The gambling & gaming industry...

The gambling and gaming industry (which includes online betting and gaming) is a fast developing area which comes with many regulations and challenges. Unsurprisingly therefore, it has its own specialist sector in many firms (also some firms do not offer legal services to businesses within this industry at all as it conflicts with their overall 'purpose'). 

Gaming and gaming operators are licensed to operate under the Gambling Commission's Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) and specific statutory framework governing betting and gaming. Pursuant to this, operators are obliged to comply with a variety of codes of conduct including the Social Responsibility code. 

Operators in this industry have a duty to protect vulnerable customers (such as those suffering from mental health issues and gambling addictions) and encourage customers to gamble responsibly. As such, the LCCP requires operators to:

  • carry out ID checks 

  • carry out age verification checks to ensure no one under the age of 18 is served 

  • investigate and verify the source of funds used to gamble to ensure customers are betting within their means 

  • identify potentially vulnerable individuals and advise them of relevant responsible gambling facilities and external agencies that can help with their problems 

In the UK the Gambling Commission licence and regulate the people and businesses that provide gambling (which includes the National Lottery). 

What do the lawyers do?!

Lawyers that specialise within the gaming and gambling industry can act on behalf of the operator itself or on behalf of the customer. Examples of legal support provided by lawyers to businesses in this industry include: 

  • advising businesses on the preparation of terms and conditions for websites supplying gambling services and ensuring it all complies with the Consumer Rights Act 2015; 

  • advising businesses on data protection and privacy legislation to ensure customers' data is protected; 

  • advising on intellectual property issues such as the protection of an operator's branding; 

  • assisting both land based and online operators with gambling licence applications and authorisations including operating licences, premise licences and personal licences; 

  • assisting operators in relation to operating licence reviews instigated by the Gambling Commission; 

  • providing regulatory advice and drafting commercial documents relating to lotteries, prize draws and competitions;

  • advising on issues arising under the Gambling Act 2005; 

  • advising on gambling advertising and ensuring it complies with the relevant legislation and regulation; and

  • assisting operators in complying with their obligations under the LCCP. 

Examples of legal support provided by lawyers to consumers in this industry include:

  • advising individuals in complaints against betting operators when they have breached the SR code; 

  • assisting individuals with making complaints to the Gambling Commission; 

  • assisting and advising individuals with breaches of contract by betting operators such as a refusal by a betting operator to pay out winnings; and

  • advising individuals in respect of use and loss of unauthorised funds.