Inconsistent Regulation A Challenge For Online Gambling

Isle of Man regulator in an interesting media interview

In an exclusive interview with the internet publication Yogonet, the Isle of Man's head of e-gaming, Mark Robson, gave his views on a variety of issues, opining that inconsistent regulation in the e-gaming industry is presenting a major challenge.
"This has forced international operators to select their target markets based on administrative procedures and not purely economic considerations," Robson observed. "However, having undergone a period of seismic change, the regulatory landscape of online gambling is maturing. Regulators are working more closely together than in past years."
Robson said that regulators are bolstering their understanding and formulating measures in areas such as sports betting integrity, gambling addiction and player fund protection as they strive to overcome regulatory challenges through cooperation and dialogue to share and learn from collective best practice.
"We expect this trend to continue, with the Isle of Man leading the way in developing co-operation between different jurisdictions," he commented.
Flagging the emerging e-gaming markets in Asia, South America and Africa, Robson said that unprecedented growth had been a feature of the past few years, driven by the new generation of the middle classes; easy access to mobile and tablet applications; improving broadband internet connectivity; and a cultural history of gambling.
Operators targeting these emerging markets are looking for jurisdictions which are dynamic and reputable, and strike a balance between keeping crime out and supporting high quality businesses, he opined, adding that jurisdictions with robust telecoms infrastructure and strong data security capabilities were additionally favoured.
Looking ahead, Robson said that it was imperative that regulatory jurisdictions stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly evolving industry in order to offer practical, integrity-driven and effective regulatory solutions.
In related news, an outfit titled the Gambling Expert Group has issued a press release advising that it is a new industry body with the core objective of improving the regulatory environment for all parties in the UK gambling sector.
The group characterises itself as an affiliation of trade and regulatory bodies, and plans to meet on at least a quarterly basis.
The release advises that invitations have been extended to a total of 15 bodies comprising:
Regulatory Delivery Office,
The Department of Culture Media and Sport (DCMS),
The Gambling Business Group (GBG),
Local Government Association (LGA),
National Association of Licensing Enforcement Officers (NALEO),
The Remote Gaming Association (RGA),
The Bingo Association (BA),
The Association of British Bookmakers (ABB),
The British Amusements Caterers Trades Association (BACTA),
The National Casino Forum (NCF), The Institute of Licensing (IOL),
The Gambling Commission (GC),
The British Association of Leisure Parks Piers and Attractions (BALPPA),
Association of Multiple Licensed retailers (ALMR) and
The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA).
The chief executive of the Gambling Business Group, which supports the new body, Peter Hannibal, said in announcement:
"The Gambling Expert Group is the outcome of a programme of close collaboration with the Regulatory Delivery Office, part of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.
"Membership is made up of stakeholder representatives including Licensing Authorities, regulators and policy makers. One of the objectives is to provide an opportunity for members to raise regulatory issues and identify and address areas where regulation can be improved.
"Enhancing the regulatory environment will involve the identification of industry-wide situations where regulation and/or legislation are having adverse impacts or have the potential to be delivered more efficiently/effectively; dealing with queries relating to the interpretation and implementation of regulations, with a view to issuing (further) guidance to business and regulators; providing advice and opinion on industry best practices and processes that impact on the effective and efficient regulation of the industry; entering into dialogue with government policy makers and acting as an industry resource providing expert views on issues around the impact of government thinking and planning."
The next meeting of the Gambling Expert Group is scheduled for April, 2017.

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