UK media emphasis on the problem gambling content of the recently released Gambling Prevalence survey results has prompted the Alderney Gambling Control Commission to issue a response.
The Commission takes particular issue with flawed newspaper claims that despite being advertising white-listed by the UK authorities, Alderney offers less protection to UK consumers than companies offering the same services from Britain and controlled by the UK Gambling Commission.
Andre Wilsenach, the AGCC's chief executive, came out with guns firing this week, pointing out that Alderney licensees contribute significantly to tackling problem gambling, including through regularly funding research in the area.
Addressing the issue of problem gambling research, Wilsenach said: “At the moment we are putting in funds at a rate in excess of £1 million per annum. Our licensees are multinational, and are able to propose a charity or research vehicle relevant to their player base; but currently the majority of the money goes to the UK’s GREaT Foundation .
“This is merely one of the steps Alderney takes to deal with the issue of problem gambling. Strong player identification requirements, obligatory self-exclusion systems and staff and systems able to identify problem gambling characteristics in player behaviour are all basic requirements for an Alderney licensee, he added.
Wilsenach said that a rigorous and enforced approach has considerable merit.
“The (online gambling) industry would be much stronger if like-minded regulators co-operated on common standards to raise the level of protection for the young and vulnerable and to exclude those operators and jurisdictions that are not able to comply with such standards. We believe that the UK’s white-list approach is an excellent method of erecting such a fence.”
Wilsenach went on to comment that interpreting the Gambling Prevalence study data is a job for experts, but he noted that the report itself flagged the small increase in the incidence of problem gambling since the last survey in 2007 as 'at the margins of statistical significance', and that there has been little change in the volume of remote gambling by British players.
Nevertheless, he opined, UK policy should focus on protecting UK players through tackling those operators located in jurisdictions with ineffective regulation.
Source: InfoPowa News