compliance maze

SBC Webinars: Navigating the pan-European compliance labyrinth

Across Europe throughout 2022 the impact of regulatory changes, particularly regarding compliance, has been self-evident.

Evaluating the changing regulatory roadmap across the continent and further afield on SBC’s latest webinar, ‘Staying Agile While Handling Multijurisdictional Compliance’, one jurisdiction came in particular as posing a challenge – the UK.

As the country’s review of its gambling legislation nears its two year anniversary (its second birthday is 8 December to be exact), the panellists observed that British regulation is a complex landscape to navigate.

“Each jurisdiction has its particularities, but the UK has a lot of vast regulation and is very complex, and the experience of the regulator is something to factor in,” said Marije Barreiro Roel, Chief Compliance Officer at TonyBet.

“They have a lot of experience and know to ask the right questions, and you can really feel that difference.”

Genesis Global’s Chief Legal & Regulatory Compliance Officer, Dee Maher, added that the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has formulated a complex array of technical requirements, although noting that Italy and Spain should also be considered.. 

She observed that the UK’s last consultation on social responsibility was a challenging hurdle for some operators, commenting that the following consultation was ‘welcome’. 

“With the new consultation on responsible gambling, which they delayed last year because they gave operators to become technically compliant with a philosophy that it is almost impossible to become compliant in,” she said.

Offering a different perspective from his own experience, IDNow Global Gaming Director Roger Redfearn-Tyrzyk pointed to the Netherlands over the past 12 months.

In particular, he highlighted requirements around BSN nationality numbers, but maintained that the whole process of working in the re-regulated Dutch market and with the KSA regulator had ‘fun’ elements.

“In the Netherlands, we’re only allowed to show a document without the BSN number, but the operator needs the BSN number to change against the government system,” he explained.

“These things can be tricky sometimes, you have to weigh up and then go to a regulator, and the KSA has been super busy because of all the applications they had to go through.”

There are of course a range of compliance areas for operators and suppliers to consider – as moderator Patricia Lalanda, Partner at Loyra Abogado observed, such as anti-money laundering, GDPR, data protection, tax and labour.

“It’s good to have the best policies, but if you keep them in your draw they won’t be of any use whatsoever,” she observed, whilst early on the webinar quizzing the speakers on the overarching importance of compliance.

Maher and Redfearn-Tyrzyk both found common ground in their assessment that ‘compliance is essential to a successful and sustainable business’.

Genesis’ speaker pointed to a need to develop a cultural philosophy of compliance throughout a company and to effectively weigh the balance of compliance risks, how it can be dealt with and whether those risks can be taken on board.

Operators should focus on ‘not whether you are being compliant, but how you are being non-compliant, and how this can be dealt with as efficiently as possible,’ she asserted.

Adding that IDNow strives to ‘stay ahead of the game’ by communicating regularly with regulators, Redfearn-Tyrzyk underscored the importance of effective compliance policies in enabling a firm to operate in multiple different markets with varying requirements.

He continued: “For us, it’s important to have certain unique selling points and nuances in order for it to be really effective, and that is what we are focusing on and what the industry is focusing on.

“There are a lot of good suppliers with great technology, and you can see that they are doing exactly that and fighting fraud.”

Building on this, Maher remarked that ‘suppliers are doing fantastic things’ and are repairing ‘super fast results’. Important to look for ‘fast pace of technical development with suppliers, as without them it’s not going to work’.

“It’s about choosing, selecting and trying out the right kind of providers. If people want to defraud you they will try to be one step ahead e.g. by manipulating passports,” she said.

“You need to react ‘as quickly as possible, so the good user can go on and the bad user is flagged straight away, and then you can do manual intervention.”

Watch the full SBC Webinar here

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