During the previous week, the gambling industry in the UK saw some changes in the gambling license fees. Meanwhile, the public showed support for the full ban on gambling-related advertisements in the UK. Organisations hope that the revision of the 2005 Gambling Act will introduce changes in the gambling advertisement field and will reduce, if not fully ban, the number of gambling ads in the UK.
Last week, several UK gambling operators were reported to have won £1.3 million through bets of a gambling addict who stole the money he needed for his bets. The operators were criticised for not implementing the right measures to prevent the bettor from using stolen funds.
UK Government to Raise the Fees for Gambling Licenses on Both Online and Land-Based Casinos
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced that the fees for gambling licenses will be increased as of October 1. The decision for the raised licensing fees came as a result of the UK Gambling Commission’s consultation that was launched on January 29. The consultation was concerned with the funding of the regulatory body and the funds needed to cover the Commission’s costs.
According to the DCMS, the new licensing fees will help the regulatory body to continue to control the gambling industry in the UK in the upcoming years. As the industry is bound to evolve technologically and the consumers’ habits will change, the UK Gambling Commission will be ready to handle these changes and ensure better regulation of the gambling sector.
The DCMS noted the regulator’s need for better regulation of the high-risk gambling industry and improvement of its staff training. This is why the DCMS introduced several measures to help the commission to continue its work in the gambling sector in the UK.
As of October 1, 2021, operators applying for remote operating licenses will have to pay an annual fee which is going to be increased by 55%. In the meantime, the application fee for a UKGC license will also be raised by 60% from October 1. Other major changes include a 15% increase in the cost for non-remote operating licenses, which will be introduced by April 1, 2022. There will also be several changes in the fees scheme of the commission, with operators who apply for combined or multiple licenses having no right to use a discount. These adjustments will also be effective as of October 1, 2021.
Ban on Gambling Ads Sees Major Support from the UK Public
Organisations are calling for a total ban on gambling ads in the UK, with a survey showing great support from the majority of the public. According to the results from a survey of 12,000 people, most of the public showed full support of the total ban of gambling advertisements in the UK. Meanwhile, three-quarters of the respondents believed that the gambling restrictions in the country must be tightened.
The survey carried out by YouGov showed that 77% of the respondents are supporting the ban on gambling-related ads on the radio and TV stations before 9 pm. A similar number of people also approved of similar measures being imposed on gambling ads online and across different social media platforms. Only 14% of the surveyed people opposed such measures, showing a small opposition to the absolute ban on gambling ads in the UK.
Based on the results from the survey, the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) called for a decrease in the number of gambling ads on the radio, TV channels, and online. The organisation believes that such a measure should be introduced in the upcoming revision of the 2005 Gambling Act by the UK Government.
Gambling Operators Criticised for Their Negligence in Preventing Bets with Stolen Money
Major betting operators were found to have won £1.3 million thanks to bets placed by a gambling addict. Not only did these companies fail to recognise the problem gambling patterns of their customer, but it turned out the funds were stolen.
Last week, the Norwich court found Andy May, 44, guilty of fraud after he admitted to stealing funds to support his betting habits. May have been misappropriating funds from the clothing company where he worked as a senior executive and was earning an annual income of over £50,000.
It was reported that May has been placing bets, some of which exceeded £50,000, with betting operators like Betway, Betfair, and BoyleSports. Unfortunately, these operators did not perform thorough affordability checks and offered May incentives like free bets and invitations to competitions and other betting events. To support his online betting, May stole over £1.3 million from the clothing brand Sealskinz.
Despite making huge bets and losing big sums of money, May was not asked to provide proof of his income. Instead, some of the companies encouraged him to place more wagers by offering various incentives. May’s case showed that the three betting operators showed negligence in handling high-risk bettors and ensuring their customers can afford their bets.