Interaction guidance .

 

Do operators still need to undertake Age Verification (AV) check programs?

Operators are still required to undertake these programs. Suppliers (e.g. Serve Legal) could also be undertaking their own business risk assessments that may require changes to the process.

 

If customers are wearing PPE (facemasks), are operators still required to undertake AV checks?

Yes, Government guidance states that customers can be asked to remove their masks for AV checks. If customers refuse, then staff should follow operator guidance on refusing service.

 

If customers are wearing PPE (facemasks), are operators still required to enforce self-exclusions?

Yes. There are no changes to an operator’s responsibilities.  Operators are expected to review their policies and procedures and to take a pragmatic approach.

 

Can operators move their gaming machines to allow for social distancing? Where plans submitted to LA stipulate specific areas for machines (most likely betting shops) operators must contact the LA for advice first.

Can operators expand the use of TITO?

We expect full and proper supervision of these facilities, in particular the monitoring for potential money laundering or safer gambling issues. Operators must ensure that they can evidence appropriate controls when installing TITO and all gaming machines must comply with the relevant technical standards.

 

Can betting operators increase the number of SSBTs?

We expect full and proper supervision of these facilities. In particular the monitoring for potential money laundering or safer gambling issues. Provided operators can evidence appropriate controls when installing SSBTs, use can be expanded. 

 

Can operators replace safer gambling messaging (posters/leaflets etc.) with social distancing/Covid 19 messaging?

Our guidance on the provision and display of information has not changed.

 

Will the Commission suspend test-purchasing?

We will continue to carry out test-purchasing to identify those that are operating unlawfully.

 

What will the Commission do about the period of time during which there were no test-purchase exercises?

We do not want operators to be disadvantaged and so we will be calculating results only for the periods during which premises are open.

 

Staff  

What happens if staff will not or cannot undertake customer interactions due to social distancing or Covid 19 concerns?

Operators must ensure customer interactions take place. Staffing issues are a matter for individual operators, but our expectation is that they are confident in their abilities to meet all of our requirements, including customer interactions, when they reopen. Where we find evidence of non-compliance, we will take swift action.  

 

What happens if a PML goes sick with C-19 or has to self-isolate?

Our expectation is that operators will have in place contingency plans. So long as this is the case, wherever possible the Commission will be flexible on arrangements.

Latest News

Meridianbet Launches ‘Scan. Help.’ Humanitarian Initiative to Support Maternity Hospitals in Southeast Europe

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Meridianbet, a member of the Golden Matrix Group (NASDAQ: GMGI), in partnership with Meridianbet Foundation, Expanse Studios, and BC Crvena zvezda Meridianbet announces the launch of a significant humanitarian initiative, ‘Scan. Help.’, aimed at supporting maternity hospitals across Southeast Europe.

The rollout of this action to other market territories is expected in the remainder of 2024.

How It Works

For every scanned QR code and subsequent registration on the Meridian Foundation’s website, funds will be allocated towards equipping five maternity hospitals in Serbia. This innovative approach not only raises awareness but also actively involves the community in our CSR activities.

The initiative is currently ongoing with high media presence and is broadcasted during Southeast Europe’s regional basketball Finals series (ABA League). BC Red Star players wear jerseys featuring the QR code, with additional promotion through basketball arena ads, TV ads, and more, encouraging fans and supporters to participate.

A Unified Effort for Community Impact

The ‘Scan. Help.’ campaign is a collaborative effort involving Meridianbet, Meridianbet foundation, Expanse Studios, and basketball club Crvena zvezda Meridianbet, Southeast Europe’s leading basketball club, of which Meridianbet is the name sponsor. The initiative is designed to leverage our collective resources and influence to make a meaningful impact on local communities.

Multi-Stakeholder Support and Growing Participation

The ‘Scan. Help.’ campaign has received institutional support ad backing from the Ministry of Health, reinforcing the importance and legitimacy of this cause. Additionally, several companies have already expressed their desire to contribute, with provisions made for donations through the Meridian Foundation’s account. This broadening support network amplifies the initiative’s reach and potential impact.

This campaign exemplifies Meridianbet’s dedication to sustainable development and community well-being. In 2023 alone, the company has launched 225 CSR campaigns, reflecting the commitment to making a lasting impact.

