The UKGC had been investigating Ladbrokes for a while and had found that between November 2015 and October 2017 the company had failed to have effective safeguards to prevent gambling harm and money laundering. The lack of attention to this continued after the company had merged becoming Ladbrokes Coral Group.
The financial penalty is made up of two charges, with the first being €5.3 million for the initial failures along with a fine €1.2 million to account for the profits made from the customers who had gambled during this period. The commission continued - “GVC will also review the top 50 customers for the years 2015-2017 to consider whether any further failings can be identified, and if so they will divest themselves of profit accordingly. GVC has committed to making a number of improvements to the business including overhauling its responsible gaming and customer interaction processes, retraining staff, and hiring new staff
The Commission Executive Director, Richard Watson said - “Decision-makers at gambling businesses need to invest in the welfare of their customers and the integrity of money being gambled with. These were systemic failings at a large operator which resulted in consumers being harmed and stolen money flowing through the business and this is unacceptable.”
The call is thought to come from GPA’s efforts to follow on from the rules that have recently been implemented into the UK’s sports industry. Sports betting operators in the country voluntarily agreed to stop advertising during live sporting events both before and during the games.
Last year, the GPA launched an awareness campaign called “Reduce the Odds” which was to protect the Gaelic Games integrity. “The campaign aims to inform all members of the Association’s rules relating to gambling, highlight research identifying athletes as an at-risk group in relation to problem gambling, signpost persons in need of help to support services available in Ireland
When the announcement of the awareness campaign was first published, John Horan said - “Gambling and sport is a societal issue in the modern world. The wellbeing of our members and the integrity of our games are paramount to the GAA. The Association has made significant strides in recent years to preserve both. We hope that his campaign offers our clubs and members the resources necessary to continue that work at grassroots level.”
The list was a combination of two, coming from the Intercantonal Lottery and Betting Commission (Comlot) and the Swiss Federal Gaming Board (SFGB). Moving forward, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will be expected to block all websites that are found on the list, with a total of 65 domains. Many household, European names make up the list including Bet365 and Pinnacle.
There were a number of operators who in anticipation, removed themselves from the Swiss market. GVC Holding sites, such as Bwin left at the start of the year, with William Hill leaving in June after doing their best to hold onto their Swiss players for as long as they could
In the future, if these operators are looking for their way back into the Swiss market, they will need to keep a good reputation in the country. Those who are found to maintain lawful for five years will become eligible for partnerships and re-introduction into Switzerland. However, this does involve the operators keeping their hands clean, preventing the countries players from accessing their casinos, even through VPNs.
Before the end of September it’s said that comeon.com, getlucky.com and mobilenet.com along with many other ComeOn operator sites will exit the UK. The CEO, Lahcene Merzoug claims this is in order to “focus on more favourable markets.” He continues, the “U.K. is a very mature and highly competitive market and the financial risks are big. We have never had a non-compliance breach, but we’ve seen competitors being fined big numbers and that creates uncertainty.”
Beginning September 23rd, ComeOn will no longer accept players who are from the UK. Following this, on the 27th of September, the accounts will be closed and customers will be given two days to withdraw their funds. Once these two days have passed, the procedure to withdraw funds will be difficult
Lahcene Merzoug added that “The U.K.-license has lost its symbolic value. Before you almost had to have one to be looked upon as a credible company. Today we hold licenses in many European countries and given that the U.K. has never been a big market for us, it’s a wise move to put our focus elsewhere.”
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The first to offer the activity in the state are Ameristar Casino in East Chicago, Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg and Indiana Grand Racing & Casino in Shelbyville. Following these, we will see Horseshoe Hammond and French Lick Resort begin their new ventures. On Tuesday, Eric Holcomb, the state Governor, placed the first wager when he visited Indiana Grand.
The journey began in May, when Eric Holcomb approved sports gambling legislation, which resulted in the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) to accept license requests in July. Each application proceeded to go through an approval period, where the operations were tested for compliance. Once the tests had been carried out, they were individually allowed to introduce sports betting in the state
Each operator has a hefty sum to pay, with the initial license fee of $100,000 and then an annual license renewal cost of $50,000. Each sportsbook will be expected to pay 9.5% of their gaming revenue to the taxman, which will be spent on supporting problem gambling.
The operator had apparently been involved in a number of questionable gambling activity and advertising practises which were against the gambling law. Although 1xBet have withdrawn from the UK market, the gambling commission are continuing their investigation and are still able to impose fines on the company. They have already seen repercussions of their actions, after Tottenham Hotspot football club pulled out of their apparent long-term agreement signed in August of last year.
1xBet as well as their white-label partner, FSB Technology are both being investigated over allegations that they were allowing their players to wager on underage sporting games as well as cockfights and operating a casino which featured topless dealers. Additionally, 1xBet has been found to be advertising on websites that illegally streamed Premier League matches.
According to The Times, who originally uncovered the illegal activity, the Premier League team announced that they were severing their relationship with 1xBet. The decision was made after the UKGC had warned all 1xBet associates that they could receive some of the backlash if they continue to work with the operator. The other football clubs with similar deals, Liverpool and Chelsea – have yet to take much action, claiming they
The two clubs were warned by the UKGC that they could receive “unlimited fines and up to 51 weeks’ imprisonment” for continuing their business relationship with 1xBet. Matt Zarb-Cousin, from the Campaign for Fairer Gambling in the UK, commenting say it was “absolutely debacle” that these football clubs had “failed to do the most basic due diligence checks on 1xBet before signing up for these multimillion-pound deals”
The guidelines will be thoroughly be followed by the Commercial Communications Committee whilst reviewing advertisements that have flagged. The committee will publish their verdict within 10 days of the complaint and the operator will have three days to respond.
The Malta Gaming Authority stated - “The main functions of the committee lie in reviewing commercial communications brought to its attention and assessing any possible breaches. The guidelines are intended to serve as guidance on the interpretation of the regulations, and should not be considered to be a substitute for the relevant laws and regulations.”
The guidelines state that all commercial communications must be "socially responsible, with particular regard to the need to protect minors and other vulnerable persons from harm or exploitation.” Attention was drawn to the fact that
Gaming advertisements will also be restricted from a number of public areas, including bars, restaurants and public transport. It’s said that any sponsorship deals must be limited to basic text and logo/imagery with product placement being completely banned.
In addition to advertisements, all licensed casinos must offer easy to access online responsible gaming information on their homepage. However, on mobile devices where there’s limited space, the information must be no more than 2 clicks away.
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