The Gambling Commission clarifies the online filing concerns
The Gambling Commission, the regulatory body for the majority of gambling in Great Britain, is seeking to reassure gambling operators over its online filing after concerns were raised about the security of the system.
The Out-law.com website reports that under the Commission’s plans, companies with remote casino, betting and bingo licenses, as well as those with gambling software operating licenses, will be required to submit regulatory returns electronically via the system. Operators are currently able to submit returns in electric of paper form.
Material submitted via this online system could include sensitive financial information, such as details about revenue-sharing agreements, as well as the number of active customer accounts and suspicious activity reports.
In a consultation paper, the Commission said operators should not have concerns and that a number of measures are in place to protect the confidentiality of the files.
“The Commission would reiterate that procedures are in place to ensure that data is stored securely with controls to prevent access,” the paper said. “Our online system is encrypted and requires licensees to authenticate themselves before being able to submit and access their own data.
“We have been accredited against the ISO: 27001 standards since 2010. This is an internationally recognized standard for evaluating how securely an organization manages and stores its information.
“As a public authority, the Commission also adheres to the Security Policy Framework and supporting guidance issued by Cabinet Office to ensure that the information we process is handled and stored in a secure manner in line with best practice and HMG requirements.”
The Commission also recently announced plans to change regulatory requirements when applying for a remote operating license – changes that would mean operators would also need to submit application online.
Audrey Ferrie of the Pinsent Masons law firm said data recovery and backup arrangements would need to be outlined in the event of faults arising with the online application or regulatory returns systems.
Ferrie also criticized the Commission’s website and called for vast improvements in its usability if a full switch to online applications is to be implemented.
She also pointed to an “added administrative burden” if the changes were to come in to place, with companies regulated by the Commission having to issue separate regulatory returns to their Great Britain-based customers and those located elsewhere.
New gambling laws, which are expected to come into effect in early 2014, mean that remote gambling would be regulated on the basis of where bets are placed. This would mean that betting companies based anywhere in the world need to obtain a license from the Commission in order to advertise or transact with Great Britain-based consumers.