Affiliate industry reacts to UK gambling white paper
It was confirmed that the GB Gambling Commission will continue to hold licensee operators accountable for all marketing undertaken on their behalf by affiliate partners. July 2022 leaks also proved to be true regarding the UK government “not persuaded by arguments for online affiliates to be licensed”.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) wishes to implement a stake limit on slots and will conduct a consultation on this limit being between £2 and £15 per spin.
Players who lose £1,000 within 24 hours, or £2,000 over a period of 90 days, will be subject to detailed checks on affordability. Meanwhile,operators will now have to perform “passive” checks on players who have a net loss beyond £125 each month, or £500 per year.
Player protection was already adequate
David da Silva, Easyodds CEO, believes that the current player protections in force are more than right for the industry.
“When correctly applied, we feel that the player protections currently in force with regulated operators in the UK are more than adequate,” said da Silva. “Adding further controls and restrictions designed to protect a small minority is likely to frustrate the majority of responsible gamblers, some of whom might be tempted to switch to unregulated offshore operators.”
The Easyodds CEO went on to add that while the government is responsible for protecting vulnerable users from potential gambling harms “it also has a duty to support UK-regulated operators to ensure they remain a viable consumer choice.”
“Ministers should be reminded that illegal offshore operators are just a click away,” said da Silva. “Over-regulation risks triggering a worst-case scenario where the government fails both consumers and the legal gambling industry.”
Restrictions too harsh
Duncan Garvie, founder and trustee of gambling charity BetBlocker and industry expert at CasinoReviews, believes that operators will see the proposed restrictions as too harsh, “affecting the sustainability of the gambling market in the UK.”
Garvie goes on to say that he thinks many of the measures listed in the white paper “appear positive in terms of protecting vulnerable players, but they’d need to be introduced carefully to prevent unintended and undesirable outcomes.”
“Where consumers feel that they are being forced to go through intrusive verification procedures, or that the products are watered down to such an extent that they no longer offer the options they want, we risk driving those people to the black market,” added Garvie.
“This is especially dangerous when we consider that the people who are most vulnerable to gambling addictions or harmful practices will receive no protection if they engage with illegal operators.”
Little to no financial impact
Denmark-based affiliate Better Collective believe that the initiatives from the white paper review will have limited to no financial impact on the company.
“Better Collective welcomes the review and believes it provides an opportunity to drive further changes on safer gambling,” the company said in its statement.
In terms of the impact on its financial results, Better Collective believes that UK sportsbooks have strengthened and implemented new compliance measures since the white paper was initiated including affordability checks.
“We have now seen a normalised sports win margin and do not expect for this to change given the proposed measures,” the company said.
The affiliate has also announced that its financial targets for 2023 and 2027 remain unchanged in response to the proposed changes in the white paper review.
New advertising measures
New advertising measures were also proposed for tackling content marketing that may appeal to children as well as reviewing the role of platforms to ensure ads are safe and socially responsible.
The GB Gambling Commission will also be empowered to strengthen consent for direct marketing for online gambling.