Labour demands review into online casino licences
The Labour party has called for a “total overhaul” of how UK casinos licences operate as part of a bid to protect consumers.
Speaking to The Times, Deputy leader of the party, Tom Watson, has said that online casinos found to be failing consumers should be forced to reapply for their licences. The statement comes after over a third of online casinos were found to be failing customers and four were fined a total of £4.5m last week.
Watson has written to the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) to voice his concern, along with culture secretary Jeremy Wright.
Watson’s comments amount to a total overhaul of current licences. In his letters to Wright and the UKGC, Watson has suggested that all casinos that have applied for a licence since 2014 should be made to reapply for their licence.
Watson has said that sponsorships, financial conduct, “identity and character” of casinos, contributions to problem gambling initiatives, and recent breaches of licensing conditions should all be called into question.
Speaking to The Times, Watson said we cannot be:
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. A UK licence should not be used as a platform for offshore operators to use the reputation of British sport as a marketing tool for their own domestic audience, whereby the benefits of the UK market are enjoyed but nothing is given back to address the harm that is caused.– Tom Watson, Deputy leader of the Labour party