Party Poker advertising might become thin on the ground if the British have their way. After a recent controversy with Victor Chandler International, Lord Faulkner has called on the British Department for Culture Media and Sports to ban advertising from bookmakers licensed in more lenient countries if they do not adhere to the more strict British regulations.
The controversy was sparked by VCI’s refusal to enter an information exchange agreement with the Football Association unless it is part of an industry-wide requirement. These agreements, used to control and fight corruption in betting sports, are mandatory in the UK under the Gambling Commission’s regulations, but optional for companies registered in other white-list countries such as Malta and Gibraltar.
On a statement to the House of Lords, Lord Faulkner made a strong case for tightening regulations across the board, and withholding authorization to advertise in the UK for companies – or countries – which fail to operate with the required transparency and openness. He specifically mentioned Gibraltar, where VCI and Party Poker are licensed, as a country with an excessively lenient approach to gambling and betting companies.
“The Government should continue to give every encouragement to these developments, as I hope that they will. But they must also be prepared to take a much tougher line with foreign jurisdictions that license betting operations aimed at British clients. At the very least, they should insist that Gibraltar and Malta apply the same sorts of standards as those that they have required of the newly white-listed jurisdictions of the Isle of Man and Alderney,” said Lord Faulkner, adding that “if the betting industry rises to these challenges, the integrity of sports betting could be improved by the greater transparency and disclosure that the adoption of demanding and meaningful information exchange agreements can create.”
As a way to impress the seriousness of this issue, Lord Faulkner proposed that uncooperative offshore bookmakers be banned from advertising in the UK, even if they are licensed in a white-listed jurisdiction. We hope that Party Poker follows Britain’s stringent standards, as it would be a shame to miss out on their hilarious TV spots.