In previous articles, we have made mention of the new restrictions but on UK based online casinos by the UK gaming commission. It appears that online casino companies need not only fear the rapid expansion of regulations and rules aimed at controlling online gambling, but also the process that the UKGC is using against casinos that have been found in violation. In the past, the UKGC has acted almost like a partner in guiding the various casino into compliance, having a very forceful, but a non-confrontational relationship with the casinos. That changed last month when the UKGC brought an almost half-million dollar fine against BGO Entertainment Group with very little warning. The trend has continued this week with yet another announcement of a major investigation against gambling giant 888. In both cases the regulations broken were part of the recent ´ Socially Conscious Oversight´, a series of regulations that force casinos to be aware of dangerous behavior from their clients.
Exact details have not released, but our assessment based on the limited information we have been given points to a failure of the so-called ´self-exclusion´ function of a casino to carry across all of the casinos owned by 888. In other words, due to the relatively new laws, every casino must have a place where visitors can go and register themselves to be excluded from that casino. These are used mainly for people with gambling addictions who are in programs or by people with criminal prosecutions which require the person to exclude themselves from casinos where they previously developed their problem. The new regulations by the UKGC require that a person who uses a self-exclusion mechanism at one casino must automatically be excluded from using any casinos owned by the same company. As an aside, there was significant debate about actually have a shared list, or registry of people that would be shared among all casinos, that part of the regulation was never approved, however.
It appears that the major issue for 888 is that the sharing mechanism for one or more of its´online casino failed to work correctly, and a player who used the self-exclusion at one of their casinos was able to play at a different casino. It is unclear if this was a technical error or was never implemented, to begin with. In either event, 888 is probably looking a hefty fine, and as mentioned in the first paragraph, this is a shift away from the normal workings of the UKGC which has in the past worked with casinos to avoid fines rather than announcing an infraction to the public with the expectation that a fine is coming soon.