New and Strict Changes to Occur to Online Gambling in the United Kingdom

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UK Gambling Commission To Implement New Strategy

The UK Gambling Commission, which is the prime gambling regulating body in the United Kingdom, published a brand new strategy for enforcement. The new policy, as claimed by the UK commission is going to offer robust as well as efficient action against the companies that will not meet the obligations. The set of new policies that are in that new strategy includes bigger penalties for any breaches of licenses. It also includes having the prospect of reviewing the license itself in the case of persistent breaching of the rules. The Campaign has been advocating such approach to the UK Gambling Commission, but they were always denied, under the claim that such approach is not going to have the best effect, and that it is not the proper way of regulation.

For example, The Campaign once was in a meeting with the ex-Director of the Gambling Commission, Matthew Hill, and Commission told the Campaign that reviewing the licenses and giving out penalties and fines is not the productive approach. Instead, the plan should include working closely and together with the breaching operators, because all of them just want to do the right thing. The Gambling Commission further explained that sometimes the companies fall short, but they just require some assistance to make the right decision. The delusional and naïve perceptions that the Gambling Commission had regarding the gambling operators for the last decade only brought harm to the public.

The Gambling Commission first discussed this approach back in January of this year, during a briefing to the Guardian, and this means that the commission took almost half a year to finish the plan finally. While this could seem like a lot of time, but when compared to the fact that the commission has been promoting the growth of the gambling sector, rather than regulating it, it is quite a good pace.

The Gambling Commission Changed its Ideology?

The UK Gambling Commission seems to have changed the way it reviews gambling, and if that is true, and the commission’s thinking is changing, then the commission is now going to commit to higher transparency levels when it comes to the industry data. The recent drama on BBC, “Broken,” told the story of a FOBT machine addict that killed himself, which caused the smashing of many of the FOBT machines in retaliation. Although such story was fictional and was not based on a real event, according to statistics by a Gambling Commission director shows the destruction of one in six machines every year. Such action does not only relate crime to gambling, as it also shows the harmful effects of gambling. On the other hand, when the Campaign requested the data regarding the smashing of FOBT machines, the Gambling Commission stated that such data does not exist.

If the commission wants to dedicate itself to protect the public from the ill effects of the different gambling products, rather than ensuring and promoting the growth of the industry, then it should advise the UK government to lower the maximum bet that players can place on a FOBT machine to 2 pounds for each spin. The UK government is planning to give its response to the consultation in a few months in October, which is about the same time the Commission is due to give its advice.

It is not Only Harmful Effects as Crime is Involved

The adverse effects of gambling do not only include gambling and addiction, as money laundering and corruption are also a huge concern. At the beginning of this year, Sarah Harrison, the Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission warned the gambling operators about the upcoming tougher sanctions that would guarantee that money laundering is not involved in their activities. She also stated that the problem is that the leadership culture and that puts the monetary profit before the safety of the public and the compliance.

It is that culture itself that led the wagering operators to lobby against the inclusion of such companies in the new directive for money laundering. Such instruction was quite simple, as it only stated that any bets that are higher than 1500 per day are obligated to identify themselves. The Gambling Commission recognized the FOBT machines as having a high risk of laundering money, despite that fact, the Treasury made a decision to exempt the FOBT machines from such directive.  Therefore, it is time for the department of the government to start placing the safety of the public and its protection before the protection of the profits of the gambling operators.

UK Residents to Enjoy Real Money Gambling Apps through their Phones?

In related news, the global internet giant, Google confirmed that it is going to allow apps that include real money gambling. These apps are going to be available to players through the Android version of the Google Play App Store, and this is expected to happen later in 2017, which is going to mark the end of a self-imposed ban on the Android gambling apps that lasted for four years.

The UK Gambling firms, as well as Ireland and France, received emails confirming that they will be able to offer their gambling apps on the Google Play Market. Before such apps, they had to provide their mobile services through their websites or 3rd party firms.  The UK Manager Director of Degree 53, the Tech Company, Andrew Daniels also received such email. He then reported that the email stated that from August of 2017, Google is going to accept applications to offer gambling apps that will be available to UK, France, and Irish residents through the Play Store. Also, at a later, undefined date, the policy is going to change, and it might expand to include other countries and regions.

Daniels then added that the email also stated that upon the submission of the application, the developers would have to provide documentation for the apps, and this includes licenses for the region that they are targeting. Such process is going to be similar to the process that Apple carries out, but it is going to take a little longer so it can approve to ensure that everything is legal and correct.

On the other hand, the T&C for Google play did not change to reflect the change, and they still reflect the prohibition that started in 2013, which stated that they do not allow any services or content that facilitates internet gambling such as lotteries, online casinos or games of skill. Since Android has a fifty percent market share of Smartphones, the possibility of expansion for the gaming firm into this unexplored area of the market is self-evident.

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