At the beginning of the new year, the UK government, as well as the regulatory bodies within the country, continued to take the proper measures to ensure a safe environment for players. Last week, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) issued a warning to William Hill as it was not accurate with the Covid-19 related data it has recently published.
Other news from the gambling industry was concerned with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) dismissing complaints about a Youtuber advertising 888poker to his fairly younger audience.
Last week, it also became clear that Andrew Rhodes will permanently take on the position of head of the UKGC. After he vowed to bring down companies that do not follow the UKGC guidelines and rules, Rhodes received the government’s approval and is set to take on a more permanent role in the regulator’s work.
William Hill Ordered to Update Its Covid-19 Data
While William Hill may be waiting for the finalization of the purchase of its European assets, the company may have forgotten about some of its responsibilities. At the beginning of the new year, the operator was warned by the UKGC about the inaccurate Covid-19 data that was submitted to the regulator.
On December 13th, the UKGC published its findings on William Hill’s “incorrect data points”. According to The Guardian, the inaccurate information covered the period of 16 months between March 2020 and September 2021. Following its update, the UKGC ensured that it will revise its data and will publish a new report with updated information by February.
The data that the regulatory body collects from companies expresses about 80% of the gambling industry in the UK, contributing to the statistics during the global pandemic. The data that is gathered thanks to such statistical bulletins is very useful in the field of health workers, noting the impact of problem gambling on people’s health.
It is unlikely that William Hill will have its license suspended or revoked by the UKGC. The brand, however, may need to pay a financial settlement as this is not the first time William Hill is ignoring the rules imposed by the UK gambling regulator.
Two Complaints About 888 Ads Dismissed by ASA
Recently, the ASA has received complaints about videos by the YouTuber Callum Airey who was advertising some of 888’s products. Those complaints, however, were dismissed by the ASA as it believed there was no breach of any regulations.
The YouTuber who is better known as Calfreezy was advertising the 888poker app in his videos that were uploaded back in August 2021. There were two complaints about the content creator targeting a rather young audience when promoting the gambling products since the majority of his viewers were young people under the age of 18.
In a response to the complaints, 888 ensured that the two videos were a part of a paid sponsorship with Airey, with the brand having editorial control over the content in the said videos. The brand also noted that initially one of the videos was not properly labelled as an ad but Airey did make the needed changes to be fully transparent with his audience about advertising the 888 app. According to the company, as much as 75% of Airey’s following was of people who are over the age of 18.
As the ASA did not find any violation of the CAP Code rule 16.1 and 16.312, it decided to dismiss the two complaints about the 888 ads.
Andrew Rhodes to Take On Permanent Role in the UKGC
The new year started with news about Andrew Rhodes taking on his position as the UKGC boss on a permanent basis. After Rhodes vowed to put an end to the criminal activities among gambling companies in the UK, he received the government’s approval. Rhodes was appointed as the chief executive of the regulatory body in June 2021, following the departure of Neil McArthur.
In a speech last month, Rhodes showed his determination for stricter regulations by ensuring that the UKGC will take serious actions against companies that are not compliant with the regulations imposed by the licensing body. Despite the warnings that stringent regulations may force players to switch to unregulated markets, Rhodes noted that ensuring a properly regulated market is the whole purpose of the UKGC.
The intentions of Rhodes won the approval of both the UKGC and the government. As he is about to take on his position permanently, Rhodes will also be a part of the upcoming review of the Gambling Act and will witness the decision for the new license holder of the national lottery licence.