Weekly News Update on the Gambling Industry

By Martin Green17 April 2018
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pie eating

A trailblazing self-exclusion model, responsible gaming and a steaming hot pie all feature in our weekly round up of the biggest industry news. Here are the biggest stories to hit the sports betting sector over the past seven days:

Sun Bets has been slapped with an £84,000 fine and risks losing its licence over a high-profile publicity stunt that backfired spectacularly. When non-league side Sutton Utd made it through to an FA Cup tie with Premiership giants Arsenal, Sun Bets offered odds of 8/1 on rotund substitute goalkeeper Wayne Shaw finishing a pie during the game. Lo and behold, Shaw demolished a pie live on TV, and the backlash began. TAB Corp, which owns Sun Bets, was fined and warned it will lose its licence to operate if it engages in further skulduggery of this nature. Read more at The Guardian.

Italy has launched a one-stop shop for problem gamblers to exclude themselves from every licensed operator in the country. They simply fill out an online form put together by gambling regulator AAMS, and it bars them from accessing all gaming sites. Each bookmaker has to immediately close that player’s account and forward the exclusion request to a central register. Players can exclude themselves permanently or for six months. Previously they had to self-exclude from every gaming site individually. It comes after online gambling grew 30% in Italy in 2017. Gambling Compliance has more on this.

Premiership football club Crystal Palace has teamed up with GambleAware in a bid to tackle gambling harm surrounding the sport. The club and the charity have teamed up to produce ads and promotional materials to raise awareness of the risks of gambling. Messages, which will be visible to spectators on the ground and to viewers at home, will appear across the perimeter of the pitch and on screens throughout the stadium during the final three games of the season. Read more at the club’s official website.

Neil McArthur is the new permanent chief executive at the UK Gambling Association. He had been acting as interim boss since February, following the departure of Sarah Harrison, but has now been handed the role on an ongoing basis. “I am really proud of the Commission’s achievements over the last 12 years, but there is a lot more to do,” he said. The UKGA recently upset the anti-gambling lobby by rejecting proposals to cut the minimum stake on FOBT machines from £100 to £2. The Sun’s headline described it as “betraying addicts”.

Sweden gambling regulator has seen its budget rise by a third as it prepares to receive online gaming applications.

The BBC’s Katie Prescott has written an opinion piece claiming that the gambling industry, a huge success story in recent years, could be in trouble. She cites regulatory clampdowns, pressure from the likes of GambleAware and an image problem as potential reasons for future struggles. Read the piece here.