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European Gaming Congress 2024

Compliance Updates

Betting and Gaming Council Members Boast Record Compliance on Age Verification Checks

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The members of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) have achieved record compliance rates for age verification checks, according to leading industry auditor Serve Legal.

Independent figures provided by Serve Legal, show bookmakers boasted a 91.4% age verification pass rate, across thousands of annual checks.

Meanwhile, casinos have a near-perfect pass rate of 98%.

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This represents a 30% compliance increase across the audit volume since 2009, when Serve Legal began working with the regulated betting and gaming sector.

Regulated betting and gaming is now the leading sector in the UK for age verification compliance, better than supermarkets, convenience stores and petrol forecourts and delivering 10-15% higher compliance rates than the alcohol and lottery sectors annually.

BGC members take a zero-tolerance approach to betting by children and have significantly raised standards to protect young people.

The most popular forms of betting by children are legal arcade games like penny pusher and claw grab machines, bets between friends or family, and playing cards for money – not with BGC members.

BGC members enforce strict age verification on all their products to prevent underage gaming and will further strengthen age verification measures by increasing the checking age from “Think 21” to “Think 25” across betting shops and casinos. This policy will require anyone who is over 18 but looks under 25 to provide ID.

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The BGC also funds the £10m Young People’s Gambling Harm Prevention Programme, delivered by leading charities YGAM and GamCare, which has reached more than two million 11 to 19-year-olds, and those working with them, in the UK.

Wes Himes, Executive Director of Standards and Innovation, said: “The BGC and our members are incredibly proud of these compliance rates, which put us ahead of our peers in every department.

“I am hugely grateful to Serve Legal for their work over the last 15 years, who have been instrumental in this change. Serve Legal, alongside our members and their dedicated staff, have led the charge in raising standards and setting a new benchmark for excellence.

“Bookmakers and casinos play a vital economic role on the UK’s hard-pressed high streets, as well as in the leisure and tourism sector. But economic contribution has to go hand-in-hand with the highest standards.

“We are delivering that, which should be welcome news to customers and communities across the country. Our work to raise standards goes on, and I expect these compliance rates to continue improving across the land-based betting and gaming sector.”

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Serve Legal is the market-leading provider of ID and compliance testing services in the UK & Ireland. Providing extensive, independent audit services to national retailers, leisure operators and sports broadcasters, Serve Legal’s site audits help clients protect and improve operational and compliance standards.

Over the last 15 years, Serve Legal has conducted over 200,000 bookmaker and casino site audits, to ensure due diligence across a range of compliance issues for BGC members.

Audit checks were conducted at single-site businesses through to national brands with thousands of locations on UK high streets.

Serve Legal Client Manager Ali Deering said: “Compliance challenges can be greater for smaller independent bookmakers. The BGC have done admirable work in bringing them up to speed with the latest compliance support, to offer a level playing field with other big names in the industry. At Serve Legal we are proud to be supporting all of the BGC’s members, including casinos, with their due diligence and celebrate the tangible successes in each of them!”

The improvement comes as a result of new measures on customer interactions and improved “challenge on entry” standards for age verification.

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Serve Legal CEO Ed Heaver said: “The Serve Legal team are incredibly proud of the work conducted by the BGC and their members. Their impressive dedication and work ethic has paid off in some highly impressive statistics, showing the 30% compliance increase across the industry over the time that we have worked in the sector. We thank the BGC for pioneering their mission of customer safety alongside ours.”

The BGC’s commitment to protecting young people extends beyond land-based betting and gaming, including recent commitments on advertising.

In 2019, BGC members introduced the whistle-to-whistle ban on TV betting commercials during live sports before the 9 pm watershed, which led to the number of such ads being seen by children at that time falling by 97%.

BGC members have also introduced new age-gating rules for advertising on social media platforms, targeting ads to those aged 25 and over unless a platform can verifiably prove that its age-gating systems can prevent under-18s from accessing regulated betting and gaming advertising content.

The BGC has also written to the Government, asking them to urge social media companies to cooperate more closely with the betting and gaming industry in limiting marketing seen by young people and problem gamblers.

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Recent data from the Gambling Commission published last year showed young people’s exposure to betting and gaming adverts and promotions had declined compared to the previous year.

Of 11 to 17-year-olds, 55% had seen regulated betting and gaming adverts offline, compared to 66% in 2022, and 53% had seen adverts online, compared to 63% in 2022.

The Government has previously stated research did not establish a causal link between exposure to advertising and the development of problem betting and gaming.

The regulated betting and gaming industry is determined to promote safer gaming, unlike the unsafe and growing online black market, which has none of the safeguards strictly employed by BGC members.

BGC members overall contribute £7.1bn to the economy and generate £4.2bn in tax while supporting 110,000 jobs.

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Each month in Great Britain around 22.5m adults have a bet and the most recent NHS Health Survey for England estimated that 0.4% of the adult population are problem gamblers.

