government has banned about 1,000 off-shore gambling websites, including
well-known operators such as William Hill, from advertising in the
Hill Casino - Out
Interpoker.com - Out
The ban applies to any
gambling companies operating outside the European Economic Area, affecting
popular websites such as William Hill Casino, Betfred Casino and Poker,
Interpoker.com and Littlewoodscasino.com.
Gibraltar-based 888.com and
PartyGaming are not affected.
From September, when the Gambling Act comes into force, any online
firm based in gaming company havens such as Costa Rica, the Netherlands
Antilles and Belize will not be able to market in the UK and the Department of
Culture Media will crackdown on illegal advertising.
Because most of
the companies have no operations in the UK to legally pursue, websites,
broadcasters and advertising companies that create campaigns for such companies
will face fines or imprisonment.
"I make no apology for banning adverts
for websites operating from places that don't meet our strict standards," said
the culture minister, James Purnell.
Countries that want to be exempted
from the ban - which applies to all forms of media including TV, radio,
newspapers, magazines, taxis, buses, the tube and websites that publish in the
UK - have to pass a strict test of regulatory standards to then join a "white
Alderney and the Isle of Man are the only jurisdictions to have
so far made the "white list" after sufficiently demonstrating a rigorous
licensing regime designed to stop children gambling, protect vulnerable people,
keep games fair and keep out crime.
DCMS rejected applications to join
the "white list" from Alexander (Canadian Reservation), Netherlands Antilles
Applications from Kahnawake and Antigua are still being
considered but operators in those countries remain banned until that process is