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Legal & Regulatory

Player protection not where it should be, says Gamban Founder

Despite having the necessary tools, more support needs to be given by operators when it comes to player protection in gambling, according to the Founder of Gamban.

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Gambling blocking software supplier Gamban announced a partnership with Lloyds Banking Group earlier this week, which will provide customers of Lloyds, Bank of Scotland and Halifax access to its blocking system.

However according to Jack Symons, despite the work banks have done in recent times, the gambling industry must do more to support problem gambling, especially when it has the apparatus at its disposal.

The Gamban Founder and CEO told Gambling Insider: “The regulators talk about innovation, but existing tools aren’t being used. To me, in terms of things that will actively help people, the wheel doesn’t always have to be completely reinvented.

“There are tools that are working and helping, they are just not being given the support they need.

“Despite the myriad of ‘reg-tech’ products, the bare minimum of someone saying ‘I’ve got a problem, I need to stop’, is still something that isn’t being supported by many UK operators.

“The fact things that already exist aren’t being supported gives me very little faith that we’ll get where we want to in terms of players protection any time soon.”

The deal with Lloyds is the first of its kind for Gamban, while other banks also participate in allowing customers to block gambling spend, with Santander and Royal Bank of Scotland joining Barclays in this move last January.

Symons praised the works banks do with player protection, envisaging working with more in the future, but criticised Internet Service Providers (ISP) who he said must ‘step forward.'

He added: “Gambling can manifest as a financial problem, and the banks are an unlikely hero. I think given they are not responsible for providing gambling services, the fact they are stepping up to try and protect their vulnerable customers, is something I think should be widely recognised.

“While we’re seeing more banks helping vulnerable customers, I’d like to also see ISP’s stepping forward.

“There’s a fine line between protection and censorship but what I’d like to see is some of the illegal, unregulated offshore content blocked or at least a warning around the sites that shouldn’t be accessible.

 “I think access is clearly a big part of this and if people want to be able to switch off access to gambling through their ISP, we are happy to play a role in this but I think there’s a lot of things that could be done at ISP level.”

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