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  1. #1
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    Default UK gambling "review" will examine spin speeds, max stakes, VIP schemes and more

    According to an article in The Guardian, a "wide-ranging review of gambling laws" in the U.K. will consider limiting online casino stakes among a “reformer’s shopping list” of proposals to overhaul gambling laws.

    The review, set to begin this week, will include:

    • Limits on online stakes, prizes and "spin speeds".
    • Tough affordability checks.
    • A testing regime for new products.
    • A sports sponsorship ban.
    • New powers to tackle the parallel market.
    • Legal redress for wronged punters.
    • A mandatory levy to fund addiction treatment.
    According to the article, the review is "likely to be welcomed by advocates for tighter regulation, including people recovering from problem gambling and more than 50 MPs and and peers who have backed stricter controls."

    One key area in their sights is regulation of online casino and electronic slot machine games. Gamblers can bet unlimited amounts online, even though some internet-based games such as roulette are no different from those that were available on fixed-odds betting terminals, whose maximum stake was cut from 100 to 2.
    Alongside new maximum stakes, prizes could be curbed and the speed of play limited.

    Ministers will consider whether firms should be forced to limit players’ monthly losses and perform stricter affordability checks to ensure people are gambling within their means. They will also look at mandating a “single customer view” policy, where multiple firms pool information about potentially vulnerable customers.
    Promotional offers are also expected to form part of the review’s scope, indicating that the government is not satisfied with efforts by the industry and the Gambling Commission to address VIP schemes, bonuses and so-called “free bets”.

    VIP schemes, in which losing gamblers are wined, dined and given financial incentives to keep betting, have been a common feature of stories about problem gamblers who resorted to crime or took their own lives.
    Read more here: https://www.theguardian.com/society/...ts-sponsorship

  2. #2
    newcustomeroffer is online now Public Member
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    The full policy paper is here on the government's website.

    Strong coffee (or something stronger) plus a comfortable chair required before anyone attempts that one...

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  4. #3
    baldidiot is offline Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by newcustomeroffer View Post
    The full policy paper is here on the government's website.

    Strong coffee (or something stronger) plus a comfortable chair required before anyone attempts that one...
    They're asking for input so I wonder if it's worth a bit of a collective effort to have a say. Especially those who have opinions from a players perspective rather than the aff side of it.
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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldidiot View Post
    They're asking for input so I wonder if it's worth a bit of a collective effort to have a say. Especially those who have opinions from a players perspective rather than the aff side of it.
    Yes I think it is critical that they don't just get views from regulators, parliamentary reviews and campaigners as this will be a major shake up. Could be worth actually telling users to contribute to this, I published a blog encouraging people to have a say, for example.

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    That's a good step to prevent gambling addiction but not very good for business.

  8. #6
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    All this regulation crap within the UK leads to nowhere... oh sorry, to Off-shore licensed casinos.

  9. #7
    baldidiot is offline Private Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattbar View Post
    Yes I think it is critical that they don't just get views from regulators, parliamentary reviews and campaigners as this will be a major shake up. Could be worth actually telling users to contribute to this, I published a blog encouraging people to have a say, for example.
    That's a good shout. I was originally thinking have us affs do it but getting players involved would be good also.

    Anyone here run a player forum with some brits? Might be worth bringing to their attention if you do.
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  10. #8
    mathematician is offline Public Member
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    My own head would be semi split about all this.

    On one side I fear policies driven by puritanical politics from zealots who feel their opinion should be enforced on everyone else. Not dissimilar to 1920'2 style prohibition. There would be no contentment till "all money lenders were driven from the temple" etc

    But on the flip side the long term history of bookmaker behavior has not been anywhere near squeaky clean and has a long history of targeting the vulnerable and extracting as much cash from them as possible with scant regard to the "victim"

    Somewhere in between I guess lies some sensible middle ground.

    Picking out a couple of the points to stick my oar into let's start with the Guardians line about

    #1 - “single customer view” policy, where multiple firms pool information about potentially vulnerable customers.

