The Gaming Regulators European Forum (GREF) met for its annual conference and business meeting in Latvia, where 65 delegates from 22 jurisdictions identified affiliate marketing as one of three specific issues to address over the coming year, the other two being best practices to train staff and the building of a common template for sharing information.
Håkan Hallstedt, Chairman of GREF, said this year's conference was a great success and that GREF pledged to investigate the role of affiliates to develop a common understanding and ensure that their activities and interaction with customers is appropriate, affords proper levels of protection and is in line with national licensing objectives.
There is no doubt that many gambling affiliates are willing to promote every company that pays them a commission, irregardless of the fact the company may not be around long enough to pay its players. And certainly many affiliates end up promoting shady operators.
But the same can be said of licensing authorities.
Having Malta and the Lotteries and Gaming Authority among its members and being concerned with appropriateness in customer's interaction, GREF should in our opinion investigate the LGA long before studying affiliates.
But most likely the bureaucrats at the Gaming Regulators European Forum are only interested in their seats and not in what's right or wrong.
So while during the next year, GREF will try to develop a common understanding of affiliates, I suspect we'll see more Maltese-licensed operators going offline. And while Bookmakers Review will continue to chronicle the scandals in Malta, it is likely that someone at the LGA or another (rogue) licensing authority, will study how appropriate are our activities.