David Clifton’s current monthly Licensing Expert article for SBC News – entitled “Better the devil you know ….” summarises key regulatory developments affecting the gambling industry since the start of the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK, with a particular focus on marketing and advertising of gambling, including:
- the long-awaited “Final Synthesis Report: The Effect of Gambling Marketing and Advertising on Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults”,
- the response of the ‘Safer Advertising Online’ Working Group to the Gambling Commission’s ‘Advertising technology challenge’,
- the response from the Betting & Gaming Council to DCMS Minister Nigel Huddleston’s call for the gambling sector to do all it can to tackle any heightened risk of problem gambling at the present time,
- encouragement by the Advertising Standards Authority to consumers to report gambling advertising complaints during the coronavirus ‘lockdown’ and its new items of advice entitled “What a slot of responsibility! Gambling ads and the CAP code” and “The marketing of gambling on eSports” and
- publication by EGBA of “Guidance on safer online gambling and responsible advertising” and the first ever “Pan-European Code For Responsible Advertising For Online Gambling”.
David’s article (that you can download below) takes its title from his reference to oral evidence given earlier this week to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee committee by Gambling Commission CEO, Neil McArthur, when he said that “there has been a noticeable change in tone at the top on the part of major operators how they commit themselves to safer gambling – they get it and understand the need – and a shift in mindset from the language of responsible gambling (where the onus is on the individual to keep themselves safe) to safer gambling …. an acceptance of their responsibility to keep players safe”.
Commenting on this, David suggests within his article:
That’s worth bearing in mind with the government review of the Gambling Act 2005 still set to commence in the not too distant future. Given the inevitable criticisms that will be heaped upon the gambling industry and regulator alike when that review takes place with calls from some for a new regulator with even greater enforcement powers, it may yet be a case of the industry coming to regard the Gambling Commission as ‘better the devil you know ….’