The UK Gambling Commission (“UKGC“) has clarified that video game ‘loot boxes’ and the purchasing of mystery in-game content do not fall within the meaning of ‘gambling’ under current UK legislation.
On 5 July 2017 the Gambling Commission issued a new enforcement strategy which will be used to deal with operators who breach gambling regulations. The new strategy came into force on the day it was issued and follows a related consultation earlier in the year. Key changes include:
- Changes to the Commission’s statement on financial penalties including introducing higher penalties for breaches, particularly in respect of systemic and repeated failings;
- Using time-limited discounts to create better incentives for early settlement; and
- Putting all regulatory tools, including licence review, on an equal footing by removing the current bias in favour of settlement.
The new enforcement strategy follows new regulations that were introduced by the Gambling Commission last month and aimed at ensuring that online operators offer all consumers in the UK the same tools to monitor their gambling activities. The measures ensure greater consistency between operators, particularly regarding the information accessible to consumers. Innovation and technological advances have continued to drive growth in the £4.5 billion a year online gambling market and operators are developing new gambling products and technologies. In turn, the Gambling Commission has stated that it will continue to adapt regulation to ensure that these products are “effectively managing the risks to the licensing objectives, keeping gambling safe and fair for all”. Continue reading