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History and Evolution of the UK Gambling Commission

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UK Gambling Commission opens consultation on high value 'VIP' customers
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The United Kingdom has a long history of gambling, and to this day it is one of the most lucrative markets in the world. It has also become a model for gambling regulation.

The UK Gambling Commission is the government body responsible for supervising and regulating all legal gambling activities in the United Kingdom. Formed following the Gambling Act 2005, the UKGC has become one of the most highly-regarded gambling authorities in Europe. Here we will take a look at the history of gambling in the UK, how the UKGC came into being, and how it has evolved since.

Gambling in the UK: A Brief History
Evidence of gambling activities goes right back to pre-history and early civilization, and it’s certainly been a huge part of the culture of the British Isles for many centuries. People living in the Middle Ages were wagering money on activities such as horse racing and dice and card games, as we still do today. In fact, the earliest recorded legislation to do with gambling goes back to 1190, when the king decreed that betting was for noblemen only and imposed a daily limit on how much could be wagered. Subsequent monarchs continued to impose more restrictions on gambling.

The history of gambling law in the UK is uneven, although the popularity of wagering has remained high. The first government-sanctioned national lottery occurred in 1694, and lotteries were a common way to raise funds for various projects, right up until the 19th century. During this later period, concern over the perceived immorality of betting led to the Gaming and Betting Acts of 1845 and 1853, which sought to ban commercial gambling, at least for the lower classes.

It wasn’t until the 1960s that any further legislation was introduced, with the Gaming Act of 1968 allowing commercial casinos for the first time. This was the start of modern gambling law, and was the direct precursor of the codes of practice that are in force today.

The Gambling Act 2005 and the Formation of the UKGC
By 2005, online casinos and sports betting were already big business, and it was clear that the laws needed to be updated to reflect the changed landscape. The Act’s primary objectives were threefold; to ensure that gambling was not associated with crime, to guarantee fairness, and to protect youth and vulnerable persons from being negatively impacted by gambling.

The cornerstone of the new Act was the formation of the UK Gambling Commission, an executive public body of the British government sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. The UKGC is responsible for the oversight of all legal gambling activities in the UK, both online and in physical establishments, as well as regulating the National Lottery. The Commission replaced the Gaming Board for Great Britain from 1968.

The UKGC has the power to verify that providers comply with the codes of practice established by the Act, and to investigate whether offences have been committed. It can also pursue legal action against any such infringements. Licenses are granted, refused and revoked by the Commission.

How the UKGC Protects Players
The creation of the Commission is considered to be of great benefit to consumers. The codes of practice surrounding fair play, anti-money laundering and responsible gaming have been strictly enforced since the 2005 Act, and the UK has one of the most tightly regulated gambling markets in the world. Unlike some other jurisdictions, which either leave the market totally unregulated or impose strict limits on where players can go to gamble, the UK market is both well-regulated and open.

Considering the profitability of the UK for operators, and the potential penalties for breaking the rules, casino and gambling providers are happy to comply with the licensing requirements. This gives players an enormous choice, particularly in online UK casino sites, of safe and secure providers. To guarantee that the casino sites you are interested in hold a license from the UKGC, consult a trusted source like https://casinopilot.co.uk and choose from one of their verified operators.

The 2005 Act was the most comprehensive overhaul of gambling regulation since the 1960s, but there have been some amendments since then to take into account the changes that have occurred.

Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014
The Act of 2005 did take into account the role of online casinos, but by 2014 the ruling Conservative government decided that new rules needed to be created surrounding remote gambling. Previous to this, operators outside of Great Britain could legally advertise and provide their services to UK players, provided that they were based in the EEA or in one of the whitelisted jurisdictions specified – this included Alderney, the Isle of Man and Tasmania.

The changes brought in in 2014 refocused the licensing requirements on the point of consumption; if the end users were in the UK, then the provider must hold one or more licenses from the Commission in order to advertise or operate here. The new law also imposed a gambling duty of 15% of gross gambling profits from UK residents.

Recent Updates
The latest measures introduced to gambling law came into effect in 2018, following a consultation with industry stakeholders.

The new requirements implemented are focused on giving customers of online casino websites better tools to monitor their own gambling practices. This includes allowing players to easily access their account, gambling and transaction history for specified periods and going back a minimum of twelve months. It also requires that consumers must be able to see their net deposits rather than just their winnings, and set limits on their spending in a variety of ways. Many of these provisions had already existed as responsible gaming recommendations, but now they are part of the licensing requirements.

What the Future Holds
The future of gambling law in the UK depends on multiple factors, such as the outcome of Brexit, who is in power and how much importance future administrations will put on such matters. If Britain leaves the EU, there may need to be negotiations over cross-border gambling duty.

