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Gambling Affiliates’ Guide to GDPR

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gdpr-compliance Gambling Affiliates’ Guide to GDPRReading Time: 7 minutes

As of the 25th May 2018, the GDPR comes into effect, and its influence will be felt across virtually every industry imaginable where data is being collected and used on individuals located in the EU. Its overall aim is to ensure better protection of consumers’ information, both online and offline, by enforcing regulations on how data is collected, processed and secured.

What is GDPR?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation. It’s the result of over 6 years of preparation and consultation over data privacy concerns for EU consumers. The way in which data is collected and used today is profoundly different to how it was a decade ago. According to a report published in 2016 by IBM, “90 percent of the world’s data had been created in the last 12 months” and “many data analysts are suggesting the digital

universe will be 40 times bigger by 2020”.

 

Prior to GDPR, the ‘Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC’ attempted to harmonise the practices of EU member states in terms of their approach to data privacy. Directive 95/46/EC built on the ‘Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data’ first published in 1980, which was acknowledged by both the European Union and the United States, as a way to protect personal data and individuals’ privacy.

 

These guidelines still form the basis for the GDPR, but as they and Directive 95/46/EC were merely guidelines and directives, a more stringent and consistent approach was required to “protect the fundamental rights of individuals throughout future waves of innovation”.

 

The GDPR not only unifies the approach to data privacy across the EU, it also regulates it, meaning it is enforceable by law, and in turn carries penalties of up to 4% of annual turnover, or €20 million, whichever is the greater.

 

Pinch yourself all you like, this is happening affiliates, and failure to act now is nothing short of corporate suicide..!

Consent

The main way in which the GDPR aims to protect data subjects (individuals), is through consent. Data subjects must be made aware of the data being collected on them, why it is being collected, what will be done with it, and how long it will be retained for.

Personal Data

The most important thing for affiliates to realise is what Personal Data includes. It doesn’t stop at names, email addresses and phone numbers; it extends to social media posts, IP addresses, and even information stored in tracking cookies.

The GDPR defines it as..

any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person

 

And importantly..

an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person”.

 

The use of the words ‘directly or indirectly’ is important here. Just because a person’s name and address isn’t stored in a cookie, it doesn’t mean that the information in that cookie can’t be used to identify them. Cookies used by ad networks are able to track an individual from one site to the next, extremely well. In fact, they can potentially track a user across millions of websites.

 

Not only must you pay attention to any data you are collecting directly from individuals, such as name, phone number, email address; you must also think about what tracking codes and analytics software you have installed on your websites, which are used to build a ‘profile’ of someone, usually for advertising purposes.

 

Standard analytics code doesn’t track users across websites, so providing you don’t have any advertising features enabled in your Google Analytics (or other) code, then you won’t necessarily need to obtain consent before setting those cookies. Anything more will require clear and concise consent from your visitors though, ensuring the request for consent includes what, why, and how that data is being collected and used.

Informed Choice

The ‘Cookie Law’ introduced in 2011 (yes, it’s been 7 years!) targeted the usage of non-essential cookies i.e. those not entirely necessary for the basic functionality of a website. However, it didn’t offer users much control or choice.

 

The GDPR aims to change this in that users should be given a choice as to whether or not they agree to non-essential cookies being stored on their computer/browser. Now, accepting that cookies used by standard analytics software aren’t essential, and that they don’t contain ‘personal data’, then where does that leave us? Well, the answer lies in transparency. So long as you are clear in your ‘request for consent’ that the cookies used in your analytics software don’t collect identifiable data, nor are they shared across websites, then you should be fine. Otherwise, if they do (i.e. you have advertising features enabled), you must obtain consent from each and every visitor before setting those cookies.

Newsletter Subscriptions & Accounts

Similarly, if you have a newsletter subscription or account creation feature on your website, then you must obtain consent from users before you can collect their data. Common practice has usually been to present a “Send me occasional news by email” or “I agree to the website T&Cs” checkbox to users. This practice is now imperative, and furthermore, the declaration should be a request for consent, and should point to your Privacy Policy (it can’t be hidden in your T&Cs) which contains the full ‘request for consent’ in a clear and intelligible form, remembering to detail the what, why’s and how’s.

 

And whatever you do, don’t pre-tick the checkbox, or have any kind of “opt-out” option. Consent must be definitive, and unambiguous, and a timestamp of when that consent was obtained, and what the user was consenting to, must be recorded for audit purposes.

 

If your current privacy policy doesn’t satisfy the conditions of the GDPR, then you will need to obtain additional consent from your existing users or subscriber base.

 

In addition, “it must be as easy to withdraw consent as it is to give it”. Users must be offered an option to unsubscribe in all communications, or delete their account on your platform.

 

Think about what data you’re collecting, and whether you really need to. Obtaining consent to collect that data may present more risks than what it’s worth. Additionally, if you later decide to start collecting more data than is detailed in your original privacy policy (or the terms of your privacy policy change), then you will need to obtain additional consent to the updated privacy policy.

