There was a major clampdown on online gambling in the UK by the UK Gambling Commission and indeed, the Government itself.
Previously, the UK Gambling laws were very lax, due to the 2005 Gambling Act put in place by the Blair administration. However, after the act was branded no longer “Fit for purpose” due to a surge in online gambling, measures were taken to change the laws.
It has changed in multiple ways, most notably surrounding the ways in which you can promote the betting bonus that most sites offer as a welcome deal to get players to join.
As such, promoting UK Casinos has become a lot more of a minefield, then say, the case is with another huge market, the Swedish gaming industry.
Due to the monopoly on gambling in Sweden, many players seek their thrill on online casinos and the online gambling industry has become one of the largest in the world.
However, the new sanctions have been placed by the UK Gambling Commission and so, it is only websites that promote to that specific audience that face repercussions for poorly advertising their casinos.
This was bad news for many gaming affiliates companies representing this market, who had to race against the clock to get the casinos they advertise on their sites compliant with the new rules or face the consequences.
The main issue was making sure that they were not misrepresenting what the welcome deal entailed. This meant making sure it was clear that the welcome betting bonus deal on the site accurately represents the deal on offer.
Therefore, only the first deposit bonus could be advertised, even if the site was to have a welcome package that accumulated to a significant amount more than that first deposited figure. For example, if a casino offers a package worth $1000 over 3 deposits, but the first deposit was just $100, then it was the latter figure that had to be used.
This is to help avoid people signing up with the wrong idea about what they can get for their money.
Another change was that the terms and conditions of the casino had to be clearly displayed. As such, to ensure players knew that there may be catches, such as bonus cash needing to be wagered before withdrawn, the links to the sites had to lead directly to the casino’s terms and conditions page.
If the casino did not have a link specifically for this, then at the very least the phrase “T&Cs Apply” & “18+”, must be clearly visible under any “Call to Action” buttons that link to the page and more general terms and conditions must be included under any casino bonuses promoted.
This is to maintain that overall, perspective players aren’t joining casino under the illusion that they can just sign up, take the bonus and cash out. As such, it makes the deal fairer on both sides of the casino.
Another major change was that any images that may entice young children, for example cartoon characters, or that may sexualise gambling had to be removed.
For now, these laws are not put in place for companies who work only for the Swedish market, or indeed, any other market in the world, excluding countries where it is online gambling is outright forbidden, or in nations that have had long existing restrictive rules.
However, a complete overhaul on the way casinos are promoted is expected in 2018 and so, we may be seeing countries following suit with the UK Gambling Commission and the real nature of betting bonuses becoming more clearly illustrated on sites worldwide.
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