UK – Gambling advertisements and the impact on responsible gaming

The UK Gambling Commission this week released its consultation document on gambling advertisements and the impact on responsible gaming.

With effect from 1 September 2007 the Gambling Act 2005 reforms virtually all of the existing statutory restrictions on the advertising of lawful gambling conducted in Great Britain.

There will be a statutory bar on the advertising of gambling which is located or regulated in jurisdictions outside of Britain, the EEA1 and Gibraltar. However, the Secretary of State has the power to make regulations, to be approved by Parliament, to allow advertising of foreign gambling operations in jurisdictions which demonstrate that a satisfactory regulatory regime is in place. The process of identifying these jurisdictions is known informally as ‘whitelisting’. The criteria for determining whitelist jurisdictions are being developed by DCMS and are to be published in the coming month.

The new initiative will mean that gambling jurisdictions outside Europe will have to apply to the UK if its companies wish to advertise their gambling services Culture secretary Tessa Jowell called the initiative a ‘key part’ of the Gambling Act, which was designed to strictly regulate gambling and to protect children and vulnerable people.

“The action we are taking on adverts will help protect online gamblers from crime and exploitation,” she said. “It will stop companies operating from poorly regulated countries attracting new customers in the UK. This is a global issue, which is why we have led an international debate on this. Securing international cooperation will lead to sites operating more responsibly and increase protection.”

Countries outside the EU and Gibraltar hoping to get on the new ‘white list’ must pass a number of criteria, which includes acting to protect children and vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited, keep out crime and ensuring that gambling is conducted fairly.

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