The Uk is a true success story in the bid to legally regulate the online gambling industry. They have all the required controls and safeguards in place, and the system appears to be working very well. The industry experiences very few problems, although in the future, dual licensing will more than likely be required for offshore online gambling brands to have the right to operate to a UK- facing audience.
There are regulations in place which also have the effect of curtailing advertising activities, and only online gambling sites that are ‘White Listed’ are able to advertise in the UK. White listed sites in this business are deemed to be the websites licensed in agreed upon licensing jurisdictions, for example Malta, Gibraltar and Alderney to name but a few. By the same token, the Advertising Standards Authority also controls advertising activity, and gambling websites are taken to task with advertisements removed if they are deemed to be a bad influence on vulnerable members of society – for example children. They are also rapped over the knuckles for not taking enough care to avoid false advertising, and so on. These are the regulations which curtail advertising as being unacceptable.
The UK Govt. has now come under fire for allowing too much advertising for online gambling which is seen on TV and heard over the radio. MP Tessa Munt of the Liberal Democrats is calling for the Prime Minister to look into overzealous advertising campaigns from online gambling concerns. The current volume of adverts is under review by Ofcom which is the UK communications industry regulator.
This came about after MP Munt and Prime Minister David Cameron was requested to make sure that more protection is provided, so that consumers, children and other vulnerable people are sheltered from this entertainment activity. She believes that the timing is bad considering that people have £1.45 trillion of personal debt in the UK. The government is encouraging people to be more moderate in their behaviour at this time, so, online gambling activities are considered to be inappropriate.
The Prime Minister – David Cameron – has suggested that this issue is not only a matter for Ofcom to investigate. But that the quality as well as quantity was also raising concerns. He says it is a ‘question of responsibility’ and that online gambling businesses have to ask themselves if ‘whether they are behaving responsibly?’ He suggested they were “aggressive”. In response to this comment – Paddy Power – the Irish bookmaker and online bingo brand said that they believed their advertising to be ‘entertaining rather than aggressive’! However it has been noted that almost 36 hours of online casino and other gambling adverts takes place every week on British TV.
In the meantime the ASA (U.K. Advertizing Standards Authority) has given the thumbs up to the online gambling industry, for taking measures to decrease the number of complaints coming into the organization. They say that despite an increase in complaints, online gambling companies and their advertising teams are getting the picture.