Remote Gambling Operators Hit By Tough New Advertising Sanctions

Published on Monday 3rd November 2014, 9:50 am
Posted in: Casino Legal

Casino Legal

The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act came into effect on Saturday with tough new sanctions for remote gambling operators. Organisations providing or advertising remote gambling facilities in the UK will now require a Gambling Commission licence, regardless of where in the world those organisations are based.

It means that it is now an offence to provide or advertise facilities for remote gambling without a licence or fail to adhere to its conditions. A total of 170 applications for the new licences were submitted ahead of the 23rd October deadline, although it is unclear how many have been granted at this stage. However, news has emerged that there are some cases where the commission is yet to complete its review of the applications. These operators will be allowed to continue trading under a temporary license.

A spokesperson for the commission said, "All operators granted a continuation licence will have been told they have a continuation licence."

The full implications of the new law and how they affect UK operators have been laid out in a statement by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP).

"From 1 November 2014 only gambling operators licensed by the Gambling Commission will be permitted to advertise to consumers in Great Britain or provide them with remote gambling facilities."

"If a gambling operator is licensed, and the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) receives a complaint about one of their ads, then it would continue to assess the complaint made, provided the ad objected to falls within the scope of the CAP or BCAP Code. However, if it were to receive a complaint about an ad from an operator who is unlicensed, the ASA would simply refer the operator to the Gambling Commission, as they would be breaking the law."

"In order to demonstrate whether they’re licensed, operators should provide a link to their licensed status with the Gambling Commission on all pages that are used to access gambling services. The Commission’s register of licensed operators can also be accessed to ascertain whether the operator has a licence or not. The change will affect not only gambling operators but also those who carry advertising such as broadcasters, publishers and sports clubs,"

Among the operators already to have received a licence is the German-owned online gaming and sports betting company bet-at-home. The licence covers provision of online sports betting services and internet casino games in the UK from its operational base in Malta. A statement by the company said, “With the approved license sets another milestone in terms of legal certainty in the European Union.”

Further changes to licensing conditions are scheduled to come into effect early next year, although the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA), who failed in an appeal against the new law earlier in the year, have launched a fresh appeal against plans to introduce a 15% levy on remote gaming and betting activities for UK players.

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