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Alderney Responds to Media Criticism

By: Joe Valentino, Tuesday February 22nd 2011
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Alderney is a popular online gambling jurisdiction, where gambling is regulated by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. Last week the United Kingdom Gambling Commission published its third Prevalence of Gambling survey. Following this there were reports in the British media that the Alderney Gaming Control Commission (AGCC) offered less protection to players at its licensed online gambling sites than operators who had been licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission.

Taking exception to such comments the AGCC issued an official statement challenging the media reports. It pointed out that it is white listed by the UK authorities and this is evidence that its online casinos, poker sites, sports betting sites and bingo rooms offer the same protection as those licensed in the United Kingdom.

One of the issues raised was how the AGCC licensees tackled problem gambling. In response Andre Wilsenach, the AGCC's chief executive, said, "At the moment we are putting in funds at a rate in excess of £1 million per annum. Our licensees are multinational, and are able to propose a charity or research vehicle relevant to their player base; but currently the majority of the money goes to the UK's GREaT Foundation."

Wilsenach pointed out that this was only one of the steps taken by the AGCC to deal with the issue of problem gambling. The basic prerequisites checked before an online gambling license is issued were strong player identification requirements, obligatory self-exclusion systems and staff and systems ability to identify problem gambling characteristics in player behavior.

Wilsenach also made suggestions on how to take player protection to a higher level. For that he said that like-minded regulators would have to formulate common standards to raise the level of protection for the young and vulnerable and to exclude those operators and jurisdictions that are not able to comply with such standards. He added, "We believe that the UK's white-list approach is an excellent method of erecting such a fence."

According to Wilsenach the media had gone overboard on the issue of problem gambling as stated in the Gambling Prevalence report. He began by saying that the analysis of the data thrown up in the study is a matter for experts and not laymen. He pointed out that the report itself has noted that the small increase in the incidence of problem gambling since the last survey in 2007 was at the margins of statistical significance and that the volume of online gambling by British players was virtually unchanged.

Wilsenach concluded by stating that the UK policy should focus on protecting British players who wagered at online gambling sites located in jurisdictions with ineffective regulation.

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