UK Gambling Commission Issues Reminder to Operators on Digital Advertising Responsibilities

By | February 10, 2022
Reading Time: 2 minutes


The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has released a statement on its website reminding operators of their responsibilities related to theirs’ and their third-party marketing affiliates’ digital adverts and copyrighted content.

Through the statement, UKGC reminded the licensees of their responsibilities to make sure that no advertising content is posted by them or any of their marketing affiliate partners on websites that provide unauthorised access to copyrighted content.

Citing the provisions of Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) 16.1.1 related to the placement of digital adverts, the UKGC reiterated all licensees must:

  • Ensure that they do not place digital advertisements on websites providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content.
  • Take all reasonable steps to ensure that third parties with whom they contract for the provision of any aspect of their business related to the licensed activities do not place digital advertisements on websites providing unauthorised access to copyrighted content.
  • Ensure that the terms upon which they contract with such third parties enable them, subject to compliance with any dispute resolution provisions, to terminate the third party’s contract promptly if, in the Licensee’s reasonable opinion, the third party has been responsible for placing digital advertisements for the licensed activities on such websites.

The regulatory watchdog reminded all operators that placing ads on websites that provide unauthorised access to copyrighted content is, in essence, funding for these websites and is, therefore, associating gambling with crime.

“Over the years, we have seen a significant reduction in gambling adverts appearing on copyright infringing websites, but a number of gambling adverts continue to appear. This demonstrates the need for gambling operators to introduce additional controls or to review the monitoring methods they currently have in place to ensure this does not occur. To date, the Gambling Commission has not specified any particular measures that licensees should take to prevent this, however, we are clear about our expectation,” the Commission explained.

The commission has refrained from specifying any particular measures, but the regulatory body is adamant operators should crank up their efforts. As a possible approach, the Gambling Commission pointed to registration with the Infringing Website List (IWL) operated by the Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) within the City of London Police.

The IWL aims to enable advertisers, agencies, and other intermediaries to voluntarily stop placing adverts on websites that infringe copyrights by offering an up-to-date list of these websites. The regulator encouraged gambling operators to register with the website’s services.

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