ICE-LAC 2017 Commentary
By MaxD Feb 20, 2017
Nicely we’ve been back for a week now from this year’s ICE + LAC conference in London and all in all I’d have to say it was a pretty great trip. No doubt you’ll have study Bryan’s London Trip 2017 so you will know the bulk of the story in terms of what we did, saw and ate. I haven’t got lot to add so this one will be reasonably short.
Very first things 1st: the ICE and LAC shows had been bigger than ever this year and if you are into the glitsy stands and all that then you would have had a lot more than enough to fill your boots. Personally I go for two motives: firstly to get some face time with particular folks in the business who can (hopefully) function with us to improve our Player ArBitration (PAB) approach and secondly to keep Bryan organization for a few days. Needless to say the latter is — and was! — easily achieved. ‘Nuff said on that.
The principal cause for me getting at the London show(s) is to talk to casino folks to either break the deadlock on PABs that have gone sour or establish communications for resolving furture concerns. In that respect this year’s excursion was a great, albeit modest, achievement with a (feasible) cherry on prime that we cannot really talk about just yet.
We did have a great discussion with Bwin/SportingBet that will hopefully let us to be significantly a lot more efficient as an arbitrator for player complaints associated to those properties. If items go well this could end years of “talk to the hand” silence from these guys that I for one will be pleased to see the finish of. Fingers crossed.
The other big “win” for us was speaking to IBAS — by far the biggest gaming dispute arbitrator in the business — and being well impressed by them, their level of professionalism, and the possibilities for us to function collectively a lot more successfully when it comes to UK complaints where the player has named us as their representative. This had happened a couple occasions in the past year and there is now great cause to believe that that approach will run smoother for all parties in the future.
On the regulator side of things the scene has changed a bit considering that this time last year. Kahnawake has now fully implemented their withdrawal from licensing US-facing operators which meant that they stated “adios” to about 25% of their licensees. They’re convinced that this was the right point to have completed and are committed to moving forward. As seasoned Casinomeister readers will know we’ve been huge fans of Kahnawake in recent years and that certainly hasn’t changed.
Elsewhere: Malta continues to make good progress and I’m satisfied to see them becoming the most progressive licensor in Europe. Curacao on the other hand seems determined to grow to be the new Costa Rica in terms of getting small far more than an issuer of business licences. For years they had produced noises about being a real regulator but situations like the Curaçao eGaming/Cyberluck/License 1668/JAZ this previous year fairly significantly proves these claims weren’t worth the oxygen they wasted on making them. Add to that that there are committed efforts to drag the Curacao licensor into court — by some of their own politicians no less — and it is clear that Curacao licenses now imply really little. It’s only the excellent reputation and conduct of a handful of select operators that hold Curacao from becoming rated amongst the worst of the worst.
That said the massive story this year amongst casinos, players and dispute arbitrators alike was that elephant-sized thorn in everyone’s side: Self-Exclusion (SE). Roughly 1/3 of the total instances received by arbitrators this past year have been SE-related and (at a guess) 50% or more of those are fraud related. It’s turn into a considerable drain on everyone’s sources and a huge PITA. Even progressive regulators like the UKGC have been struggling with the SE issue — the infamous EveryMatrix situations becoming no little element of their agro — and the rumour is they’re about to overhaul their SE policy once more extremely quickly.
The only group with anything good to say about SE issues is Kahnawake. They’ve got a clearly defined, straight-forward technique in spot and this year published detailed results from their method. I believe their SE plan is second to none and in closing I’m going to quote from their 2016 Self-Exclusion Summary at some length. In my humble opinion other regulators would be very sensible certainly to think about following Kahnawake’s good example:
If the request concerns a distinct operator licensed by the Commission, the request will be forwarded to the acceptable operator to be implemented. When the self-limitation or self-exclusion request has been implemented, the operator will notify the request or and the Commission with the date upon which implementation was completed.
If the self-exclusion request is in relation to all on the internet gaming websites that are licensed by the Commission, a Comprehensive Self-Exclusion Directive signed by the Commission Chairman is emailed to all existing licensees with a distinct date and time by which all licensees need to permanently exclude the requestor from accessing, depositing funds and from playing on any gaming method that is operated by the licensee and licensed by the Commission.
The Commission will make contact with the request or to confirm , in writing, the date and time at which their self-exclusion request was put into impact. Players are advised to notify the Commission right away if any online gaming internet site licensed by the Commission does not respect the terms of a Complete Self-Exclusion Directive.