David Clifton: Licensing Expert – Pondering the Plastic

first_img Share UKGC hails ‘delivered efficiencies’ of its revamped licence maintenance service  August 20, 2020 UKGC launches fourth National Lottery licence competition August 28, 2020 Share Winning Post: Swedish regulator pushes back on ‘Storebror’ approach to deposit limits August 24, 2020 StumbleUpon Related Articles Submit David CliftonDid you know that it is nearly 61 years since the first successful recognizably modern credit card – the BankAmericard – was introduced? It was not until 8 years later, in 1966, that Barclaycard launched in the UK the first credit card outside the USA.Credit cards have been controversial from the outset because of the potential harms that arise from customers running up a level of debt with ever-mounting interest charges that they cannot possibly service. Now, the continued use of credit cards for online gambling is firmly under the vigilant eye of the UK’s Gambling Commission. It has recently announced that commencing in mid-August 2019, it will be holding a twelve-week consultation on the issue of gambling online with credit cards.In many ways, it’s a surprise that it has taken so long for the Commission to focus its attention on credit cards, with concern first being properly flagged up as recently as March 2018 when it published its Review of Online Gambling report, that included advice from the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB) to the effect that gambling with borrowed money (including with a credit card) is well-established as a risk factor for harmful gambling.In that report, the Commission outlined its support for the principle that consumers should not gamble with money they do not have, saying that it would consider restricting or prohibiting the use of credit cards for gambling but would, first of all, explore the consequences of doing so “by conducting further work in this area”.That work commenced in February this year with a call for evidence on gambling online with credit cards in which the Commission sought “meaningful input to help determine if restrictions, potentially including an outright ban, are necessary to limit risks to consumers” and invited information that would enable it to develop “a comprehensive picture of gambling with credit cards, including the scale of their use for gambling and the risks associated”.It also invited provision of “evidence of effective harm prevention measures that might serve as robust alternatives to prohibiting or restricting gambling with credit cards. These might include, for example, the full rollout of card-blocking facilities that enable consumers to block gambling transactions via their credit cards, or imposing account limits until operators have verified further information about the customer (for example, assessing the levels of gambling spend the customer might be able to afford), if such controls are demonstrably effective”. When announcing the forthcoming consultation, the Commission said that its call for evidence had provided several key interest points around the use of credit cards to gamble online, including:Alternative forms of borrowing:if action is taken on credit cards alone then consumers experiencing harm may use other forms of borrowing to fund their gambling, such as overdrafts and loans, adding that “it is therefore vital that the financial and gambling sectors work to protect customers from harm where they gamble with other forms of borrowed money”.E-Wallets: where online gambling deposits are made through some e-wallets, operators have no means of knowing which method the payment originated from, commenting that “any future proposals would, therefore, require e-wallet providers to take the necessary action to support any regulatory measures introduced”.Further evidence: the Commission wants to obtain further evidence about consumers’ motivations for using credit cards to gamble, and any specific benefits of using them, stating that “the call for evidence highlighted very little in this regard”.Importantly, the Commission stated that in aiming to prevent harm from gambling with credit cards, it is clear that it must take account of the impact of a ban or restrictions on gamblers who are not experiencing gambling harms.Going back once again to the history book, when advising the Labour Government on future gambling policy in 2001, the Gambling Review Body (“Budd”) Report proposed that credit cards should be approved for gambling purchases with the exception of direct use in gaming machines.That was considered a bit too revolutionary, as a result of which the consequential Gambling Bill was amended in February 2005 to ensure that, in the words of Lord McIntosh of Haringey: “customers in [land-based] casinos should not be able to turn to their credit card if they have used up their available cash in their wallet or on their debit card”. This led to what is now the restriction on the offering of credit for land-based casino and bingo operators, contained in section 81 of the Gambling Act 2005.In retrospect, it is surprising that greater focus was not directed at the use of credit cards for online gambling