The UK Gambling Commission has released an update to its Remote Gambling and Software Technical Standards under section 89 and section 97 of the Gambling
Act 2005 (the Act).
The new requirements mean remote operators must:
Sharon McNair, programme director at the Gambling Commission said:
“Consumers must be able to make informed decisions about their online gambling activity.
The findings of our recent consultation indicate that there are differences in approach amongst licensees in relation to the level of information available to their consumers and the ease by which that information is accessible. The new requirements seek to address this and ensure greater consistency in the information available to consumers regardless of who they choose to gamble with.
Gambling operators must see beyond the bottom line, and ensure both new and existing gambling products are effectively managing the risks to the licensing objectives, keeping gambling safe and fair for all.”
Mrs McNair added:
“Innovation and technological advancement continues to drive growth in the £4.5billion a year online gambling market. We are seeing operators developing new gambling products and technologies every day – something that it is vital to the further advancement of the sector.
But as the industry transforms, operators are reminded that we too will continue to adapt our regulation to raise standards across all gambling sectors and enhance the protections available for consumers.”.
The changes to the standards come into force in three tranches:
While there are no changes to the Live Casinos section, it has been clarified:
RTS aim 17
To ensure that live dealer operations are fair.
RTS requirement 17A
Live dealer operations must be fair and independently auditable.
RTS implementation guidance 17A
- Equipment and consumables should be of commercial casino quality. Designated staff should be responsible for monitoring the integrity of all operational equipment.
- Croupiers need to undergo adequate training to provide the gambling in a fair way according to documented procedures and game rules. Evidence of training and refresher training should be maintained.
- Gambling provision should be supervised by staff responsible to oversee dealer activities and integrity. Video surveillance to record all dealer activity should be in place, enough to cover the predefined gaming areas with sufficient detail to confirm whether dealing procedures and game rules were followed.
- Secure areas, gambling equipment and consumables shall be protected by appropriate access controls to ensure that only authorised personnel are allowed access.
- Game logs should be maintained and game events collated into statistics which can be analysed for trends relating to game performance, staff and/or locations in the gaming area.
Other sections that have been changed include:
There’s a more formal summary on the Commission’s website where you can also download a full copy of the Remote Gambling and Software Technical Standards.
I have tried to be objective and consistent with all my live casino reviews. Hopefully, they will strike a chord with you, but I thought it might be helpful to explain the criteria I use to mark each of the casinos. Hopefully, the categories and explanations make sense.
Playability – What is the overall impression of the casino? Did I have a good time? are the dealers nice and chatty and is everything easy to understand? Does it have a good set of games and is there a comprehensive set of betting options? Are high stakes players taken care of?
Software – What is the software like to use and does it integrate well with the rest of the casino?. Are the images clear and is the video streaming fast? Have they taken more than the default shared tables? Is it available on mobile?
Payment Options – Does the casino have a good variety of payment options? Do they payout quickly and on time?
Security – How good is the reputation of the casino amongst other players? Do they hold a valid gaming license? Are they transparent about the security measures they have in place? Are they regularly audited? Do they publish this information?
Support – Do they have multiple methods for communication with me? Is support available 24×7? Do they have instant chat and are they quick to respond? Are they able to help me immediately? Do they have an online FAQ and self-help library? Are the support people knowledgeable about the product I’m playing?
Bonuses – Do they have bonuses?. How strict are the wagering requirements? Do they offer repeat bonuses?. Do they offer loyalty points and can they be redeemed for cash or playing credits?
After all that, would I play there regularly?