7 January 2010
The British sports minister, Gerry Sutcliffe, has announced plans today for new laws that will require all gambling firms that do business in the UK – even if they are based overseas – to operate under licenses granted by the Gambling Commission, the industry watchdog for Britain.
The plans are subject to a consultation period but if they come to fruition will oblige any firm offering betting services in Britain to adhere to rules currently applicable to companies physically located in the country.
One of the rules would oblige firms to share information about suspicious betting patterns with the UK’s sports governing bodies as well as the Gambling Commission. At the moment, they do not have to do this.
A statement from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said: “Today’s plans have been announced following a review of the system of online gambling regulation in Great Britain, focusing on consumer protection and ways to ensure that overseas operators contribute towards regulation, problem gambling treatment and the Horserace Betting Levy. The review has looked in some detail at the way the system currently works, as well as exploring the significant regulatory changes taking place in Europe and beyond.”
A written Ministerial statement from Sutcliffe can be viewed here.
sportingintelligence.com can also reveal that a government-sponsored review of the threat of betting-related sports corruption in the UK – a review that has been ongoing for more than six months – is likely to conclude that a pan-sport integrity unit is needed to keep the threat at bay. Almost as importantly, this unit, if established, possibly at the Gambling Commission, will show the government is taking the problem – albeit minor so far – seriously.