Another UK-facing gaming operator is preparing for the United Kingdom Gambling Commission's pending Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act. William Hill has launched an age-screening tool on Twitter to prevent underage gamblers from interacting with the brand.
Gibralter-based William Hill asserts that they are the first bookmaker in Europe to introduce age verification on Twitter and plan to incorporate this over the entire group, including its Italian, Spanish, American, and Australian businesses.
William Hill's group head of regulatory, Andrea Macqueen, announced the company's reasons behind this decision: “Age verification, disclosure, and consumer protection is paramount across our entire business, and over the last few years has become even more important within our owned digital IP channels such as our apps and website.”
While this might appear to big news by itself, in combination with other news, it is. Especially considering the pending gaming act calls for tightening underage gambling controls.
Whether or not this pending bill becomes reality seems more likely by the day. The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) and its more than 20 members have filed a legal challenge which not only includes firmer underage gambling controls but also a 15 percent point of consumption tax.
William Hill has made no secret about not wishing to challenge the proposed UK gaming bill, however, acting before the bill is passed may be a sign of William Hill believing the GBGA legal challenge will not succeed. It might also be interpreted, however, that William Hill wants to remain on the good side of the United Kingdom Gaming Commission regardless of the outcome of the the GBGA legal challenge.
William Hill's Chief Executive James Henderson recently commented about the challenge that he "just didn't feel it was appropriate" to participate in GBGA's legal battle, primarily due to the company working closely with the UK government.
Another sign UK-facing gaming operators might feel the gambling act is destined to beat the GBGA legal challenge is the announcement by more than one operator of its exit of the UK marketplace.
Just last week, Mansion emailed its UK customers announcing its exit from the UK and online casino operator, All Slots Casino also has stopped accepting business from the country.