UK Gaming Industry in the News — Weekly Round-up for February 01, 2019

By Brian Cullingworth, Last updated Feb 1, 2019

UK Strengthens Ties With Gibraltar

Sign MOU on gambling regulatory cooperation

Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and the UK Minister of Department of Culture, Media and Sport, Mimms Davies signed a memorandum of understanding Wednesday agreeing cooperation between the Gibraltar and UK gambling regulators.

Bet365 Owners Second Largest British Tax Payer

Inaugural Sunday Times Top 50 Tax Payer List reveals

The UK’s Sunday Times released its inaugural Top 50 Tax Payer List 2017/2018 revealing Stoke-based bet365’s owners Denise, Peter and John Coates as the second largest tax payers in Britain.

The Coates’ reportedly paid GBP 156 million in total taxes, including corporation, income and dividend taxes in the fiscal year 2017/2018.

Stephen Rubin, majority owner of JD Sports topped the list paying GBP 181.6 million and Dyson home appliance owner Sir James Dyson and family were listed in third.

“It’s hard to deny that the Panama Papers, Paradise Papers and other high-profile scandals have given the impression that none of Britain’s wealthy elite contribute a penny to our public finances but our inaugural Sunday Times Tax List shows which of the super-rich are contributing many of millions of pounds a year,”said Robert Watts, who compiles both the new Tax List and The Sunday Times Rich List.

“The Tax List also raises the question of how our country fills the gap if Brexit – or a more hostile political environment – encourages the super-rich to quit the UK for Monaco, Switzerland or other low-tax bolt holes,” Watts surmised.

UK Licensees Warned On Non-Disclosure Agreements

That prevent consumers from reporting to any authority

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has warned licensees on including non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in settlement agreements with consumers.

“Some of these agreements may have had the effect of preventing those consumers from reporting regulatory concerns to us, by either excluding disclosure to any third party or, in some cases, explicitly preventing customers from contacting the Gambling Commission.”

The UKGC said the the commonplace use of NDAs in certain commercial contexts can benefit both parties, however, operators must ensure:

That they do not result in consumers feeling they are unable to notify the Commission or other regulators or law enforcement agencies of conduct which might otherwise be reported.

That licensees notify the Commission of offences under the Gambling Act, including breaches of licence conditions or social responsibility codes of practice

That consumers do not refrain from reporting matters to the Commission because they anticipate a settlement which contains a condition that states they will not complain to the Commission

That those suffering gambling-related harm can freely discuss their gambling history with treatment providers.

“This statement provides a reminder of some of the key issues and risks of which licensees should be aware,” the UKGC said.

The complete list of requirements can be accessed here.

The UKGC is currently investigating a case involving Ladbrokes allegedly paying GBP 975 million to the victims of a high roller problem gambler. The man, who spent up to GBP 60,000 per day, used funds stolen from clients.

The Ladbrokes settlement agreement with the victims reportedly included a clause in which the victims agreed not to report the matter to “any regulator”.

The problem gambler, himself, reported the matter to the UKGC, saying: “I hope by me reporting this to the Gambling Commission that some of the victims rightfully get their full money back, but also that this shows them that the operator has no respect for their codes of practice.”

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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