Legitimate Online Casinos Falling Afoul of New UK Filters

In the last year, the United Kingdom government has been working to increase the amount of restrictions on sites that promote activity that can be commonly seen as illegal or immoral.

UK Gambling CommissionThese restrictions are supposed to take place at the ISP level, so users may not even be able to access unlicensed sites even if they know what they are searching for. Adult users are also supposed to be able to “opt in” to say that they are legally permitted to view legal content.

Unfortunately, some gambling sites now seem to be included in the larger illicit net that includes pornography, violence and what’s called extremist behavior.

Currently there are some discussions taking place on how much of a role ISPs have in enforcing the government regulations.

In January, the UK Gambling Commission met with representatives from TalkTalk and BT, two larger ISPs, to request they begin creating “splash pages” that come up before a user accesses a site that promotes something unlicensed such as gambling, pornography or other unwelcome content. The ISPs both told the Financial Times that they didn’t want to be in the position of deciding what content customers should or shouldn’t access. They also suggested a stronger legal framework is needed

Some site operators have been maintaining that the family-friendly filters that are still under development and limited testing may be working too well – a Forbes study showed that the filters have been blocking roughly 20,000 of the 100,000 most popular sites.

Licensed and legitimate online casino owners are among those which have discovered that they’ve been ending up on blacklists of different ISPs, including Bet365 Casino which was blocked on four ISPs. PokerStars, 888Poker, and PartyPoker also were blocked by at least one site.

The filters are supposed to be rolled out region-wide next year.