As a new year begins, compliance issues are coming into sharper focus than ever as operators, suppliers and affiliates seek to navigate an, at times, uncertain regulatory landscape.

For an insight into some of the key issues facing the gaming sector in 2020, CasinoBeats spoke to Roger Tyrzyk, Head of Sales for UK and Ireland at IDNow

Compliance is lauded as “undoubtedly the single biggest issue driving the gambling sector at present,” why is this so?

RT: “Compliance should be seen as an enabler for growth. If you build a sustainable, risk-based approach, you invest in the future of your company and your brand. 

“But also the fact that political (regulatory) authorities put a lot of pressure on the operators is a big issue in the industry.”

Do you believe the many branches that fall under the compliance banner are taken seriously enough industry wide? 

“Absolutely – 98 per cent of the companies are doing the right things, and their compliance teams are constantly making sure to fulfill all requirements across all areas of the business. 

“They can’t afford to fall behind, because otherwise, the costs of fines will be so much higher than the actual costs of implementing specific measures.”

The industry witnessed a variety of related fines across a number of jurisdictions in 2019, what more needs to be done?

“If we look at those fines, you will see that those are historical and date back a few years, which means that in the meantime, a lot of work had been done to correct failures in certain areas. 

“However, there are always some dark horses that try to get away with certain things and only see the quick dollar in their eyes. This will – 99 per cent – of the time come back to haunt you, though!”

How are impending changing regulations set to impact compliance measures?

“We are already seeing huge changes coming across Europe (and they come very fast), which impacts businesses even more because they don’t have much time to be prepared. 

“Many operators will start to ‘get out of’ specific markets because the operational costs are high and instead will focus on Asia, Africa and South America as compliance is leaner and, therefore, easier to operate in.”

How do solutions offered by organisations such as IDnow aid the issues as discussed above?

“Technology is now at the forefront of being compliant. Of course, some of the things will have to be manual, but it’s not sustainable at all anymore to manually check customers or even monitor them. 

“This is where the fines are coming from – because company ‘x’ didn’t have a process in place that helped them to cope with huge volumes. However, I also have to add that some of the technology companies are misleading operators and taking them on a route that they shouldn’t have even started in the first place. 

“Regulatory technology, transaction monitoring – and enhanced-due-diligence tech have to be the way forward for any operator anywhere in the world, and they have to be used properly.”