In October of this year from the 23rd to the 24th, online gambling industry leaders will be gathering at the luxury hotel Steigenberger Wiltcher’s in the heart of Brussels, Belgium. They won’t be there to shop on the famous promenade, but instead, they will be gathering to address responsible gambling issues that matter the most today within the industry.
Over the last few months, industry regulators like the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) have become far more aggressive towards online gambling operators that are trying to circumvent the rules if not ignore them completely. Given the number of recent fines that have been levied against some of the industry’s largest operators, warning shots have been fired, indicating that no single operator is beyond reproach. At smaller online casinos like https://www.gclub.co, the message is being heard loud and clear.
The aim of the conference is very clear, to educate and inform interested parties and create a platform for the exchange of ideas about possible solutions. This inaugural event is seeking to bring together all industry stakeholders in an effort to figure out how to better handle issues related to money laundering, self-exclusion policies, teen gambling access and predatory advertising practices. Among the attendees will be CEOs for many of the industry’s top land-based and online casino and sports book operators. Other attendees will include academia, legislators, UKGC and MGA officials and industry experts who have a pulse on what’s going on in the public domain.
The conference has been organized in part by Pieter Remmers, a responsible gambling expert with deep industry ties. Featured speakers will include Birgitte Sand, Director of the Danish Gambling Authority (Spillemyndigheden), Francesco Rodano, Chief Policy Officer Playtech, Jeffrey Derevensky, Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology McGill University and Zoe Theocharis, Data & Insights, Behavioral Scientist, Camelot Group.
The Topics of the Day
As mentioned above, the topics that are sure to first on everyone’s collective minds will be money laundering, predatory advertising and marketing practices, teen gambling and the need for updated self-exclusion policies and enforcement. The following is a general idea of what topics the industry is currently facing.
Over the last couple of months, the industry has seen major operators like William Hill called to task for what regulators deem to be predatory advertising practices. In May of 2019, the mega gambling conglomerate had a mobile app advertising campaign banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for suggesting that success betting Cheltenham horse races would somehow equate to sexual prowess of being able to find a proper date on the highly popular Adult dating site Tinder. By reputation, Tinder is known for promoting casual dating escapades between registered members.
In June of 2019, both William Hill and competitor Paddy Power were admonished for allowing gambling advertisements to appear on a mobile app intended for seven-year-olds. Somehow, both operators failed to discover that the promotion of a new game called Looney Tunes World of Mayhem was being advertised on a mobile app that featured Looney Tunes cartoon characters like Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. While it might have been nothing more than an honest mistake, these kinds of mistakes are not acceptable in any way shape or form.
With an eye out for large deposits that could be serving as cover for money laundering operations, regulators are putting a lot of pressure on operators to perform more due diligence on new high rollers who are intending on bringing big money to the table. Operators are also expected to monitor the play of any gambler who is making frequent deposits that seem beyond the individual’s standard of living. They are looking for signs of money laundering or possible gambling problems.
For gamblers who recognize they might have a gambling problem, regulators want assurance these people have easy access to links related for self-exclusion and getting help for a gambling addiction. In line with self-exclusion policies, regulators also want to make sure operators have safeguards in place to assure no advertising or promo offers are going out to excluded gamblers.
All of these topics and more are sure to get much focus during the conference. The success of the conference will surely be measured by the ability of the conference’s participants to come away with some consensus on how to move forward and protect the integrity of the industry.