    Putting on my hat as a punter who has desire for privacy there are obvious concerns there.

    If I join at one bookmaker do I want my details spread across multiple different companies?

    Or what if I am a punter who actually plays with his head and wins some money. Do I want that data shared with other operators before I even place my first bet? There is danger this could be privacy invasive shared player profiling used to discriminate against non total punter idiots rolled out under the guise of player protection.

    But possibly the structure of it could be made less so. eg say all licenced operators fed into some independent body central system. Output from that system could be restricted to a red light only on a small number of more severe cases.

    If there were an upside for the bookies / operators it would be that it removes most of the responsibility about judging whether the customer is in the at risk group. All that judgement in effect gets syndicated out to the central independent body. Bookies as well would be absolved of blame when a disgruntled punter does not like getting refused as a higher risk / vulnerable customer. More so they can say..Government computer says red light No.Take it up with them as we are powerless ourselves to change your rating.

    Could be good for general non vulnerable punters too. eg say a punter has accounts with several different bookies do they really want the hassle of repetitive proof of earnings checks and the likes repeated again and again. Far easier to do it once at the central authority rather than 10 separate times. Arguably huge efficiencies for the industry as a whole.

    Some upsides to it as a general concept if "single customer view" is indeed to be a reality future.

    Starting to veer towards the idea of a personal gambling licence however. Such a central registry may in effect act in such fashion. Could be one even had to have an account pre set up there before a bookie could open an account on their own site. Restricted perhaps to remote gambling. ie one could still walk into a shop / land casino or on course racing without one.


    It would be easier to get than a drivers licence as no test other than age would be required. But similar to the rare someone who causes havoc when behind the wheel of a car the licence can be lost and perhaps regained on appeal.

    Not really ideal I would say but if single customer view is coming is it the best sort of rough route if priority is given to the privacy of most normal punters? All operators would see privacy data wise would be the central issued red flag on the rare occasions when central HQ merits it.

    How vulnerable or at risk an individual is not ideally a decision best put in the hands of those individual operators seeking to profit to the maximum legally permittable from that individual.

    #2 - re New powers to tackle the parallel market.

    Worth pondering here why with all the so called safe regulated operators around would a uk punter want to go off somewhere unregulated?

    Well one reason is that many uk bookmakers in effect refuse the business of punters and turn them away. One does not have to look far or wide to read stories about account restrictions etc.

    The whole ethos is one of seeking to discriminate against individuals and VIP reward others. The less idiotic the punter, the more likely they will be discriminated against and the more idiotic they are the more likely the bookmaker is to treat and reward them.

    You can set this aside the more old school outlook of a bookmaker setting book and adjusting odds according to liabilities and weight of money. They would have a max liability at certain odds and of course can protect themselves by not exceeding said liability. They would however not care very much about who was betting and would care more so about volume and odds.

    Now it is more so about..you won with us last month so whilst others who lost can have 20 at 10/1 you as an individual we will intentionally discriminate against and only offer a max stake of 16 pence.

    With this approach wide spread, the attraction of illegal offshore operators of course rises. It is in effect the uk bookmakers who are driving and forcing a lot of business off shore. If you want a loaf of bread and the shop refuses to sell you one ( just you..you mates they will sell to ) what will said shopper do? Of course they will go seek an alternate shop that does want their business.

    My punter head would like to see in this reform package new ideas that are aimed at reducing the attraction of shore and reducing consumer demand for off shore via making it non permittable for bookmakers to refuse their business on grounds of their historic bet profitability or not action.

    All punters with a betting licence should expect equal and fair treatment.

    #3 - Not discussed as part of this review but how about adding in

    "AFFILAITE RIGHTS"
    Being open and honest with you I do close to zero bookie affiliate style stuff these days. Historically being involved with 5 separate small businesses I had 5 times the opportunity to see bookmaker affiliate departments in action.

    Reasonably common par for the course industry approach over the years would be to put in big bright lights the likes of "life time commission" and then after one had referred players to them they then decide they want to keep all rev share revenue on them for themselves..
    They close the affiliate account to do so.

