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The UK Gambling Commission Releases Advice on Covid-19

by Glenn Baird - March 19, 2020

The UKGC has today released guidance on how licences should operate in response to the growing concern caused by the Covid-19 Corona Virus.

In accordance with the guidance set out by the English health board, the Commission are advising anyone who can to work from home for the foreseeable future.

Despite this advice, they do add that all gambling operators must ensure that they have the staff they need to allow them to meet the terms of their licence.

The advice went on to state that in the event that operators cannot meet the terms of their licence they should offer voluntary partial or full suspension of their service.

The Commission also addressed online operators directly, reminding them that if they have to continue to act in compliance with responsible gambling regulations and to be aware that with social distancing measures in place there is a chance that more gamblers will take to spending money online.

“We realise that the unprecedented changes to daily life, and in some cases, financial uncertainty, will create challenges for your business,” the Commission said. “The changes will also increase the risks to some individuals, which means that despite the fact that these are challenging times we must all continue to protect consumers.”

The regulator has stated that there is no way for them to reduce fees that operators pay to obtain a licence. They are also unable to fast-track any licence applications at this time.

As the Commission themselves will have most of their staff working from home they have asked that any relevant paperwork is scanned and emailed to them as there will likely be no one in the office to pick up mail.

“Applications are a priority for licensing and although our teams are working from home, we have set up steps and processes to ensure we can proceeds with applications should anyone fall ill or become unable to work,” the regulator said.

“The Commission has a well-practised and comprehensive business continuity plan, which we have invoked with the intention of minimising the impact on our regulatory work and the advice and services we provide.”

The Commission has also stated that no operators should be using the current Covid-19 crisis as a market ploy of any sort.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland sits to the north-west of mainland Europe. The United Kingdom shares a border with The Republic of Ireland and has coasts on the Atlantic Ocean, Celtic Sea, North Sea, Irish Sea and English Channel. The population of the UK is approaching the 67.6 million mark leading to a fairly densely populated land mass. The gambling sector in the United Kingdom is entirely regulated and licensed by the UKGC – the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Should players resident In the UK wish to gamble with foreign based operators there is no history of this being treated as a criminal offence, but high levels of protection exist for UK residents playing with UK licensed operators.

Disclaimer:

The above information is what we believe to be the the legal status of online gambling, however information on this topic is limited and hard to find. We accept no liability for any errors or ommissions. It is the reader’s responsibility to ensure that they know the legality of online gambling in their country before engaging with any online gambling service.