UK Gambling Industry in the News — Weekly Round-up for December 08, 2017

Broadway Gaming To Pay Hefty Penalty Package To UKGC

For failure to include significant terms linked to promotional adverts

In an industry advisory Tuesday, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) detailed a GBP 100,000 penalty package agreed with Broadway Gaming Ltd for failing to include significant terms linked to promotional adverts found on five of the company’s operational gambling websites.

The UKGC’s investigation was initiated after the Advertising Standards Authority upheld a complaint regarding the company’s Butlers Bingo operation in June 2016 subsequently leading to the discovery of similar failings on Broadway Gaming’s Bingo Diamond, Casino of Dreams, Dotty Bingo and Rehab Bingo websites.

The adverts breached the Commission’s social responsibility codes which state adverts must comply with the UK Code of Non-broadcast Advertising and Direct & Promotional Marketing (CAP Code), and in particular, must state significant limitations and qualifications.

“We consider that this case provides valuable learning for remote and non-remote operators,” the UKGC said.

“Operators must ensure that they do not mislead consumers or more generally cause consumer confusion by using unclear and ambiguous terminology in the marketing and advertising of their products.

“Their marketing and advertising should comply with the requirements of BCAP/CAP codes and the Licence conditions and codes of practice.

“Operators should take a proactive approach in assessing marketing and advertising promotions to ensure consumers are fully informed about the nature of the products on offer.

Full details on the case can be read here: http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/PDF/public-statements/Broadway-statement-December-2017.pdf

UK Sports Minister Warns Gambling Industry Again

Tracey Crouch warns operators not to “push the boundaries” when it comes to advertising their services

Tracey Crouch, the UK minister responsible for Sport, Tourism and Heritage, used her address to Gambleaware’s fifth annual conference this week to again warn the gambling industry against “pushing the boundaries” on responsible advertising in the UK, claiming that such material was in general “very unpopular” with the public, and urging the industry to carefully consider the advertising content they are generating and its societal acceptability.

InfoPowa readers will recall that the industry narrowly escaped stricter advertising and marketing controls in the government’s recent triennial review.

The minister also cautioned the industry on its tepid response to a voluntary one percent contribution to responsible gaming charity Gambleaware, observing that the industry had now entered the “last chance saloon” before government started considering a mandatory statutory levy for this purpose.

The industry fell 20 percent short of its contributory target, Crouch noted, and this would not be allowed to continue.

Top Management Change Coming At UK Gambling Commission

Sarah Harrison leaves next year to take up a senior government position

The UK Gambling Commission is on the hunt for a new chief executive officer following current incumbent Sarah Harrison’s notification that she will be departing early in the New Year to take up a senior role with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Until her replacement is found, Neil McArthur, the Commission’s chief counsel and executive director, will occupy the hot seat from February 28 2018, when Harrison leaves.

Bill Moyes, chairman of the Commission said in a statement this week:

“The Gambling Commission has set an ambitious agenda and clear priorities for treating customers fairly and making play safer and our new three-year strategy embeds this approach for the future. Sarah’s impact has been significant in shaping this direction of travel. I and my Board colleagues wish Sarah every success for the future and look forward to continuing to work with her to deliver this agenda over the next few months.”

Harrison served two years as CEO and was the regulator’s second chief executive after replacing ten-year veteran Jenny Williams. She has proved to be an outspoken regulator who added fresh impetus to the consumer rights imperative.