The Remote Gambling Association (RGA) has developed a set of technical guidelines which are primarily intended to support regulators in designing efficient and effective technical standards. It is hoped that they will contribute to a higher degree of consistency in the approach taken by various regulators to these issues.
By producing these guidelines and highlighting what it believes to be regulatory best practice based on the extensive first-hand experience of its members, the RGA is hopeful that they will play a constructive part in the ongoing discussions about these issues that are being held both nationally and internationally.
In doing so it acknowledges the regulatory objectives of licensing jurisdictions and the work that has already been undertaken in this area by like-minded regulators through forums such as the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR), and by standardisation bodies, such as the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN).
While innovation and technology may present new challenges for regulators, they also create new opportunities to provide efficient consumer protection and combat crime. Besides the registration of all transactions which provides a complete digital audit trail, remote gambling is characterized by increased consumer transparency, and the latest eVerification technologies are strategic enablers for the exclusion of under-aged people and the fight against fraud (for example, because of the decreased risk of ID theft or credit card fraud).
In summary it is intended that these guidelines should:
- Support regulators in designing efficient and effective technical standards within a wider regulatory framework that takes full account of information society services, consumer experience and inherent market dynamics;
- apply to all platforms and methods of remote delivery;
- accommodate the differences and the different requirements necessary between betting and gaming products;
- underline the integrity and fairness of remote gambling products;
- assist with the creation of standards that will ensure that online gambling products are fair, secure, auditable and can be regulated efficiently.
- provide assurance to consumers that the industry, its regulators, and those involved in testing and approving products are all committed to, and capable of, providing fair and safe betting and gaming;
- allow for technological developments and innovation; and
- cover not just the standards, but also the principles of good testing of those standards by both regulators and third party testing organisations.
Clive Hawkswood, CEO of the Remote Gambling Association said:
“The RGA is committed to the encouragement of high standards of probity and integrity, both for the benefit of its members and the public generally. Ensuring that technical standards are consistent, proportionate, practical, and effective is central to that. If that can be achieved there would be obvious benefits for the industry, but we would suggest that this must also be in the best interests of regulators, governments and consumers.
For the avoidance of any doubt, I would like to make very clear that this has nothing to do with self regulation. As an industry we are part of a well regulated sector where it is becoming common place for companies to be licensed in multiple jurisdictions. As those countries are essentially licensing the same products and businesses, logic dictates that in most cases they should adopt similar regulatory measures, such as those set out in our guidelines. We look forward to discussing their application with established regulators and those jurisdictions considering the regulation of remote gambling.”