The Impact of New Gambling Regulation on the UK Bookies

Most people involved with the online gambling and gambling industry in general are aware of significant regulatory changes on the horizon in the UK. Some of these new laws and stipulations have already come into effect, while others are in the works and their passage seems to be just a matter of time.
One thing is clear even without dissecting any particularities of the new regulations – gambling companies are in line to take a rather hard hit in various aspects of their business. This particular article will focus on the UK bookmakers and what some of these recent and upcoming changes will mean for them in the long run.

Stricter Money Controls

One thing that will probably hit bookies in the UK are strengthen anti-money laundering laws and much stricter controls of deposit sources. The UKGC has already issued a number of fines against the bookies who failed to implement these controls, resulting in people placing big bets with the money that didn’t belong to them.
In the past, bookmakers could pretty much turn a blind eye (if they so choose) and let players deposit as much as they like without asking any questions. However, new regulations are shifting the responsibility heavily on the bookies to make sure the money that is being used to play with doesn’t come from dubious sources.
This isn’t to say that legitimate sportsbooks want people to deposit stolen or ill-gotten funds in the first place, as most of them don’t. However, this will create additional expenses and delays in the verification process, especially with big players, which is bound to have an adverse effect on the bottom line.

Stricter Advertising Rules

UK bookies attract most of their new bettors through various advertising activities. This includes TV and Internet adverts as well as other forms of promotion such as pamphlets, billboards, etc. To make them the most effective, these adverts usually try to represent the bright side of betting, with big wins, smiling people, and lavish lifestyle.
Moving forward, bookies will have to curb their enthusiasm so to speak. New guidelines by the UK Gambling Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) are very particular about what can and cannot be included in betting and gambling ads and many of earlier practices will simply not fly.
Creating suggestive ads where the underlying message is that betting and/or gambling somehow makes you a better person is a big no-no, and this is one line that’s rather hard to define. So, bookmakers will have to pay much closer attention when devising their marketing strategies to avoid hefty fines. Repeat offenders might even be in danger of losing their gambling licenses, so this isn’t something UK bookies, at least the serious ones, will take lightly. At the same time, changing marketing strategies to make their product less appealing could definitely reduce the number of new signups.

Increased Social Responsibility Demands

Apart from all this, all betting sites wanting to operate in the UK will have to take on much bigger social responsibilities. Together with the regulator and various organizations, they will be tasked with creating a safe and socially responsible gambling environment, once again under the threat of penalties.
This is a very broad area that encompasses a number of relevant aspects. One of them is making sure that no children or minors are enticed or allowed access to betting services. The UK Government is on a serious mission to reduce the number of problem gamblers and they believe, which is confirmed by various studies, that young people are the most susceptible to become gambling addicts. Therefore, bookies will have to take on their share of responsibility and help fight the problem.
Another area where the UKGC will be very strict has to do with self-exclusion facilities. UK betting sites must have a simple and easy-to-access self-exclusion process. Bettors wanting to exclude themselves must be able to do so with just a few clicks and without any interaction with the customer support or any of the bookie employees.
Furthermore, once a player self-excludes, the bookie must do everything in their power to prevent them from opening a new account and playing again. In the event they fail to do so, bookies can expect hefty fines to come their way, as shown by the recent example of Skybet, which had to a pay £1 million fine for failing to protect vulnerable customers.

Rough Times Ahead

With all these changes, it is clear that UK bookies are in for a rough ride. They will have to adopt some serious changes to their business models if they want to operate in the country and it is likely that by doing so, they will hurt their bottom line.
However, the UKGC and other relevant bodies are determined to see these changes through, so there is really no way around it. If they want to continue to offer their services in the UK, bookmakers will simply have to accept the new reality and find the best ways to operate within the new regulations.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

How to win while playing in online casinos

Online casinos have become a billion-dollar industry and have taken the interest of many players in the last few years. Here are some of the most useful tips which will increase your success and tip the odds slightly more in your favor when gambling online.

Choose your casino carefully

When choosing the right casino, look at the offer and lineup of its games. Many casinos are heavily themed towards a certain genre or theme. See if the casino’s style and theme suit you and if you could enjoy playing in such a casino. If you don’t find a casino enjoyable, simply move on, there are hundreds of well-established online gambling houses present on the internet.
Besides the gaming aspect of the casino, you should also pay attention to the financial side of it. Look up if the casino has a reputation for offering safe transactions and if it’s fair to the players. Another important aspect of a reliable and trustworthy casino is accreditation by reputable online judicial authorities. The UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority are two of the most reputable gambling authorities.

Find a game that suits your style

There are tens of gambling genres and thousands of different games to choose from online, so you won’t have any trouble finding the right game for you. Like online casinos, online games also vary in rules and strategies. Focus on a game genre that interests you and improve your skill and knowledge of it.
The most popular game genre for online gamblers are the video slot type games. Besides them, there are also table games like online poker and blackjack and roulette-based games. Some casinos also support the option of live play against other gamblers online.

