Foreign tournament seat prizes violate U.K. rules

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The U.K. Gambling Commission issued an advisory on Friday that says gambling companies that offer seats to foreign tournaments are violating the current advertising rules set out in the Gambling Act 2005.

"It has come to the Commission's attention that a number of operators are offering places at overseas poker tournaments as prizes in U.K.-based competitions," said the Commission in the release.

For example, many online poker sites and even some brick-and-mortar casinos in the United Kingdom offer the winners of some tournaments a chance to play in a cash-prize tournament hosted outside the United Kingdom.

"In the Commission's view, the offering of such a prize amounts to advertising of non-U.K. gambling, as defined by section 327 of the Gambling Act 2005," said the Commission.

"Unless the overseas tournament is based in the European Economic Area, Gibraltar, or in white-listed jurisdictions, the advert is likely to amount to the advertising of 'foreign gambling,' which constitutes an offence under Section 331 of the Gambling Act 2005."

Section 331, Foreign Gambling, states that "a person commits an offence if he advertises foreign gambling other than a lottery." Foreign gambling is defined as:

  1. Non-remote gambling which is to take place in a non-European Economic Area state
  2. Remote gambling for which none of the arrangements are subject to the law about gambling of an EEA state (whether by being regulated, exempted, prohibited or otherwise)

Those found guilty of violating this section of the Gambling Act could face up to 51 weeks in jail and a fine.

"Operators should take steps to ensure that any advertising which they are responsible for complies with the requirements of the Gambling Act 2005," the Commission said.

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