29 August 2019, Thursday
Plenary Session 1 - Agile Regulation: Ensuring Effective Regulatory Supervision and Enforcement
Plenary Session 2 - Evolving Technological Developments in the Gambling Industry
This session provides insights into the regulatory and supervisory practices and approaches taken by the casino regulators in Singapore, Macau and New Zealand to ensure effective oversight of their licensees. Topics which are covered include:
- Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore’s regulatory approach for agile and effective regulation;
- Policies and measures implemented by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau to encourage gaming operators to develop
more non-gaming options, to achieve the objective of positioning
Macau as a "World Center of Tourism and Leisure"; and
- New Zealand Gambling Commission’s considerations for the recent
casino licence renewal of Christchurch casino.
Participants will learn how the latest technological innovations have impacted the gambling industry, as well as the opportunities and challenges which they present to regulators in Nevada and Queensland. Participants will also hear how the French online gambling regulator, ARJEL has leveraged on technology to detect money-laundering, match fixing and study players’ behaviours.
Plenary Session 3 - Emergent Trends: eSports and Loot-boxes
This session highlights the key developments and international regulatory trends in the emerging areas of eSports, eSports betting and loot boxes. The speakers from Belgium and Nevada will also share on the regulatory approaches which their respective organisations have taken to manage the risks and concerns presented by these increasingly popular products.
30 August 2019, Friday
Plenary Session 4 - Raising Standards to Protect Consumers from Gambling Harms
In this session, participants will learn about emerging Responsible Gambling (RG) initiatives and how paradigm shifts on economic, social and political fronts are driving changes in the RG landscape. Participants will also gain insights on how technology has been leveraged to provide gamblers with real-time information about their gambling behaviour.
Plenary Session 5 - Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing & Gambling Crimes
This session highlights Singapore’s approach to combating money laundering and gambling crimes. Speakers will share about their respective regimes and how their organisations are dealing with new and upcoming threats. In particular, participants will hear about Singapore’s experiences in dealing with gambling crimes beyond the casinos.
Speakers at the 5th Singapore Symposium on Gambling Regulation and Crime give us their first-hand regulatory insights into developments around the world.
Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation (OLGR), Queensland
Q1. How has OLGR leveraged on technology in its regulatory work? What are some positive impacts and challenges that technology has presented that would be useful to share with fellow regulators?
OLGR seeks to continuously improve its services, and has taken action to:
streamline approval processes through the acceptance of approvals/recommendation prepared by other jurisdictions for EGM and FATG products;
work with operators to allow for a variety of gaming products to be accommodated within the regulatory framework, including by accepting multiple gaming machine protocols beyond OLGR’s preferred standard; and
providing casino operators with an automated verification and approval process for certain low risk EGM products.
OLGR has also worked with the operators to allow for the digital recording of their internal control systems, approved equipment registers and various other operational matters relevant to the conduct of gaming at the casino, so as to cut costs and reduce resources required to maintain compliance with their regulatory requirements.
Casino operators have also been looking to utilise advancements in technology to improve their operating systems. One such measure includes the adoption of an automated counting system for the counting of cash, vouchers and tickets from tables, electronic table games and gaming machines.
From a regulatory perspective, a controlled and automated money handling environment enhances auditing, accounting and administrative requirements and controls within a casino.
Q2. How does OLGR encourage innovation within the organisation and from the operators?
Casinos and gaming operators in general continue to evolve and adapt their gaming products to embrace technological advancements and the changing demands and expectations of patrons. This has resulted in the introduction, or proposed introduction of a number of new gambling products within the Queensland gaming market, often requiring the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation to adapt and find innovative new ways to regulate non-traditional gaming features and products.
As a regulator, it is important to keep abreast of trends in the industry and be sufficiently agile to respond to those developments while maintaining the core regulatory standards of maintaining integrity, fairness and probity. Accordingly, OLGR is looking to modernise its legislation to be technology neutral, support innovation while ensuring consumer protection and balancing flexibility with enforceability.
Chief Executive Officer
Responsible Gambling Council (RGC), Ontario
Q1. What are some key global trends and measures to address problem gambling that would be useful for regulators (particularly Asian ones) to know?
RG as a Key Driver
a) Regulators and operators around the world have recognised the utility of responsible gambling standards and accreditation to strengthen and maintain best practices. Regulators have embedded RG in their strategic plans, strengthened RG regulations and increased expectations and accountability of operators. We are also seeing some of the large operators in both venue based and online gambling sectors, take a leadership role in publicly promoting their responsible gambling programs; increasing their investment in their own RG programs, as well as making substantial investments in government and non-profit led programs; establishing measurable goals; and incorporating RG messaging and tools into their games.
b) Increasingly, regulators and operators are adopting accreditation to
validate the efficacy of their responsible gambling programs, as well as
demonstrate their commitment to consumer protection and being socially responsible.
