OCUK News Centre

National Lottery Age Could be Raised Following Ministerial Outcry

Culture minister Mims Davies may increase the legal age for buying a National Lottery scratchcard to 18.

Addressing the House of Commons on July 16, Davies said that raising the current age limit from 16 would help protect children.

Following a recent report by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), one in 20 children aged between 11 and 16 have played the National Lottery. Aiming to tackle this issue, Davies has launched a consultation.

National Lottery Splits House

The plan sparked backlash from certain ministers who believe action should be taken now but the Conservative MP wants to take a measured … Read more

FOBT Changes Hurt GVC But Online Innovations Pay Dividends

The fallout from changes to fixed odds betting terminals (FOBT) is finally starting to bite according to GVC Holdings.

Publishing its H1 post close trading update on July 17, the owner of Ladbrokes Coral said retail revenue was down 10 percent.

Although the report said the downswing was less severe than expected, the reduction of FOBT betting limits to £2 was the primary cause.

April Changes Bite

In support of its analysis, GVC reported that Q2 like-for-like retail revenue dropped by 19 percent.

Changes to class B2 betting terminals (aka FOBTs) came into force in April. In the weeks that … Read more

ASA Backs Sky Bet As Regulators See Beyond Anti-Gambling Hysteria

Sky Bet has notched up a win for the gaming industry by having a ruling against one of its adverts overturned.

In a July 10 update from the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), viewers learned that Request a Bet advert doesn’t contravene regulatory guidelines.

Stelling Wasn’t Selling Lies

The Sky Bet ad (see video below) was originally shown in August 2018. Promoting the operator’s Request a Bet service, presenter Jeff Stelling told viewers to use their knowledge of sports to build the perfect wager.

Forget anything can happen, in sport anything does happen. But could it be better? With Request a

Read more

Loot boxes are back in the media spotlight following a report by the BBC that details how children spent £550 on the in-game add-ons.

Published on July 9, the article doesn’t name the children but explains how they got caught up in an online spending spree.

Opening Pandora’s Loot Boxes

By authorising an £8 transaction on EA’s FIFA for the Nintendo Switch, Thomas Carter unwittingly opened Pandora’s box. Although the admits he didn’t protect his Nintendo account with a PIN number, Carter never expected his children to notch up a £550 bill.

With receipts going to an old email account, Read more

UK Gaming Industry to Welcome New Cross-Platform Trade Body

The UK gaming industry will wave goodbye to two long-standing trade associations but welcome a new one in the autumn.

News of a merger between the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) and the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) first broke in February.

Although no official statements were made, job adverts for a new trade body were posted online. Fast-forward to July 3 and the two bodies have confirmed they’ll be replaced later this year.

UK Gaming Evolution Calls for New Trade Body

Replacing the RGA and ABB will be the Betting and Gaming Council. An amalgamation of the two departing … Read more

MP Jeremy Wright Happy with £100 Million Problem Gambling Strategy

Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright has addressed the issue of problem gambling in Parliament.

Delivered on July 2, the statement centred on the responsible gaming provisions currently in place across the country.

His opening gambit focused on the gaming industry’s importance for the economy. Acknowledging the contributions operators make to the national coffers, Wright said a “healthy” industry was important.

Operators Working to Protect Consumers

However, to ensure problem gambling doesn’t become an epidemic, he said the industry needs to protect consumers.

We can all agree that it’s best to prevent harm before it

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12-year-old plans for a super casino in Blackpool have found their way back from the dead courtesy of MP Jake Berry.

Berry said reviving the plans would benefit the local economy and tie in with the Northern Powerhouse project.

Launched in 2010, Northern Powerhouse is an effort to boost economic growth in the North of England. In his role as Minster for the initiative, Berry believes a super casino in Blackpool would have a net positive impact.

Gamble Worth Taking

Although those calling for tighter controls on gambling may disagree, those in favour say a super casino would create jobs … Read more

William Hill Increases US Footprint with New Mexico Tribal Deal

William Hill is taking its brand of sports betting to New Mexico as its transatlantic expansion continues.

In a June 24 update, the British operator announced a deal with the Mescalero Apache Tribe. As part of the link-up, William Hill will install its preparatory sports betting technology inside the tribe’s Inn of the Mountain Gods casino.

The new provisions will be installed inside the casino’s Big Game Sports Bar and Apache Spirit Club. When they go live, patrons will have access to “innovative wagering technology,” including electronic kiosks and in-play betting.

William Hill Continues US Play

The deal is William … Read more

Problem Gambling Clinics for Children Part of New NHS Plan

The UK’s battle against problem gambling has taken another step forward thanks to the NHS and its new plan to help minors.

As per an announcement on June 24, a network of gambling clinics for children are to be set up.

Following a report by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) that classed 55,000 children as having a problem, the government has greenlighted 14 treatment centres.

Significant Step for Problem Gambling Efforts

Described as a “major turning point” by NHS England’s national director for mental health Claire Murdoch, the plans have been well received.

However, the UKGC has noted that many … Read more

Loot Boxes Are More Like Kinder Eggs than Gambling Says EA Boss

EA vice president of legal Kerry Hopkins has reignited the loot box debate after likening them to chocolate treats rather than a type of gambling.

Addressing UK MPs in Parliament, the video game executive said the add-ons were “ethical” and “fun” rather than a social concern.

Over the past two years, loot boxes have made the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Following a petition by one gamer, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) was called to investigate.

Loot Boxes Continue to Cause Debate

Reviewing the way loot boxes appear in video games, the regulator acknowledged that they blur the lines. … Read more