|The UK is set to be the premier destination for online casinos once it goes ahead with its proposed gambling reforms, but a security measure being considered by civil servants could drive away online gaming firms: PIN numbers. PINs would have to be sent to new customers before they can play.|
New Media Age magazine has learned that civil servants have been touting PIN numbers as a possible condition of licenses, although the measure isn’t in the original report from the Gambling Review Body or the Government’s response. Needless to say, Internet gambling companies are less than thrilled with the proposals. “If that’s the kind of thing they are going to impose then you can’t run a business,” said a Ladbrokes spokesperson. “If they’re too prescriptive then no-one will come back onshore. That’s something they’ll have to look at again.” Rank Interactive commercial director Ed Andrews said: “ it doesn’t seem sensible to me”. “Regulations for operating casino and gaming sites can be set at a sensigble level that will allow the UK to compete with other offshore jurisdictions.”
The full extent of the Government proposals will only be revealed when the Department for Culture, Media and Sport releases the full draft of the Gambling Bill, due in the next couple of weeks. Then, a joint committee of the Houses of Commons and Lords starts its pre-legislative scrutiny, The committee must report by April 8 next year, but the government says the Bill will probably not become law until summer 2005.