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  1. #1
    connd is offline Public Member
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    Default KSA to investigate illegal affiliate sites targeting self-excluded players

    https://igamingbusiness.com/legal-co...luded-players/

    Hopefully the same can be done with affiliates targeting "non gamstop casino" terms in the UK.

  2. #2
    Triple7 is offline Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by connd View Post
    https://igamingbusiness.com/legal-co...luded-players/

    Hopefully the same can be done with affiliates targeting "non gamstop casino" terms in the UK.
    It seems UKGC doesn't give a damn. Those non gamstop casino affiliates aren't the ones paying fines of millions of pounds....

  3. #3
    iGamingWriter is offline Private Member
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    In all fairness, it's next to impossible to stop. Without the cooperation on the search engines to shut down these search terms or the ISPs to block these sites (which then creates freedom of speech/censorship debates), there's little more that can be done to stop the affiliates that target these search terms than the operators who are illegally accepting players. The affiliates set-up and hide in the same offshore jurisdictions that the operators do. In fact, I seriously suspect that many of the affiliates are the operators. They're untouchable in any practical legal sense.
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  4. #4
    connd is offline Public Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by iGamingWriter View Post
    In all fairness, it's next to impossible to stop. Without the cooperation on the search engines to shut down these search terms or the ISPs to block these sites (which then creates freedom of speech/censorship debates), there's little more that can be done to stop the affiliates that target these search terms than the operators who are illegally accepting players. The affiliates set-up and hide in the same offshore jurisdictions that the operators do. In fact, I seriously suspect that many of the affiliates are the operators. They're untouchable in any practical legal sense.
    I think the best way is to follow what the Aussies are doing and block affiliate websites as-well as operators. At the moment it's far too easy to sign up with non gamstop sites in the UK, and they could definitely make that more difficult. That and I think the VISA/MC could be fined for allowing payments.

  5. #5
    iGamingWriter is offline Private Member
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    There's not a single jurisdiction that's actually managed to get on top of this issue. If you block domains, these operators start cloning and redirecting. Running BetBlocker we've already got tools to allow us to block domain variants with number ranges on the end because it happens so much.

    Visa/MC/bank fines, it might make some difference, but the truth is that these operators are engaged in money laundering. They use third party payment providers who mis-code transactions, representing them as something other than gambling. This has been going on since UIGEA in 2006 in the US. It's why these operators fear chargebacks so much. Because a player talking to the bank quickly reveals what payment was actually for, the bank identifies the miscoding and moves to restrict the payment provider. A whole new payment processor needs to be found/set-up to start the process again. If you start fining Visa/MC/banks for payments that the processor has been maliciously miscoding so the bank do not know what they're doing, it's going to end in the courts.

    This isn't a simple issue. Solving it would actually allow regulation around the world to become effective. But I've not seen anyone come up with a viable solution to date.
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  6. #6
    Triple7 is offline Private Member
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    I think to ban this for 99% you need a combination of measurements: block offshore operators, affiliates promoting this kind of casinos, fining providers offering games to this casinos, fining financial companies offering their services to this casinos, etc.

  7. #7
    iGamingWriter is offline Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple7 View Post
    fining providers offering games to this casinos
    I agree. However, most of the games being offered by these operators are fake versions of genuine games and the likes of NetEnt and Novomatic are fighting as hard as anyone to try and get them taken offline.
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  8. #8
    mickyfu is offline Public Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triple7 View Post
    I think to ban this for 99% you need a combination of measurements: block offshore operators, affiliates promoting this kind of casinos, fining providers offering games to this casinos, fining financial companies offering their services to this casinos, etc.
    These gamblers will simply find elsewhere to throw their money away. They will simply get around restrictions using VPN software / fake details / partners details / stolen details.

    I'd let them get on with it and learn by their mistakes, you know like grown-ups do. Instead the UKGC are pandering to the minority whilst ripping businesses apart. But I guess that suits their agenda.

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  10. #9
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    The question is - why affiliates prefer to promote those operators instead of the legal ones? Gamblers will spend the money either way, so regulations must be done with the aim of redirect them to the safest paltforms. Not with useless restrictions, leaving a red carpet to the illegal ones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by connd View Post
    I think the best way is to follow what the Aussies are doing and block affiliate websites as-well as operators. At the moment it's far too easy to sign up with non gamstop sites in the UK, and they could definitely make that more difficult. That and I think the VISA/MC could be fined for allowing payments.
    I think a lot of those non-gamstop style casinos take crypto so often there's no cc involved.
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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by iGamingWriter View Post
    Solving it would actually allow regulation around the world to become effective.
    Like every clusterf#ck, it's too many Chiefs and not enough Indians

    If every Gov., Dept., etc., regulators etc., etc., could work together for a common goal, life would be so much simpler. It's such a simple solution!
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    Compliance: a code word for control

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    Do the right thing, even when no one is looking. It's called integrity.
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  13. #12
    mickyfu is offline Public Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matchcenter View Post
    The question is - why affiliates prefer to promote those operators instead of the legal ones? Gamblers will spend the money either way, so regulations must be done with the aim of redirect them to the safest paltforms. Not with useless restrictions, leaving a red carpet to the illegal ones.
    A lot of these niches have been created by over-regulation / nanny state laws. On top of this loads of affiliates have had their businesses ripped apart by
    affiliate programs stealing what they like, all in the name of "regulations".