then, given that:in its submission on the Bill, entitled “Gambling with our Future”, the Christian Institute had said: “credit card use is intrinsic to remote gambling. Not only do credit cards allow gamblers to spend more than they can afford, the absence of hard cash emptying from their pockets distances the gambler from the scale of their losses” adding that “it is thus a dangerous anomaly that the use of credit cards is to remain prohibited in casinos, yet is to be endorsed through licensed on-line casinos”; andjust months earlier, two major credit card companies (American Express and Citigroup) had taken steps to prevent their customers from using their cards to gamble online because of concerns over fraud and fears that people might run up debts.However, times have changed in the 14 years since then. Last year:in its above-mentioned advice to the Commission, the RGSB suggested that, compared with the risk associated with use of credit cards for in-venue gambling, “the risk is potentially greater in online, because of the greater accessibility it offers and how people view virtual representations of money compared with physical cash”;as part of its plan to radically overhaul gambling regulation and advertising, the Labour Party made clear (in its “Review of Problem Gambling and its Treatment” report) its belief that people should not have access to easy credit and debt to finance problem gambling behaviour, stating that “using credit cards heightens the risk that you will bet more than you can afford and therefore we believe that credit card betting should be banned”; andcommenting on the Labour Party’s proposal, the com website quoted its CEO, Alastair Doglas, as saying: “A blanket ban on the use of credit cards would be a massive win for consumers. For regular purchases, people usually get an interest-free grace period, which doesn’t apply when credit is used to gamble ….. what’s more, a recent report by the Gambling Commission says up to £8.6 billion of gambling deposits are made using credit cards. Assuming an average cash transaction fee of 3.23% and an average cash advance interest rate of 28.13%, we calculated that consumers stand to save £545 million each year on fees and interest“.As a consequence of all that I say above, it is my view that in the absence of a good convincing argument otherwise being advanced in response to the forthcoming consultation, a credit card ban is likely to be imposed for gambling online because:it will be considered anomalous that a distinction should remain between the use of credit cards for (a) gambling online and (b) gambling within land-based premises; andsuch a ban would be a logical extension of the Gambling Commission’s present stance as guardian not only of the vulnerable but also all those who might possibly become vulnerable in the future.So what can be done to prevent the imposition of such a ban?In my view, opponents to a ban should focus their attention on the Commission’s express invitation for evidence about consumers’ motivations for using credit cards to gamble and any specific benefits of using them. That invitation has been issued against a background of operators indicating to the Commission that credit card payments amount to no more than between 10% and 20% of deposits, which may explain why some in the online sector consider that a more important battleground for them lies in the area of affordability check requirements (an issue on which I commented in my February 2019 Licensing Expert article for SBC).However, addressing that question alone is unlikely to be enough. If a credit card ban is to be avoided, I am not alone in believing that additional strong arguments will need to be deployed. The adoption of more risky and higher cost payment methods such as pay-day loans has already been flagged up as a concern by the Commission. What about addressing such questions as:Does customer use of credit cards better enable identification of problem gambling indicators?Should financial institutions be doing more to implement gambling harm-minimisation strategies, complementing interventions provided by gambling operators?Should all credit card issuers and payment processing networks be assuming greater responsibility, for example by making available gambling spend blocking tools?Should all online gambling operators voluntarily offer their customers blocking software such as Gamban?In April this year, Jeremy Wright MP (the then Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport) said in response to a Parliamentary question concerning the use of credit cards for online gambling: “It is very clear that those who are gambling with money they do not have to find themselves very quickly in very serious trouble …. the Gambling Commission is at the moment looking at the specific question of gambling on credit. That is a process we have encouraged. I look forward very much to its conclusions. The Government intend to take action on the back of what it says.”It’s clearly time for opponents of a credit card ban to put on their serious thinking caps._________________________David Clifton – Director – ‎Clifton Davies Consultancy Limitedlast_img read more

