The online gambling industry is worth a lot of money and is constantly growing with new players meaning it is estimated to be worth a staggering £5 billion per year. This coincides with the rapid decline of high street betting shops in the UK that just can’t keep up with the enticing betting offers given to online visitors looking to wager a bet on a soccer match, a horse race with pretty much every sport is covered with endless choices.
It’s hard to believe that it’s almost 14 years ago that the Labour party has introduced online gambling licensing in the UK with its 2005 Gambling Act. A lot has changed since then and very few could have predicted the amount this entire industry is worth; let alone the amount it generates to HMRC with taxation on top of the licencing for online betting and casino operators.
The one major issue that comes with all of this is some gamblers’ addiction to online games, which can be easily accessible via many gambling apps and on desktop too. That’s the reason why in just a matter of few years the UK Gambling Commission has introduced many measures and new regulations. Some of these compliance processes include the effectiveness of licence holders’ self-regulation. Furthermore, the UKGC will undertake carrying out reviews and visits, give specific advice or guidance to licence holders, take remedial or preventive action varying or imposing additional licence conditions and review financial information.
Earlier this year, Labour party’s Tom Watson proposed a revamp of the Gambling Act 2005 to make it more relevant to today’s gambling climate. In his words he said that it is “unfit for the digital age”. He continues by saying that “whereas gambling in the offline world is highly regulated, the lack of controls on online gambling is leading to vulnerable consumers suffering huge losses. Online gambling companies have a responsibility to protect their customers from placing bets that they cannot afford.” This is particularly relevant today, when taking into consideration that one of the casino operators thought it would be wise to target free spins to people Googling ways to block themselves from betting.
Yes, the industry may be flawed to some extent, but it’s not all doom and gloom when we also take an objective view once we consider legitimate affiliate betting sites that offer customers an objective view of a betting offer, this often comes with a score rating as well as a tried and tested review which can also include a bonus offer for a sign up.
Going forward, it is predicted that the UK will join other countries such as Sweden who have become much stricter to ensure that there is total transparency and that players will become safer when choosing to place a bet online.