The UK Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) is asking football clubs to refrain from discussing and promoting gambling on their social media sites in as part of an effort to avoid triggering problem gamblers. It’s move that may seem extreme to the layman, but will likely help keep UK gambling operators a step ahead of UK gambling regulators.
Guidelines for how football clubs should handle discussions of gambling were sent out by the BGC late last week and utilize a plea from 50 former gambling addicts to make the case. They pointed out that seeing their favorite club site promoting gambling caused them “distress” and “encouraged” them to place wagers.
As an effort to avoid these triggering moments, the BGC is recommending that football clubs refrain from promoting gambling operators or bonus offers and their “organic tweets”. This is a nod to the reality that gambling offers are ubiquitous on social media and that no one is really more than a click or two away from them on the internet anyways.
BGC officials sent a letter detailing the new code of conduct to 11 football clubs, as well as to social media operators.
In a statement reported on by SBC News, Brigid Simmonds OBE, Chairman of the BGC described the importance of the new standards saying, “Our members rightly have a zero tolerance approach to gambling by under-18s, so as an industry we are understandably concerned that children may be exposed to betting adverts on social media platforms. Our new guidelines make clear the standards expected of football clubs when they post gambling promotions on social media, and I look forward to them being put into practice as soon as possible.”
The BGC guidelines are not legally binding, but members of the BGC who wish to remain in good standing are expected to abide by them.
Tags: Sports Betting, UK Gambling News
There’s no question that regulated sports betting has been a massive hit in the United States. Every month there’s at least one state that shatters its previous record handle and January 2020 was no exception. With a $384.2 million handle, Indiana broke its previous wagering record of $313.1 million that was set way back in December, 2020. And with the Hoosier State’s love of basketball, bigger numbers could yet be in its future.
January 2020 was a record month in Indiana, but nearly every month of regulated sports betting in the state has earned that accolade. This was actually the fifth consecutive record breaking handle for Indiana’s regulated operators and the good news is likely to keep coming.
There is certainly good news in the January numbers for Indiana state coffers. That $384.2 million translates into about $29.3 million in revenue for the state’s combined sportsbooks. Of that number, approximately $2.8 million will be scooped up by tax collectors.
So how fast has Hoosier sports betting been growing? By way of comparison, January 2020′s handle was a mere $171 million.
Like most newly opened US sports betting markets, Indiana’s bettors are mostly playing off of mobile apps. The biggest operators (from top to bottom) were DraftKings ($122.6 million); FanDuel ($89.2 million); BetMGM ($52.4 million); PointsBet ($13 million); BetRivers ($9 million).
Unlike most of the rest of the United States, Indiana bettors did not favor NFL wagers above all else. In the land depicted in the motion picture Hoosiers, basketball topped the board with $133 million in wagers. NFL football only brought in $77 million, according to a report on LegalSportsReport.com.
And with college hoops entering into its busiest months, Indiana operators are certain to break more records before the winter is done.
Tags: Sports Betting, US gambling news
For a very long time, 5Dimes.com was the classic internet outlaw story. The storied sportsbook defined the offshore sportsbook business and was the go-to site for punters who either couldn’t, or wouldn’t, access regulated sports betting sites. But all that changed this week when 5Dimes was granted a gaming license by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission.
5Dimes’ journey to the regulated sports betting and online casino business has been a long one and is, basically, the result of recent settlement the company made with the US Department of Justice. In September, 2020, the DOJ struck a deal with the widow of 5Dimes founder William Sean “Tony” Creighton that included the forfeiture of $46 million in assets in exchange for a clean legal slate. Creighton was murdered in 2018 during a botched kidnapping/robbery.
Now that 5Dimes has a legitimate gaming license, the company is free to expand its operations into multiple regulated markets. Not only that, operating under an Isle of Man license also extends an air of regulatory credibility that will help the company expand into even more markets.
In a recent press release, Laura Varela, Member of 5Dimes Sportsbook’s Board of Directors spoke of the new license saying, “This licensure is an exciting milestone for the 5Dimes brand. The Isle of Man is a Tier-1 jurisdiction, known for its advanced approach to gambling and e-gaming legislation and its exceptional reputation in the international gaming community. The Isle of Man sets high standards for its gaming operators and players, and we look forward to upholding the same level of principles and innovation with the launch of 5Dimes.”
5Dimes will keep a small presence on the Isle of Man to help run compliance and finance operations.
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Gambling regulators in the Philippines are grappling with a problem that is likely relatively unique to their local gaming markets. Officials are blaming a rise in unregulated online cockfighting as the driver behind a recent slump in national lottery ticket sales. But could online cockfighting really be the sole driver behind the drop?