    It makes you wonder how much the likes of the UKGC care about the minority of problem gamblers, rather than their own pockets.

    Here is a novel idea, if their concern lies with problem gamblers, ban gambling outright. However, that does not suit their agenda.

    Far bigger issues than gambling addicts, like Alcoholics, smokers and junk food addicts, which collectively make up around 50% of cancer cases. But wait, nobody cares about highly taxable goods and the interests of the health of the people addicted to such goods. Which then makes me wonder how much interest does a government body like the UKGC actually have in people. One can only assume they only have their own interests at heart.

    Also if we take a look at Gamstop itself, it can't and does not actually work without breaking the GDPR law. For example if I demand that my personal details are removed from a business, they have to comply.

    It would seem looking at the masses of complaints that Gamstop seemingly think they do not have to adhere to this law. Whilst this is great for problem gamblers, it still is not legal.

    This is what has opened the doorways to many scam casinos, yet nobody wants to admit or see this. Again this brings up questions of what the motives are of the UKGC. Do they even care, or are their only interests in their own scam company. I know where my beliefs lie. I stand by my fellow affiliates who have been skimmed to death in the false name of "protecting problem gamblers".


    Quote Originally Posted by baldidiot View Post
    I think a lot of those non-gamstop style casinos take crypto so often there's no cc involved.
    I think 99% of people are put off by crypto / don't understand it / don't want to understand it.

    If you ranked for a niche say like "play roulette online" and you simply offered crypto deposit casinos with no option to deposit via debit or credit card, your conversions would be very poor.

    I'd take a guess that given the option of only crypto, most would opt for land based gambling instead.
    Last edited by mickyfu; 21 November 2022 at 7:54 pm.

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  15. #13
    iGamingWriter is offline Private Member
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    @mickyfu,

    There are a lot of misconceptions in the above post, though admittedly many of them are relatively common.

    Firstly, GAMSTOP does NOT require a breach of the GDPR. There is a right to be forgotten within the GDPR, but it is not without caveats:

    When does the right to erasure not apply?

    The right to erasure does not apply if processing is necessary for one of the following reasons:


    • for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority;


    GAMSTOP are both carrying out a task that is easily defined as "in the public interest" and "exercis[ing] official authority" given that they have been tasked by the UKGC to perform this role.

    There are other exceptions that can also likely be applied - https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations...o-erasure/#ib6


    Banning gambling outright would be the worst possible option for those most substantively impacted by gambling harms as was demonstrated by both prohibition and partially by UIGEA (there was already a booming legal offline gambling market in the US that many people could access without restraint, limiting this as a complete example). All prohibition does is create and expand the black market.

    I don't necessarily agree with all the policies that the UKGC and other regulators have pursued - there is a limit to how tightly you can regulate that is directly correlated with how effectively you can restrict the black market. At the present time there is very little to no restriction of the black market, so over-regulation acts as a proxy for prohibition. However, I do understand the fine line that these regulators are forced to walk. The understanding of how difficult it is to limit the black market is weak in the public and press. Gambling is never a sympathetic story. These facts mean that any regulator, remembering that regulators are by their very nature politicized entities that have to consistently demonstrate their value to the political class, is under constant pressure to be seen to act in an authoritative fashion. Headline generating fines and policies that are seen to crack down on the legal industry deliver that.

    Add to the above that the industry in no way helps itself. Many of the big operators 'forget' the rule or coincidentally have technical or human errors where a player is high value. And many people within the industry view addiction as a failure to take personal responsibility - a premise that while intuitively convincing has been debunked repeatedly by research demonstrating that it is a harmful perception that actually detracts from the goal of recovery for many addicts - and we only reinforce the opinions of those who already have a grudge against the industry in the press and political class that the entire industry is cynical and exploitative. We're effectively painting a target on our own back.

    I certainly appreciate your frustrations, and I do not feel the right balance is being achieved, but I would not go anywhere near as far as to suggest that the UKGC or other regulators are acting for some form of under the table financial gain. There are far more simplistic explanations. They are trying to make policies that a) achieve an intended effect and b) convey the right message in a hostile press/public. Those two objectives do not always align.