Affiliate Tracking Codes

Affiliate tracking cookies are fundamental to online gambling affiliates. Most affiliates are unlikely to want to offer users the ability to disable their tracking codes, and strictly speaking, as the cookies do not (shouldn’t) contain identifiable data that is shared between websites, then it might not be necessary.

 

However, affiliates should still be crystal clear about what cookies may be set as a result of clicking links on their site, why they’re being set, and how they’re being used.  It would also be prudent to offer advice about how users can block these kinds of cookies, for those who choose not to have them set.

Data Subject Rights

The GDPR also empowers individuals with control over their data, as well as outlines a number of responsibilities organisations must adhere to in order to fulfil individuals’ rights to access and control the data held on them.

 

Affiliates must be aware of their responsibilities, and put plans in place to be able to handle those responsibilities:-

Right to Access

Data subjects have the right to know what data is held on them, and how it is being used. They also have the right to request access to that data, which must be delivered to them with 1 month of the the request, in a standard electronic format, free of charge, such that they can transmit that data to another data controller (organisation) should they wish to (Data Portability).

Right To Be Forgotten

Data subjects will also have the right to be forgotten and have any data held on them deleted. Such data will include their personal information, as well as any data which could lead to them being identified, directly or indirectly. If you have implemented any tracking solutions which create a link between the data you hold, and data stored in third party software, then that link will also need to be deleted, and potentially the data stored in the third party software.

Privacy by Design & Security

The GDPR will enforce strict penalties on organisations that have failed to invest appropriate resources into securing their systems, and preventing access of data to unauthorised persons, both online and offline…

 

“The controller shall..implement appropriate technical and organisational measures..in an effective way..in order to meet the requirements of this Regulation and protect the rights of data subjects”.

 

Affiliates should ensure that any data they collect and process has been secured from the outset. If freelancers, designers or content writers have access to data unnecessarily, then it should be restricted. Similarly, any physical data should be locked safely away to prevent unauthorised access, and any new systems or website features should be designed with data privacy in mind.

 

Thought should also be given to data that can be encrypted – it may no longer be acceptable to only encrypt passwords.

Breach Notification

Organisations will be required to notify their appropriate Data Protection Authority within 72 hours of a data breach, where that breach is likely to “result in a risk for the rights and freedoms of individuals”. The gambling industry carries many negative connotations – most individuals probably wouldn’t want their identity associated with a gambling-related website, and so any data breach in this industry is likely to fall into the above category.

Data Protection Officers

Organisations who deal with large scale data processing or ‘special’ categories of data will be required to appoint a Data Protection Officer. Whilst this might not apply to most affiliates, they must understand their responsibilities as data controllers (and/or processors) to ensure the safety and security of data they hold, and ensure it isn’t shared or otherwise fall into the wrong hands. They should keep appropriate internal records, and ensure that their records are auditable.

 

This article contains general information for affiliates to make their own informed decisions about the upcoming GDPR. You must not rely on the information in this article as an alternative to professional legal advice.  The article has been contributed by Pavlos Sideris of Cashbacker – the leading gambling cashback community.


Source: European Gaming News

European Gaming News

Could UK Government Policy Threaten Online Betting Promos?

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Untitled-2 Could UK Government Policy Threaten Online Betting Promos?

Most observers would agree that the UK political class is pursuing a dialogue on the very nature of the gambling industry. The headline issue is, of course, fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT’s), which have been the focus of a huge campaign. This week the UK Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, announced that the maximum stake in these gaming machines will be cut dramatically starting in October 2019. The move has cross-party support, and even the gambling industry has been vocally supportive, knowing that it at least makes sense from a PR perspective to seem concerned about the issue.

However, FOBT’s are not the only issue being discussed about the industry in the UK, with some changes perhaps having a big impact on punters. Advertising has come under scrutiny recently, with an almost saturated feel to the volume of sports betting adverts played on television during events like Premier League games. Sky, the UK’s dominant figure in sports broadcasting, has agreed to ‘regulate itself’ and limit the number of betting adverts beginning at the start of the 2019 Premier League season.

Sky moving to restrict advertising

The move by Sky, while seemingly commendable as they will lose out on a chunk of the estimated £460 million gambling companies spend on advertising in the UK, is also indicative of the fact that the landscape is changing. The Labour Party, in particular, has signalled that they will try to put curbs on many aspects of the industry should they win the next election. For example, Labour deputy leader, Tom Watson, has called for a ban on funding accounts with credit cards and any advertising during live sports events.

However, one area that will be keenly watched by casino players and bettors is that of promotions. Incentives like free bets, price boosts, reload bonuses and the rest are the “carrot” that usually acts as a tipping point to encourage a player to join a new site, but they are certainly not the only reason why people bet. If a Government decides that promotions force people to bet, rather than supplement a decision that has already been made, could they too be in the firing line as the UK authorities try to further regulate the industry?

Free bets offers popular with punters

One would argue that would come to the detriment of the customer, rather than the industry. Consider how a punter might want to bet with William Hill on Real Madrid at 12/1 to win the Champions League, or the Boston Celtics at 7/1 with Bet365 to win the NBA Championships; they could check a list of free bet no deposit 2018 offers and potentially make their bet for free. Is it fair to take away those incentives from the customer?

