OCUK News Centre

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) had its hands full in 2017, while two of the country’s top online operators made a splash via betting odds.

As part of its mission to make Britain’s online gaming market the best in the world, the UKGC cast its regulatory net far and wide this year.

In addition to handing out fines to operators for failing to offer adequate consumer protections, the agency was pushed to consider the issue of loot boxes in computer games.

UKGC Expands Its Remit

With traditional computer gaming and betting sharing an increasing number of bonds, the UKGC found … Read more

From legal changes and a football fallout to a high stakes robbery involving a toy gun, the UK gambling industry faced many challenges in  2017.

The year started well for the horseracing industry, but not so much for online operators, thanks to a government-backed funding scheme. Initially announced in January, the new 10 percent racing levy was finally given the green light by the European Commission in April.

New Levy Divides Opinion

Despite a long battle between operators and the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), the new tax was brought into effect and hailed as an “important day” by the BHA’s … Read more

Schedule Set for Irish Open 2018

The Irish Open 2018 is set and that means someone of world’s top players will be heading to Dublin for Europe’s oldest poker festival.

Since the first ever Irish Open was played in 1981, the tournament has grown to become an international spectacle and, in 2018, the €1 million/£880,000 guaranteed main event will return.

Taking up residence inside Dublin’s Citywest Hotel, the latest incarnation of the Irish Open will feature a full roster of side events, cash games and extracurricular activities.

New Owners Brings New Success

Since Paul O’Reilly and JP McCann took charge of the festival, the number of … Read more

Will the UK Join Belgium In Classifying Loot Boxes as a Form of Gambling?

Loot boxes have been classed as a form of gambling by the Belgium government according to local news source VTM.

After launching an investigation in mid-November, the Belgian Gaming Commission has concluded that mystery boxes in games such as Star Wars: Battlefront II aren’t simply an in-game extra.

The ruling could prove significant for UK gamers as the Belgian authority’s review was triggered, in part, by Conor Rhys Deeley.

UK Petition Helps Spark Belgian Investigation

After raising the question on Reddit, Deeley launched an online petition calling for the UK government to consider the status of loot boxes.

In … Read more

European Gaming Commissions to Investigate Star Wars Battlefront 2

Star Wars Battlefront 2 is the talk of the gaming world, but the new release has also aroused the interest of gaming commissions across Europe.

The issue of loot boxes in popular video games such as Overwatch came to the fore in October after concerned gamer Conor Rhys Deeley submitted a petition to the UK government.

At the heart of Deeley’s petition was the concern that loot boxes are essentially a form of gambling.

UK Petition Sparks European Investigations

At the time of writing, the online petition has received more than 15,000 digital signatures, but the issue could be moved … Read more

Adebayo Akinfenwa Claims He’ll Sleep Rio Ferdinand in a Boxing Bout

Betfair’s mission to turn Rio Ferdinand into a professional boxer has drawn some attention from a 16-stone footballer known as the Beast.

Although Ferdinand and Adebayo Akinfenwa rarely crossed paths on the pitch when the former was an active player, they could end up meeting in the ring as part of Betfair’s defender to contender challenge.

When the online betting operator first announced its deal Ferdinand back in September, it did so with the intention of helping the ex-footballer take on a pro-level boxer.

Footballers Could Collide in the Ring

However, with Ferdinand deep into his new training regime, it … Read more

Controversy and Conor McGregor Help Paddy Power’s Online Sportsbook  

The August 26 showdown between Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather helped Paddy Power Betfair negate a poor summer of sports betting activity.

Reporting on 2017’s third quarter earnings, the parent company of Paddy Power noted a 9 percent increase in revenue to £440 million. This upswing resulted in a 7 percent jump in profit to £121 million in the three months to September 30.

A Slow Summer of Sport

However, while earnings for the group as a whole was up, online revenue dropped by 3 percent. Due to a lack of major football tournaments over the summer months, Paddy Power Read more

Snooker World Champion Stuart Bingham Banned for Betting

Former snooker World Champion Stuart Bingham has been suspended from the sport for staking more than £36,000 on matches.

Following a review of the 2015 World Champion’s betting accounts, the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) has suspended the pro for six months. Although half of the ban will be suspended until October 2018, Bingham will miss the UK Championship at York in November and the Masters in London at the start of the New Year.

Bingham Raises the Stakes

In addition to his suspension, the world number nine must pay £20,000 in costs. According to the chairman of … Read more

UK Gambling Adverts Spark Social Responsibility Debate

The way UK gambling sites advertise their services has come under fire following a recent report aired on the Victoria Derbyshire show.

Investigating the prevalence of gambling related adverts on UK TV, reporters for the BBC Two show found that 95 percent of breaks during live football matches contained at least one betting ad.

Although advertising laws state that gambling promos can only be shown after the 21:00 watershed, there are exceptions when it comes to live sporting events.

Gambling Ads Stacking Up

In addition to the headline stat, the report analysed the ad breaks before, during and after 25 … Read more

Ladbrokes’ Scores an Own Goal with Burnley FC Betting Blunder

Ladbrokes’ social media team was forced to issue a public apology to Burnley FC and its fans after scoring an own goal on Twitter.

Despite UK betting operators often having some fun with their social media accounts, Ladbrokes’ recent critique of Burnley’s loss to Leeds United came at the expense of its business partner.

A Rocky Start to a New Relationship

Burnley announced Ladbrokes as its official betting partner back in August 2017. As part of the deal, the two companies agreed to share promotional resources and create “new experiences for fans” according to the club’s Commercial Director, Anthony Fairclough.… Read more