    Duncan
    Last edited by iGamingWriter; 22 November 2022 at 3:48 am.
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  16. #14
    mickyfu is offline Public Member
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    If you take a look at the masses of complaints about Gamstop, you will find people who have had their names illegally added to the Gamstop database.

    You will also find masses of people complaining that casinos refuse them accounts after their self exclusion period are over.

    Dress it up how you like, they are having their personal details illegally held.

    As for the UKGC, they say it is hard to tackle these scam casinos because they only have a small budget to do so. Makes one wonder where the 100s of millions they extort out of casinos goes each year. You'd think it'd be going on protecting the badly done to gambling addicts wouldn't you? Apparently not.

    Yes a government body would never use its power to extort money.

    Don't forget, cigarettes in the UK are only highly taxed beyond ridiculous prices because your government has your best interests at heart.

  17. #15
    iGamingWriter is offline Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by mickyfu View Post
    If you take a look at the masses of complaints about Gamstop, you will find people who have had their names illegally added to the Gamstop database.

    You will also find masses of people complaining that casinos refuse them accounts after their self exclusion period are over.

    Dress it up how you like, they are having their personal details illegally held.
    From the perspective of someone who founded and manages a RG charity, the first claim any addict makes when they want us to remove the block is "such and such did this without my permission". I'd encourage some healthy scepticism regarding complaints you see online.

    Quote Originally Posted by mickyfu View Post
    As for the UKGC, they say it is hard to tackle these scam casinos because they only have a small budget to do so. Makes one wonder where the 100s of millions they extort out of casinos goes each year. You'd think it'd be going on protecting the badly done to gambling addicts wouldn't you? Apparently not.

    Yes a government body would never use its power to extort money.
    https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.u...-actions/print

    Approximate total of 120,000,000 in fines over the entirety of the UKGC's actions.

    https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.u...d-for-socially

    Total spending accounted for via sociable responsibility causes ~40,000,000.

    Other spending from this pool includes returning money to the victims of crime (which historically has equalled about 70% of the social responsibility spend) and UKGC expenditure on investigations.

    And my current understanding is that the UKGC have around 40,000,000 in the social responsibility fund still to allocate.

    Finally, with regard to smoking, the number of people smoking in the UK has rapidly dropped away since the ban:

    Name:  smoking.jpg
Views: 64
Size:  122.6 KB


    - https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulat...onchanges/2020

    Regardless of any underlying motivations the government may/may not have had, a near halving of the number of smokers across the country saves an enormous amount for the NHS.
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  18. #16
    mickyfu is offline Public Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by iGamingWriter View Post
    From the perspective of someone who founded and manages a RG charity, the first claim any addict makes when they want us to remove the block is "such and such did this without my permission". I'd encourage some healthy scepticism regarding complaints you see online.
    I do not need to be skeptical, I signed up to Gamstop for 6 months to review their platform, somewhat 2 years ago, and here I still am. Although pretty irrelevant to me as I do not gamble. However, it does not alter the fact that Gamstop are illegally holding my personal details.

    Also to add to this, I personally know someone who had his details added to Gamstop without his consent. Gamstop refuse to remove them. Again illegally holding his details. Going back to my original opinion about Gamstop, it cannot / will not operate without operating illegally.

    Finally, all Gamstop has achieved is pushing gambling addicts to casinos where they will not even be paid if they win. I could see this being highly frustrating for a gambling addict.

    It would be better if people stopped advertising non Gamstop casinos. I am not talking about affiliates, I am more talking about the likes of forums, sites like the Racing Post and countless other huge sites. Such sites have made Gamstop completely pointless, it does not serve its purpose, quite the opposite.

  19. #17
    iGamingWriter is offline Private Member
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    If you genuinely believe that GAMSTOP are actually in breach of the GDPR by retaining your data I would recommend submitting a complaint to the ICO here - https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters...ion-complaint/

    Yours is a serious allegation and if correct the ICO would likely force substantive changes in the practices of GAMSTOP.
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  20. #18
    mickyfu is offline Public Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by iGamingWriter View Post
    If you genuinely believe that GAMSTOP are actually in breach of the GDPR by retaining your data I would recommend submitting a complaint to the ICO here - https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters...ion-complaint/

    Yours is a serious allegation and if correct the ICO would likely force substantive changes in the practices of GAMSTOP.
    Like I said, it is irrelevant to me, I do not gamble. Even when I used to gamble, I never gambled online.

    However I guess that there will be many such complaints about Gamstop. Personally I see a big change coming in Gamstop in the not too distant future. It would be best to combine it with a blocking app. Although such apps also seem to have many complaints about blocking applications other than gambling sites, and generally ruining the workings of mobile phones.
    Last edited by mickyfu; 22 November 2022 at 10:44 am.

  21. #19
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    Governments and regulators can do all they want, they will never be able to put a stop to it. They can make it more difficult and threat of fines but there are always ways around it.
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