New Gambling Laws May Include A VIP Scheme Ban, New Report Suggests

Gambling Act Review VIP Scheme Ban

The outcome of the Government’s Gambling Act 2005 review may see a ban on VIP schemes, shirt sponsorships, and a maximum stake limit on video slots, according to a new report from the Daily Mail.

The report, which cites government sources, states that a ban on VIP schemes will be one of the outcomes of the Gambling Act 2005 review, with MPs describing the schemes as “immoral” and arguing that they “encourage” problem gambling.

Under current law, entry to VIP programmes for people under the age of 25 requires sign-off from seniors at betting operators as well as strict account monitoring.

The UK Gambling Commission has been criticised for refusing to ban VIP schemes last year when it introduced new gambling rules, with Labour MP Carolyn Harris stating that the Commission’s failure highlighted the “close relationship between the industry and the Gambling Commission”.

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) have reportedly backed the move, with a spokesperson telling the Daily Mail: “The BGC, working with the Gambling Commission, has already taken tough action on VIP accounts, including the introduction of a strict new code of conduct which has seen the number of players enrolled reduced by 70%.”

A second Daily Mail report suggests that the creation of a new gambling ombudsman, a ban on sports shirt sponsorships, and a maximum stake limit of £2 on video slots will also be outcomes of the government’s gambling review.

The Daily Mail report further suggests that MPs are looking to tackle “binge gambling” with new limits that will reportedly help keep betting affordable.

The UK government’s review of the Gambling Act 2005 kicked off in December 2020 with a call for evidence up to March 2021. Spearheaded by Conservative MP John Whittingdale, ministers are set to unveil a White Paper later this year with proposals of new rules for the gambling industry.

Betting and Gaming Council Pledges To Protect Young People

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has pledged to “maintain the momentum” on protecting young people and promoting safer betting as the new football season has kicked off.

The English Football League kicked off last week and the Premier League is set to start this week, and to coincide with the new football season, the BGC has highlighted the steps it and its members have taken to raise standards within the betting industry.

Since being established in 2019, the BGC helped introduce the whistle-to-whistle ban on television gambling adverts from five minutes before the match begins to five minutes after it finishes before the 9 PM watershed. A study by Enders Analysis found that the ban led to a 97% reduction in the number of gambling adverts seen by children.

The BGC also highlighted the introduction of its code of conduct on the use of social media channels by football clubs. Under the code, calls to action or links to gambling websites are banned from organic tweets along with the display of bonuses or odds.

Michael Dugher, the Chief Executive of the BGC, said in a statement: “The start of the new football season is an exciting time for fans across the country. BGC members are proud to provide financial support in a variety of ways for the beautiful game, but it’s also important that we maintain the momentum when it comes to protecting young people from gambling harm.

“Around 30 million people in Britain – half the population – enjoy a flutter, and the vast majority do so safely. According to the government, the rate of problem gambling is 0.5% and has been stable for the past 20 years. But one problem gambler is one too many, so we will step up our work on protecting young people and providing help for those experiencing harm.”

The above news comes after the Betting and Gaming Council last month praised a new Snapchat feature that allows users in the United Kingdom to opt-out of gambling advertisements.

Betting Company Parimatch Announces Three-Year Partnership With Chelse Football Club

Amidst all of the above, tech and betting company Parimatch has announced a three-year partnership with Chelsea Football Club.

According to Chelsea, the partnership will see Parimatch use the football club’s bold and ambitious brand and utilise a wide array of digital, social and logistical assets to create mutual branding opportunities.

The firm will also offer fans chances to win prizes and exclusive matchday experiences throughout the current season on their social media channels.

Guy Laurence, the CEO at Chelsea FC, said in a statement: “Both Chelsea and Parimatch strive for greatness. We are bold, ready to innovate and, most importantly, we were both born to win. Last year was immensely successful for Parimatch as they expanded and opened new markets, while launching several game-changing projects. Chelsea also showed its excellence, becoming European champions for the second time in our history! We are excited and proud of this partnership and the opportunities it brings.”

Roman Syrotian, the Co-CEO at Parimatch Tech, added: “Chelsea’s unique style, determination and charisma resonate perfectly with Parimatch’s passion for sport and ambition. Becoming an official partner of 2020/21’s European champions is a great thrill and responsibility.

“Luckily, Parimatch is all about conquering new heights and unwinding emotions, and we are so excited for the next three years that this partnership is about to bring. As our two brands are used to winning in style and striving for success, we are very confident that this partnership will bring luck, countless victories and the thrill of the game to our company, to the club, and, in turn, to the millions of football fans across the globe.”