UK Gambling Commission Investigates Social Gaming

UK Gambling Commission Investigates Social GamingAccording to a recent report on the UK based financial website This is Money the UK Gambling Commission is investigating social gambling sites to determine whether they should be regulated like real money online gambling sites. The commission is trying to determine whether some of the games on social gambling sites qualify as gambling. If the commission determines that they are gambling they will have to be regulated like any other form of online gambling like online bingo and poker. John Travers, the corporate affairs manager for the Gambling Commission, told This is Money “The key question is, is it gambling or not? We are monitoring developments and assessing any wider implications for licensing objectives.”

So far it is not likely that any regulations will be imposed on the social gaming sector. Currently many social games like Zynga’s popular poker games do not require any real money buyins. Most social gaming operators encourage players to spend money on cyber currencies, tokens, avatars and in game features and rewards. Some of the features can help players advance while playing a game. As an example players benefit by purchasing additional chips in Zynga Poker games and Casino Gold can help players skip tournament rounds. Some items are there for amusement.

On Facebook Tetris Battle encourages players to purchase Tetris cash which can then be used to purchase designs for game pieces and extended play. Gambling Commission Chairman Philip Graf has written and spoken extensively about the potential risks posed by social gaming. Graf told reporters “We have no desire to widen our regulatory scope unless necessary, but we must continue to assess the nature and size of these risks.” The risks fall into two categories; whether social gaming will develop more problem gamblers and whether there is the possibility of players being taken in by rigged games or dishonest operators.

Many in the social gaming industry feel self-regulation is the best course of action. In January news reports indicated that the UK Gambling Commission has no intention of regulating social gaming. Graf said that the commission’s future approach to social gaming depends on how well the industry regulates itself. Graf stated “It is important to say at the outset that we certainly do not wish to regulate where we don’t have to. If there are minimal risks to the public or those risks are being properly managed and mitigated either by responsible providers and users or by existing mechanisms, for example the OFT or Ofcom, then there will be no need for us to act.”

Online Bingo Reviews

Subscribe for Newsletter

We respect your email privacy
Read our privacy policy
Protected by Copyscape Original Content Checker
Visit Us On Twitter