The British law
known as the Gambling Act 2005 is an act of Parliament of
the United Kingdom, and applies mainly to England, Wales
and Scotland. It controls all forms of gambling. In effect
it transfers authority for the granting of gambling licenses
from the Magistrates' Courts to the local authorities, specifically
unitary authorities, and the councils of metropolitan borough,
non-metropolitan district and London boroughs, or to Scottish
The Act states its objectives as:
gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being
associated with crime or disorder or being used to support
(b) Ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open
(c) Protecting children and other vulnerable persons from
being harmed or exploited by gambling."
There are provisions of the bill which faced controversy,
particularly in its original form, where it would have allowed
large numbers of so-called "super casinos" to
have been set up.
With the Parliamentary
session drawing to a close, a compromise was agreed to reduce
this to one. The Act also specifically regulates internet
gambling for the first time.
The bill is wide-ranging
and those in the promotions industry note that it will make
a significant impact.
its regulation of what have come to be known as illegal
lotteries is likely to have some interesting effects.
The now familiar "no purchase necessary" clause,
which is so beloved on on-product promotions and semi-legal
competitions will disappear and be replaced with the so-called
"New Zealand Model" where purchase may be a requirement
- if the purchase is at the "normal selling price".
It remains to be seen whether this condition is enforceable
What is potentially
more serious is that this provision in the legislation will
enable a new category of premium-rate lottery
promotion - where entry to the lottery is conditional on
the purchase of a product of dubious value, and where the
purchase is the justification for participation in a high-prize