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Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Kindred Group Partners With Gamban To Offer Blocking Services To US

Kindred Group Operator

Kindred Group has announced a partnership with Gamban to offer gambling blocking services to customers in the USA.

Gamban is a UK-based service provider that allows users in the UK, Australia and across Europe to block themselves from gambling websites across multiple devices. Now, the Kindred Group has announced a partnership with Gamban, providing users registered with Unibet in select US states with the ability to block themselves from gambling websites.

The partnership marks the first time a gambling operator is offering inter-state protection in the United States. The move is part of Kindred Group’s goal that zero per cent of revenue should come from harmful gambling by 2023, and Kindred has become the first gambling operator to report the share of revenue derived from harmful gambling. The operator will continue to share this data each quarter.

Maris Catania, the Head of Responsible Gambling and Research at the Kindred Group, said in a statement: “Unibet today offers customers in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Indiana a safe and exciting gambling experience, and has applied for licenses in Illinois and Iowa.

“It has always been our ambition to bring our European know-how and expertise in Responsible Gambling to the US and our long-standing successful partnership with Gamban perfectly aligns with this ambition, as well as our journey towards zero revenue from harmful gambling by 2023. We are proud to be the very first operator in the US to offer inter-state protection to our customers and we strongly believe this will be an important step for the industry.”

Jack Symons, the Co-founder of Gamban, added: “We’re incredibly excited to partner with Unibet and offer our blocking software in the US – it’s a huge step forward for the industry. There’s no regulatory pressure for gambling operators to offer blocking software, so it’s fantastic Unibet is taking it upon itself to offer increased protection for its customers in the US and on a global scale. This highlights the evolution of the industry in recognising how products like ours can protect their players and the sustainability of their companies, as well as the wider industry.”

BGC Reiterates Commitment To Preventing Underage Gambling

Also on responsible gambling this week, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has reiterated its commitment to preventing underage gambling via a brand new animated video. The two-minute-long video, which can be watched below, highlights the BGC’s “zero-tolerance” approach and what the standards body is doing to protect minors.

The animated video explains that under UK law, it’s illegal for people under the age of 18 to bet using products offering by BGC members, and it highlights the dangers of the illegal and unregulated online black market, which the BGC warns has “none of our safeguards” such as strict ID and age checks.

Explaining what the regulated industry has so far done to protect minors, the video explained how all BGC members are required to adhere to the Sixth Industry Code For Socially Responsible Advertising, which requires campaigns to target only people aged over 25 and requires audiences to be age verified to view betting-related content on social media and other platforms.

The video also touched on the BGC’s whistle-to-whistle ban on gambling advertisements during televised sports games and highlighted BGC’s partnership with YGAM and GamCare on a £10 million education programme which will see the charities train 100,000 professionals and educate 120,000 young people on gambling harms. The BGC has stated that the project has already “exceeded its first-year targets”.

Meanwhile, the BGC has published a new page on their website, highlighting its works in progress. According to the page, the standards body is working on setting up an AdTech forum to look at how the organisation extends filtering for online adverts. The BGC is also working with online platforms on opt-outs for gambling advertisements and is working with banks to automatically block under-18s from using debit cards to bet. Finally, the Betting and Gaming Council has created the Broadcasters Forum to discuss how the latest technology can be used to further reduce under-18s’ exposure to gambling.

In a statement on the official BGC website, Chief Executive Michael Dugher said: “As the standards body representing the regulated industry, we are committed to doing all we can to protect young people. Our members rightly have a zero-tolerance approach on this issue, which is why we have welcomed the Government’s decision to increase the minimum age for playing the National Lottery to 18.

“For our part, we have introduced a raft of new online protections for young people and taken action to reduce their exposure to gambling advertising, and our work with YGAM and GamCare is also delivering results, with progress during the first year of the partnership far exceeding expectations. We are making good progress, as our new animation shows, but we are committed to doing even more as part of our ongoing drive to deliver change and raise standards.”

In addition to protecting minors from gambling exposure, the Betting and Gaming Council has also been working on raising standards across the gambling industry. Last October, the BGC implemented its new code of conduct video slots which requires operators to implement a minimum game cycle speed of 2.5 seconds per spin, ban Turbo Play features designed to speed up gameplay, and ban the ability to play multiple slots at the same time.

Alongside the above, the BGC has implemented requirements for additional mandatory customer checks and has reiterated its support of the Government’s Gambling Act 2005 review, which could see some major changes come to the gambling industry within the coming months, including a potential ban on gambling sports sponsorships.

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