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Fiona Simmons January 17, 2024 3 min read
Criminal Justice Bill Would Allow UKGC to Request IP Blocks
Under the new proposal, the UKGC will be able to request IP and domain name providers to block access to websites that violate or might violate British law
The United Kingdom’s new Criminal Justice Bill is set to provide the Gambling Commission (UKGC) with extra powers, allowing it to request the blocking of unlicensed gambling websites. While yet to be passed, the bill is gaining traction as the UK seeks to empower law enforcement bodies, allowing them to tackle crime and fraud.
What That Means for the Gambling Industry
The bill has already passed its first and second readings and is now being discussed before undergoing a third reading. Following that, the bill will go to the House of Lords and, if approved, will finally be signed into law.
Under the new proposal, the UKGC will be able to request IP and domain name providers to block access to websites that violate or might violate British law. At the moment, the commission must request such actions under a voluntary suspension model that has proved to be inefficient, especially for sites outside of the UK.
As a result, the UK seeks to enable agencies, such as the UKGC, to apply for court orders, which can be served even to foreign companies.
Minister Philp Says the Bill Would Bring Much-Needed Change
Under the new Criminal Justice Bill, unlicensed operators and crypto casinos risk getting blocked. As reported by Next.io, Chris Philp, the United Kingdom’s Minister for Policing, said that these new rules will allow any UKGC member of at least the level of executive director to make applications for court orders.
Philp said that this is an important step in the crackdown on foreign companies that steal a market share from their legal competitors and do not respond to requests to cease their unlicensed activities.
Philp said that he hopes everyone can agree that this is a necessary measure, arguing that it would also help to tackle online crime as a whole.
In the meantime, the UKGC just handed a £6 million fine to Gamesys, which violated the country’s social responsibility and anti-money laundering protocols. The commission, which continues to closely monitor the market, concluded that Gamesys conducted inadequate customer due diligence and was over-reliant on third-party regulation.
In other news, the UK continues to discuss the ongoing gambling reforms, especially the controversial affordability checks. While yet to be implemented, the checks have agitated many bettors who believe that the measure would infringe on their privacy. As a result, the UK Petitions Committee will discuss Nevin Truesdale’s recent anti-affordability checks petition.