There has been a lot of talk recently about how the United Kingdom Gambling Commission is looking to tighten up how secure and strict the gambling industry of the country is. Well, now a date has been set for certain sanctions to come into effect, and that date is October 31.
These new sanctions aim to target marketing violations relating to online casinos, sportsbooks, poker rooms and more. For example, the sanctions will come down hard on advertisements that disproportionately appeal to minors or that glamorise gambling activities. Operators of the online platforms will be held responsible for the majority of these issues, despite the fact that the creators of such advertisements will most likely be third party companies.
To add to this, operators will also need to improve compliance processes at their gambling sites. New guidelines for them to stick to impose an eight-week deadline, in which time all formal compliance issues should be resolved. Furthermore, extra restrictions will be imposed on operators who send too much spam marketing emails, with penalties being handed out for such offences.
The Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission, Neil McArthur said that the changes aim to protect consumers from being misled by irresponsible advertising and promotions. Furthermore, he went on to say that players will have the ability to “withdraw their money more easily”, making it quicker for companies to deal with complaints.
Breaches of these new guidelines have no boundaries, meaning that operators could incur unlimited fines.
A Long Time Coming?
The alterations to the way that the UK gambling scene operates have been a long time in the making. It wasn’t until a joint investigation in 2016, conducted by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), that discoveries were made about the industry regarding fair gaming.
The investigation came to an end the following year, with special enforcement action being taken on the part of the CMA. This took place against several of the country’s online gambling platforms, which were believed to have violated policy guidelines for advertising.
It saw some of the online world’s most-prominent operators, such as Ladbrokes and William Hill, commit themselves to increasing their compliance procedures. BGO Entertainment Limited also took the same path, although it wasn’t until after these companies received hefty fines from the UKGC that their commitment to changing their policies became a priority.
Yet, the Gambling Commission has received quite heavy criticism for the lax protection that online gamblers have received over the years and even now. For example, the Commission has taken the decision to delay the crackdown on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) and their maximum stakes until 2020. Most people believe that this is so that once the stake does reduce to a maximum of £2, the gaming revenues won’t be hit as hard.