Customer Centric Engagement
a) RG organisations and operators recognise that gambling attracts a very diverse group of players. Therefore, they are using a “segmentation” approach to delivering RG programs and services. Programs, services and messaging must be framed for different types of players to authentically engage them. Some examples of this include using the proper tone and manner, optimising different channels and touch points, making changes to the talent management strategy to recruit and retain the right talent for this customer centric approach, as well as implementing a more sophisticated training program for venue employees to recognise the different market segments and how to interact with them.
RG and Consumer Behavior
a) A proactive approach to provide RG information and education to vulnerable populations such as youth, young adults, indigenous communities, seniors and men.
b) Establishment of RG Information Centres in gambling venues.
c) Focus on establishing evidence based and impactful responsible gambling standards and practices.
RG and Emerging Technologies
a) New technology is available and continuously being developed which promotes positive play and harm minimisation.
Gaming equipment manufacturers are using technology to facilitate gaming protection. For example, they are providing players with the option to set money and time limits for their gaming activity, and reminding players when they have reached their limits. Responsible gambling messages are also embedded directly into the gaming screen, and provide players with reports on the amount of time and money they have spent. Using logarithms, online operators can detect moderate and high risk behavior and increase the amount of RG messaging and decrease advertising.
Some regulators have formalised expectations that operators will optimise technology tools to promote responsible gambling and harm minimisation to players. Operators who do not adopt these tools will be fined and possibly shut down.
Digital currency is becoming more accessible and is now accepted by certain online gambling sites as a legitimate form of payment.
RG and Online Gambling
a) Between 2018 and 2024, the global online gambling market is project to more than double from US$46bil to at least US$94bil. This includes online formats for casino games, poker and sports and race betting. (Statistica, 2018).
b) Given the elevated risk to public health by some of these game forms (e.g. online sports betting) that is exacerbated by easy 24/7 access and targeted advertising, regulators will (and are) facing increasing pressure to govern industries.
c) Gaming versus Gambling. The blurring of the lines between gaming and gambling has become increasingly opaque, to the point that gambling is being incorporated into games (i.e. loot-boxes, skins and betting within games) and people can now bet on gamers (i.e. eSports). Regulators must continuously monitor this blurring of the lines and modernise regulations to address this trend. Belgium has banned loot-boxes. And recently game manufacturers Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo have committed to making loot-boxes more transparent.
Q2. Are there anything which regulators should do to prepare ourselves for these trends?
RGC recommends the following measures to prepare for these trends:
a) Use a balanced scorecard to establish key metrics to measure and communicate key performance indicators, for the RG program.
b) Invest in the implementation of RG Information Centres in gambling venues to actively engage players by identifying key market segments and developing specific marketing and management strategies to effectively communicate RG to your diverse customer base.
c) Develop and implement a technology strategy to optimise technology in the provision of responsible gambling solutions.
d) Incorporate an online gambling plan, into the technology strategy, address rapid changes to online gambling, as well as the blurring of the lines between gaming and gambling.
e) Invest in the implementation of an annual research and evaluation plan to facilitate evidenced based regulations and standards are in place and that they are having a positive impact on player attitudes and behavior.
f) Work with gaming equipment manufacturers to incorporate RG into games. Consider establishing a technical standards lab to assess new games to ensure they meet RG standards, prior to making them available to patrons.
g) Consider how Singapore will manage the availability of digital currency.
Nevada Gaming Control Board
Q1. What are some useful insights for regulators that may be drawn from Nevada’s experiences as a regulator of both casino and non-casino gambling products? What are some of the challenges faced in dealing with these two groups of regulatees and does NGCB adopt different stances or considerations for different regulates?
As a regulator of both casino and non-casino gambling products, Nevada has the unique benefit of being able to rely on its well-established statutory framework and regulations that have been tested, revised, and improved for over 50 years. With regard to casino products, the simultaneous goal and challenge is to ensure that our mature regulatory requirements are still relevant as technology continues to evolve. There has been significant development and growth in non-casino gambling products over the last couple of decades, and with new products consistently being proposed, it is imperative that the Nevada Gaming Control Board continues to review our regulations to 1) determine if the activity or product needs to be regulated, and 2) determine the appropriate licensure that may be necessary.
Q2. What are the recent trends and developments in non-casino gambling products that would be useful for regulators to know? How should regulators respond to these emerging trends and developments?
In Nevada, recent trends in non-casino gambling products include the growth of mobile device based products with regard to sports betting, online gambling, and the use of mobile applications to interact with gaming-related systems. Those involved in non-casino gambling products may not be as familiar with the high level of strict regulation required of the gambling industry. As regulators, it is important to balance the need for strict regulation while providing the industry the ability to test and eventually implement new casino and non-casino gaming products.