UKGC Puts Kibosh on £500,000 House Raffle

UK betting laws have stopped a £500,000 house auction in its tracks after the Gambling Commission ruled the competition was akin to a lottery.

Despite informing the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) of their intention to raffle off their home, Robert and Avril Smith were recently told to stop accepting entries.

It had been the retired couple’s intention to hold a draw on January 4, with one person being selected to win their North Yorkshire home. However, just days left before the winner was due to be announced, the UKGC stepped in and told Mr and Mrs Smith that the competition … Read more

Rough Start to New Year for Playtech Following £25 Million Tax Bill

Gaming developer Playtech has started 2019 on the wrong foot following tax issues in two separate countries.

In an announcement made on January 2, the software provider for UK brands such as Bet365, Betfair and Paddy Power said it will pay the Israeli Tax Authority €28 million/£25 million. The unexpected bill is the result of a civil tax audit on Playtech’s activities in Israel between 2008 and 2017.

Hands Out After Arm’s Length Calculation

The decision to hit Playtech with an additional charge is due to transfer pricing adjustments. As it is in the UK, tax authorities have the right … Read more

UK Gaming Scandals in 2018: Stabbing, Gabbing, Cheating, and Stealing

From a stabbing outside one of London’s leading casinos to poker cheats and some unlawful online practices, 2018 has been yet another year of controversy for the UK gaming industry.

Knifed at Casino

In July, the country was rocked by another knife attack. With Londoners on high alert after a spate of similar incidents across the capital, tragedy struck outside of Leicester Square’s Empire Casino.

Although information on the attack was lacking at the time, it later emerged that the victim, David Downes, worked for the casino. Why he was attacked was unclear, but reports linked it to a wave … Read more

The fixed-odds betting terminal (FOBTs) debate turned from talk into direct action in 2018, following a long-running battle between both sides of the gaming divide.

FOBTs dominated the regulatory narrative as the new year dawned. With anti-gaming advocates calling for a complete ban on the high street betting terminals, Playtech chief executive Mor Weizer gave his take on the situation.

Despite Playtech itself being online-focused, Weizer said that drastic changes would simply move the goal posts.

I believe that if FOBTs would be impacted, self-service betting terminals (SSBTs), a similar machine for sporting results, would enjoy additional benefits,” Weizer

Read more

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