RAiG throws support behind UK affiliates licensing system

Responsible Affiliates in Gambling has announced its support in principle for the introduction of a statutory licensing or registration regime for affiliates who are active in the British gambling market, following an thorough internal review.

Asserting that such a system need “not be expensive nor burdensome,” the aforementioned support would be subject to the detail of any proposed system and the clear identification of the benefits that it would provide to consumers.

Clive Hawkswood, RAiG chairman, explained: “The decision to support the principle of a licensing or registration system was not taken lightly and we have been assessing the pros and cons for many months. 

“This issue will achieve greater prominence as the government’s review of the Gambling Act 2005 picks up pace and it is vital that we play a constructive role as policies evolve rather than waiting on the side-lines for measures to be imposed.”

Following its review the RAiG has reasserted a key aim to foster wider initiatives in the UK affiliate marketing sector to promote social responsibility and create a safer gambling environment for consumers. 

Acknowledging that much can be done on a voluntary basis, the group concludes that the right way to ensure that standards rise across the whole sector is for minimum requirements to be set out and implemented by way of some form of licensing or registration process.

The RAiG recommends that the UK Gambling Commission fulfil the role of licensing body for the proposed licensing or registration role.

The regulator is preferred to the Advertising Standards Authority, which the group notes oversees the regulation of UK advertising, but has never served as a licensing body or statutory regulator.

Backing its new objective, RAiG states that the UKGC has already established precedents for direct licensing of third-party suppliers such as industry software suppliers, testing houses and independent providers of Alternative Dispute Resolution services

Hawkswood added: “It is appreciated that this is an issue where opinion across the sector is divided and RAiG will make clear that, as with any trade body, it can only speak on behalf of its members. Despite that, we hope everyone in the affiliate marketing world and beyond will keep an open mind about any proposals which would serve to create a safer gambling environment. 

“As with all forms of licensing and regulation, the devil is usually in the detail and the aim must be to work with all stakeholders to ensure that any provisions are proportionate and, most important of all, effective in improving safeguards for consumers.”