Press release

Bill to enhance protection for users of remote gambling services

Measures will reform the remote gambling regulatory system in Great Britain

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Draft legislation has been published today which will ensure greater protection measures for British based users of remote gambling services, which include online bingo, casino websites and telephone betting.

The Gambling (Licensing & Advertising) Bill will amend the Gambling Act 2005 so that remote gambling by consumers living in Britain is regulated on a point of consumption basis. Consequently, all operators selling into the British market, whether based here or abroad, will be required to hold a Gambling Commission licence to enable them to transact with British consumers and to advertise in Great Britain.

The new licensing arrangements will also mean that, for the first time, overseas based operators will be required to inform the Gambling Commission about suspicious betting patterns involving British customers, to help fight illegal activity and corruption in sports betting. Overseas based operators would also be required to pay and to contribute to research, education and treatment in relation to British problem gambling and regulatory costs.

Minister for Sport & Tourism, Hugh Robertson, said:

“These proposals will ensure that British consumers enjoy consistent standards of protection, regardless of where a gambling business is based, and will also help the fight against illegal activity and corruption in sports betting.”

Chairman of the Gambling Commission, Philip Graf said:

“We welcome the proposed changes as currently we regulate less than 20 percent of online gambling by British consumers and cannot insist on overseas operators providing us with information about suspicious sports betting transactions.”

The Bill will now undergo a period of pre-legislative scrutiny by the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee.  It is hoped that the Bill will be introduced in the third session, Parliamentary time allowing.

Notes to Editors

  1. Link to the Draft Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill (Pdf, 1.4mb)

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Published 3 December 2012