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Label partner

turnover - very important to a new business.

When you sign up to your White Label make sure you know exactly how every- thing will be reported, how you will be kept up to date with how the business is going. There can be nothing worse than having to wait until the end of each month before finding out your profit and loss. Therefore regular updates are a must if the relationship is to work. Being a White Label is never as good as running your own site but if you find the right partner it should be successful for both.

Plenty achieved with more

challenges ahead

The Gambling Commission has come in for some criticism since the implementation of the Gambling Act three years ago, but the regulator believes it has achieved a lot in that short period.

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Apart from the licensing of more than 3,275 gambling operators and putting in place licence conditions, codes of practice and technical standards which enabled the industry to continue to provide gambling without interruption when the Act came fully into effect in September 2007 the Commission has:

• Made sure the betting industry was fully up to speed with the requirements of the Gambling Act - we visiting more than 1,000 betting premises last year alone.

My view is that both Malta and Alderney will end up being

gateways to other EU markets...

are established. Malta and Alderney are able to process quite rigorous applications for £10,000. So why it costs 400k to obtain a French licence is beyond anyone’s’ guess. Jurisdictions such as Alderney are likely to be able to

provide ‘interstate’ solutions in the future. My view is that both Malta and Alderney will end up being gateways to other EU markets - they have the vested interest and the manpower to develop this infrastructure across Europe. So three years from now what does the industry look like? Higher operating costs for sure, reasonable amounts of co-ordination between technology hubs such as Malta and Alderney and the EU member states. Application fees and bonds will reduce to reasonable levels - if not, markets will still face ‘grey’ operators who will be able to add value due to offshore status. I still think there will be a plethora of smaller skin operators in the market, this is the nature of the internet - probably the same small guys who are operating such businesses today.

• Undertaken a very effective test purchasing programme which led in the case of the major bookmakers to significant improvement in procedures to keep out the under aged.

• Successfully tackled the longstanding problem of illegal betting in pubs through joint working with local authorities, communication with licensees and enforcement action.

• Set up the Commission’s sports betting intelligence unit (SBIU) and already handed over 31 cases of suspect behaviour to sports governing bodies for further investigation and two potentially significant cases are with the Police.

• Successfully objected to a number of premises applications for what we saw as artificial betting shops designed to breach the machines limit.

• Targeted illegal machine supply and operation with over 35 operations.

• Introduced of a confidential intelligence line.

• Agreed a concordat with LG Regulation setting out the respective roles of the Commission and local licensing authorities.

• Played a central role in formulating proposals for major legislative reform of internet gambling.

• Helped set up the RGSB to get the most out of the industry’s contributions for problem gambling research, education and treatment.

• Protected genuine lotteries by deterring illegal lotteries with houses as prizes and TV quizzes.

One of the main challenges has been to build up accurate data and evidence on which to base regulatory policy development and risk based compliance programmes. It has taken longer than we had hoped to get timely and accurate data via regulatory returns and research. We are working with operators to help improve the accuracy of returns and are currently consulting on further changes to our requirements having recently extended the preparation time for smaller operators submitting annual returns to 42 days from 28 days.

Balancing our budget is also a significant challenge, like the industry, we have been hit by the recession. Fee income has been lower than forecast due to industry consolidation and operators moving offshore. We have had to cut our staff and expenditure accordingly - by £1.3m in 2009/10 compared to 2008/09 - and are looking closely at whether, with limited funds, we need to focus even more tightly on those operators and issues that have national impact.

The Commission understands the feeling amongst smaller betting operators that its fees for operating licences are unfair and should be directly related to the number of premises. However, we have to recover the costs of regulation and these costs are inevitably lower for larger operators when compared on a per premises basis as we can assess levels of compliance for larger operators with a sample of visits to their premises and they have required much less assistance and advice on the provisions of the new Act. Additionally, we expect larger operators to bear much of the cost of providing assurance that effective corporate practices on issues such as under age gambling are in place throughout their business. We are, however, discussing with the new government whether there are ways in which the burden of regulation, particularly on smaller operators, can be reduced.”

BettingBusinessInteractive • OCTOBER 2010 41

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