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NetIDme Ltd: Age verification expert urges gaming websites to take new gambling act seriously; New Gambling Act comes into force on Saturday 1 September. All UK gaming sites must now carry out age verification checks
[August 31, 2007]

NetIDme Ltd: Age verification expert urges gaming websites to take new gambling act seriously; New Gambling Act comes into force on Saturday 1 September. All UK gaming sites must now carry out age verification checks


(M2 PressWIRE Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)
RDATE:01092007

Glasgow - A Scottish company - which launched the world's first online
ID cards for adults and children - has welcomed new legislation which
requires all UK-registered Internet gaming sites to implement age
verification checks for the first time.

NetIDme Ltd CEO Alex Hewitt said: "Gambling for under-18s is prohibited
in the UK but with the growth of Internet sites, children have been
able to find ways round the existing law.

"Now, with the Gambling Act 2005, all UK-registered gaming sites are
forced to adopt an age verification system and this ought to put an end
to underage gambling online in one fell swoop. We hope it will.

"The Internet is becoming an increasingly popular medium for gamblers,
whatever their age. There are hundreds of gambling sites on the
Internet and in the past children have only been required to tick a box
to verify they are over 18 or 21 on a number of sites. Thankfully those
days are now gone."

John Carr, one of the world's leading experts on child safety online,
went further and called for the UK's regulatory body, the Gambling
Commission, to clamp down on any rogue sites.

He said: "Ensuring that children are safe online is one of the biggest
challenges facing governments across the world today. Gambling can be
addictive and young people are less able to deal with addiction.

"The Gambling Commission needs to take a good close look at all
UK-registered sites and ensure that they are actually abiding by the
new legislation. They have had enough warning that the new laws were
coming. There really is no excuse."

And he also called for the Gambling Commission to explore the emerging
problem of pre-paid credit cards where children as young as 11 can use
a debit card to buy a card or pay cash to bypass age verification
checks and purchase goods meant for over-18s.

"The children's charities have been calling for better online age
verification systems for several years but the whole situation has
suddenly taken a turn for the worse with the emergence of pre-paid
credit cards. It allows anyone, to register themselves at any age they
want.

"Even more worrying, perhaps, is that these cards can allow anyone that
wishes to buy illegal products, for example child pornography or
illegal prescription drugs, to pay for them in ways which are now
completely untraceable."

NetIDme was launched in August 2006 by Glasgow businessman Alex Hewitt
after he was concerned over his daughter using instant messaging. He
was astonished to find that of the 150 people on his daughter's online
friends list she knew only 50.

The company provides identity verification and communication solutions
for online communities and ecommerce sites. A number of Blue Chip
companies are currently using NetIDme's age and identity verification
technology including four Fortune 100 companies.

The NetIDme service is currently available to companies and individuals
in the UK, Australia, Canada and the USA.

Notes for Editors:

Notes for Editors: NetIDme is the only digital identity verification
service that offers a secure solution for both adults and minors.
Internet users who are under 18 years old require their parent or
guardian's permission to sign-up to the NetIDme service. A form is sent
out to the parent or guardian's home address to be checked & signed.
Then, similar to a passport application, the user's information must
also be verified by a professional person who knows them well.

NetIDme now provides a range of digital ID verification & communication
tools for both online & offline businesses:

NetID Identify is an age and ID verification service for any business
that provide age-restricted goods or services online. NetID Identify
checks personal information against publicly held data, where 95 per
cent of UK adults can be verified instantly online.

NetID Authenticate provides a simple method for social networking sites
to provide a secure walled garden' community for their members. Where
social networking sites are aimed at under 18s, an offline verification
process is triggered - where a parent & a third party referee must
confirm the member's personal details.

NetID ChatSure is a web-based instant messaging (IM) service for
businesses. A recent survey by Gartner Inc. predicts that by 2013, IM
will be the primary communication tool used in 95 per cent of global
companies. ChatSure provides an additional layer of security, compared
to other business IM systems, as it directly links into the NetIDme
service, enabling users to be identified before sharing sensitive
business information.

The Gambling Commission's new Code of Practice states (point 4.4) "the
age verification provisions for remote gambling have also been amended
to convey more accurately that operators may carry out a
risk-assessment of each debit card or electronic payment method they
accept and ensure that suitable age verification checks are carried out
themselves, a third-party age verification company or the payment
provider..."

CONTACT: David Sawyer, Weber Shandwick
Tel: +44 (0)141 333 0557 / 07770 886923
e-mail: dsawyer@webershandwick.com

((M2 Communications Ltd disclaims all liability for information
provided within M2 PressWIRE. Data supplied by named party/parties.
Further information on M2 PressWIRE can be obtained at
http://www.presswire.net on the world wide web. Inquiries to
info@m2.com)).

Copyright 2007 M2 Communications Ltd.

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