UK Gambling Commission Releases 2017 Participation and Perception Report

On Tuesday, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) published the 2017 gambling participation and perceptions report, revealing the latest gambling consumer trends in Britain.

Overall gambling participation declined slightly, while online gambling participation rates remained essentially flat. Online punters increasingly use mobile phones and tablets to gamble, but interest in operators’ social media accounts saw a marked drop.

Trust in the UK’s gambling sector diminished slightly.

The report’s headline findings are as follows:

  • 45% of people have gambled in the past four weeks (including National Lottery play) (48% in year to December 2016).
  • 18% of people have gambled online in the past four weeks (17% in year to December 2016).
  • 0.8% of all respondents identified as problem gamblers, and 3.9% identified as at-risk gamblers.
  • 51% of online gamblers did so using a mobile phone or tablet (43% in year to December 2016).
  • On average, online gamblers held 4 accounts each (3 in year to December 2016).
  • 26% of gamblers follow gambling companies on social media (32% in year to December 2016).
  • 33% of people think gambling is fair and can be trusted (34% in year to December 2016).
  • 41% of people think that gambling is associated with crime (39% in year to December 2016).


Stars Group Acquires Majority Stake in Australian Operator CrownBet

The Stars Group, which has 115 million customers worldwide, has acquired a 62% majority stake in Australian online sports betting operator CrownBet for AUS$150m.

CrownBet and The Stars Group have also put in a bid for the purchase of William Hill’s Australian business, which has been put up for sale by its British parent company.

As Australia’s Interactive Gambling Act bans all online gambling verticals other than sports and race betting, The Stars Group will be unable to offer its poker and casino offerings to Australian bettors.


Upcoming Events

The following upcoming events may be of interest to members of the GiH community.

  • Ruud Gullit will be keynote speaker at the Esports Insider Super Forum, a part of the wider Betting on Football conference, taking place 20-23 March at Stamford Bridge Stadium, London.
  • The next Slot Academy training course takes place 10-12 April in Leiden, The Netherlands. Download the course agenda here.
  • The GamblingCompliance Global Regulatory Awards 2018, celebrating excellence in the field of regulatory compliance and responsible gambling, will be hosted at The Sheraton Grand Hotel, London – 18 April 2018.
  • It’s Better Live! Join us for the 2nd Annual Live Gaming Summit in Barcelona, which is bringing together providers, operators, experts, and other stakeholders to discuss the latest developments in the live gaming industry on 26 April, 2018 at Casino Barcelona. Check out the event’s website for more details, or contact Willem van Oort at
  • Early bird tickets for the Gaming Summit, the conference of the German slot machine industry, on June 14 in Berlin are now available.
  • In 2018, the iGaming Super Show, EiG and Amsterdam Affiliate Conference come together as iGB Live!, a consolidated three brand event. The first edition of iGB Live! will take place 17 – 20 July 2018 at The Amsterdam RAI.
  • The 12th EASG Conference on Gambling Studies and Policy Issues is now scheduled for 11-14 September 2018 at the Grand Hotel Excelsior, Valletta, Malta.
  • The 2018 edition of Blockchain Live will feature eight conference stages, including one focused on gaming and gambling. No less than 3,000 attendees are expected to gather in The Grand Hall, Olympia, London on September 26, 2018.


Netherlands Gaming Authority Clarifies Probity Screening Process during Meeting with Land-Based Operators

Last week, Dutch trade association VAN Kansspelen, in cooperation with the Netherlands Gaming Authority, held a public member ship meeting to discuss the Public Administration (Probity Screening) Act (Wet Bibob).

In order to prevent illicit funds being invested in licensed gambling, all prospective operators of land-based slot machines in the Netherlands face a probity screening when applying for a local license.

Representatives of the Netherlands Gaming Authority explained the demands and implications of the Public Administration (Probity Screening) Act, including relevant jurisprudence, to a large audience of land-based operators and legal professionals. (Their full presentation is available here.)

During the meeting, the Gaming Authority also presented a new, simplified form that will henceforth be used to screen prospective land-based slot machine operators.

“It was an excellent and informative meeting on a complicated subject,” commented Sanne Muijser, General Secretary of VAN Kansspelen. “We are very pleased with the cooperation offered by the Netherlands Gaming Authority and we hope to organize a number of similar sessions with them in the near future.”


Other News

In order to prevent fraud and the participation of minors, Speel Verantwoord, the Dutch trade association of online operators, is arguing for the introduction of government-facilitated electronic customer ID verification (“eID”) once remote gaming is legalized in the Netherlands.


Law firm Kalff Katz & Franssen has been shortlisted for GamblingCompliance’s “Best Regulatory Lawyer or Law Firm of the Year.”


The report “The liberalisation of the lottery market in the Netherlands: A report on potential psychosocial impacts and how to minimise harm” by researchers Mark Griffiths (Nottingham Trent University) and Jeffrey Derevensky (McGill University) is now publicly available.


Swedish regulator Lotteriinspektionen has revealed that growth in the country’s gaming market slowed to 3.2% in 2017, compared to 5.3% in the previous year.


Denmark’s licensed online gambling operators looking to take wagers on local horse races must now pay a hefty premium for the privilege.


European trade association the Remote Gambling Association has published good practice guidelines to help operators when they are developing or purchasing systems to enable them to recognize problematic online gambling behavior.


Local MP Godfrey Farrugia has strongly criticized the Malta Gaming Authority for repeated due diligence failings.


UK-facing operators must collaborate rather than compete on the technology needed to reduce problem gambling, the Gambling Commission’s outgoing CEO, Sarah Harrison, has said.


The UK Gambling Commission has appointed its general counsel Neil McArthur as interim chief executive officer.


Ireland’s top amateur sporting organization has overwhelmingly voted to prohibit all sponsorship by betting companies.


Eastern European casino operator Olympic Entertainment Group (OEG) is looking to make inroads into Italy’s regulated online gambling market.


Playtech has announced its full-year results for 2017, reporting a 14% year-on-year revenue increase.


Playtech’s strategy is to focus on investing in fast growing newly regulated or regulating markets, including the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland, CEO Mor Weizer recently revealed.


William Hill announced a 13% year-on-year rise in 2017 revenues, following double-digit growth from both sports betting and gaming.


William Hill has appointed former Betsson CEO Ulrik Bengtsson to the newly created chief digital officer role as part of a major reshuffle.


UK bookmakers Betfred are reportedly looking to sell a one-quarter stake in the Tote pool betting operation.


IGT has become the latest gambling company to commit its support to the gambling industry’s All-in Diversity Project.


Daily fantasy sports operator DraftKings has hired a “Head of Sportsbook” to deal with its aspirations in the sports betting space, the company announced on Monday.