The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has pulled up a number of casino and betting operators in the last 12 months and imposed strict fines on them for failing to properly comply with gaming regulations.
Most of these infringements and fines are related to not complying with the advertising regulations and consumer laws. The gambling watchdog launched a crackdown on gaming operators after stats showed that there was a massive increase in problem gambling numbers throughout the United Kingdom.
The stiff penalties issued by the gambling watchdog has not sent a strong enough message to the industry as recent reports showed that during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Brits were subjected to over 90 minutes of gambling advertisements and minors were also targeted with messages to gamble.
The UKGC has now been given the authority to impose unlimited fines on gaming operators who promote advertisements targeting minors or making fancy and untrue claims about their gambling offerings. The UKGC will be able to impose unlimited fines starting October 1, 2018 and will give gaming operators August and September to sort out their marketing and promotional materials.
Consumer Complaints Will Be Taken More Seriously
Anti-gambling campaigners have heaped criticism on the ruling government stating that they were not doing enough to protect children from harmful gambling advertisements. They also called on legislators to pass more stringent laws that will curtail the freedom of gaming operators in an effort to reduce problem gambling numbers in the country.
In a statement, Neil McArthur, the chief executive of the Gambling Commission said
These changes will protect consumers from irresponsible advertising and misleading promotions, ensure that consumers can withdraw their money more easily and will mean that consumer complaints are dealt with more swiftly
One of the major decisions made by the government was to reduce the maximum bet on Fixed Odd Betting Terminals (FOBTs) earlier this year. The maximum bet was reduced from £100 to £2 in what was deemed to be a massive blow to the betting industry as FOBT operators tend to make more than 50 percent of their profits from these machines.
The law was initially expected to be rolled out in 2019 but lawmakers decided to hold off for another couple of years much to the dismay of anti-gambling campaigners. This latest move to give the UKGC the power to impose unlimited fines should go down well with anti-gambling campaigners and warn gaming operators that the watchdog means serious business.