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G4 Newsletter - February 2022

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- New Zealand -
Gaming Machine Assn calls for facial recognition software on pokies

Pokie machine owners want the Ministry of Health to help fund its facial recognition software in gambling venues.  
It helps stop people who self-identify as problem gamblers. 
The Gaming Machine Association says there's a big pot of money set aside in a technology fund for things like this. 

Want to read more? Click here, 17 February 2022


Ministry of Health blocking funding for facial recognition technology on pokies

The organisation representing pokie machine owners wants the Government to fork out to help it fund facial recognition software in gambling venues to stop some people with a gambling addiction from playing.

The technology would stop people who self-identify as gambling addicts, as part of their recovery, from being able to use the machines because facial recognition cameras would recognise them and inform the owner of the venue.
Peter Dengate Thrush, chairman of the Gaming Machine Association said the cameras were "mostly funded" and in many venues already.

Want to read more? Click here, 16 February 2022

- United Kingdom -
Flutter launches revamped safer gambling strategy

Flutter Entertainment has revealed its new safer gambling strategy in which it will switch focus from intervening when problems arise, to preventing them from happening at all.
Launching the new strategy, Flutter UK and Ireland chief executive Conor Grant described it as “a refreshed and comprehensive” approach for each market.
The strategy is broken down into five core principles: discover, educate, empower, understand and support.

Want to read more? Click here,10 February 2022

- Industry -

Kindred Group’s revenue from problem gambling rises

Kindred Group’s share of revenue from harmful gambling rose to 4% for the fourth quarter of 2021.
Since February last year, Kindred has documented its “journey towards zero,” an attempt to reduce and ultimately eliminate revenue from problem gambling.
However, as the group noted, this has “fluctuated somewhat over the year.” This was certainly true for Q4, when its share of revenue from harmful gambling climbed by seven percentage points.
The company credited this rise to historic trends. Kindred said: “The fourth quarter of the year sees an increase in high-risk gambling. This is due to the holiday season which can be a sensitive time for some people.”
This rise occurred despite Kindred investing more resources into its responsible gambling team during Q4. It acknowledged this and said it highlights “the necessity to focus on earlier interventions.”

Want to read more? Click here, 7 February 2022





March 2022

- United Kingdom -
Up to 1 million women in UK at risk of harm from gambling, study finds

Up to a million women are at risk of being harmed by gambling, according to a study that found that traffic to online casino and bingo sites popular with women peaks in the winter months.
While gambling addicts are disproportionately male, the number of women seeking treatment has doubled in the past five years, up from 1,134 in 2015-16 to 2,423 in 2020-21.
But the great majority of them do not seek treatment, according to the gambling charity GambleAware, with two in five unwilling to do so due to stigma and embarrassment.
Women often avoid seeking help despite being more likely than men to report mental health difficulties caused by gambling, such as stress or anxiety, GambleAware found.
The rise in female gambling addiction has previously been attributed to the ease with which women can now access casino games and betting on smartphones, rather than needing to access traditionally male-dominated environments such as bookmakers.
According to a study that GambleAware will publish later this year, 1 million women are now deemed to be at risk of suffering harm, with the danger particularly acute during winter.

Want to read more on this article? Click here, 31 January 2021

- Ireland -
Irish men five times more likely to be ‘at risk gamblers’ as problem gambling remains highest among disadvantaged communities

Men in Ireland are five times more likely to be an “at risk gambler” than women, as problem gambling remains highest in disadvantaged communities.
This is according to a new study published by the Health Research Board (HRB) which shows that while the number of people gambling is fewer than in 2014, it remains higher in deprived communities and among those with substance use disorders.
Of people aged 15 and over, 49pc said they have gambled in the 12 months prior to the survey, which was taken as part of the 2019/20 National Drug and Alcohol Survey which interviewed 5,762 people.
The most common type of gambling sees four-in-10 people buying a lottery ticket or scratch card in person, with one-in-10 gambling in a bookmaker’s shop, and just under one-in-10 placing a bet on horse or dog racing.

Want to read more on this article? Click here, 9 February 2022

- United Kingdom -
Entain identifies ‘clear link’ between betting and video gaming

Following a new study, Entain has asserted that there is a strong correlation between betting and video gaming, whilst also anticipating greater future demand for esports products. 
In particular, the survey of 16,000 people found that video gamers were 4.3 times more likely to participate in betting and 4.5 times more likely to participate in igaming, with the FTSE100 group asserting that there is a ‘clear link between betting and gaming’.
Additionally, 10% of adults under the age of 24 replied that they watched esports via platforms such as Twitch on a weekly basis, followed by 9% of 25-34 year-olds and 6% of 35-44 year-olds.
Demand for esports as an entertainment product – and therefore a betting offering – is also anticipated to rise, as 37% of UK adults said they expect to watch esports in the future, more thana twice the current 15% who do so, according to a separate survey of 20,000 adults across 16 markets. 