However, the robust UK gambling laws are an advantage for casino sites in this country who provide their services in other European markets. Current members of the Labour Party have expressed a desire to further restrict playing at online casinos, with suggestions such as capping betting amounts and banning credit card payments. Such proposals have been welcomed by some, with others cautioning that it may encourage players to turn their backs on legal sites.

As gambling evolves and changes, so must the UKGC stay abreast of and respond to developments as they occur. A recent example of action taken was in regards to fixed-odds betting terminals, which offer games like roulette and blackjack on physical machines in betting shops and casinos. When it was revealed that players in Britain were losing almost £2bn per year, the government enacted a law to reduce the maximum stake from £100 to £2. The implementation and enforcement of this law is the responsibility of the UK Gambling Commission.

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Bulletin from Kambi Group plc’s Annual General Meeting 2024

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Kambi Group plc (Company Registration Number C49768) having its registered address situated at Avenue 77 Complex, A4, Triq in-Negozju, Zone 3, Central Business District, Birkirkara, CBD3010, Malta (the “Company”) held its Annual General Meeting on 21 May 2024 at its registered office (the “Meeting”).

Fourteen resolutions were presented to the Meeting. Twelve ordinary resolutions (resolutions a – l) were approved:

  • Annual Report and the Financial Statements of the Company for the year ended 31 December 2023 were approved
  • Remuneration report for the year ended 31 December 2023 was approved
  • Number of Board Members 2024 was approved
  • Board Members’ fees 2024 were approved
  • Anders Ström, Patrick Clase and Marlene Forsell were re-elected as Directors
  • Kristian Nylén and Benjie Cherniak were appointed as additional new Directors
  • Anders Ström was appointed Chairman
  • Guidelines on the appointment and composition of the Nomination Committee were approved
  • Mazars Malta were re-appointed as external auditors

All two extraordinary resolutions, resolutions m and n, obtained one majority of two required in terms of Clause 135 of the Companies Act (Chapter 386 of the Laws of Malta), and in terms of Articles 48B.2(b) of the Articles of Association of the Company. To this end, an Extraordinary General Meeting is being convened within 30 days of today’s Annual General Meeting, as per proviso in same Clause and Articles, to take a fresh vote on the proposed resolutions.

The Board extends its gratitude to Lars Stugemo and Cecilia de Leeuw for their dedicated service and contributions.

By order of the Board

Sarah Fenech
Company Secretary

 

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UK fans able to bet on OKTAGON MMA with SkyBet after betting market debut on William Hill

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UK fans are now able to get even more involved with OKTAGON MMA, after news broke that fans can bet on Europe’s leading MMA promotion with SkyBet.

Although fans can already bet in the UK via William Hill, the move to SkyBet opens up the market even further for fans wishing to get involved with the action.

OKTAGON has made significant strides to get more involved with its ever-growing UK fanbase, with the first ever show on these shores in November 2023 at the AO Arena in Manchester.

On the back of that success, OKTAGON returned twice in 2024; the first coming at the Utilita Arena in Newcastle in January, before an enthralling night at the Resorts World Arena in Birmingham in April.

OKTAGON MMA co-owner Pavol Neruda commented: “We are really pleased that our fanbase in the UK and Ireland can now engage even further with OKTAGON MMA.

“SkyBet is an extremely well-respected platform, and this exemplifies the growth of OKTAGON MMA in the UK and Ireland, a market where we have dedicated significant effort to expand, and shine a light on up-and-coming MMA talent.”

UK fans can place their first bet via SkyBet for the next OKTAGON tournament, when the organisation lands in Prague at the spectacular Fortuna Arena for OKTAGON 58 for the blockbuster rematch between Karlos Vemola and Attila Vegh in front of 27,000 fans.

 

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BF Group Launches Enhanced Platform for Sports Betting and Casino Operators

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BF Group Launches Enhanced Platform for Sports Betting and Casino Operators
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BF Group, a leading innovator in the gaming and betting industry, proudly announces the launch of the latest version of their comprehensive platform designed for sports betting and casino operators. This new iteration stands out with its cutting-edge design solutions, leveraging a headless approach to ensure seamless and modern operations.

The platform is already live with BF Group’s clients, including the leading Polish sportsbook operator, LV BET.

Marcin Doszczecko, CEO of LV BET Poland and Latvia, shared his enthusiasm: “After the initial tests, we are thrilled to be part of the pilot phase of BF Group’s new platform. We’ve observed significant improvements in operational flow and profitability. The feedback from our VIP players has been overwhelmingly positive, underscoring the platform’s quality and effectiveness.”

Wiktor Grabarczyk, CEO of BF Group, commented: “We continually develop our platforms and other products, but the improvements in this iteration are so significant that we present it as a new stage in our product evolution. We are pleased to provide our partners with an even better tool, ensuring operators and their players have a comfortable and enhanced experience with our sports betting products.”

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