UK gambling affiliates to remain unlicensed as government implements stricter marketing regulations
The UK government has rejected calls for affiliate partners to be awarded a license and will continue to hold licensee operators accountable for their marketing activities
The UK government has published a white paper review that confirms licensee operators will continue to be held accountable by the GB Gambling Commission for all marketing activities carried out by affiliate partners on their behalf. This legislative update primarily concerns licensed operators within the UK, but it will also impact other industry giants worldwide that partner with affiliates, including those promoting online casinos for Australian players.
The Responsible Affiliates in Gambling (RAiG), a trade association established by major players within the UK gambling affiliate sector, has been campaigning for a statutory licensing or registration regime for affiliates since 2020. The group's members have refocused their efforts on other initiatives aimed at driving improvements in the sector, given that the UK government has rejected arguments in favor of providing licences to online affiliates.
In recent years, there has been a debate on whether online gambling affiliates working in the UK should be awarded a license, like operators and suppliers, to better protect consumers' interests. However, David Da Silva, CEO of UK super affiliate EasyOdds, believes that affiliates are already well managed through existing regulations, and additional regulations could stifle innovation and reduce competition in the industry, putting undue pressure on smaller affiliates.
The UK government is also enforcing a stake limit on slots, which are currently unlimited despite contributing to more problem gambling and addictive behavior than any other gambling activity. New accounts will receive lower thresholds, and operators will have to monitor players who have experienced a net loss of more than £125 each month, or £500 per year. Additionally, the government is collaborating with the Gambling Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority to tackle advertising regulations that may entice children.
Danish affiliate Better Collective has stated that the new initiatives proposed by the white paper review will have little to no financial impact on the company and that they will contribute to creating a safer gambling environment for consumers. The company also noted that UK sportsbooks had already implemented new compliance measures such as affordability checks when the white paper was initiated, and it has not impacted their revenue.