Will New Zealand Follow in the UK’s Footsteps?
Malta’s online casino regulator is busy prepping the launch of an integrated self-exclusion system across its online casino industry operators. In May, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) proclaimed that the project aims to self-exclude players across its licensed online casino gaming channels, be it online or land-based. The announcement comes on the heels of the recent upgrade in the MGA’s system for its land-based licensees.
At the moment, licensed online operators are required to offer self-exclusion services to their players. Yet, MGA believes that there’s still a gap in the protection offered within the regulated environment. It has said that it plans to spend some time assessing an array of technical resolutions that might well include Distributed Ledger Technology for its inherent characteristics of decentralisation and immutability. Back in March this year, the MGA also announced plans for a sandboxed test environment of Distributed Ledger Technology so as to determine its suitability for Malta’s gaming operators.
Furthermore, the Malta Gaming Authority plans to hold a public consultation about its plans, followed by a call for appeals for technical development as well as the implementation of the new self-exclusion system. If all goes to plan, the Authority says it may open a scheme for subscription to operators licensed in other sectors somewhere down the line.
UK Online Casino Industry Falls Short in Terms of Self-Exclusion
Unified self-exclusion systems seem to be growing in popularity in the online gaming space. In April, Italy announced its one-click solution which allows gamers to self-exclude from all gambling sites that are locally licensed.
What’s more, the United Kingdom has announced its very own online self-exclusion program, called GamStop. While GamStop was only launched last year, the UK Gambling Commission has recently cautioned the Remote Gambling Association trade group that the self-exclusion program was failing to live up to its advance billing.
Earlier in May, the Guardian published sections from a letter sent from Tim Miller, the UK Gambling Commission’s executive director to the Remote Gambling Association. In the letter, Miller claimed that he had yet to come across proper evidence of the programme’s effectiveness. He further stated that some of the major UK-licensed online casino operators had not yet incorporated the system into their operations. The Guardian further reported that it was able to open a number of new player accounts just by changing an already excluded player’s surname.
In the letter, Miller went on to express concern that the self-exclusion program was not linked with online casino operator’s marketing efforts, which means that self-excluded players are left open to receiving promotional materials from the very operators they choose to exclude themselves from.
Finally, Miller branded it “unacceptable” that the programme was not linked with promotional mailing lists and cautioned that the UK Gambling Commission may well impose new licensing conditions prohibiting operators from sending marketing materials to self-excluded players.
Enticing Features Can Make it Difficult to Walk Away From
For self-excluded players, the enticement of free spins, bonus offers, and a host of other pokies and table-related marketing can be incredibly tempting. We’re looking forward to seeing if the UK’s self-exclusion program can be effectively implemented.