To: Betting and Gaming Council

cc: GAMSTOP

13 July 2020

Dear Sir/Madam,

Last week we highlighted yet another affiliate website (nonukgambling.com) that was advertising itself in the most deliberate and targeted way with the sole intention of gaining UK self-excluded customers.  There is no other purpose for someone in the UK to gamble on non-UK Gambling Commission registered sites other than for this reason. 

Fellow EbE, @QuitTheCasino has looked into the above site.  He has informed us that every month there are over 2000 searches in the UK for ‘websites not on GAMSTOP’.  If only half of these searches were from disordered gamblers, then this issue is clearly causing a lot of harm to the most vulnerable section of gamblers.  Further research by him has discovered that the site has infiltrated unsuspecting websites in the UK to gather further reach.  The organisations affected have been contacted to make them aware.

The targeting of the most vulnerable is an abhorrent and unscrupulous way of conducting business.  Those using such non-UK Gambling C omission sites would have already taken measures to try and attempt to deal with their disordered gambling by registering with GAMSTOP.  Such sufferers do not have the mental ability to act in a way that is conducive of the messages that promote responsible gambling (setting limits etc).  Such a person that would use such sites and be lured back into disordered gambling would have attempted to have acted responsibly by self-excluding.  

As a previous sufferer of gambling disorder myself, I would assert that during the early stages of recovery and possibly still at any time now, without being registered with a bank, such as Monzo and/or a blocking tool such as Gamban, there is every probability that I would have used such non-UK sites.  That is the power that gambling disorder can have on an individual, particularly those that may be suffering alone with no support.  Both of the above companies ensure that non-UK gambling sites are included within their blocking software.    

Although we, like many others, have been critical towards you and have so far not received any engagement from you or replies to previous correspondence, we are prepared to collaborate on this specific issue with you.  We cannot allow this huge problem to continue whilst knowing that those suffering from mental disorders are being exposed to such harm.

We know that other countries take legal action against UK Gambling Commission registered companies when operating without licences.  Why therefore is our country not doing the same?  We know that other countries have lists of companies that are blocked by internet providers, at the order of their governments.  Why is our country not doing the same?

We don’t purport to be technological experts and have answers to these questions.  We simply want these unscrupulous and harmful sites cut-off to ensure the most vulnerable are not exploited and are protected, which is something we know the Betting and Gaming Council would agree upon as being a shared primary objective.

I therefore hope we can put any past issues behind us and genuinely engage upon finding solutions to this issue as soon as possible.

Kind regards,

Alex Macey

Chair,

Gamvisory Group