Regulatory Drama in 2018: UKGC and ASA Both Get Tough on British Gaming

It was another year of regulatory ructions in 2018 within the UK gaming industry, leading to some heavy fines for the country’s leading operators.

With the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) taking an aggressive stance on infractions of all types, even the biggest brands in the country have been forced to clean up their acts this year. However, despite repeated calls to offer safer and more responsible products, there were some that simply didn’t cut the mustard.

UKGC Hits Hard and Fast

Setting the tone in January, the UKGC put 17 casinos on alert. Prior to her departure, former UKGC … Read more

Ladbrokes Coral owner GVC Holdings will usher in 2019 with a new set of responsible gaming strategies following a recent partnership with EPIC Risk Management.

Making the announcement on December 19, GVC has entered into a multi-year agreement with the intention of training Group employees in three key areas:

Strategic advice, including how to best interact with customers showing signs of problem gambling.

Hosting workshops for high-risk populations as well as charitable organisations.

Delivery of face-to-face gambling awareness programmes to 12,000 children across 100 UK state schools.

GVC Raising Standards for All

Commenting on the partnership, GVC’s Director of Responsible … Read more

No Regrets for Crouch Following FOBT Fallout

A mid-air message about fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) triggered the fallout between Tracey Crouch and the government, but the former frontbencher doesn’t have any regrets.

Speaking to LBC Radio’s Iain Dale, the ex-Minister for Sport, Civil Society and Loneliness explained why she left her role after fighting so hard for change. During the December 18 interview, Crouch explained that she first saw the warning signs during a flight over the Atlantic.

Paying to use the plane’s Wi-Fi, the Conservative MP said she was instantly disappointed after reading reports that chancellor Philip Hammond had delayed the FOBT changes. Having played … Read more

BoyleSports to Gamble on UK Retail Sector Despite FOBT Changes

Leading Irish bookmaker BoyleSports is preparing to enter the UK retail betting market despite impending changes to fixed odds betting terminal (FOBT) regulations.

Following reports by local media outlets, BoyleSports confirmed that it was poised to make a bid for a rival operator’s chain of UK betting shops. At present, the company is ranked among the top three high street betting brands in Ireland.

Despite already having a presence in the UK via its online site, BoyleSports isn’t active on the streets of England, Wales or Scotland. In a bid to stay competitive, the Irish operator wants to have at … Read more

New Rules Call Time on Betting Adverts During Sports Broadcasts

The Industry Group for Responsible Gambling (IGRG) has confirmed that a whistle-to-whistle ban on betting adverts will come into effect next year following a meeting with UK operators.

In announcing the new advertising rules on December 13, the IGRG put to bed earlier rumours that changes were coming. First picked up by the BBC, initial reports suggested that all UK betting operators had agreed to a ban on adverts during sporting events before the 9pm watershed.

IGRG Confirms Betting Adverts Ban

RGA CEO Clive Hawkswood told iGaming Business on December 6 that the BBC had “got it wrong” and that … Read more

UK Bookmakers Unfreeze Odds on White Christmas as Artic Winds Blow

UK bookmakers are slashing their odds on a white Christmas after reports of an arctic blast sweeping the country hit the headlines.

The annual tradition of betting on a white Christmas has become something of a money-spinner for UK betting operators in recent years. Despite the eternal promise of snow on Christmas Day, early forecasts have often fallen short of expectations.

However, with the MET Office currently tracking the movements of a cold snap, UK bookmakers have started to adjust their betting lines ahead of the big day.

Arctic Chill to Warm-Up Betting Markets

According to the latest weather reports, … Read more

Barclays Promotes Responsible Gambling with Merchant Control Feature

Barclays bank has launched a new type of responsible gambling feature that will allow customers to manage their spending habits by restricting deposits to online gaming sites.

Currently applicable to debit card transactions, the new switch off feature is called merchant control and is available in the latest version of the Barclays mobile app. Although the update isn’t designed to target the gaming industry specifically, online and offline transactions to betting operators are named among the list of controllable industries.

Barclays Merchant Control will cover the following  areas:

Gambling

Premium-rate websites and phonelines

Restaurants, food outlets, pubs and bars

Petrol … Read more

Political Pressure Could Ban Betting Ads During Sporting Events

A whistle-to-whistle ban on betting adverts could be on the cards but the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) has stressed that it’s far from a done deal.

According to a report by the BBC, a new RGA proposal will see its members agree to not show adverts during live sporting events.

As per the December 6 article, the ban would exclude horse racing broadcasts but include all other sports. Additionally, the ban will prevent betting ads being shown during events that start before but end after the 9pm watershed.

Political Pressure Challenges Operators

In response to the BBC report, the RGA … Read more

GVC Holdings boss Kenneth Alexander has been caught in another pay row after the Investment Association (IA) warned 32 FTSE companies about potential shareholder revolts.

The trade body representing UK investment managers named Alexander as part of a 15-strong list of company chairman receiving so-called fat-cat pay cheques. At the heart of the recent warning from the IA is the GVC boss’s £18.4 million salary.

Pay Cut Doesn’t Cut It

Despite being £1.4 million less than he took home in 2016, the IA has said that Alexander and others on its list are ignoring the concerns of shareholders.

“While many

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UKGC Improves PFL Licencing Procedure to Help Raise Industry Standards

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is making it easier for industry professionals to apply for a personal functional licence (PFL) and, in the process, it’s aiming to make the industry safer.

Announced on December 3, the new system will see the online application process fall in line with the design used on the Gov.uk website. In reconfiguring the interface to match government application forms, the UKGC hopes to streamline the procedure and give applicates more support throughout.

Supporting this new application service will be an improved processing tool to be used by the Commission’s licensing staff that includes the introduction

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