Attention turns to the UK Gambling Commission, as last week Executive Director for Policy Development Tim Miller announced that the regulator was ready to publish its first series of Gambling Review Consultations.
As such the UKGC is expected to publish four consultations on regulatory outcomes related to age verification, remote games design, direct marketing and cross-selling, and financial risk and vulnerability checks.
The publishing of the White Paper’s consultations will mark the end of the purgatory UK gambling has been sentenced under its review.
Yet, for the Commission’s concerns and scepticism remain on its long-term strategy, enforcement powers and handling of key issues and stakeholders.
Joining James Ross on the latest episode of iGaming Daily, sponsored by SBC Summit Barcelona, to discuss the latest White Paper developments is Andrew McCarron, Managing Director at SBC.
Additionally, SBC News Senior Journalist Jessie Sale joins later on in the podcast live from iGB Live in Amsterdam, to give her live report from day one of the affiliate conference at the RAI.
Kicking off the discussion, James Ross, Multimedia Editor at SBC, addresses the latest developments from Miller’s Blog.
McCarron vividly depicted the much-anticipated publication of the white paper using a football analogy, likening it to a “hospital pass” whereby possession is aimlessly ceded to the opposition, suggesting that the Gambling Commission had its work cut out with the timings of the publication.
McCarron proceeds to discuss the financial risk checks related to age verification and the restrictions in gameplay.
“It’s quite a new approach for the gambling industry in comparison to the UK, as they have a lower limit for those under 25. What makes it unusual is that gambling products of some level are available to play from birth, essentially. For the first time, there’s an age limit for ages over 18.
“People age in different ways, so while some 25-year-olds may be as mature as 16-year-olds, there are 16-year-olds who are more like 30 in their approach to different things. It will be interesting to see the kind of pushback that arises from this.”
McCarron then discusses the controversy surrounding financial risks and vulnerability checks.
“There was a light touch financial well-being check used for people who spend a significant amount over a month. For example, if someone bought an issue of the Racing Post every single day for a month, which is the main b2c gambling title for horse racing, they would actually exceed the threshold for the next check. However, some people were upset with the lighter touch and they will try to make their mark and potentially tighten up the original suggestions.”
Ross and McCarron wrapped up the conversation by speaking about white label providers, and Premier League sponsorships.
“The Asian facing brands that you see on a lot of Premier League shirts – they’re all white labels, most of them tend to be from the same white label provider on the Isle of Man but they need that UK licence to be allowed to advertise in the UK even though they are advertising that they’re not interested in UK players. So the cheap way of them doing it is to get one of these white label deals which then gives them a licence to advertise on the shirts.
“There was a push, certainly when Tom Watson was the Deputy Head of the Labour Party, which was the opposition party to ban white labels completely. That has been completely softened now that the controversy around those, shared sponsorship aside, has somewhat disappeared.
“These licensees who supply the white labels deals, they should do more due diligence with who they are working with, and be more aware of their marketing activity because the buck stops with them.”