1 Could UK Government Policy Threaten Online Betting Promos?

There is a fine line between the idea of a promotion and the “bet now!” command that is being looked at by the Advertising Standards Agency, but it’s hard to know where that line will be drawn in the future. Punters would be irate to learn that they can’t, for example, go to a bookie and find an incentive like a price boost on the current odds of 12/1 for Chelsea to win the Premier League.

In the end though, money usually settles these matters. While the UK Government has made moves on FOBTs, it was slow-acting because bookmaker shops were keen to point out that those betting terminals equate to jobs. 2017/18 was estimated to have raised £2.8 billion in gaming tax receipts for the UK Exchequer. The Government will be loath to jeopardise that income. The point is: if the bookies can make their case, those promos will be here to stay.

 

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Pragmatic Play roars to life with 5 lions

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New release sees ancient spirits guarding amazing riches

15 June 2018: Pragmatic Play, the multi-award-winning games provider, has announced the launch of 5 Lions, a 3×5 video slot steeped in myth and legend.

Chinese iconography lights up the reels of 5 Lions, with turtles, phoenixes and dragons appearing covered in glittering gemstones.

The mystical lions of the game’s title act as the wild symbols, granting the player a random multiplier of up to 40x and springing to life when they appear in any winning line.

Melissa Summerfield, Chief Commercial Officer at Pragmatic Play, said: “Our suite of high quality games continues to go from strength to strength, and 5 Lions is a great addition that we are proud to introduce to our partners and players.

“The game’s mystical air is complemented by an engaging and visually satisfying array of bonus content, and it certainly has the potential to keep players coming back.”

Three gilded yin-yang symbols unlock 5 Lions unique free spins feature, expanding the three central reels to four symbols in height and boosting the potential ways to win from 243 to 576.

Players then have the opportunity to choose between seven lions, offering a wide selection of different multiplier ranges. These options range from six free spins with a range of high multipliers (15x, 30x, or 40x) to 25 free spins with a range of lower multipliers (2x, 3x, or 5x).

Pragmatic Play’s portfolio contains more than 80 proven HTML5 video slots, including Wolf Gold, Chilli Heat and The Champions. These titles are now live with a growing list of leading casino brands, including Mr Green, Betsson and LeoVegas.

For more information on this release or to arrange an interview please contact Tom Lewis at Square in the Air on 020 3586 8257 or tom.lewis@squareintheair.com

About Pragmatic Play

Pragmatic Play is one of the fastest growing providers of slots games in the online gaming industry. It has proven expertise in creating mobile and desktop content that engages modern players. Its expanding portfolio features more than 80 proven HTML5 titles, which support 26 languages and all major currencies, and are built on unique in-house designs.

The provider’s games are attuned to the needs of players and operators in regulated markets all over the world and are now a fixture on many of the leading casino brands.

For more information please visit http://pragmaticplay.com/

Source: European Gaming News

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European Gaming News

21Bet upgrades Sportsbook with Digitain

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digitain-21bet 21Bet upgrades Sportsbook with DigitainReading Time: 2 minutes

June 15th, 2018 – Digitain the multi-channel casino and sports betting platform provider confirmed that Malta-licensed 21Bet had been successfully migrated to Digitain’s fully managed sportsbook solution.

21Bet is operated by Aureate Gaming Solutions Ltd and is also the official shirt sponsors of Waterford FC. Under the agreement, Digitain provided its API technology for 21Bet’s online operations including a new improved version of their sportsbook, with features that include cash out, edit my bet, and express bonus and the latest promotional tools for player marketing acquisition and retention.

Digitain CEO, Suren Khachatryan, said: “21Bet is a growing brand in Europe and we are delighted to be their technology partner of choice. Digitain’s frictionless API integration along with our fully managed Sportsbook will deliver 21Bet with enhanced user experience and over 30,000 real live monthly events and full coverage of the most popular sports in Pre-match and Live Betting, and cash out options. 21Bet will also have access to the latest World Cup content zone, including team news, standings, and head-2-head to further engage players throughout this year’s largest betting tournament.

James Hudson CEO at 21bet, said: “Our company’s vision is to have the optimal strategic partnership with our technology providers. Digitain has a proven international and European market expertise, and their technology allows our brand to be agile and flexible, and in control of our roadmap to adapt to ever-changing market conditions and player preferences. The Digitain team are a delight to work with and they made the migration to our new sportsbook as smooth as silk!

 

About Digitain:

Digitain has more than 1,000 employees, 35+ global partners, and more than 400 betting shops worldwide.

The multi-channel Digitain Gaming Platform allows for a frictionless turnkey or white-label solution for both land-based and online operators via our API’s to integrate a sportsbook, casino, live dealer, and virtual sports modules. The stack also includes an extensive payment gateway, bonus engine, CRM system, and dedicated customer support 24/7.

The sportsbook product covers 30,000 live events each month, across 65 sports taking in 7,500 leagues, and more than 3,000 betting markets, while our casino solution has 3,000+ games from the likes of NetEnt, Microgaming, and Playson and many more.

 


Source: European Gaming News

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