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Play by the Rules / Liran Bassa – Compliance and Regulation Manager at Aspire Global

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Every game has its rules, and to ensure a level playing field, all competitors need to abide by them.

In the real world, however, the rules are more complex and don’t remain static for long. Ensuring proper compliance, and being fully aligned with different regulators’ standards in order to improve UI/UX are significant efforts, however, like in the words of former President of the Supreme Court, rights cost money.

I joined Aspire Global in 2016, after years in the field of commercial law. Having looked after the interests of corporations for so long, ASG offered me the chance to take care of individual players, which was very appealing for me. The position also offered me unique opportunities for professional development. Since the company has commited to regulatory excellence, I got the chance to make a real impact on the growth of our partners, explore new and unfamiliar fields and to be the official authority on behalf of Aspire Global.

Operators’ strategies are often determined by the prevailing regulatory climates of different jurisdictions and it’s very satisfying to be at the heart of these decision-making processes.

From the day I joined the company, I set about protecting the integrity of the brands we represent, while ensuring adherence to responsible gambling guidelines and detailed regulatory requirements. Like any company, we are constantly learning how to improve our methods, so as to achieve best practice in all markets.

Most importantly, I dedicated myself to ensuring that our players are fully protected, and put them at the heart of all our business decisions. To achieve this, our approach is to show all our cards to our clients, providing them with the relevant information about our processes so that we’re on the same page at every stage.

In the gaming industry, regulations are altered and updated at a dizzying pace: keeping up with the requirements of any licensing authority is a challenging endeavor, and is widely recognized as such within the legal profession.

Staying up to speed is, however, absolutely essential in order to ensure the safety of players and their funds. Exploitative and malicious gaming companies do exist, and the reputation of the industry as a whole could suffer if, through lackluster regulation, they are allowed to prosper unchecked.

Implementation is key

The trust that a player places in an online casino is something every supplier or operator must take extremely seriously. He or she is handing over personal information as well as their hard-earned money, and so we must accept responsibility for data protection in addition to complete probity.

But iGaming is not only a financial proposition – it’s a cherished leisure activity which must be respected in its own right, exactly as the proprietors of a brick-and-mortar casino do everything possible to provide their guests with an elegant and enjoyable all-round experience. Without the mutual respect created by proper regulatory compliance, that experience would not be nearly so rewarding.

We believe that our players have a right to the same transparency that we offer our clients, but as aforementioned, ensuring proper compliance is a costly and exhausting undertaking.

Aspire Global understands that investing in the knowledge to implement the requirements of various regulatory jurisdictions will pay long-term dividends, both in terms of player loyalty and value, and in the avoidance of any future penalties for non-compliance.

My motto is always to ‘be compliant’, and since my first day at Aspire Global, I have worked diligently to ensure that we implement this as thoroughly as possible. Compliance, far from slowing down or hindering the functioning of an organization, supports success. The top companies in the industry are those which maintain the highest regulatory standards, rather than those who try to look for shortcuts or loopholes, since their reputation amongst players and their standing with regulators can only be enhanced.

How Aspire Global Stays Day-to-Day Compliant

The compliance literature is vast, but the most salient issues tend to be covered on specialist compliance websites. I check these on a daily basis in order to get an initial ‘heads-up’ on anything that may require our attention over the coming months.

Senior management takes a strong interest in compliance, and briefing them on expected or actual developments is an important part of my role.

I interface constantly with our marketing department to ensure that all customer-facing materials are crystal-clear and completely transparent. Nothing that could potentially mislead our players makes it through my net, and I review all advertisements from every perspective before they go live.

We see the business in terms of a series of ongoing conversations, and take a highly proactive approach to interacting with regulators, while also keeping an ear to the ground by listening carefully to our users’ feedback.

Our relationships with the various regulators is both dynamic and collaborative. We regard them as our partners, not our adversaries, in ensuring the good name of the industry and the protection of its players. We therefore join frequent consultative processes, forming close working relationships with legal advisers and trade bodies, as well as regulators.

This process also enables Aspire Global to stay abreast of changes to regulatory environments affecting the company and its clients. We want to be involved in every consultation published by the regulators, so that they will take into account the industry’s perspectives as well as the interests of players.

We also make sure to report to the regulators any incidents relevant to compliance issues, and are always assessing additional measures which could be implemented in order to strengthen reporting protocols.

Legal consultants of the highest caliber are retained in every jurisdiction in which we operate, to provide local insights into compliance at both the B2B and B2C levels. Together, playing by the rules, we can make gaming a better industry for all.