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UK white list for online gambling advertising, updated

U.K. Gambling Act of 2005 went into effect Sept. 1, 2007, restricting online gambling advertising to only those companies based in the United Kingdom or other countries in the European Economic Area. The EEA consists of the 27 countries in the European Union together with Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. Countries outside that area could apply for approval to be included on a “white list” of countries outside that area who would be allowed to advertise in the United Kingdom.

This week, the UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport confirmed that Tasmania will be added to the ‘white list’ of countries for online gambling advertising, but it still do not include in the list Antigua and Barbuda or the Kahnawake territory.Mohawk Council of Kahnawake is very disappointed by this decision and Grand Chief Michael Ahríhrhon Delisle, Jr. announced that they will request to be taken into consideration the Article 20 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Tasmania was approved after they amended tax legislation which will go into effect on January 31, 2008. The only existing approved jurisdictions outside the UK mainlands was, till now, Alderney and the Isle of Man. Gibraltar and Malta are included in the white list, Malta being by far the most popular licensing jurisdiction in the EEA.

Tasmania is an Australian island and state of the same name. It is located 240 kilometres (150 mi) south of the eastern side of the continent, being separated from it by Bass Strait. The Tasmanian Gaming Commission is an independent body responsible for the regulation of gaming in Tasmania, established under the Gaming Control Act 1993.

So, the white list includes:

  • Malta and any other EEA state;
  • Gibraltar;
  • Alderney;
  • Isle of Man;
  • Tasmania (after 31 January 2008).

In any other territory it is illegal for gambling operators to advertise gambling in or to the UK, including Antigua, Kahnawake, Curacao, Costa Rica and Belize.

Last year UK released a Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice for gambling. iGaming Business makes a synthesis of this rules:

Advertisements to the UK market also have to comply with the codes of practice of which there are three:

  • The Committee of Advertising Practice (‘CAP’) issues the non-broadcast Advertising Code
  • The Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (‘BCAP’) issues the broadcast Advertising Code
  • Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising

The Industry Code sets out the following general principles in relation to gambling adverts:

  • They should be socially responsible and comply with the CAP and BCAP rules;
  • They must be legal and not misleading;
  • Care must be taken not to exploit children and other vulnerable persons in relation to gambling activity; and
  • Advertisements should not be specifically and intentionally targeted towards people under the age of 18 through the selection of media, style of presentation, content or context in which they appear.

In terms of specific requirements, there are three key things implemented by the Industry Code as follows:

  • All non-broadcast gambling advertising should contain a link to www.gambleaware.co.uk in order that customers can be educated about socially responsible gambling and given information where they might get help for problem gambling. Although not obligatory, it is recommended that gambling operators also include the words preceding the link, “for more information and advice visit”
  • With the exception of bingo, new gambling products must not be advertised on television before the 9pm watershed. However this restriction does not apply to the advertising of sports betting in relation to televised sports events.
  • Gambling operators shall not allow their logos or other promotional material to appear on any commercial merchandising which is designed for use by children e.g. football shirts.

The advertising codes will apply to any business that wishes to advertise to or in the UK market whether or not they require a licence in the UK.

  1. Segoviano

    I have had a look at the website mentioned and I think this type of initiatives are great at least to raise awareness about the fact that politicians are not listening to consumers wishes, thus consumers need to raise their voices.

    The information provided can end with some misunderstandings as regards the gambling sector, explains the current state of affairs, and there are several tools, such as the MEP one to email politicians on the subject.

    I recommend the site to everyone who believes in an open and single EU market in every economic sector, gambling included.

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