Gambling (Licensing & Advertising) Bill - Nov 5th 2013

Richas

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The second reading of the Bill that will make all operators offering games to UK players have to have a UK license has its second reading tomorrow (5th Nov) at about 11:30/11:40 UK time.

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dunover

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Yes, and in conjunction with this the MP for Bath has asked questions in the HoC concerning limitations or a ban on FOBTs. He had proposed a slower less addictive turnaround on games, plus stake limits that prevent the feasible max bet of £100 every 20 seconds and limits on the number in each shop being reduced from 4. Each machine contributes 40k per annum profit and together they are responsible for 70% of the bookmakers' aggregate profits. The ban on non-UK based/taxpaying online gaming concerns advertising in the UK is definitely being imposed.
 

Richas

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Yes, and in conjunction with this the MP for Bath has asked questions in the HoC concerning limitations or a ban on FOBTs. He had proposed a slower less addictive turnaround on games, plus stake limits that prevent the feasible max bet of £100 every 20 seconds and limits on the number in each shop being reduced from 4. Each machine contributes 40k per annum profit and together they are responsible for 70% of the bookmakers' aggregate profits. The ban on non-UK based/taxpaying online gaming concerns advertising in the UK is definitely being imposed.

God how I hate that fake anti FOBT campaign. The bill is about remote gambling and all that Don Foster does is bang on and on and on about FOBTs, invariably with wrong information fed to him by a big Lib party donor who has also spent £500k campaigning against FOBTs.

Don the bill is not about FOBTs!!!!!

As for the anti FOBT campaign, don't get me started but the motives behind it are IMHO anti competitive, they want no casino content in bookies so that more go to casinos and play the game that the man campaigning against FOBTs invented (3CP). His hatred of FOBTs is born out of the makers refusing to pay him for his US patented game because games are not patentable in the EU or UK.

Do you have a link to the questions Don has asked?

PS the worst bit of "democracy" I witnessed this year was the Lib Dem conference where they had a sparsely attended anti FOBT debate and when they voted they held u their voting cards which all had a Stop The FOBTs logo on them!
 

dunover

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I had a read through your docs, very interesting, especially the poker scams of which I'd never heard of most! One section in your first doc concerned the failure of compensation/settlement covering players' accumulated reward/comp points but merely the cash balance or proportion thereof.
I would have thought that quite optimistic, given that even aside from disclaimers in T&C's whereby they are assigned no monetary value in the event of termination of accounts I can find no precedent of any regulatory bodies in areas outside of gambling where 'incentives' or rewards have been part of settlements in the event of insolvency or cessation of trading. If Tescos (albeit a dramatic example) went bust, there would be no obligation to honour clubcard points or the new or rescue business honouring them.
 

Richas

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The whole PM's question time session will be on Hansard online if I can dig it out, was also on TV news, in part, today.

Oh if it was PMQs that was Tom Watson last week not the Bath guy. They also had some questions to the new culture minister, a whole gaggle of them. I may have been a bit hasty slagging Don for polluting the remote gambling bill with FOBT nonsense.
 

dunover

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Oh if it was PMQs that was Tom Watson last week not the Bath guy. They also had some questions to the new culture minister, a whole gaggle of them. I may have been a bit hasty slagging Don for polluting the remote gambling bill with FOBT nonsense.

Yes, Tom Watson, who when voicing his concerns got the usual banal Cameron reply, with the usual glib caveats of "We don't want to restrict freedom to play but accept the need for responsibility" (paraphrased) basically saying everything but meaning nothing.
 

Richas

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I had a read through your docs, very interesting, especially the poker scams of which I'd never heard of most! One section in your first doc concerned the failure of compensation/settlement covering players' accumulated reward/comp points but merely the cash balance or proportion thereof.
I would have thought that quite optimistic, given that even aside from disclaimers in T&C's whereby they are assigned no monetary value in the event of termination of accounts I can find no precedent of any regulatory bodies in areas outside of gambling where 'incentives' or rewards have been part of settlements in the event of insolvency or cessation of trading. If Tescos (albeit a dramatic example) went bust, there would be no obligation to honour clubcard points or the new or rescue business honouring them.

The UKGC wording is clearly good for us it does include
“crystallised but as yet unpaid loyalty or other bonuses”.
all I was doing was stressing my support for their definition because as you hint operators are likely to want this taken out of the definition. (Q20 of the Player fund submission). It may be that you are right and in practice it would only apply to cash poker rakeback payments not points but I'm hopeful that the UKGC get that when Supernover Elite can be worth $100k on Stars it needs protecting. When the points can buy you a Porsche and they advertise that pretending they hav no value is a bit of a con.
 

Richas

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The Bill got its second reading today. There was not a single dissenting voice to the bill itself. It has full cross party support.

The maverick Phillip Davies who is a right wing tory, a bit like the Tory Dennis Skinner in his disdain for preferment and popular opinion (Shipley, with a tiny majority) was the most sceptical in pointing out that it is about tax but even he backed the bill, he just wants a lower tax bill.

Poker was mentioned just once, they were discussing the horse racing betting levy and one MP mentioned that online firms are less dependent upon horse racing bets and instead are more focused on poker and bingo. The way that this one mention was in a bit of discussion totally unrelated to the bill which has nothing to do with the horse racing betting levy tells you something about how ill informed the debate was.

The minister presenting it has been in the job just three weeks and the Labour shadow (my party fwiw) was pretty useless. He had a scattergun approach basically supporting the bill but then talking about all the things not in it, which seemed a bit silly to me.

I heard a lot a about Stoke the home of the sainted Bet365, the only firm not to rush off shore and listened to some terrible bloke about how Southend is wonderful and has 3 soon 4 of the 142 casinos in the UK and that casinos are great...a theme repeated by several, apparently casinos where they have table games and alcohol are great but bookies with no alcohol allowed are bad. Oh yeah and "machine shed" casinos would be bad too according to the minister.

The table game lobby got a free pass - well done Mr Derek Webb, mate of or at least very like Sheldon Adelson.

FOBTs and "B2" machines got many mentions, bizarrely as they are basically non remote machines offering games that work online but capped at a £500 prize and £100 stake, most have B3 slot games at £2 and £500 too but for some reason they would be bad in a casino but are fine in a bookmakers (the reason being the £500k spent on the anti FOBT (B2) campaign).

Cliffs: This bill is 100% certain, it is coming, at most there will be 1 or 2 votes against, even the Northern Irish parties backed it.

All sites taking UK customers will need a UK licence by Dec 2014, with transitional licenses available for those already serving UK customers from April 2014.
 

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