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Latest News

PopOk Gaming Unveils Exciting New Instant Game: “Dice”

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PopOK Gaming, a leading innovator in the gaming industry, is thrilled to announce the launch of its latest Instant game sensation: “Dice”.

“Dice” is a dynamic game that puts players’ instincts and strategies to the test. Participants can jump in at any moment and predict whether the resulting number will be higher or lower than their selected number. With every roll, the excitement mounts as players watch the green fields light up, indicating their path to victory.

It’s not just about luck – it’s about strategy too. Players have the opportunity to adjust their multiplier, choose their odds, and press start for a thrilling gaming experience.

Here’s how it goes down:

📈 Move the dice higher or lower on the screen.
🚀 Choose over or under.
⏳ Place your bet and hold on tight.
🎲 Launch the dice!
🏆 Win big, with potential rewards of up to x9600!

With its user-friendly interface and exciting gameplay, “Dice” promises to captivate players of all skill levels. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer or new to the world of Instant games, “Dice” offers endless opportunities for fun and excitement.

Join the action today and roll the dice for your chance to win big! Visit PopOK Gaming to start playing now.

 

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eSports

SuperGaming Reveals Nationwide Grassroots Indus Battle Royale Esports Tournament Series With Rs. 5,50,000 Prize Pool

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Made-in-India battle royale Indus is hosting its first ever series of nationwide grassroots esports tournaments dubbed Indus Inferno. This is SuperGaming’s summer special of tournaments with prizes and bragging rights on the line — but most importantly: a chance for players to experience Indus at the highest skill level and be the best in India’s first new-generation battle royale.

Created by award-winning Pune-based developer SuperGaming, Indus is an Indo-Futuristic battle royale slated for mobile, PC, and consoles with pre-registrations live on Google Play for Android. Pre-registrations for the game have crossed 10 million already.

Indus Inferno kicked off with the Regional Scrims featuring a Rs. 50,000 prize pool this week. The scrims were met with immense excitement, with players hailing from multiple cities across India.

The Indus Inferno Finale scheduled to take place on 1st June will feature a lucrative prize pool of Rs. 5,00,000.

Player registration for the Open Qualifiers is now open and will end on 19th May. The Qualifiers are set to run from 20th May to 24th May. It is important to note that only the top 2,000 players from the Inferno in-game Leaderboard will be eligible to register for the qualifiers. The top 10 winning teams from the Open Qualifiers will earn coveted spots in the finale, joining the invited esports teams for an epic showdown.

The following teams have been invited for the Indus Inferno Finale:

  • Team Moggers

  • Team Redlock

  • Team Pushpa

  • Destruction of Game

In addition to this, teams of Indus content creators, community members, several esports organizations as well as winners of past playtests will be present for the tournament. There’s a total prize pool of Rs. 5,00,000 with the winners netting Rs. 2,50,000 and the runners-up, third-place, and fourth place getting Rs. 1,00,000, Rs. 75,000, and Rs. 50,000 respectively. The most valuable player will get Rs. 25,000.

More importantly, the finale will feature India’s top esports team owners so Indus’ best players can have face to face opportunities to be scouted for a career in esports playing Indus. These include:

  • Godlike Esports

  • Revenant Esports

  • Orangutan

  • Entity Gaming

  • Reckoning Esports

  • Carnival Gaming

  • Chemin Esports

  • True Rippers

  • Enigma Gaming

  • Team Tamilas

  • Marcos Gaming

  • TWOB

“With Indus Inferno and previous Indus esports tournaments that we’ve been running since last year such as the Indus Invitational and Indus Unchained, we want to lay the foundation for a sustainable esports ecosystem for our community and the nation at large,” says SuperGaming CEO and Co-Founder Roby John. “Having India’s best esports team owners at the finale is our small way of making that happen.”

SuperGaming is also going to have exclusive rewards, developer panels, and more, so head on over to the official Indus Discord server for all the details.

Players will be able to share their thoughts on various aspects of the game and impact the direction of how SuperGaming crafts its most ambitious title yet through this official esports tournament.

This is inline with how SuperGaming has crafted its biggest hits — MaskGun and Silly Royale. Popular multiplayer shooter MaskGun has amassed over 80 million players since its launch with a relentless focus on putting its players first leading to some of its biggest community members featuring in-game as well as celebrating India-specific events like Diwali.

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