Gambling Legislation in the UK

Out of any industry, the gambling industry has had to bear the brunt of the most rapid and impactful change. With various legislation reformations over the past two decades, the industry climate has had to adapt and innovate in order to meet the demands of an ever evolving world.

With the provision of technology allowing gambling conglomerates to move their services, that were previously inhibited to brick and mortar bases, to entirely digitised platforms (like bet365), the need for more legislation and legal implementations to help maintain a safe and user focused online gambling experience.

Whilst the UK is one of the most lenient countries across the globe, in terms of laws surrounding gambling, there is also a layer of restrictions that aim to protect consumers and limit the potential for addiction to develop. Yet what exactly are these laws?

Gambling Act (2005)

Enforced in 2005, the Gambling Act was a legislation created to help regulate the industry during a period in which gambling services were at the start of mass introduction to the internet. In order to help accommodate a more safe and efficient business environment, this legislation was introduced to help provide this assurance to both customers and businesses.

Within this extensive legislation, three main objectives were identified in line with the primary sources of widespread safety and privacy violations.

The first of these being to prevent gambling becoming an affiliate or starting point for ‘crime and disorder’. This imposed more restrictions for gambling conglomerates and established the requirement for safety systems and processes to monitor any suspicious or criminal activity that could perhaps be in relation to crimes such as money laundering or fraud.

The second of these was ensuring that gambling is held in a ‘fair and open way’ to limit detrimental money loss and casinos favouring specific clientele. As a result, this aspect of the legislation meant that any gambling company had to disclose the win to lose ratio or percentage across all of their machines, virtual games, and automated alternatives to traditional games, whilst also requiring the disclosure of house edges to traditional games such as roulette and poker.

The final of these objectives is that children and other vulnerable demographics are protected from being ‘harmed or exploited’ by the repercussions of gambling. This meant that gambling companies had to enforce stricter measures to determine the legality of a player to participate in gambling, to protect both the minor and the company from legal repercussions.

Alongside a series of other aspects to this legislation, the implementation of the 2005 Gambling Act was essential to maintaining a safe gambling environment.

General Data Protection Regulation (2018)

Introduced in 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation act was established in order to help in protecting consumers private data from being exploited or sold, to push all online businesses, including gambling conglomerates, to take more accountability for the use of this data and to add to consumer rights.

This legislation aims to encourage businesses to mitigate risks for consumers that could occur from the reuse of their data, as by having this happen, businesses could consciously pose a multitude of risks for consumers. Within the gambling world that legislation was essential, due to the level of vulnerability of the data in which users input into gambling sites (card details, address, etc) the reuse of this data could be detrimental to the lives of users.

With the General Data Regulation act being implemented, this has created a necessity for businesses to carefully monitor the way in which they use the data of their consumers and provide a series of improvements to their databases to ensure that this happens. Following this, many terms and conditions pages now offer a myriad of terms that users consent to, meaning that following this legislation a series of data questions are included as to where and how businesses can distribute and use your data.

Terms and conditions are now essential for consumers to read, due to the subtle inclusion of data permissions requested as a result of legislations and laws established to ensure consumer safety. Yet many consumers have a tendency to avoid reading terms and conditions and choose to simply accept them, acting counterproductively against the initial legislation.

So if the use of your data causes unrest, ensure you correctly read through the terms and conditions to avoid any potential gathering and redistribution of your data; otherwise you are opening yourself to the possibility of this.

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