The gambling industry in the UK is waiting for the White Paper on gambling reforms to be published around June. Meanwhile, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) announced that Andrew Rhodes will take on the position of Chief Executive permanently.
As the gambling sector in the UK is about to implement drastic changes in its regulation, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) warned the government about the risks of enforcing mandatory spending limits. The warning came after the results of a recent survey showed that most British players would probably switch to the unregulated black market if they had to abide by certain limits on their betting amounts.
Before the White Paper on the 2005 Gambling Act reforms gets published, Premier League clubs started the shift to non-gambling partnerships. Last week, Crystal Palace became the first Premier League club that signed a deal with a new partner, severing its ties with its previous sponsor – W88.
Andrew Rhodes Becomes Permanent Chief Executive of UKGC
Last week, the UKGC announced that Andrew Rhodes, who has been appointed as an Interim Chief Executive of the regulatory body, will permanently take on the role of leading the UK’s gambling regulator.
Andrew was appointed to this position back in June of last year, with the initial plan being for Rhodes to take on the role of Chief Executive for only 18 months. Prior to heading the UKGC, Rhodes had extensive experience working in both the private and public sectors, being in senior positions at institutions such as Swansea University, the Department for Work and Pensions, the Food Standards Agency, as well as the DVLA.
Following his impressive achievements during the first months as Chief Executive of the UKGC, the UK media chose Rhodes as a preferred candidate to head the Gambling Commission.
Rhodes took on the position of Interim Chief Executive as the Gambling Commission was working on providing data that would help the government in finishing the white paper on the 2005 Gambling Act review. In his role of governing the regulator body, Rhodes also witnessed the process of choosing the winner of the Fourth National Lottery Licence Competition.
Rhodes and Marcus Boyle, who was assigned as the Commission’s Chairman last September, form the new duo that is determined to govern the UK regulator body as the gambling industry in the UK is going through significant regulatory changes.
In its official statement about Rhodes taking the position of Permanent Chief Executive, the UKGC ensured that Rhodes will continue working on his stakeholder engagement programme. That means that he will work closely with consumers, industry representatives, parliament members, and people with lived experience.
BGC Warns About Numerous UK Gamblers Switching to Unlicensed Operators if Mandatory Spending Limits are Implemented
A recent survey conducted by YouGov revealed that 65% of UK bettors believe many gamblers will switch to betting at unregulated and unlicensed operators if mandatory limits on betting amounts are implemented. The same study also revealed that more than half of the respondents believe the government should not impose limits on the amounts punters can wager.
Considering the results of the survey, the BGC warned the government about the potential risk of forcing UK bettors to choose the black market if there are mandatory spending limits. While the organisation is against implementing compulsory limits on all punters, it supports introducing obligatory betting limits for consumers who show problem gambling habits.
Chief Executive for the BGC said that the organisation is supporting the review of the Gambling Act as the gambling industry in the UK must be properly regulated, fitting the latest innovations in the sector and reducing gambling harms. However, the BGC does not agree with implementing the same regulation for the entire community of 22.5 million punters in the UK who enjoy placing a wager once in a while.
Crystal Palace Becomes the First Premier League Club to Change Main Sponsor
As the publishing date of the White Paper on gambling reforms in the UK is getting near, sports clubs are starting to drop off their sponsorships with gambling companies. Since it was speculated that one of the reforms in the Gambling Act will ban sporting clubs from signing sponsorships with gambling companies, Premier League clubs started changing their sponsors even before the White Paper gets published.
Last week, Crystal Palace became the first Premier League football club to change its main sponsor from a gambling company to a car marketplace business. The previous shirt deal of the club was with the gambling operator W88 and was estimated to be worth £6.5 million per year. The brand new sponsor of Crystal Palace is the car insurance firm, Cinch, whose logo will be seen on the men’s and women’s shirts.
The official training wear of Crystal Palace will also be sponsored by Cinch, which will give the car insurance business major exposure across all of the academy teams of the club. Crystal Palace will most likely be soon followed by other Premier League clubs which will also switch to non-gambling sponsorships as the upcoming regulatory reforms will most likely put an end to agreements between sporting clubs in the UK and gambling businesses.