Want to read more on this article? Click here, 28 January 2022

- Belgium -
Belgian Parliament discussing stricter gambling rules

Belgium’s Parliamentary Finance Committee is debating a new bill that would reform existing gambling laws, as reported by The Bulletin.
The bill, from Green MP Stefaan van Hecke, would involve the introduction of a global age limit of 21 years, as well as the restriction of gambling and advertising sponsorship.
It comes after Bpost, a national and international mail company based in Brussels, sold 175 of its newsagents to gambling company Golden Palace. The sale has drawn criticism amid fears that it could “open a backdoor to gambling via its various lottery products,” The Bulletin reported.
Parties have already agreed on a small number of legislative adjustments, including a rule that gambling in newsagents can only be done with an eID, and the banning of certain slot machines.
Such slot machines, called 3.3 machines, are not subject to any controls, despite using familiar symbols of traditional casino games like cards and dice. They are commonly found in petrol stations, youth centres and shopping centres. The new legislation would ban them entirely.
Stricter identity checks and monetary limitations on these slot machines is also being considered, with Van Hecke saying being able to bet up to €200 ($226) - which is currently allowed - will “become a thing of the past.”
Persuading customers to gamble through incentives is another area being closely analysed, while another potential law would involve the banning of combining different licences on one website, for example a sports betting website will not allow customers to click through to a casino games website.

Want to read more on this article? Click here, 3 February 2022

- United Kingdom -
The NHS Stops Accepting Funds from the Gambling Industry

The United Kingdom has one of the biggest gambling markets in the world and for a time, it was also considered to be the most relaxed. However, that is steadily changing and as the threat of problem gambling is pushed to the fore, major organizations and brands are pushing back.
In the latest move, the National Health Service (NHS) has stopped accepting funds from charitable organizations that are associated with gambling. It seems that even in the final dregs of a global pandemic, one that has striped the healthcare sector, the UK’s health service is still willing to turn its back on a major source of funding.
Most of the money from the gambling industry goes into problem gambling initiatives, something that have greatly increased over the last few years. It is research from these programs that have led to many of the recent changes, including the ban on credit card gambling, slower slot spins, and the restrictions placed on fixed online betting terminals.
Much of this work is conducted in conjunction with GambleAware and while the research will continue, it will no longer be conducted with GambleAware’s help.

Want to read more on this article? Click here, 2 February 2022

- Greece -
Greece Gambling Regulator Launches Anonymous Tip Line

Watchdogs worldwide have decided to finally put together their act and clean up the illegal gambling industry that continues to seep into their regulated markets. The latest move comes from the Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC), which has launched a dedicated website that allows consumers to report illegal gambling operators anonymously.
This should help the regulator quickly discover and locate operations that are running without a license and to the detriment of the regulated market. While not all operators that may target Greek players are “illegal,” many operate without the appropriate license, which makes their operation unlawful under current gambling regulations in Greece.
Called “Whisper,” the online tip line will allow consumers to transmit information about illegal gambling operations. This will apply to both online and land-based operations and target operators as well as affiliate services, the companies that promote specific brands and try to direct more traffic to them.
Want to read more on this article? Click here, 9 February 2022

- United Kingdom -
When the gambling industry realised women were potential customers, it reeled them in

The migration to online gambling has removed barriers that stopped people betting. The industry needs reform, writes Ellie Mae O’Hagan, director of think tank Class, which has published a new report into online gambling.
The migration to online gambling has removed barriers that historically prevented people from betting. 
Walk down the average British high street these days and you’ll notice a collection of vacated betting shops. This sight would appear to reassure researchers who have long noted that gambling shops are up to 10 times more likely to be found in the UK’s poorest areas.
Today, many of the nation’s largest bookmakers including William Hill, Betfred, Ladbrokes and Coral have plans to permanently close up to 2,000 high street shops.
Yet what on the surface might come across as a victory for gambling campaigners is actually disguising a bigger and more insidious problem. Most people haven’t stopped betting; they have simply moved online. We can shop online, order food online, even get married online in some countries – and now, thanks to the gambling industry’s increasing focus on apps and websites, we can lose our life savings online too.
Want to read more on this article? Click here, 18 February 2022

- Blogpost -
Macau’s Casinos Are About To Change

Junkets and high-rollers are out. Mass-market is definitely in. The six current concessionaires, including the American companies MGM, Wynn, and Las Vegas Sands, are, rightly, mostly concerned about whether they will be allowed to continue to operate casinos. But they should also be concerned about what those casinos will look like.
Macau is the only casino market in the world where the regulation of patrons is more important than restrictions on the casinos themselves. And the leaders of the Peoples Republic of China are now trying to force the largest casino jurisdiction in the world into a Marxist model.
I once asked the U.S. government’s top China economist, “In what way is the PRC still communist?” He answered, “It’s no longer communist. It’s Marxist.” The difference is significant. A communist government would never allow an unrestrained free-market economy. It would also require true socialism, with the government owning everything, including casinos.
But Marxism believes that the root cause of all social problems is not private ownership of property, but rather conflicts between classes. The goal is to eliminate class differences: The poor should become middle class, and the rich are to be shunned, not admired. Beijing has always disliked junkets, which help wealthy Mainlanders take money, often illegally, to Macau to be lost at casinos owned by Westerners. So, the proposed amendments to Macau’s laws are openly anti-junket.

Want to read more on this article? Click here, January 2022

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