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Off-shore gambling websites' ads banned from UK 09/08/2007
Mark Sweney

The government has banned about 1,000 off-shore gambling websites, including well-known operators such as William Hill, from advertising in the UK.
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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, and

Gibraltar-based 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 list".

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 and Tasmania.

Applications from Kahnawake and Antigua are still being considered but operators in those countries remain banned until that process is complete.

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