Cockfighting is incredibly popular throughout the Philippines and even the smallest towns have a cockfighting pit where locals can legally wager on the birds. Though cockfighting is considered cruelty to animals in most western nations, where it’s almost universally illegal, it’s simply not viewed that way in the Philippines. Cockfighting is a legal form of gambling in most parts of the country, though online cockfighting is not.
Recently, officials from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) publicly stated that unregulated online cockfighting was the culprit behind a recent slump in ticket sales. In a statement quoted on CalvinAyre.com, PCSO general manager Royina Garma drew a direct line from the lottery dip to unregulated online cockfighting (or sabong as it’s referred to locally) saying, “Definitely, lottery sales are affected by online sabong. The problem is that cockfighting itself is typically legal. “As far as I know, [the cockpit is] legal because they have permits from local governments. But online cockfights are illegal,”
Garma encouraged local authorities, who license in-person cockfighting pits, to crack down on those operators who stream the action. How well that will work at a local level remains to be seen.
Of course another route would be to legalize online cockfighting and take a chunk of the gambling action that accompanies the activity. And that’s exactly what gambling regulators and lawmakers are considering.
What none of the NSCO officials seem to be considering is that maybe unregulated online cockfighting isn’t the culprit behind the lotto slump. Given the fact that plenty of Filipinos are unable to work internationally in the cruise industry (to name just one example) and many others have been quarantined at various points, it’s also possible the impact of the global pandemic is the problem, not online cockfighting.
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Unlicensed gambling operators are a scourge that tempt unwitting UK punters and draw players, and revenue, away from legitimate operators. That’s the final conclusion of a recently published report by the UK Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) a gaming industry-funded trade group.
The 66-page report titled, Review of Unlicensed Online Gambling in the UK was produced by the accounting firm of Price Waterhouse Cooper on behalf of the BGC and surveyed 2,363 active UK gamblers late last year. Players interviewed for the study were asked specifically about their knowledge and use of unlicensed gambling sites. More importantly, the survey also queried as to the motivation of players visiting offshore gambling sites.
Members of the BGC were particularly keen to hone in on exactly why punters go to offshore sites when regulated, local sites objectively offer one major benefit for the consumer – regulatory accountability. Not surprisingly, the survey found that UK punters are less interested in the security of their credit card numbers and the ability to get a customer service agent on the phone as they are in increased odds on their favorite games. This, of course, is likely due to recent moves by UK gambling regulators to reduce both stakes and payouts in games like video poker and online slots (which are not necessarily bad moves).
Other players pointed out other regulatory moves, such as enhanced credit card checks as the main reasons for going offshore.
Of course players who move their action offshore to avoid limits meant to curb problem gambling are exactly the kind of players that regulators are trying to protect by enhancing protections at regulated gambling operators.
The study concluded that black market operators were likely to see continued growth from UK punters, though it doesn’t specifically advocate rolling back the measures that are apparently drawing players in in the first place. (Though they probably wouldn’t oppose such a move.)
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The UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is challenging baseline reason with its recent ruling regarding a completely innocuous Ladbrokes’ advertisement. At least two outside parties have spoken out against the ruling and called it out for the absurdity that it is.
Back in October of 2020, Ladbrokes aired an advertisement on an on-demand video channel that depicted some punters sitting at a table in a cafe of some sort using a mobile app to wager on the horses. An announcer’s voiceover from the TV says, “Come starter’s orders, I’m a bag of nerves,” while a man’s leg is shown shaking.
Somehow, the one person in the UK who always finds something wrong with gambling ads thought this was somehow socially irresponsible. If you find this confusing it’s because your brain is functioning. But that’s not how the ASA saw the situation. The UK’s top advertising regulators agreed with the complainer and hit Ladbrokes with an undisclosed sanction.
Ladbrokes’ defense picked up a boost when Clearcast, an independent advertising watchdog; and the broadcaster Channel 4, both spoke out on behalf of the company.
A Ladbrokes’ official defended the company saying in a report by SBC News saying the company, “Did not believe the ad depicted socially irresponsible behaviour because the man was not shown placing a bet nor indeed talking about gambling.”
The ASA, who always has the final word on these matters countered by saying, “We disagreed with Clearcast’s view that the man was never disconnected from his companion, or from the room, and considered viewers would assume from his behaviour that he was preoccupied with the outcome of the race in relation to a bet he had placed. We also considered that the man was obviously detached from his surroundings as he watched.”
We would counter that the ASA is obviously detached from their surroundings, and probably owe Ladbrokes an apology.
Tags: Advertising, Ladbrokes