The post Betting and Gaming Council Members Boast Record Compliance on Age Verification Checks appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

Compliance Updates

Rightlander enhances Soft2Bet’s marketing compliance across multiple jurisdictions

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Partnership will strengthen marketing compliance in key markets including Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Romania and Ontario.

Soft2Bet, a leading provider of iGaming turnkey solutions, is pleased to announce a strategic partnership with Rightlander, a leading provider of compliance and monitoring solutions for the iGaming and affiliate marketing industries.

The partnership will strengthen Soft2Bet’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of marketing compliance across key markets such as Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Romania, Ontario, Greece and Ireland.

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Under the terms of the partnership, Rightlander will deploy its advanced compliance monitoring technology to ensure Soft2Bet adheres to affiliate and iGaming marketing regulations in those jurisdictions. Rightlander’s comprehensive suite of services will include website and social media monitoring and will provide Soft2Bet with robust tools to detect and manage compliance risks effectively.

This proactive approach will help identify and rectify any non-compliant content swiftly, ensuring Soft2Bet’s operations remain within regulatory frameworks.

The partnership will concentrate on ensuring compliance in key markets where regulatory scrutiny is particularly stringent. Rightlander’s expertise in these jurisdictions will provide Soft2Bet with the assurance that it is meeting all local regulatory requirements.

Jonathan Elkin, Sales Director, Rightlander, commented on the partnership: “We are thrilled to partner with Soft2Bet, a company that shares our commitment to high compliance standards. Our technology will provide Soft2Bet with the tools needed to navigate complex regulatory environments effectively and maintain their reputation for integrity and trustworthiness.”

David Yatom Hay, General Counsel of Soft2Bet, added: “Ensuring compliance is a core component of our business strategy as we expand into new markets. Partnering with Rightlander gives us confidence that we can uphold these standards across all our operations, delivering a safe and secure experience for our customers.”

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The post Rightlander enhances Soft2Bet’s marketing compliance across multiple jurisdictions appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Compliance Updates

Hellenic Gaming Association Intensifies its Efforts to Combat Illegal Online Gambling

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The Hellenic Gaming Association (HGA) has intensified its efforts against the phenomenon of illegal online gambling, which has reached enormous proportions in recent years with incalculable economic and social impacts.

Following a lawsuit recently filed by the organisation under President Christos Panagopoulos against an internationally active company conducting illegal gambling in Greece without the necessary licensing from the Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC), a new lawsuit targets two well-known Greek influencers. These influencers, through their social media content, promote unlicensed gambling websites.

These internet personalities have posted a series of videos encouraging their mostly young audience, including minors, to visit these sites by sharing how they “managed” to win tens of thousands of euros by betting and playing on these illegal platforms. However, they conceal the fact that these are illegal gambling companies while enticing viewers with the promise of easy money.

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It is important to highlight that their audience includes minors, who find an open door in the unlicensed environment where there are no controls or restrictions, unlike legal online companies where one must be at least 21 years old to open an account and play.

Besides the two Greek influencers, the association is planning to file reports to social media platforms and online services hosting ads and promoting unlicensed providers. Initially, they will approach the relevant departments of these organisations, and they may even take the matter to prosecutorial authorities. The initiatives undertaken by the HGA to combat illegal gambling often aim to fill the void left by the State, which is fundamentally responsible for addressing this open wound with appropriate actions, rather than a private entity.

The massive scale of illegal gambling in Greece was confirmed by a recent official survey conducted by the HGC in collaboration with KAPPA Research, shedding light on the hidden side of this illicit activity. According to the survey, 900,000 Greeks, or nearly 1 in 10, participated in illegal gambling at least once in the past 12 months, with an estimated astronomical expenditure of 1.7 billion euros in the unlicensed environment.

Of the total 1.7 billion euros, 1.1 billion was spent on illegal online games, and the remaining 600 million euros were associated with money spent in physical networks, such as unlicensed clubs and casinos. The average annual amount spent per player online reached approximately 1200 euros, while for land-based gambling, the corresponding amount was 738 euros.

The post Hellenic Gaming Association Intensifies its Efforts to Combat Illegal Online Gambling appeared first on European Gaming Industry News.

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Arizona

Arizona Department of Gaming to Accept Applications for Event Wagering Licenses

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he Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) is pleased to announce that it will begin accepting applications for event wagering licenses in July. Pursuant to A.R.S. § 5-1304 and A.A.C. R19-4-105 and 106, ADG will accept applications for no less than one event wagering license reserved for Arizona Tribes and no less than one event wagering license reserved for Arizona Sports Franchises, as defined in A.R.S. § 5-1301(7).

Prospective applicants are encouraged to review the provided materials on ADG’s website carefully to understand the application process and requirements.

The application window for event wagering licenses will open on July 8, 2024, and will close on July 19, 2024 at 5 PM. Applicants must submit their completed applications within this timeframe in order to be considered for a license. ADG will thoroughly evaluate all applications received based on the established criteria pursuant to the State’s event wagering rules and statutes.

Interested parties are encouraged to visit ADG’s website for detailed information on eligibility requirements, application procedures, and relevant timelines.

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