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UKGC Gives Further Covid-19 Guidance

by Glenn Baird - March 31, 2020

Since the UK entered its period of self-isolation the governing body, The UKGC have been providing guidance for operators, affiliates and consumers. As most of us are now stuck at home, it is more important than ever that, despite the drop off in the sports betting market, operators adhere to social responsibility laws.

The Commission begin their latest press release by reminding current licensees and prospective licensees that all operations now need to implement online, that their offices are closed and where contracts need to be read and signed that they should be scanned and emailed.

A reminder has been sent out that applications for licences can be made online and provide the following email address for any businesses looking to do so: [email protected]

All invoices will now be delivered by email, so it is vitally important that operators ensure that their contact details are up-to-date so that this fundamental part of the licencing process can continue to go ahead.

Advice for Land-Based Operators

The UKGC gives specific advice for land-based operators who are most likely to be taking a financial hit at the moment.

They state, that despite attempts made, there will be no reductions to any subscriptions or even an option to spread the cost into more manageable chunks. They do, however, state that a reduction in fees can be made if operators are willing to move to lower fee category, given the likely reduction in gross gambling yield, something that they provide an online calculator for to hep work out what that reduction could look like.

The option applying for a remote licence is also floated, with a link provided to steer users to the correct part of the site.

And finally, in cases where no solution can be found, the UKGC reminds operators who are struggling that they have the option to surrender their licence completely.

Similar advice is given to anyone looking to pay maintenance fees.

Advice for Online Operators

Online operators have been reminded again of their duty to adhere to social responsibility measures. Individual affordability must be considered regularly as many consumers will be experiencing a hit to their income.

Interventions must be made if there are any signs of harmful behaviour online.

New customers must not be targeted for marketing purposes.

Customer information must be updated regularly.

Regular checks on anti-money laundering and social responsibility measures must be made.

All gambling products must be tested before they are released to the public.

Frequently Asked Questions

In response to questions they are being asked on a regular basis the UKGC state:

That all compliance being made will be done remotely.

That audits will be made in 2 stages, the first being a series of remote checks and the second being an onsite check that will be completed once social distancing measures have been lifted.

Advice for Lotteries

In the final part of the FAQs section the Commission offer advice for lottery outlets.

If a change from a manual to a digital draw is made then that draw must be in compliance with the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) and – where applicable – the Remote Technical Standards (RTS). RTS would apply to any outlets with sales amounting to more than £250,000.

For any lotteries moving to a digital draw, they must be able to prove that the resulting numbers were drawn completely at random.

If the date of a draw is written on a ticket it is expected that the draw will go ahead on that day and in the situation where the date has to be changed, all players must be notified.

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.