Understand the rules and learn the basics of playing

This is the most important tip and the thing you should always keep in mind when choosing a casino. Read the fine print and all the Terms and Conditions. Rules and terms tend to vary from casino to casino, and you don’t want to forfeit your money because of a small caveat you weren’t aware of. This mostly applies to the transaction and financial aspect of a casino, as well as the wagering requirements and playthroughs you are required to meet before you can cash out any winnings.

Take advantage of the bonuses

Many casinos offer large bonuses and promotions for new players. Watch out for them as well, as they are a great way to increase your starting budget. The bonuses vary from free gambling money to free spins and can be a nice addition to your experience. Besides the initial bonuses, you can also stumble upon cash backs, ongoing promotions and loyalty gifts.

Summary

Remember that no matter how well you know the game or the rules, you can always learn more. These were the most important things you should know and keep in mind while playing at an online gambling house of your choice.
Just keep in mind that the outcomes of casino games are always determined by computer programs that work on a random generator principle. This means that all of your games can’t be influenced by any sequences, be those winning or losing ones. Don’t throw a lot of money at once and know when to stop. Both winning and losing streaks can be over in a second, and you could end up flat broke or filthy rich in a matter of minutes.
Lastly, you are in it for the fun. Enjoy the game and the experience and you will have a good time playing in an online casino

Latest Trends in Online Gambling

Brief History of Online gambling

Online gambling emerged during the mid 90’s, with the popularization of the internet. Though at first, it wasn’t that popular and not many gamblers played in online casinos, these online gambling houses quickly managed to catch on, and have been growing in popularity ever since. The appeal online casinos draw is in their convenience, flexibility and fast-changing trends. Trends change much quicker in online casinos than in classic land-based ones. In this article, we will go over some of the latest and most popular trends that are currently capturing the online gambling market.

Mobile platforms are slowly taking over

There are more and more gambling mobile apps that allow you to gamble for real money popping up each day. Recent studies have found that an average mobile user spends at least 30 hours per week on their smartphone, either for business or entertainment. With this being the case, it is becoming clear that mobile platforms are slowly being the new go-to option. Casino games developers have also realized this and are concentrating more and more on creating mobile optimized games. Moreover, in 2017 and 2018, there has been a huge spike in popularity for mobile exclusive casino slot games.

Possible changes in legal regulations

Law and taxation have always been a sore spot for online casinos. Many countries have strict laws and very high taxes that essentially prevent any substantial progress for online gambling houses.
In most European countries the laws are relatively friendly towards gamblers and gambling establishments, but in countries like the US online gambling is still frowned upon. In recent years an initiative has been started for a new gambling legislation in the US, and 2018 could be the turning point for online casinos in the US.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality has always been a utopian dream for many players. With new and well-polished virtual platforms coming out in the last few years, it looks like this dream is well on its way to becoming a reality.
This concept is still in its trial phase for online gambling and does not yet have a general function, but it’s easy to imagine the possibilities such a technology can unlock. It can create a completely new segment of online gambling and bring players an even more immersive gambling experience than ever before.

Summary

Online gambling is constantly evolving and changing, and these were just a few most important trends you should watch out for in the coming year. Besides this, large online markets are also bound to change, as online gambling is becoming more and more popular in countries like Brazil, Germany, Japan and India. Gambling experts are also speculating that online gambling in the US is about to grow significantly under the presidency of Donald Trump, whose advisors initiate a leaner gambling policy. It is certainly a good time to be an online gambler, and we can’t wait to see what new and fresh trends await us in the near future.

 

Responsible Gaming: Opposites United

Gambling is normally seen as a reckless activity (mostly by people not actively involved in it). In popular culture, it is represented as an exciting and passionate tango one dances with Fate, a game of chance where riches are won and lost at a turn of a card, egos clash, and Reason never steps over the casino’s threshold.

Although there is some truth in that romantic picture, it is by no means all of the truth. Apart from luck, gambling requires a calculating mind, self-possession, and responsibility. In fact, gambling can and must be, despite the seeming controversy, responsible.

The Concept

In a nutshell, responsible gaming means protection for vulnerable players. Providers of gaming services, online as well as land-based, must make sure that the players are offered both safe and fair gaming experience, and protect them from negative consequences that gaming might result in. Gaming operators are required to prevent underage gaming and fraudulent or criminal behavior, make sure that the customer receives fair gaming experience and is promptly and accurately paid, ensure that private information about the customers stays private, commit to players’ satisfaction, create a reliable, secure gaming environment, and conduct marketing campaigns in responsible and ethical manner.

Various organizations and regulators have developed numerous codes of conduct to ensure that gaming service providers and operators commit to upholding the responsible gaming principles. As these multiple sets of rules grew in number and overlapped, it became clear that a golden standard is needed to define the concept for good. In 2011, the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) published “Responsible Remote Gambling Measures”, the first collection of client protection measures for online gambling in the European Union. eCommerse Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA) agency, an independent London-based auditing company, checks the compliance with these measures on a regular basis.

