Standards, priorities, opportunities

An article by David Clifton entitled “Standards, priorities, opportunities” has been published  today by US-based CDC Gaming Reports as part of its regular Tottenham Report feature. You can download it below.

The article picks up on a speech entitled “Raising Standards: Our Priorities, Your Opportunities” delivered at a conference in Malta on 30 October 2019 by Neil McArthur, CEO of the UK’s Gambling Commission (as reported by us here). That speech has been interpreted in some quarters as critical of the current regulatory standards of the Malta Gaming Authority. David explains in his article why he disagrees with that interpretation and goes on to comment that it will be interesting to see whether regulators in Malta and other jurisdictions will pick up on any of the three “opportunities to collaborate” identified to operators by McArthur in his speech, namely:

  1. Production of an effective Industry Code for Game Design that will set out:
    1. the techniques that the industry plans to use when designing apps and online games,
    2. the risks associated with each product and how they can be mitigated and
    3. a clear explanation of what is not acceptable
  2. Development of a code of conduct in relation to operators’ treatment of VIPs and associated inducements to gamble (following an earlier warning from McArthur that “if the industry cannot or will not drive improvements in this area, we will need to explore the use of all our tools to encourage or mandate changes in the interests of consumer protection”)
  3. Formulation of a plan setting out new standards for how industry will:
    1. better use technology to minimise the risk of exposure of gambling advertising content to children, young people and vulnerable adults, and
    2. embrace ad-tech for social responsibility purposes – actively targeting away from vulnerable audiences.

David concludes his article with:

  • an expression of hope that each of the above will be initiatives seized on by the newly launched Betting and Gaming Council (“BGC”), which has turned out to be fulfilled – to a certain extent at least – by announcements made at the launch of the BGC in London on 6 November 2019 and
  • concern arising from the Interim Report published on 4 November 2019 by the Gambling Related Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group in relation to its ongoing “Online Gambling Harm Inquiry”.