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19.02.2019

New Regulations Insist UK Children Should Never See Gambling Ads

Gambling advertising restrictions continue to grow across the UK, with the latest iteration affecting all advertisers – with a strong focus on reducing the amount of gambling ads shown to users who are under the age of 18.

There are two new, fairly broad, rules that have been brought into the light and both of which are set to be enforced from the first few weeks of April. This gives a little room for advertisers to plan and alter their campaigns accordingly.

The first of these rules is that gambling advertisements cannot be displayed on any website or computer games that children have access to, for example – day time football matches or video games that run ads around their sites.

The second rule puts a stop to advertisers using celebrities in their ads, quite often we will see celebrities sponsored by casinos or sports betting – but
this will not last long. Another segment of this rule is for advertisers to not be allowed to even use a person who looks under the age of 25 – as this is thought to have an added effect on young minds.

In recent years especially, with the rise of YouTube Stars – advertisers have been reaching out and offering brand deals, however as YouTube is predominantly watched by minors… YouTubers can expect these sort of deals to come to a quick end.

These new rules will force advertisers to re-learn what they can and cannot get away with – as we saw with Tombola recently getting in trouble with their gambling advisement on the “I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out” mobile app. The Advertising Standard Authority stepped in and companies quickly learned that was a line not to cross again.

It will be interesting to see how much these rules come into effect, the debates that will circulate around what is considered as targeted to kids and the boundaries will be formed. The regulations are another step in the right direction and with recent reports showing that the amount of gambling ads shown to children has dropped up to 40% in the last few years – it shows hope that younger minds will soon be void of gambling thoughts.


18.02.2019

Are Loot Boxes a Form of Gambling?

A recent storm across the internet in recent months has been whether video game loot boxes are considered a form of gambling. It seems in the past year, every game has implemented cosmetic items that can be obtained through buying a loot box to reveal a random item which has raised the question of whether this needs to be regulated.

Countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands and Isle of Man have already discussed and decided in game loot boxes are a form of gambling and have started to implement regulation to help protect users in their jurisdiction. It seems that Ireland is next in line to start the discussion, on the legality of loot boxes in
the principle chamber of the Irish legislature.

The demographic of these games is what has spurred the conversation to take place – if these loot boxes are considering gambling, regulation will need to be implemented quickly as many children play and “gamble” with loot boxes.

Minister of State at the Department of Justice, David Stanton said: “In the context of video games, if a game sought to offer an activity or items for purchase that fall under the current Irish legal definition of gambling, the manufacturer of the game would require a relevant licence. To the best of our knowledge, no manufacturer has sought such licensing by gambling regulators in Ireland or other EU member states to date.”


16.02.2019

Italian Regulator ADM Grants 70 iGaming Licenses

The Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM), who is a primary gaming regulator in Italy has issued 70 online gambling licenses. There are 66 of these, who have been awarded full permits to operate across the growing market however the other 4 have additional conditions attached.

These four companies go by the names of Scommettendo, Spati, Sogno di Tolosa and Universal Solutions. The larger side of the group, granted a full permit include the markets top brands such as The Stars Group, William Hill, Bet 365 and Paddy Power.

Each of these companies had to pay a license fee of £200,000 and were required to have an existing European or Italian gaming permit. The final clause of the license was that the company had to have a turnover of at least £1.5 million in the past two years
.


14.02.2019

New Casino Age Verification Standards from UKGC

The UK Gambling Commission or UKGC, has announced new ruling focused around the way casinos will need to verify the age of their players with the intent "to make gambling safer and fairer".

The primary goal is to prevent underage users from being able to gamble, the new ruling forces casino operators to verify the age of players before they deposit funds, rather than when players are trying to cash out. In the past, there have been issues where players would win on a casino - only to find out they cannot withdraw their prize without submitting some form of ID to prove their age. If it comes to a case where the player is underage, the casino would return the wagered amount - not the amount won. Obviously over the years, complaints have been made by players claiming this is unfair and the fact underage players are able to deposit and gamble without being prompted for age verification.

There are some additional terms of the new ruling, UKGC will be clamping down on
Free-To-Play casino games, as "there is no legitimate reason why they should be available to children". These stricter rules will force casinos to verify the customer before they can claim a free bet or bonus, as although there is no risk of actual loss - it promotes gambling to an audience that shouldn't have this exposure.

One of the bonus side effects of this new term is that the system will allow for casinos to identify self-excluded players, "effective verification by operators will mean that a customer will not be verified, and therefore unable to gamble, until they provide correct details. These details will then be checked against both the operator’s own self-exclusion database and the verified data held by Gamstop"

Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission Chief Executive said - "These changes will protect children and the vulnerable from gambling-related harm, and reduce the risk of crime linked to gambling. They will also make gambling fairer by helping consumers collect their winnings without unnecessary delay."

The new rules will force casino operators to:
-Verify the name, address and date of birth of a customer before allowing them to gamble
-Inform customers before they deposit, of the types of ID documents required and how it should be supplied to the licensee
-Take reasonable steps to ensure that information on their customers’ identities remains accurate.

Jeremy Wright, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport - "These significant changes mean operators must check someone’s age before they gamble, and not after...By extending strong age verification rules to free-to-play games we are creating a much safer online environment for children, helping to shut down a possible gateway to gambling- related harm."

This new regulation is set to come into action from the 7th of May, with this notice period allowing plenty of time for casino operators to make the necessary changes to their platforms. As an affiliate, we must wonder how this will affect us. A lot of the focus is around how quickly the procedure will be, to have age verified on the casino end - if this system takes too long, players will quickly lose interest which would be a major hindrance to Affiliate conversion.

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