UK Gambling Commission Addresses Reports on Social Gaming

By Maria McCoyGoogle

Last week news circulated online that the Gambling Commission in the United Kingdom was exploring the possibility of regulating social gaming. The Gambling Commission has spoken out to address the reports.

John Travers, Corporate Affairs Manager for the Commission stated to the UK newspaper, The Mail on Sunday, “We are monitoring developments and assessing any wider implications for licensing objectives.” He said that social gaming is “at the perimeter” of current legislation.

The Commission put out a statement to follow-up, “We monitor what is going on across a wide range of activities, whether on-line or terrestrial, such as lotteries, gaming machine sales and including social gaming sites, to ensure that unlicensed gambling – as defined by the Act – is not taking place.”

The United Kingdom Gambling Act defines “gambling or games of chance” as a game played with the chance to win a “prize” at top rated online casinos. Those in the industry are looking to define social gaming prizes and the notion of virtual money so that regulation can be more defined.

Ivor Jones of Numis Securities commented on the developments, “Whether social gaming is or isn’t a gambling product doesn’t hinge on whether or not it is a game of chance, it hinges on whether you can win “money” or “money’s worth”. If regulation only stated “money” then casinos would be able to bypass regulation by handing out goods rather than currency as prizes, so legislation needs to say something of monetary value.”

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