Online Gambling Licensees Warned to Not Take Advantage of Coronavirus Crisis

April 5, 2020 John Isaac

Online gambling licensees were warned by the UK’s gambling regulator not to exploit incentives the outbreak of coronavirus as the business lobby group is blasting the government for leaving the retail betting market.

Poker chips on a table in a casino

A night in a casino © Kay/Unsplash

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) on Wednesday instructed its licensees to protect customers amid the coronavirus crisis as they were doing until now.  Primarily, the UKGC told online licensees that many people are now doing ‘social distancing’ that they prevent them from patronizing retail gaming sites.

Gambling Operators Should Continue Promoting Responsible Gambling

With too many white-collar employees now operating remotely from home, the UKGC said online licensees have a duty to track the behavior of consumers for indications that people are waste more time or money than they would otherwise.

Both internet and land-based operators are also recommended to ensure that they have adequate supervision, training, and monitoring to conform with their license terms. If licensees have concerns as to their ability to sustain conformity, they should allow partial or complete suspension of their services before such time as fully compliant service is again available.

According to UKGC, social responsibility is highlighted as a core pillar in its recent regulatory decisions, and operators will be better served to take the UKGC at its word that it would be carefully monitored and ensure that none of its licensees drop their standards during coronavirus outbreak.

Unfortunately, the UKGC has also reported that it lacks the capacity to reduce license fees for the length of the crisis because of the way their fee system is designed.

After three days of double-digit losses, GVC Holdings closed down less than 1% last Thursday. Playtech also fell 1%, though William Hill was quite stable this week after losing almost two-thirds of its worth. Rank Group struggled to shake off the downturn, slipping nearly 19% after warning that its UK retail sector had declined significantly also announcing that its Spanish and Belgian retail operations had also closed.

Betting Shops and Casinos Do Not Qualify for Business Rate Relief Package

Shares could go lower again on Friday after it was announced by the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak that retail betting shops and casinos would not qualify for the business rate relief package introduced a few days ago.

Upon Sunak’s attempts to exclude retail and hospitality firms from charging market rates for a year, Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), blasted Sunak for delivering a devastating blow to an industry that pays billions in tax and also employs 70,000 hard-working all around the country.

At the moment there are more than 22 000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK and around 1408 people of those who were tested positive have died. The two most affected countries from the coronavirus in Europe are Italy and Spain while the US is considered to be the world’s epicenter of the virus and has reported more even more cases than China where it first appeared back in December last year.

The coronavirus has closed many businesses as most of the countries around the world are practicing social distance in order to avoid further spread of the virus.

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