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History and Evolution of the UK Gambling Commission

George Miller

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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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Affilka enters into partnership with ProperSix Casino

George Miller

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Affilka enters into partnership with ProperSix Casino
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Affilka, an Affiliate Marketing Platform developed by SoftSwiss inked a deal with a third-party brand ProperSix Casino. Now SoftSwiss will be providing its state-of-art services to the newly-launched online crypto casino brand.

An affiliate program of ProperSix Casino will be powered by Affilka, providing its users with a unique combination of transparency and functionality including an extremely flexible commissions constructor aimed at optimising marketing expenses.

A new crypto casino ProperSix is entering the market, giving players the chance to play various games online by using their cryptocurrencies. Customers will be able to play with ProperSix tokens or other most known cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH and USDT. With the casino having just been launched, 30 new and original games are ready for players from around the world. With many different bonus systems that help achieve the highest payouts, the luckiest players are sure to win big.

Furthermore, after an increasingly effective integration process with Affilka, the client decided to expand the area of cooperation between SoftSwiss and ProperSix by also signing a deal with SoftSwiss Game Aggregator. The project is bound to be fully integrated later in Q2 and will provide ProperSix Casino with a cost-effective, yet very efficient one-stop-shop solution with a wide portfolio of game providers that are constantly replenishing.

Anastasia Borovaya, Product Owner of Affilka commented on this event: “Affilka may be a newcomer among affiliate marketing software providers in the iGaming industry. Yet it keeps on proving itself as a reliable, secure and very strong and cost-effective tool for iGaming operators. We’re super excited to launch this project alongside ProperSix and are looking forward to very productive cooperation!”.

Richard Haverinen, CEO of PROPERSIX OU noted: “ProperSix is proud to announce that it will be collaborating with SoftSwiss Game Aggregator to ensure the best user experience and many more games to get jackpots in. Furthermore, Affilka by SoftSwiss will ensure reliable, safe and trustworthy operation along with high load resistance. The Online Casino is already live, so people are already purchasing ProperSix tokens and getting ready to see if they will be the ones to get the biggest payouts”.

 

 

About SoftSwiss

SoftSwiss is an international tech company supplying widely acclaimed, certified software solutions for managing iGaming operations. SoftSwiss holds a number of gaming licenses, providing a “one-stop-shop” white label casino solution by taking care of all technical, legal, and financial processes on behalf of its customers. The company has a vast product portfolio, which includes an Online Casino Platform, Game Aggregator with thousands of casino games, an Affiliate Platform, and a recently launched sportsbook platform. In 2013 SoftSwiss was the first in the world to introduce a bitcoin-optimized online casino solution. The company has thus been regarded as the leading technical expert when it comes to the use of cryptocurrencies in online gaming.

About ProperSix Casino

New crypto casino ProperSix is entering the market, giving players the chance to play various games online by using their cryptocurrencies. Customers will be able to play with ProperSix tokens or other most known cryptocurrencies, including BTC, ETH and USDT.

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OneTouch and BWG launch epic quest for lost love in The Maiden & The Swordman

George Miller

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OneTouch and BWG launch epic quest for lost love in The Maiden & The Swordman
Reading Time: < 1 minute

 

Mobile-first games developer OneTouch has partnered with Big Wave Gaming (BWG) to launch The Maiden & The Swordsman, a stunningly designed, graphic rich slot that sees players join the game’s hero in his quest to find his true love.

The five-reel, three-row, 50-line slot follows the journey of the Swordman as he battles the elements to reach his beloved Maiden uncovering huge wins and a treasure trove of bonus features along the way.

If players reveal three or more scatters they are rewarded with an unlimited number of free games, or up to 10 free games including a unique ‘nudge’ feature that could turn wins into even bigger prizes. Players’ fortunes can improve further if they uncover the Wild waterfall symbol that takes over the reel and can lead to even larger potential pay outs.

OneTouch has experienced huge success and growth with its cutting-edge mobile-first slots, tables games and live casino products in 2021, alongside the signing of several landmark commercial agreements and partnerships including with Relax Gaming that has integrated its suite of games and provides OneTouch with access to its host of tier-one operators.

Petra Maria Poola, Head of Business Development and Operations at OneTouch, said: “The Maiden & The Swordman is a beautifully designed game and we’re delighted with the results of our partnership with BWG. Players will revel in going on an epic journey across a mysterious land, packed with adventure, with our two central characters and discover hidden features and bountiful prizes along the way with the potential to pick up massive wins.”

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Baltics

Latvian Parliament Rejects Amendments to the Law on Gambling and Lotteries

Niji Narayan

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Latvian Parliament Rejects Amendments to the Law on Gambling and Lotteries
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

The Latvian parliament has decided to reject amendments to the Law on Gambling and Lotteries. The proposed amendments would have been used to limit gambling in the country.

These amendments were developed by members of the New Conservative Party and KPV LV. Saeima deputy Juris Jurašs urged other members of the parliament to support this legislative draft, commenting that about 80,000 people in Latvia suffer from gambling addiction and for 15,000 of them this problem is severe.

He believes the proposed amendments would become a small step towards forming a healthier society.

“Gambling halls in Latvia are a lasting disease that certain people rich, it needs to be treated,” he said.

Jurašs stressed in particular that the gambling situation is critical. After the parliament had rejected the legislative draft Saeima deputy Krišjānis Feldmans from New Conservative Party wrote on his Twitter profile that Attīstībai/Par! political party is a plague for Latvian politics, commenting how the party voted against limiting gambling.

35 Saeima deputies voted in favour of passing the draft to the Budget and Finance Committee, 15 voted against and 27 deputies abstained. And so the legislative draft was rejected somehow.

The annotation mentions that the purpose of the proposed amendments is limiting the number of gambling locations in Latvia and reducing the negative effect gambling has on public health and people in general.

The legislative draft explains that people who participate in gambling and lotteries are subjected to an excessive addiction risk. Gambling addiction or a pathological need to engage in gambling is characterised with frequent gambling episodes, which quickly become the person’s main point of interest, impacting his or her social, professional, and family values, as well as negatively impacting his or her finances.

According to the study performed by SKDS in 2016, 26% of respondents who engaged in gambling in the past 12 months admitted having situations when gambling took over so much of their life that the outside world ceased to exist to them for some time.

The legislative draft also proposed making it so that casinos would be permitted only in four or five-star hotels in Latvia.

The annotation mentions that studies show that localization or limitation of gambling halls and casinos is one of the ways to limit and reduce problematic gambling habits.

It was also planned to impose a limit on open hours of gambling halls.

Deputies also proposed prohibiting alimony avoiders from engaging in gambling. The Maintenance Guarantee Fund Law already provides multiple restrictions for debtors to motivate them to fulfil their duties – pay alimony and provide their children with finances.

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