SEX 22 DE SETEMBRO DE 2017 - 04:58hs.
Witoldo Henrich Junior
OPINION-WITOLDO HENRICH JR, FOUNDING PARTNER OF ONLINE IPS’ BRAZIL

Safeguarding consumers in Brazil will not be optional (Hopefully)…

The UK Gambling Commission fined the online casino operator 888 a record 7.8 million pounds for failing to employ customer self-exclusion tools to prevent problem gambling. I have questions for my Brazilian colleagues who advocate the blanket prohibition (or non-regulation) of gambling in Brazil: Does Caixa or its many official lotteries have similar systems to protect players from themselves?

Safeguarding consumers in Brazil will not be optional (Hopefully)…

The UK Gambling Commission fined the online casino operator 888 a record 7.8 million pounds for failing to employ customer self-exclusion tools to prevent problem gambling.

As I have observed in previous papers and in my speech at the Brazilian Deputies Chamber, legitimate international gambling websites maintain protective systems for compulsive gamblers. One of these tools itself-exclusion; a simple procedure where the customer, identifying himself as a problem gambler, declares this to the operator, which in turn blocks his access.

888 failed in its system, allowing self-excluded customers to access the system. The resulting fines included reimbursement of all bets those players made during the examined period.

I have questions for my Brazilian colleagues who advocate the blanket prohibition (or non-regulation) of gambling in Brazil: Does Caixa Econôminca Federal (CEF) or its many official lotteries have similar systems to protect players from themselves? The answer is "No".

But for the sake of the discussion, let's assume that yes, CEF has a self-exclusion system. Who would penalize CEF if it fails? Who would pay the fines levied against a public bank?

Does Jogo do Bicho (the unregulated lottery known internationally as "animal game”) have a protective system like this? Illegal Bingos? Backdoor casinos?

Sara Harrison, CEO of the UK Commission, has said: "Safeguarding consumers is not optional.”

Here in Brazil so far, it seems to be optional.

Without fear of being repetitive, I say again: The only way to create and keep a healthy environment for gambling is to legalize, regulate and enforce the activity. Any other option is a deal with the Devil.

Witoldo Henrich Junior

 

Mr. Hendrich is a highly educated and seasoned business veteran based in Brazil, bringing essential experience to his position overseeing the regional business operations of Online IPS’ Brazil entity a  nd Latin American payment services initiatives. Mr. Hendrich holds Administrative and Law degrees, as well as post-graduate credentials in Business Negotiation, Contract Analysis and Tax Law. Mr. Hendrich founded and continues to operate Hendrich Advogados law firm in Rio de Janeiro, and formally advising local corporate and government entities and holds ongoing professorships and lecturing positions at select universities and legal institutions in Brazil.