Joe Maddon doesn’t want Angels pitchers taking aim at the Astros

first_img Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Reliever Luke Bard was recalled to take Sandoval’s roster spot.TEXAS TIMEThe Angels-Astros game starts at 6:10 p.m. Friday because of an MLB guideline for 2020 designed to help with the TV audiences in the American League West, which is the only division that has teams two time zones apart.When Texas teams play on the West Coast, the games start at least an hour earlier than normal, and when West Coast teams play in Texas, the night games start an hour later than they normally would. The idea is to make it easier for the road team’s fans to watch the games in prime time. Stassi, who also had hip surgery after the season, reworked his swing with hitting coaches Jeremy Reed and John Mallee. Maddon said now he doesn’t see a hitter who looks like he had a .167 average in 2019.“Well, it’s completely different than what he’s used to because he’s closed, he’s short and direct to the ball, they’ve gotten rid of him laying the bat down, now he’s more direct, the barrel is staying up above his hands, and wow,” Maddon said. “The other day, he fouled off a ball straight back at Oakland and it was an A-hack. He’s taken nothing but A-hacks. All I know is what I’m seeing right now, I like a lot.”McNAMARA DIESJohn McNamara, who managed the Angels and was better known for managing the Boston Red Sox during the 1986 World Series, died Tuesday, his family told the Associated Press. McNamara was 88. The cause of death was not known.McNamara managed the Angels in 1983-84, his fourth of six managerial jobs. The Angels were 161-191 in his two years.He also managed the Oakland A’s, San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds prior to taking over the Angels. After the Angels, he managed the Red Sox and Cleveland Indians.He is best known for being the Red Sox manager when they lost the 1986 World Series, despite having a lead in the ninth inning of Game 6 with a chance to clinch. That was the game in which Bill Buckner famously made an error that allowed the New York Mets to score the winning run.SANDOVAL DOWNThe Angels optioned Patrick Sandoval to their reserve squad in Long Beach a day after he pitched four innings in a victory over the Seattle Mariners.The Angels have an off day Monday, so they can skip Sandoval’s spot in the rotation. Also, Julio Teheran could be ready to rejoin the rotation as soon as next Tuesday, which would knock Sandoval down to No. 7 on the depth chart.Related Articles Kelly was suspended for eight games, which is more than 10% of the 60-game season. Kelly has appealed the suspension.The Angels are lined up to have Matt Andriese, Griffin Canning and Shohei Ohtani start the three games against the Astros.BIG IMPROVEMENTMax Stassi has three hits already this season, which is the same as he had in 42 at-bats with the Angels after he was acquired in a July 31 trade last year.Stassi, who hit a three-run homer Tuesday, said he retooled his swing over the winter to simplify it, a decision that was easy as as looking up at the scoreboard and seeing his batting average.“I mean, last year was terrible offensively,” Stassi said. “I mean, there’s no other way to put it. I battled a few things physically. That kind of turned into mentally and then my swing mechanically was off.” ANAHEIM — The Astros are coming to Angel Stadium this weekend for their first games against the Angels since news of their sign-stealing scandal broke last year.Despite the pandemic and the lack of fans to boo the Astros, major-league players clearly haven’t forgotten, a point made obvious when Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly incited a bench-clearing incident by throwing behind Alex Bregman on Tuesday.Angels Manager Joe Maddon said he’s aware some Angels pitchers might have hard feelings, but he’s encouraged them to think carefully about how they react.“We’ve talked about playing baseball, straight up,” Maddon said Wednesday. “That’s what I’m anticipating. That’s all I’m looking for. What happened yesterday, if you were immediately impacted by (the sign stealing), I could get it a little bit. But then you saw the commissioner’s response, regarding what happened. So you got to choose the method you want to incorporate, and I would prefer that we just go play baseball.” Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone center_img Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

What’s Behind The Public Shaming of Reddit’s King Troll Violentacrez?

