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Raising Standards for Consumers - Enforcement report 2018 to 2019

The enforcement report for 2018 to 2019

Illegal gambling

A key part of our enforcement work is the opening of criminal investigations and the use of criminal investigatory powers where we have concerns offences are being committed under the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab). We have a statutory remit to keep crime out of gambling.

We take an incremental approach to suspected criminal activities. Where we suspect individuals or companies are illegally interacting with UK consumers our initial action is to issue cease and desist demands. Should these not be complied with, we will escalate matters which may lead to the opening of a formal criminal investigation. Once a criminal investigation has been opened, we have a broad range of investigatory powers available to us.

For those online, unlicensed operators who continue to engage with UK customers and do not adhere to our cease and desist notices, we use disruption techniques where appropriate. Our methods have included utilising our relationships with web hosts, payment providers and social media sites, to help prevent unlicensed operators interacting with UK consumers.

We have tackled 31 instances of remote unlicensed operators this year, a decline on previous years.

We are targeting a significant volume of substantial illegal gambling offerings via social media and are engaging with those platforms and payment providers to disrupt activity. There continues to be increased volumes of work addressing unlicensed lotteries promoted online.

We take seriously attempts to offer gambling to children and continue to disrupt those who offer illegal products such as skins gaming to UK consumers and young people. Escalated and expedited enforcement action is taken where cease and desist letters do not result in the closure of the website and social media pages.

We continue to investigate allegations of cheating under s.42 of the Gambling Act and work closely with sports governing bodies and media production companies in tackling this type of crime.

Additionally, we have investigated illegal bookmaking both at racecourses and within pubs working with the Police and Local Authorities. We have tackled the illegal supply of gaming machines and unlicensed lottery promotion.

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Enforcement report 2018 to 2019: Marketing and advertising
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Enforcement report 2018 to 2019: Affordability
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