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Friday, August 10, 2007

One Thousand Internet Gambling Sites Face UK Advertising Ban

One Thousand Internet Gambling Sites Face UK Advertising Ban

The UK government will today lay down new powers in Parliament under the Gambling Act 2005, to ban gambling adverts from companies operating outside of the European Economic Area (EEA). The move is set to exclude up to 1,000 online gaming websites which will include some of the industry’s most recognisable brands, when the Act comes into force on September 1.

Independent research has suggested that approximately 2,300 gambling websites are in operation worldwide, with Antigua considered to have the largest number with around 537, followed by Costa Rica (474), Kahnawake (Canadian Reservation) (401) and the Netherlands Antilles (343).

For jurisdictions who fall outside of the EEA, the route to exemption from the ad ban involved a rigorous assessment of their regulatory standards, with sites such as William Hill Casino, Betfred Casino and Poker, and are all currently based in non-white listed jurisdictions.

The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, James Purnell, has already rejected applications from Alexander (Canadian Reservation), Netherlands Antilles and Tasmania, with applications from Kahnawake and Antigua still being considered.

Operators in online gambling regions such as Costa Rica and Belize who have not applied to be white listed will automatically be banned from advertising in the UK from September 1.

Only Alderney and the Isle of Man were able to demonstrate adequate provisions for the protection of children, vulnerable people, and those for keeping games fair and the prevention of crime.


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