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UKGC to Boost Advertising Enforcement

Tuesday, Aug 7, 2018 10:03

Take that, and partner it with what many have labelled as “irresponsible advertising,” and it’s easy to see why many believe that UK gambling advertising has become a free-for-all. Standing for it no more, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has announced that it’s now boosting its advertising enforcement and will go to greater lengths to protect consumers.

If the UKGC is to be believed, the time is now to clean up advertising within the online gambling domain. New rules will enable the regulator to fine any brands that are found to be in breach, with these fines set to be bigger and firmer than ever before. The new rules will come into effect from October 31st, with the UKGC certainly relishing in the power that it’s about to wield. The UKGC feels that by widening its ability to target rule breakers, it can bring operator advertising in the gambling sector under control.

The extent of the new measures isn’t solely focused upon fines. To combat misleading advertising, complaints processes are also being improved, with operators no longer able to silence those that have been misled. Under the new rules, customers that believe that they’ve been wronged or treated unfairly will be listened to more intently, along with having an eight-week window to file a complaint with the operator.

Speaking on how the UKGC is stepping up to protect consumers, Neil McArthur (UKGC CEO) said, “Protecting the interests of consumers is a priority for us and needs to be a priority for gambling operators.” He also backs the changes and the impact they can potentially have on the gambling industry in Britain, “These changes will protect consumers from irresponsible advertising and misleading promotions, ensure that they can withdraw their money more easily, and will mean that firms have to deal with complaints more swiftly.”

The new rules aren’t strictly for operators either, as the UKGC is casting its net wider than ever before. So, it’s not just the operators that will be feeling the heat, as third-party affiliates are also likely to face sanctions for breaking these tougher, more stringent advertising rules. This specifically applies to sending spam marketing emails and texts, which have become a rampant problem in recent years.

For a long time – while the UKGC has been active in clamping down on inappropriate advertising – operators have been able to find ways to skate around the rules. UK online casinos have already been subject to strict advertising enforcement by the UKGC, but with new rules in place, things are about to become even more restrictive. From October 31st, continuing to dance around the UKGC guidelines will land these operators in serious hot water. Make no mistake about it, the UKGC is changing its stance, with the licensing body now taking more intensive action to punish consistent rule breakers.