    Not all affiliates are big business. Often they are small operators and individuals.

    eg a tug at heart strings style scenario could be a work at home mum running a blog about her favoured sport in between changing nappies and feeding kids. She gets approached by bookie offering lifetime commission and then she spends a lot of time and effort advertising said bookie to earn child care funds. then all of a sudden the headline promise gets broken for some spurious reason that mask the true reason of bookie greed dictates shafting her is good for the bookie.

    Basically I lost a lot of trust in the general ethics and morals of the bookmaker affiliate teams. Much of a muchness everywhere with the core ethos being one of heavily lopsided terms that give bookies rights to shaft individual promoters out of reward for the work they have already past done... at bookmaker whim.

    There is more and more regulatory compliance onus these days on affiliate promotion. Uk Bookies are infact I believe obligated to be able to close accounts of rouge affiliate operators.

    Perhaps it is time for greater future emphasis on affiliate rights however. Small operators should have greater protection from willful mistreatment by global mega corp etc.

    In my head it would not be terrible if this gambling reform included such thought. Better protection for affiliates from mistreatment would be fair enough to go hand in hand with increased regulatory compliance worries and cost for affiliates.

    It is actually the sort of step that could increase global attraction to the affiliate business. The current promise of referral income shut off for little reason other than bookmaker self centred greed and whim does not present a hugely attractive proposition to investors.

    Increase investor confidence and one will increase investment. ( Investment can be deemed to include money / time / effort etc )

    All that said about my personal dim view about standard bookmaker treatment of their promoters I think it fair to highlight one operator whom I would peg as being head and shoulders more honorable than any others I have crossed paths with.

    That would be bet365affiliates. in my experience at least they appear to run with ethics not found elsewhere.

    eg a recent example.

    They got in touch seeking to close the affiliate account for one of my small companies. Fair enough in my view as it was doing little and the last customer referred was a year or two back.

    But crucially despite them wanting all adverts taken down etc they did promise to honor future commission on the customers already referred years ago.

    This sort of core thinking is I feel right and proper. ie a bookie seeking to stop an affiliate relationship on whim grounds unrelated to serious compliance breaches, should not be seeing it as a means to stop paying the promoter for past work they have already done on a promised rev share basis.

    The bookie should be able to stop accepting future players. Even if so the affiliate should expect to be paid for those already past referred.

    Bookmakers have been shafting promoters for too long by grouping the two things together.

    I think it is worth highlighting the 365 attitude ( given to me at least ) of making a strong point of honoring the core past promises they made.

    Anyhow if in future I do get a bit more active again at bookie promotion guess who will be top of my favoured list. The vast majority who shafted me or the one who has so far proven head and shoulders more honourable than most?

    But my ideal would be that said gambling reform somehow improves / encourages bookmaker to treat affiliates with greater honor and respect and give them more confidence the whole affiliate concept is a viable long term good idea for them

    Best Wishes
    Mick
    Admin dogsbody at
    www.mathematician-betting.co.uk

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  12. #9
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    Default Very interesting

    Quote Originally Posted by newcustomeroffer View Post
    The full policy paper is here on the government's website.

    Strong coffee (or something stronger) plus a comfortable chair required before anyone attempts that one...
    Very interesting. Thanks for sharing

  13. #10
    Casino Gamerz is offline Public Member
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    I think shirt sponsor ban is pretty likely to happen. Its impossible for them not to promote them before the watershed if theyre on tv at 3pm.
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  14. #11
    newcustomeroffer is online now Public Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casino Gamerz View Post
    I think shirt sponsor ban is pretty likely to happen. Its impossible for them not to promote them before the watershed if theyre on tv at 3pm.
    Kids sizes already have gambling-related sponsorship removed in the UK, although most 'kids sizes' only go up to 14 years or so, so there's a disconnect already.

    Where's the line drawn though? Remove from shirts but allow the perimiter advertising to still feature betting ads? Stop S**bet from sponsoring the EFL? Stop bet365 from naming their stadium?

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