UK parliamentary group suggests full ad ban

Published Jun 16, 2020
[3 mins read]
The United Kingdom may soon see the online gambling industry come under unprecedented pressure from the all-parliamentary group on gambling, led by Labour MP Carolyn Harris.
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According to a new report published on Monday, 50 MPs will now seek sterner measures on online gambling to guarantee the safety of players. These measures may lead to significant upheaval in the gambling industry, depriving firms of additional funding, as well as potential tax revenues for the government.

As per the proposed measures, a ban on TV and online gambling ads would be introduced. Next, the MPs want to see VIP schemes binned along with any inducements to bet or, in other words, all promotions.

There may be a £2 bet on online slot machines, like their land-based counterparts, the MPs have demanded. Another measure that could arrive is the introduction of independent affordability checks along with a new ombudsman who would assist the Gambling Commission in mediating and ruling in cases of conflict between gambling firms and consumers.

The report even wants regulators to now have a direct control over how different games are designed. If these measures are voted and enacted, this could spell a mass exodus of operators and companies from the United Kingdom, while players could look to less-regulated operations online.

The group has already succeeded in introducing FOBT restrictions and prompted a ban on credit cards. The argument has continued to say that VIP schemes generated the most losses amongst players and most revenue to casinos, but depriving casinos of this source of revenue might have adverse consequences to long term player safety.

A counter point that the same algorithms that help gambling firms to identify VIP customers could be used to help track vulnerable players and help them could also be spot on. Some middle ground could be achieved, but a full enactment of the above measures would be impossible as it would wipe off a major segment of a £13 billion industry in a heartbeat.

UK gambling firms, in the meantime, have been donating voluntarily to multiple causes and initiatives, and continue to uphold and comply with Gambling Commission standards. The regulator has also rattled sabres against the oncoming accusations from the parliamentary group that the watchdog had failed to ensure better consumer protection.

While re-regulation of online gambling in the United Kingdom seems imminent, there have been many alternative online casinos to try, which may benefit from players being forced against their will from regulated operations.

Casino gambling websites such as Bitcasino.io and BitStarz have operated outside of these licensed jurisdictions to date, catering to millions of players around the world who love to play with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. They have stayed in-line with local laws, but it’s likely that some players may try harder to reach remote operators if their usual casinos are forced out of business.

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CGN senior journalist 

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