Kindred Group Stresses Negative Effects Of Lowering Limits

The Kindred Group on Wednesday shared its insights into the white paper proposing reforms to UK gambling law. Unibet’s parent company announced that too low betting limits for online pokies will turn out favourable for the illegal gambling market. In addition, it speaks out against manual financial risk checks, and that existing players need to opt in again for direct marketing campaigns.

Earlier this year, after years of preparation, the British government published the white paper for the reform of gambling law in the United Kingdom. In recent months, stakeholders were given the opportunity to share their thoughts on the changes in the law, after the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) opened several rounds of consultation.

Early this week, GamCare, a British charity organisation, shared its views on several government proposals. GamCare believed that the proposed threshold for financial risk assessment is too high. On Wednesday, the Kindred Group, the parent company of the international betting site Unibet, also shared its insights about the white paper.

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Three Main Topics

The DCMS consultation rounds covered the topics of financial risk controls, changes around direct marketing, and betting limits for online pokies. Kindred Group, together with the UK Gambling Commission, has the ambition to make the financial risk control system as efficient as possible. The gambling company was therefore against the bill to carry out the checks manually:

“We therefore strongly disagreed with the proposal to require operators to carry out all checks manually – for the simple reason that this would be impractical and unreasonable – and does not take into account the automated, frictionless nature of the possible checks. And we also disagreed with the proposal to oblige operators to collect postal codes and job title data from customers. Not only is this not helpful in assessing affordability, it would also create friction in the customer journey that the UK government wants to avoid.”

Kindred Group

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Direct Marketing Opt-In

The white paper also sets higher requirements for providers to obtain consent from players for direct marketing and promotions. Kindred said to support plans to give players the flexibility to receive specific marketing campaigns that suit their personal preferences. However, they disagree with the requirement that they have to ask for consent from all players to receive the marketing messages, including the ones who have already given permission in the past.

“If a new requirement prevents us from contacting these customers overnight, this will have a significant impact on our ability to communicate with them (despite the fact that they previously consented to communications from to receive us) and it may impact the more sporadic and infrequent customers.”

Kindred Group

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Betting Limits For Pokies

There is also a bill that will impose a maximum betting limit for online pokies between £2 (NZ$ 4,13) and £15 (NZ$ 31). That limit should be even lower for players between 18 and 24 years old. The Kindred Group is in favour of the plan, but points out that the government must be careful with these limits as there is no such thing as a betting limit in the illegal gambling market. Limits that are too low can cause a shift of players to the illegal offer.

“We have argued that any limit agreed during the consultation will not be followed by the unlicensed market – meaning players are expected to move their attention to alternative pokie products without limits. This effect is recognised in the white paper, but we believe that further consideration needs to be given to the knock-on effect of setting pokie limits too low in terms of players shifting to the unregulated market.”

Kindred Group

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