BUSINESS

UK okays regulatory outsourcing; Betfair clouds over; fraudster hits Will Hill

TAGs: Betfair, UK Gambling Commission, white list, William Hill

gambling-commission-betfair-will-hill-fraudsterThe head of the UK Gambling Commission, Jenny Williams, says she is considering ‘outsourcing’ regulatory checks and monitoring to gaming bodies in so-called ‘white list’ jurisdictions, including Alderney, Antigua and Gibraltar. Williams’ comments, provided to GamblingCompliance.com, won’t do much to clarify recent suggestions by Jeremy Hunt at the Department for Culture, Media and Sports, that operators who wished to advertise in the UK would soon be compelled to be licensed directly by the UK.

While Williams did warn that any licensing changes may contain tax implications for white-listed operators, she said that so long as the Commission is satisfied that its own regulatory requirements are being met, “we are very happy to outsource to another regulator, or if they do not have the capability then to a consultancy group.” In this, Williams also echoed comments made recently by the head of Alderney Gaming Control Commission, specifically, that the UK Commission lacked the resources to handle an additional 100 European operators.

Betfair’s stock may have fallen back to earth (from its October debut at £15.5 to its current 917p) but at least the company can still elevate some of its future R&D activities to the cloud. Betfair uses hosting provider Rackspace to operate many of its third-party applications (such as its ticketing portal), and now that Rackspace has launched its UK cloud infrastructure, Betfair hopes to speed the testing of some of its applications. However, Betfair’s Duren Dexter stressed to Computerworld UK that the betting exchange wouldn’t be doing likewise with its core infrastructure or services. “[Our infrastructure] is more secure for us in the core.” Wise words, especially considering this next item…

William Hill and Totesport are among the companies victimized by a fraudster who copied bank info from photos of large novelty checks presented to punters by gambling firms. In 2008, David Lewis diverted more than £10k by copying account details and sort codes imprinted on the huge cardboard checks. Once this data was in his hands, Lewis obtained copies of banking logos to create ‘standing order mandates’ that diverted £647 every week into his own bank account. Through such tactics, Lewis took Totesport for £2,591 and William Hill for over £7k until auditors began to smell the distinct odor of criminality. Calling him an inveterate fraudster,” a judge sentenced Lewis to 30 weeks in jail, plus an additional 12 weeks for a breach of a 2007 suspended sentence.

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