If you are interested in the gambling news in the UK, you can take a look at the news recap we are providing. These are the current major news in the UK gaming scene, providing the latest updates in the sports betting, esports, and responsible gambling sectors in the UK
UK Sportsbooks are Targeting Vulnerable Gamblers Using WhatsApp
Last week it became clear that UK sportsbook operators are resorting to the service of WhatsApp to track gamblers at high risk who are ignoring the ban of placing bets via the messaging application.
It has been reported that a large number of UK bookmakers have been offering their services to bettors who are using the application, which is a violation of WhatsApp’s current terms and conditions. The company has stated that no games of skills, lotteries, or other forms of gambling that involve real money wagers should be offered via WhatsApp.
Despite the ban of such activities, UK sportsbook operators have been spotted to offer their users the chance to place bets via the messaging app, once they have created their sports betting account.
A WhatsApp spokesperson denied the allegations, ensuring that the app does not allow gambling operators to provide any real-money betting services to WhatsApp users. In addition to that, the spokesperson clarified that app users can block any account they encounter in the app and even report the accounts they believe are not compliant with WhatsApp’s terms and conditions.
The manager and ADR official for ThePOGG.com, Duncan Garvie, shared that sportsbook operators are using the messaging app as a tool to avoid the self-exclusion system that has been implemented in the UK gambling scene. Gravie shared that gambling companies who are using WhatsApp to offer their services are targeting vulnerable gamblers, adding that local authorities should take this issue seriously and consider measures that will protect bettors who fall under the category of high risk.
Currently, there have been several self-exclusion measures that have been implemented by UK gambling companies. These schemes require bettors who cannot manage their gambling habits to exclude themselves from such activities. In order to do that, they are required to provide some personal information to be included in the exclusion list of UK gambling operators.
Despite the measures that have been taken to protect vulnerable gamblers, bets placed through WhatsApp are still used as a way to bypass the GamStop self-exclusion scheme. This puts high-risk bettors in situations that may cause more harm and lead to higher gambling addiction rates in the UK.
Genius Sports Files a Lawsuit Against Sports Data Rival Company
While Genius Sports and Sportradar have an ongoing dispute about the exclusive rights of providing sports data Premier League, the former has decided to file a lawsuit in the UK High Court against its rival data provider.
In May 2019, Football DataCo, which is Genius Sports’ subsidiary company, was granted the exclusive permission of supplying live data for events of the Premier League, English Football League (EFL), and Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL). The deal came into effect at the beginning of the 2019/2020 football season.
According to the agreement, BetGenius, which is the sports betting division of the company was permitted to collect live data from more than 4,000 UK football events and distribute the data to numerous bookmakers worldwide. Genius Sports also did not grant rival data scouts access to the games, showing no tolerance towards rival companies such as Sportradar.
In the lawsuit filed on 5 February, Genius Sports accused Sportradar of illegally collecting data on football fixtures across all three leagues mentioned above. Meanwhile, there has been an ongoing dispute between the two data-collecting companies, with Sportradar filing a lawsuit against Genius Sports back in March 2020. The former accused its rival of signing an anti-competitive agreement on obtaining the exclusive rights on providing the data for the three major leagues.
The outcome of both cases is yet to be decided, with judge Sir Peter Roth reporting that both of the lawsuits may progress to the High Court. With the sports data industry becoming highly competitive, more companies strive towards a bigger coverage of sporting events.
Entain Expands Responsible Gaming Partnerships to Include Esports and Video Gaming
The UK gambling giant Entain, expanded its responsible gambling partnerships and joined forces with several companies from the esports and video gaming fields. The newest partners of the major gambling company include the Counter-Strike Professional Players Association (CSPPA), Kindbridge, Rise Above the Disorder (RAD), as well as an extended partnership with EPIC Risk Management.
The main goal of the aforementioned four organizations is providing better education for vulnerable players and ensuring proper mental health support. The new partners of Entain will work internationally with both the company and its non-profit organization – the Entain Foundation.
The CSPPA is the international association for the professional players of the hugely popular video game Counter-Strike, which is often a part of many esports tournaments and other similar events. EPIC is an international consultancy that works towards minimizing the harm of gambling. It has already been working with Entain both internationally and in the US and thanks to the extended partnership, it will also focus on esports and video games.
The main goal of RAD is making mental health care accessible to anyone, including vulnerable gamblers and video game players. Meanwhile, Kindbridge is the first teletherapy company in the world that is mainly focusing on providing mental health support to gamblers and players worldwide.