back to article UK gambling ad ban hits overseas operators

Online gambling companies based outside the European Economic Area are to be banned from advertising in the UK. The Gambling Act will be used to bar the advertising of over 1,000 websites. The Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) James Purnell has laid the proposal before Parliament today in …

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Anonymous Coward

Punish ITV for Littlewoods crimes?

" If operators, publishers, broadcasters, and advertising companies accept adverts they could face fines or prison, said the DCMS....Protection is my number one priority."

Nah, fake trade barriers are your number one priority. You're not *licensing* Littlewoods based on it's business, you're *refusing* to license Antigua based on no specific allegations of wrongdoing.

Littlewoods could do the exact same business in the exact same way with the exact same rules in Germany and be legal. So it's not about the gambling company, it's about the jurisdiction.

You'd like the profits from gambling to be kept within the UK, but you can't raise an obvious trade barrier because that's a breach of free trade agreements. And you can't tax foreign companies because it's a breach of taxation treaties. You can't even accuse the companies of any wrongdoing, because they run a straightforward business and they'd sue your ass for libel.

So you do what the UK always does - FIND SOMEONE IN THE UK TO PUNISH INSTEAD as a proxy for the company you'd like to punish.

There's nothing wrong with ITV accepting an advert for littlewoods. Selling advertising is what they do. There's nothing wrong with littlewoods being a gambling business, gambling is legal in the UK and Antigua.

What is wrong the way the UK puts it's own people in jail as a proxy for things it doesn't like in other countries. There are just too many proxy crimes like this.

This one for example:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/06/20/e-commerce_directive_terrorism/

Makes every blog administrator liable for the comments placed on their message boards. It makes them a proxy to arrest in place of the person you'd like to arrest (the commenter).

Now they're suggesting ISPs can be held liable for the work of spammers & phishers. Again it's to punish someone as a proxy for the crimes of someone else. Arresting the phisher is too difficult, so lets prosecute the ISP instead!

Bad things happen in the world outside our jurisdiction? Quick find a white middle class Brit to arrest instead!

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How will this work

Suppose I login to Facebook (American owned and hosted) and view an advert for a gambling site that is not allowed in the UK.

What are the goverment going to do? Short of black listing and instigating a country wide filter of sites that ignore the ban this will only mean anything to UK owned sites.

Which in turn will encourage site creators to not work in the UK.

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Anonymous Coward

lol

>> said Purnell. "Protection is my number one priority."

>> said Purnell. "Protectionism is my number one priority." Fix'd

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Anonymous Coward

Whitelist

The Whitelist covers Malta as well.

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Silver badge

Pah!

Bet it won't have any effect...

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Yeah, it'll work

Advertising unlicensed pharmacies is illegal in the US. That ban has certainly worked! Advertising for prostitution is illegal in the US (I think even in NV). Open the NYC Yellow Pages to Escort Services.

Advertising bans are very effective. Especially in international media like the internet. I'm sure you Brits will be as safe from such scurrilous operators as we are.

We welcome our censoring overlords.

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only .eu and .co.uk sites?

Does this mean that only gambling sites with a .eu or a .co.uk extension are allowed to advertise in the UK?

At least that would make it clear to potential players that they are on a safe website.

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Anonymous Coward

What comes next?

My worry (as chief conspiracy theorist) is what happens after this? They ban adverts for all non-EU gambling organisations, so the EU populace eventually end up on EU gambling sites. All of which, of course, conform to EU regulations. So when they decide to tax everyone on their winnings, you have to pay. They have no tax control over non-EU jurisdictions, so they'll try to stop you using those.

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