first_imgfruzsina eordogh A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit When Gawker reporter Adrian Chen publicly outed troll and influential Reddit user Violentacrez as Michael Brutsch two weeks ago in what many are calling the “best story of the Web,” he changed the nature of the Internet forever. The resulting journalist-sanctioned public shaming:1. Highlighted how ignorant the media is of Internet culture.2. Forced the Internet’s core psyche, sometimes referred to as the “hive mind,” to mature from a teenage boy to a relatively respectful young adult almost overnight.3. Legitimized digital lynch mobs. The Seduction Of A Public ShamingOur technology may have evolved, but our attitudes have not: Nothing pleases humanity more than a good public shaming. Instead of pelting rotten tomatoes at a man locked in the town square stockade, society’s “sinners” are now paraded on national television, courtesy of Anderson Cooper, and branded with a scarlet “T.” (Just Google “Michael Brutsch” if you don’t know what I mean.)Brutsch is now the physical face of the most hated thing on the Internet: the Troll. That anonymous person who goes out of his way to provoke a response. While few people understand what trolls actually are, where they came from and why they do what they do, it is generally accepted that they are the scum of the Web. Hating on them unconditionally is not just acceptable, it’s encouraged, as Cooper implied by calling Brutsch a sad “little person,” sitting “alone in his room, typing on his keyboard, interacting with people he doesn’t even know.” Cooper did stop short of calling him a “neckbeard,” but other outlets have not –  he’s been called a “monster,” and even falsely tied to the suicide of Amanda Todd and the “capper” community. Brutsch didn’t create the act of trolling, nor was he the original or most notorious troll. (Brutsch might not even be a troll, as tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin pointed out.) Nor is Brutsch the first man to have an offensive porn collection, or the first man to sexualize children. Regardless, Brutsch will be made an example of, dammit, because we the media (or as Forbes Kashmir Hill called it, “The Internet Cool Kids”) are sick and tired of these vile human beings mucking up our Internet! Never mind that the same media leverages these same transgressors to drive pageviews – all cloaked in hand-wringing and faux outrage (an act Reddit itself is guilty of) . And, of course, the same said media also sexualizes children.   Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Related Posts Tags:#Trolls center_img The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Trolls Are Easy TargetsCalling Brutsch’s transgressions “vile” isn’t an overstatement – his stuff was downright disgusting. Brutsch had his hands in some of the most controversial subreddits, including /r/incest, /r/misogyny, /r/beatingwomen, /r/chokeabitch, /r/Jewmerica, /r/Jailbait, /r/niggerjailbait, /r/rapebait, /r/picsofdeadkids and /r/creepshots, just to name a few. If you are offended by those titles, that’s the point of a Troll: Brutsch’s online behavior is so offensive that anyone that wants to be considered a respectable member of society has no choice but to oppose his behavior.As Chen describes trolling in his unmasking piece: “A troll exploits social dynamics like computer hackers exploit security loopholes, and Violentacrez calmly exploited the Reddit hive mind’s powerful outrage machine and free speech values at the same time.” If “troll” wasn’t the hot button word of the year, we’d be calling Brutsch’s digital binders of scantily clad or beaten women “performance art.”Whitney Phillips, a scholar studying Internet trolling culture, put it another way, calling trolls “cultural scavengers” that “engage in a process I describe as cultural digestion: They take in, regurgitate, and subsequently weaponize existing tropes and cultural sensitivities.” Trolls don’t engage in this sort of behavior alone or in a vacuum, Phillips said. Rather, they come out to play when they have a supportive “host culture.”  AKA: Reddit.Enabling Adolescent BehaviorThis is exactly what Brutsch meant when he told CNN’s Drew Griffin that Reddit “enabled” and “encouraged” his online behavior: “When two years ago, when all of this was at its height, the audience was appreciative, and supportive of the sort of gallows humor that I put out there.” When Brutsch, who is one year shy of 50, said he was catering to an audience of college kids, he means this both literally and figuratively. Brutsch’s fanbase isn’t necessarily college-aged, but the core Internet psyche is.Established sometime between late 1993 and 1999 through sites like Usenet and WebCrawler, and then reborn in 2003 with the creation of 4chan, the Internet psyche is skeptical, self-absorbed, sadistic and lazy – except when it comes to porn, cute animals, digital pranks and acts of Internet vigilantism. For various reasons, perhaps elated to being wealthy, white and privileged, users connected to this hive mind regularly post the most disturbing (re: misogynist, racist) content they can find. You might see this behavior as a way to compensate for, and feel alive in, their mundane real-world existences.    The infamous Usenet troll Ted Frank told Stryker in an interview for his book Epic Win For Anonymous: How 4chan’s Army Conquered The Web, that trolling served as “an educational tool for newcomers.” Modern trolling culture has evolved from its roots on Usenet, however, and Frank “insists” the trolling similarities between 4chan and Usenet are “an etymological coincidence.”  (In fact, the notion of trolling can be traced back even further than Usenet: Stryker describes comedian Andy Kaufman as one of the finest examples of a “pre-Internet troll,” and draws parallels with the “Greek prankster Pan, the Norse god Loki, and the conniving Native American Coyote.”)As the Internet goes mainstream and effectively kills the mantra “there are no girls on the Internet,” older generations, women and traditional media increasingly bump into this hive mind. Their presence will age and mature the digitial pysche just by being there, is the hope.  Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The 4Chan ConnectionMuch of Reddit’s young, trolling psyche comes from 4chan, specifically /b/, but 4chan has managed to stay out of headlines during this flame war. “I don’t understand why everyone was upset at jailbait, while 4chan continually posts bullshit across the internet and no one bats an eye,” wrote redditor he_cried_out_WTF in response to the Violentacrez controversy. “4chan is apparently the petulant child that everyone pretends doesn’t exist as it throws yet another vase on the floor.”Reddit (and 4chan) aren’t the only social news sites that regularly tap into the vase-throwing Internet psyche: Digg, 9gag, Fark, Something Awful, Encyclopedia Dramatica, Buzzfeed, The Daily Dot, Know Your Meme and the entire I Can Haz Cheezburger clan regularly regularly tune in. Even Erik Martin and fellow paid Reddit employees were guilty of listening to this psyche when they cried “free speech” and “privacy” as knee-jerk reactions, when they could have denounced the misogynistic and racist behavior Brutsch catered to.  Brutsch gave the community exactly what it wanted. In return, he heaped up “meaningless Internet points… It had a reward, like the monkey that pushes the button to get a food pellet, it’s addictive” said Brutsch on national television. “Why do people spend money playing [World of Warcraft], why do people play games like that to build up their meaningless stats?, [it’s] exactly the same as 800,000 karma on Reddit.”  Gamification, baby.Where Do The Rest Of Us Fit In?Our reaction, as both journalists and “respectable members of society” prove we’re not that different from Brutsch and the dark side of the Internet. We behaved trollishly when we celebrated his job loss, demanded he be imprisoned or burn in hell, and gleefully discussed how his life is now ruined forever. Our collective outrage – what trolls eat for breakfast – also earned us meaningless Internet points in the form of Facebook likes and Twitter RTs. Chen’s piece made White Knights of us all, but is that enough to fix all the societal ills Brutsch was pointing out with his “trolling?” And is a digital lynching really the way to go? We don’t accept this kind of treatment of criminals in the real world – our current justice system is not ruled by a mob mentality  – but Chen’s piece and the resulting digital lynching is generally viewed as an acceptable means of punishment online. Perhaps, though, the most ironic aspect of this journalist-sanctioned public trial and execution, is that it generated from well-known Reddit “trolls” themselves. last_img read more

