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Belgium, US adapt to stricter online gambling rules | Biometric Update

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Belgium is making changes in the gambling industry, including a hike in the legal age for all forms of gambling from 18 to 21. The country will also update the minimum age requirements for sports betting, bingo and arcades to match existing regulations for land-based casinos.

The stricter age requirements are part of an effort to protect vulnerable demographics and promote responsible gambling, industry news site G2G reports. Online gambling sites will have to refund customers below the new minimum age while stakes made without proper age verification will be returned. The changes will be effective September 1st, 2024.

Elsewhere in the gambling industry, the largest online gambling operators in the U.S. are forming a new trade group called The Responsible Online Gaming Association, or ROGA. One of its tasks will be to create an independent data clearinghouse for sharing information related to the protection of consumers, but the details are yet to be disclosed.

“By coming together with a clear set of objectives, ROGA and our members will work to enhance consumer protections and help provide easier and more efficient access to responsible gaming tools for consumers to enjoy the entertainment of online gaming,” says Jennifer Shatley, the gambling executive who will be leading the association.

ROGA will bring together seven gaming operators that cover 85 percent of the legal online betting market in the country, including FanDuel, BetMGM, Penn Entertainment, Hard Rock Digital, bet365, DraftKings and Fanatics Betting & Gaming.

NBC reports, however, that the reason behind the new move could be an attempt to tackle increasing public criticism against rising gambling addiction. Unlike places such as Europe, Australia, Brazil and the UK, the U.S. has been slow to introduce regulation, preferring to pressure the industry into policing itself.

Gambling platforms continue to strengthen their customer onboarding systems, meanwhile. ROGA member BetMGM has selected Prove’s Pre-Fill solution to speed up digital onboarding by up to 79 percent, according to a company announcement.

The implementation will minimize abandonment rates and increase security, BetMGM and Prove say, while also protecting against the abuse of bonuses and promotions, like repeated use of a code intended only for first-time users.

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