Published On: Tue, Jan 30th, 2018

Gambling Commission Trying to Get More Power to Fine Firms for Advertising Violations

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The gambling regulatory body is attempting to get greater authority to fine bookies for violating advertising regulations. This is part of a scheme that is aimed at bettering consumer protection.


The Gambling Commission is seeking additional powers as it wants to improve advertising standards throughout the industry. There is hope that the possibility of a fine might force companies to behave with greater responsibility.


At present, gambling promotion is a very prominent issue and there is a lot of focus on the increasing number of popular football teams that have some kind of sponsorship association with the bookmaking industry. Another concern related to the industry is that young people are being increasingly exposed to all kinds of gambling advertising.


Alongside the fine, the gambling regulatory body is also keen on introducing a requirement that would prohibit consumers from getting ‘spam’ marketing via text or email. Currently, it is possible for gambling companies to get away with gambling advertising violations with a warning from a body named ‘Advertising Standards Agency’. However, this body does not have the authority to fine the gambling firms involved.


In the past, The Gambling Commission has managed to reach monetary settlements with firms under its regulation; however, these were never related to gambling advertising violations.


In 2017, 888, an online gambling company had to agree to a settlement after the Gambling Commission exposed one of its subsidiaries had failed to implement healthy self-exclusion tools. The tools in question prevent gamblers from using the services of a gambling firm for a specific period of time.


Industry experts, gambling businesses and consumers are being requested to make contributions to the consultations that is due to end on 22nd April 2018. Besides the concerns for advertising and marketing, the consultation will also seek to manage issues related to consumer protection while proposing the launch of an 8-week deadline for handling gambling disputes and complaints.


The executive director of the Commission, Sarah Gardner, was reported saying that they are proposing the changes since there is risk to consumer safety and a general concern about the lack of consumer protection regulation compliance. A significant drop is also noted in the consumer trust in betting and there are concerns about gambling advertising. Gardner added that they were extremely open to hearing the opinions of all people who are interested in the betting industry.

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