The gambling industry is always in the crosshairs of regulators and governments across multiple territories. KMPG’s Russell Mifsud has been on the frontlines of the industry in Malta and sat down with our Becky Liggaro Fontana to give some insight on how operators can manage their reputation in the industry in a post COVID world.
Regulations have become more stringent across European territories in the COVID environment, with Mifsud putting this down to the tougher stance coming out of some European territories like the U.K. “If you look at the UKGC (U.K. Gambling Commission), which is considered to be the front runner when it comes to regulatory regimes and identifying scapegoats, that seems to have a bit of a knock-on effect with various other territories. One of the key themes has always fallen on the responsible gambling player protection side of things. It’s often why a regulator first chose to regulate a particular jurisdiction,” Mifsud said.
“There have been some very severe restrictions that have come into play in certain territories that will have arguably have given rise to the black market,” he added. “I think it’s something evolving and we need to see operators anticipate the requirements.”
When pressed a little further Mifsud was able to offer some clear-cut examples on how gaming operators in Europe are facing tougher regulations than their American counterparts:
“We have seen things out in Latvia with gambling bans. We’ve seen bans when it comes down to advertising in majority shapes and forms, which is detrimental to smaller operators. We’ve got deposit limits, some which have come about because of COVID, while others have been in the works for quite some time as in the case in Belgium. This always goes back to the case of affordability.”
Mifsud noted that the industry will always be a target for politicians, specially so moving forward in a post COVID world. “I think what is considered to be a quick win from a political standpoint is to take a jab at an industry that is sometimes considered to be taboo. I think it would be difficult to have a regulator or government push to loosen some of those restrictions once we enter some form of normality. I would be surprised in truth if things were relaxed a little after COVID,” he added.
In the full interview Mifsud goes onto offer advice how operators can become proactive in addressing regulations in the long run. And if you haven’t yet, be sure to subscribe to the CalvinAyre.com YouTube channel to see every interview we make as it goes up.