The Chair of the U.K’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for gambling-related issues, Carolyn Harris (MP) has heightened calls to have the GB Gambling Commission reformed in order to better protect the interests of the vulnerable citizens.
While addressing parliament on the 9th of January, Harris pointed out to the ongoing dispute about the FA selling media rights betting firms.
A case in point is that of Bet365, which was allowed to stream more than 23 matches in round three of the FA competition in the past week. Consumers were allowed to view the games provided they deposited funds or wagered on the games. This was made possible via a deal between the IMG agency and the FA, which was signed two years ago. The arrangement allowed the IMG to commercialize clips and footage to operators.
However, this has drawn criticism from all quarters, with most people stating that the FA had announced in June of 2017 that it would distance itself from any dealings with the gambling space.
The MP criticized the deal and asked the government to take stern action against the Football Association. In response, the Sports Minister, one Nigel Adams stated that while sporting bodies are allowed to benefit, commercially, from the products they churn out and be able to negotiate their own terms, it is their job to ensure that they protect fans from problem gambling.
Tracy Couch, who tendered in her resignation two years ago from her position as Minister also weighed by stating that the government needs to pronounce itself clearly.
Harris’ call for the reform of the Gambling Commission first came as part of APPG’s provisional report on the state of the Gambling Sector in the UK. This also saw the APPG demand that the stake limit be set at £2 for all online casinos.
Meanwhile, the U.K’s Betting and Gaming Council has pronounced itself on this issue, stating that members did not ask for exclusivity for rights to showcase FA matches.
According to the BGC’s chair, operators GVC, Bet365, William Hill, Flutter as well as Kindred were happy with IMG offering rights to other stakeholders in order for the games to be view gratis elsewhere.