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Combatting online gambling bankruptcy rip-offs

Remember the player disasters epitomised by Purple Lounge-Mediacorp, Everleaf and a slew of lesser known cases where online gambling operators failed to properly segregate punter deposits from operational funds….and the punters are left unpaid when they went bust?

Whilst a number of online gambling licensing jurisdictions profess to offer regulations guarding against this sort of occurrence, in real life incidents there has been little evidence that these have been successful or even applied properly, and players have remained prejudiced.

The UK Gambling Commission is tackling the problem by not only having appropriate regulations on the books, but actually implementing these and monitoring its licensees, according to recent communications from the British regulator.

Players at UK-licensed online casinos are likely to be safer as a result; from next year the regulator will insist that operators comply with a set of customer fund monthly reporting requirements in addition to weekly reconciliations.

The new regime will require operators to report the size of customer fund deposits and operator liabilities, and the financial institution where these monies are held, along with a breakdown of funds held for UK players, and those held for other punters.

To keep operators honest, there is provision for the Commission to request supporting documentation if this is felt necessary.

The reported funds cannot merely be an isolated snapshot of funds held, either – the Commission wants to ensure that reportage is on the flow of funds over the reporting period.

The pilot scheme on this new level of operator disclosure will run over the course of 2016, after which the results will be reviewed and assessed for efficiency and practicality.

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