Licensing Expert

David Clifton, Licensing Expert: Affordability takes centre stage

In the Gambling Commission’s March 2018 Online Gambling Review, published very shortly after Neil McArthur took over as its Chief Executive, the view was expressed that “overall, progress by the online industry to minimise harm has been significantly slower than we expected and required”. That set in motion a chain of events that has reached its zenith in the last …

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David Clifton, Licensing Expert: Tight deadline to comply with new High Value Customer requirements

Let’s start with some context… It is more than six years now since the Gambling Commission flagged up concerns about the insulation of high-value “VIP customers” from the social responsibility obligations and practices applying elsewhere in gambling operators’ businesses. This was accompanied by a series of regulatory failings where operators had appeared reluctant to interact with commercially valuable customers on …

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David Clifton, Licensing Expert: Gambling advertising moves to its next chapter

Not that long ago, gambling advertising was far from the highly controversial subject it has become in more recent times. Re-reading findings from 2014 research into “public perceptions of gambling advertising in the UK”, commissioned by the Advertising Standards Authority, makes me realise just how much both public sentiment and the regulatory mood have changed since then. Six years ago, …

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David Clifton, Licensing Expert: Has the die already been cast?

In last month’s “Licensing Expert” article for SBC News, I talked about a possible link between erosion of parliamentarians’ trust in the Gambling Commission and erosion of the Commission’s trust in the gambling sector. Since then, more recent events have served to underline even more the extent to which trust in both the regulator and the regulated has so regrettably …

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David Clifton: Licensing Expert – Puzzle upon puzzle marks the path ahead

UK gambling regulatory developments during the last month or so have led many to query the reason behind the Gambling Commission’s decision to publish (on 12th May) additional customer interaction guidance for remote operators. What some have found puzzling is not only the range of topics covered in that additional guidance but also its prescriptive nature, particularly bearing in mind …

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David Clifton: Licensing Expert – Gambling faces a pivotal moment

This is a pivotal moment for the online gambling sector. It’s not a moment it could have foreseen, nor is it a moment it has actively sought! However, whilst it has not been slow to identify an unexpected opportunity to market its non-sports betting wares to a new audience, it is essential that it fully recognises the associated threats to …

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David Clifton: Licensing Expert – Consensus cannot be the hardest word

If the gambling industry buzzword for the last two years has been “collaboration”, it looks as if this year’s might well be “consensus”. Speaking personally, I am all for that. It’s a word that featured prominently in speeches by former Labour Party Deputy Leader, Tom Watson, and Gambling Commission CEO, Neil McArthur at ICE on 4 February. Watson used it …

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David Clifton: Licensing Expert – Changes loom on the horizon

As I write this, we are just two weeks into the new year – or indeed the new decade, as some would have us believe. Either way, what a start it’s been for the UK gambling industry! We ended 2019 with confirmation that the newly elected Conservative Party government intends to act speedily to fulfil its General Election manifesto promise …

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David Clifton: Licensing Expert – Betfred penalty raises multi-market concerns

The announcement by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) that Gibraltar-based Betfred.com is the most recent recipient of a hefty financial penalty for AML failings has served to raise once again the question why so many overseas-based remote operators have run into such problems with the UK regulator. In the Betfred case, it has not just been a case of concern …

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David Clifton: Licensing Expert – Regulatory scrutiny sees White Labels lose their shine

The Gambling Commission has recently announced that it is reviewing the operating licences of (a) FSB Technology (UK) Limited (who voluntarily suspended activities on their Blackbet white label website) and (b) EveryMatrix Software Limited (in relation to which the Commission also suspended their ability to offer B2C remote betting and casino gaming, including pursuant to white label arrangements). Following on, as they …

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