Underage Gaming

Game operators and gaming service providers must do everything in their power to prevent underage customers from gambling. Age restrictions depend upon local laws in every particular jurisdiction where the providers offer their services. The main method of preventing underage gaming is to ensure that during the registration process on the gaming or betting web page the operator clearly informs the customer of the policies and regulations concerning underage gaming. Also, each gaming resource must have certain controls to verify the age of its clients.

While it is fairly easy to prevent underage individuals gambling in land-based casinos, the problem becomes much more difficult to solve when it comes to the internet. There are no 100%-reliable safeguards that prevent anonymous gambling or entering fake information about one’s age. However, certain controls allow verifying the client’s age, identity and residence with higher than average accuracy using systems that require the players to provide supporting documentation, such as bank account data.

Problem Gambling

Problem gambling, that is also referred to as “compulsive” or “addictive” gambling, is an urge to continuously gamble, disregarding any harmful consequences that might arise from such behavior, and, sometimes, even the player’s own desire to stop. In some cases, problem gambling can be diagnosed as clinical, if specific criteria are met. As in the case with other similar disorders, pathological gaming seeks to activate the reward mechanisms in the brain. This behavior may be coupled with alcohol problems, as the two share certain mechanisms.

For an individual to be diagnosed with problem gambling, at least four of these symptoms need to occur within a year:

  • Preoccupation with gambling (constantly thinking of past experiences, planning new gambling ventures, etc.);
  • Lying to deny or conceal the involvement;
  • Constantly increasing the amount of money that is necessary to experience excitement when gambling;
  • Causing desperate financial situations by gambling irresponsibly;
  • Failing to control or stop gambling, despite the attempts;
  • Damaging a meaningful relationship or career as a result of gambling;
  • Becoming aggressive or restless when trying to cut down on gambling;
  • Trying to chase one’s losses;
  • Gambling when feeling distressed or anxious.

In many ways, addiction to gambling resembles chemical addiction. Pathological gamblers often have lower levels of norepinephrine, which is secreted when the person is stressed or thrilled. With this chemical at a lower level than normal, problem gamblers must make up for it. Also, winning at a game activates the brain in a way not unlike the cocaine infusion. Similar to substance addicts, problem gamblers display certain physical symptoms during their withdrawal from the game.

Responsible gambling aims at reducing the likelihood of vulnerable customers developing problem gambling. Preventive measures include self-exclusion programs, the practice of setting limits to how much the player can spend during a gaming session, and support for those who are experiencing the issue or are afraid they might develop addictive behavior.

Anti-Money Laundering Policies

As an industry that has huge amounts of money circulating through it on a daily basis, online gaming is immensely attractive for perpetrators of all kinds, from petty criminals faking IDs to large-scale villains aiming for the big win (Danny Ocean style but with so much less charm). Responsible gaming principles demand that operators and game providers apply anti-money laundering procedures to prevent the funds flowing in the wrong direction.
Criminal behavior prevention tools include Know Your Customer (KYC) processes that are implemented when onboarding new customers and working with the existing ones. KYC is about identifying the clients and verifying their data.
Typically, KYC mechanisms include the following:

  • Gathering and analyzing a client’s identity information;
  • Matching the client’s name against a list of known parties;
  • Setting an expectation of the client’s transactional behavior;
  • Examining a client’s transactions against his or her recorded profile and expected behavior;
  • Establishing the potential risks based on how likely the client in question is to commit such violations as identity theft, financing terrorism, money laundering, etc.

Of course, as the industry changes and technologies progress, KYC regulations are constantly updated to ensure the best possible result.

Fair Gaming

Despite the popular opinion that regards gambling as an industry that “sells hope in exchange for money”, gaming companies put a lot of effort into creating a safe, reliable, and, most of all, fare environment for their customers. All gaming products are thoroughly tested by independent organizations, such as “Certified Fair Gambling”, to make sure that the rules of the games are adhered to, and the gaming process is fair and random.

Online game operators publish the methods that can be used to verify every transaction in the game. Normally, open source algorithms are used for random number and seed generators and hashing. With these algorithms, any player can test the game’s response and evaluate the result once the game has been played.

Often, the player is allowed to reshuffle the deck before dealing. After the deck has been shuffled on the server, it is presented to the player with a hash, before any wagers are made. When the player makes a wager, a client seed is automatically generated by the browser. This client seed is then used to reshuffle the deck in a deterministic way. When the initial shuffle is revealed, the player can verify that he or she was given the right hash, and that the deck was reshuffled correctly. Because the system is not aware of the value of the client seed before the hand is dealt, the outcome of shuffling cannot be manipulated.

Responsible is the New Sexy

Responsible gaming practices are being actively employed and promoted all over the world. In 2008, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) organized the first Responsible Gaming Day conference and opened a broad discussion of the multiple issues faced by the gaming sector. Responsible Gaming Awareness Week is held annually, bringing together representatives of the gaming industry and the community groups. The World Lotteries Association organizes events to discuss and promote the principles of responsible gambling.

Despite the diversity of approaches and opinions on the subject, it is universally recognized that ensuring that gaming operators and service providers prioritize fair and responsible behavior is of utmost importance.

Navigation