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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

UK taking a lead on game regulation

A Government spokesperson has told website GamesIndustry.biz that planned talks to discuss the regulation of online gaming are part of a strategy to stamp out an "underbelly" of poorly regulated websites.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is intending to invite representatives from around the globe to attend the talks, which will focus on online gambling sites.

"The reason we want to host these talks is because we think this is a booming industry, but proper protection for children and vulnerable people and proper rules are simply not in place across the whole of the industry," said department spokesperson Anthony Wright.

"Our approach is quite different compared to other countries around the world, for example the US, but it's a way of getting politicians round the table."

Wright said that the industry welcomed the approach the Government was taking - but added that there was an "underbelly" of gambling websites which put vulnerable groups at risk. As a result, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Tessa Jowell is leading the charge to deal with the issue.

"As Tessa Jowell said, we can only go so far alone - it's a global problem, and we need a global solution," Wright stated.

The online gambling industry has seen a boom in recent years, with many websites now turning over millions of dollars per year. According to figures from Reuters, the worldwide market for online casinos and poker rooms is worth up to USD 12 billion per year.

GamesIndustry.biz - UK to host talks on regulation of online gaming

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