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SELF-REGULATION SERVICES

MAJOR INITIATIVE TO ADDRESS RESPONSIBLE ONLINE GAMBLING PROCEDURES PROPOSED

5 February 2007, London - A new global initiative and international code of conduct to address responsible online gambling procedures is under discussion by the industry following a top-level roundtable discussion held at a recent London trade show. The roundtable, convened by market leading software developer Microgaming, discussed the need to review what is currently being done by the industry and how a single common code might be created and implemented globally. The resulting draft code of practice is likely to cover individual operating sites as well as software providers.

A working party led by GamCare €“ the UK's leading authority on problem gambling and eCOGRA (eCommerce and Online Gambling Regulation and Assurance), a self regulatory player protection body, will meet today to formally launch consultations on the initiative, which it is hoped will be completed by the autumn. The organisations hope to merge their current codes to provide a framework to be tabled at an international summit later in the year.

As well as leading figures from the online gambling industry, the wide ranging roundtable discussion was attended by the Portman Group, invited to outline how the major players in the drinks industry had combined to address problem drinking within the UK.

Roger Raatgever, CEO, Microgaming, comments, €œContrary to some reporting on this industry, much is already being done to address issues surrounding responsible online gambling. However, we recognise that the current situation of having a number of codes of practice covering a diverse range of areas is not ideal for the industry or the players. The formation of one clearly defined international code demonstrating best practice with a unified voice will strengthen communication to both the players and the industry as a whole.€œ




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