Former Assam Cong. leaders join BJP

first_imgFormer Rajya Sabha member Santiuse Kujur and former Minister Gautam Roy joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday, less than 24 hours after quitting the Congress in Assam. Former Youth Congress president Hiranya Bhuyan joined them too. The three senior leaders joined the BJP at the State headquarters in Guwahati in the presence of Assam Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and State BJP president Ranjeet K. Dass.last_img

This Chandler startup wants to make the cloud personal

first_imgThe personal cloud tech startup will soon be shipping its first flagship product. Image Credit: Web Forum Blog Advertisement Chandler-based Eggcyte Inc. is looking to make the cloud personal.The personal cloud tech startup will soon be shipping its first flagship product: the Egg, which is a handheld, personal device that provides a private alternative to social media and cloud services. It allows the user to privately share, store and stream personal content including music, photos and videos, said Barry Solomon, Eggcyte’s co-founder and vice president of marketing and sales.We like to think we’re offering the very first device of its kind,” Solomon told me Wednesday by phone. “Our approach was to create a robust mobile device. Once you put your content on the Egg you can access it anywhere.”The Egg, which contains an Intel Atom processor, connects to Wi-Fi to allow the user to access their content through an app on their Apple or Android smartphone or through a web browser. – Advertisement – The device is more robust, smaller and consumes less power than a typical external hard drive, but Solomon added the Egg offers much more capability.Since each Egg has a unique URL, the user can invite friends, family and colleagues to have their own account on their personal Egg to privately share content and chat with them in their personal cloud.“The advantage is privacy and control. The content resides on the Egg, not on your phone,” Solomon said. “It’s more private than texting. We want to give people a truly private alternative to social media and cloud services.”When the user is disconnected from the Internet, they can take their Egg, and their downloaded content, on the road with them in the car, on a plane or camping.“The Egg acts like a portable media streamer off-the-grid,” Solomon said. “It doesn’t need to connect to Wi-Fi. It’s great on-the-go.”Also, because the Egg has a USB port in it, the user can move photos and videos onto it when they run out of space on their mobile device or camera.Ahead of the Egg’s launch, Eggcyte announced a partnership and undisclosed investment with luxury automaker Jaguar Land Rover. Solomon envisions the luxury car company selling an Egg with every vehicle so customers can bring their music and movies into the car with them.[related-posts]Eggcyte is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s Innovation Incubator program.Launched earlier this year, the program encourages and supports new software-based automotive technologies developed by U.S. technology startups, according to Matt Jones, head of future infotainment at Jaguar Land Rover.“As well as pioneering new ideas and developing our own technologies in-house, we are developing even more collaborative partnerships with the world’s leading technology businesses to help enhance the experiences our customers have in our vehicles,” Jones said in a statement.The partnership was announced Tuesday at the Connected Car Expo in Los Angeles.The Egg is available for pre-sale online now: $199 for 64 gigabytes of storage, $299 for 128 gigs and $399 for 256GB. It also has all-day battery life.While units will start shipping in the next two weeks, Eggcyte expects its Egg to be in retail stores within the next six to eight weeks, Solomon said.The 10-employee company, formed a year and a half ago, is a spin-off from Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC). Both Solomon and Eggcyte CEO and co-founder Thomas Martis are former mid-level Intel executives.Intel has a large presence in Chandler with more than 11,000 employees.[Business Journal]last_img read more