Online Gaming Advertisements too Forceful?

Gambling CommissionIn order to attract attention and to distinguish the online gaming site they are showcasing advertising needs to stand out and at times can cause controversy if the techniques involved are considered to be too aggressive. The question of aggressive forms of advertisement being used by certain online betting operators was raised recently in the British parliament.
The 2005 Gambling Act that led to the liberalisation of the British online gaming market also brought about the creation of the Gambling Commission. The Gambling Commission has three main aims which are to keep gambling free from crime, to keep gambling fair and transparent and to protect the young and the vulnerable. Under this legislation all UK based operators need to be licensed and pay taxes in the UK which can be as high as 3 Questions have been asked in the British Parliament concerning aggressive advertising by online gaming operators and the effects this can have on children or vulnerable people in the current economic climate. Operators based in certain permitted regions who are on the UK White list are also allowed to advertise to attract players in the UK but they do not need to be licensed or pay taxes there.Advertisements for online gaming sites are also allowed in the UK from operators based in the European Economic Area countries. This is permitted due to the EU law on the freedom of services and the European Economic area operators do not need a licence for the UK or to meet UK regulatory standards however they must meet the UK advertising standards.

A British Member of Parliament has asked in Parliament that Ofcom ( Office of Communications: British regulatory body for television, radio, internet and telecommunications) review online gaming advertising. The request was made so that consumers, children and vulnerable people could be protected from aggressive forms of advertising for online gambling in these times of economic crisis. The fear is that certain vulnerable groups will fall even deeper into debt if influenced by gambling advertisements and there is also the fear that addiction to gambling could increase.

At the moment the UK is the only country that permits non-UK based gaming operators to advertise without being subject to UK regulations for the protection of players. Some European countries including France, Italy, Greece and Spain are in the process of bringing in or have already brought in new regulations to cover online gaming which would also include player protection.

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