UK Gaming Industry in the News — Weekly Round-up for January 18, 2019

UK DCMS To Probe Wagering On Credit

Review due on ID verification overhaul

UK Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) secretary of state Jeremy Wright is calling for a review on wagering on credit by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), local media reported over the weekend.

“We should also ask if it is right that people should be able to gamble on credit and this is an area that the Gambling Commission are going to look into,” Wright said.

The issue of credit card gambling has been swirling for some time with a Government review recommending a ban on the practice this time last year where the DCMS called for Ministers to introduce concrete measures.

GambleAware and Citizens’ Advice said at the time allowing gambling on credit “significantly increases the risk gamblers will gamble more than they can afford”.

In related news, the UKGC will introduce more stringent ID verification requirements to ensure self-excluded gamblers cannot bypass the system.

The UK’s MOSES and GAMSTOP self-exclusion schemes were under fire this past week following investigations by local media on how problem gamblers are able to bypass the system’s with relative ease.

UKGC Invites Participation In Responsible Gambling Strategy (Update)

In anticipation of new strategy cycle beginning April 1, 2019

As the UK’s current National Responsible Gambling Strategy comes to an end in March 2019 the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is inviting participation in a consultation that will form part of the development of a new national strategy to reduce gambling harms.

The consultation covers five proposed priority areas in which the UKGC seeks as many people and organisations to participate in “shaping the strategy and the arrangements needed to deliver it.”

In addition the commission will conduct a formal consultation under Section 24 of the Gambling Act 2005 on proposed amendments to the LCCP requirement on gambling businesses contribution to research, prevention and treatment, and associated arrangements needed to deliver the strategy.

“An amendment to LCCP is proposed to specify that licensees’ contributions under this provision are made to one or more organisations that are approved by the Commission,” the UKGC said. “This is intended to give clarity to gambling businesses on how they can ensure they are compliant.”

Consultation feedback can be accessed here.

UK Govt Opens Early Engagement For Fourth National Lottery License

Judging interest from potential suppliers

The UK Gambling Commission has published an early engagement notice in connection with the potential tender and award of the fourth UK National Lottery license currently held by Camelot.

“This means that a procurement idea is currently active, it is in the early stage of development and judging interest from potential suppliers,” the posting reads.

The Government believes the UK National Lottery has significant, untapped growth opportunities which are not being leveraged despite delivering GBP 6.9 billion in sales in 2018 and reporting 14 million player engagements per month.

Since the award of the third license, technology-based products and services continue to change rapidly, the early engagement reads.

“We want to explore opportunities for innovation and flexibility for the fourth licence and we want to ensure that the National Lottery is relevant and attractive to all parts of society, in line with our priorities and statutory duties.”

The early engagement notes that no decisions have been made on whether the tender would be for a single license or multiple licenses.

The UKGC is inviting expressions of interest from existing lottery operators, new entrants, businesses and investors interested in the National Lottery until January 31 2019 with more detailed discussions thereafter.

Further information about the Fourth National Lottery Licence Competition opportunity can be explored here.

Furore Brewing Over Drones In Horse Racing Industry

Allegedly monitoring UK racecourses

Unauthorised drones are in the news again, this time over UK horse racing courses.

According to various UK media reports, unauthorised drones have been reported to be flying over UK race courses and live-streaming footage of horse races to beat the average 3 second transmission time lag.

The UK’s largest racing group, Arena Racing Company (ARC), said it considers the unauthorised filming and broadcasting as theft.

The time lag is a controversial issue. As some point out the drone broadcasts would provide live betting advantages to punters but would disadvantage racecourses who hire out their unused hospitality suites to in-running punters at a four-figure annual fee.

“Whilst frustrating, if the operator is not breaking the law there is limited further action that can be taken at this time,” the Racecourse Association said.

The flying of drones in unauthorised air space is an issue that made headlines recently when drone sightings were reported over the UK’s Gatwick Airport late December necessitating a 3-day airport shut down that delayed over 1,000 flights and affected over 140,000 passengers.

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Brian Cullingworth

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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