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Labour “demands” review of online casino licences Published Date: 21/05/2019

The Times reported that Tom Watson MP has written to the Gambling Commission “…to question the integrity of many operators.”

Mr Watson, Labour’s deputy Leader reportedly said online casinos should have to reapply for their operating licences after more than a third were found by the industry regulator to be failing customers.

Mr Watson’s letter comes after the recent news that four gambling businesses are to pay a total of £4.5m in penalty packages as part of the Gambling Commission’s ongoing investigation into the online casino sector. InTouch Games Limited will pay £2.2m, Betit Operations Limited will pay £1.4m, and MT Secure Trade will pay £700,000 in lieu of financial penalties, and BestBet will pay a financial penalty of £230,972.

Mr Watson said in the letter that all casino websites that have obtained a UK licence since 2014 should have them reviewed, writing: “A UK gambling licence should be a hallmark of credibility and trust. It should not be seen as an opportunity for operators to push the limits of their conditions and responsibilities.

“The regulator cannot be in a position where it is continually playing catch-up to an opaque and agile global industry. We need a structured response to the situation. This will require a total overhaul of our register of current remote sector licences.”

He added: “This review would be an opportunity for existing remote licence-holders to reapply for the privilege of operating and marketing in the UK. It is essential that the government, working with the regulator, can reassess the financial probity of operators, the identity and character of their owners, the contributions they make to the research, education and treatment of problem gambling, the partnerships they have with our sports clubs, and any recent breaches of licence conditions.”

Source: The Times