News story

Increased protection for online gamblers

Bill reforms remote gambling regulations in Great Britain

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

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

The Gambling (Licensing & Advertising) Bill (Pdf, 1.4mb) will amend the Gambling Act 2005 so that remote gambling by consumers living in Britain is regulated at the point of consumption.

All operators selling into the British market will be required to hold a Gambling Commission licence to transact with British consumers and advertise in Great Britain - whether their operation is based here or abroad.

Support for problem gambling

For the first time, overseas based operators will be required to:
* inform the Gambling Commission about suspicious betting patterns involving British customers, helping fight illegal activity and corruption in sports betting
* pay and contribute to research, education and treatment relating to British problem gambling and regulatory costs

Fighting illegal activity and corruption

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 per cent of online gambling by British consumers and cannot insist on overseas operators providing us with information about suspicious sports betting transactions.”

Next steps

A period of pre-legislative scrutiny of the Bill by the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee will now begin, with an aim to introduce it in the third session of Parliament.

Further information

Published 6 December 2012