Post UK Gambling White Paper Release: Affiliates’ Reactions


The UK Government’s white paper review has reaffirmed that licensee operators will continue to be held responsible by the GB Gambling Commission for all marketing activities conducted by affiliate partners on their behalf. This news comes after reports, leaked last year, revealed that the UK government had rejected arguments in favour of providing licences to online affiliates.

The Responsible Affiliates in Gambling (RAiG), a trade association established by three major players within the UK gambling affiliate sector, the Racing Post, Oddschecker and Better Collective, have been campaigning for a statutory licensing or registration regime for affiliates since 2020. They have since refocused their efforts on other initiatives designed to drive improvements in the sector.

While this legislative update predominantly addresses licensed operators within the UK, it is also worth highlighting the impact it will have on other industry giants. Internationally-renowned brands who partner up with affiliates, including those promoting online casinos for Australian players will also be affected in some way or another.

Affiliate License Debate 

Over the past few years, there have been ongoing debates as to whether online gambling affiliates working in the UK should be awarded a licence, like operators and suppliers, to better safeguard consumers’ interests. Jamie Walters, CEO at QiHGroup, made the case that affiliate licences could reduce the burden on operators as they would serve as a way to separate compliant operators from non-compliant ones.

However, David Da Silva, CEO of UK super affiliate EasyOddsbelieves that affiliates are already well managed through existing regulations as the Gambling Commission has made it clear that operators will be held accountable for any marketing conducted on their behalf by affiliate partners. This means that operators must ensure their affiliate partners comply with the appropriate marketing standards at all times.

Silva also expressed that the arguments for licensing affiliates have no merit as they show no real benefit to players or operators. In fact, additional regulations will only serve to reduce competition within the industry adding unnecessary stress to smaller affiliates. Toni Halonen, co-founder of online casino comparison site,, shares Silva’s stance adding that while regulations and licensing help to ensure that companies meet the highest possible standards of safety, they could also stifle innovation. As is the case in Sweden, with the country experiencing a growing number of players turning to offshore sites due to over-regulation.

Limits On Stakes 

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), is working to enforce a stake limit on slots, which are currently unlimited despite contributing to more problem gambling and addictive behaviour than any other gambling activity. A consultation will be conducted to determine the enforced limit which can range from £2 to £15 per spin.

New accounts will receive lower thresholds. Additionally, the department is looking to perform affordability checks for players who lose £1,000 within 24 hours, or £2,000 within 90 days. Operators will also have to monitor players who have experienced a net loss of more than £125 each month, or £500 per year.

Increased Advertising Restrictions 

The UK government is cracking down on advertising regulations, collaborating with the Gambling Commission and the Advertising Standards Authority to address content marketing that may entice children. The DCMS’s Online Advertising Programme will analyse the role of platforms to ensure that any ads produced are safe and socially responsible.

The GB Gambling Commission will also be tackling direct marketing for online gambling by imposing stricter consent, impacting both new and current customers. These new measures will give customers the option to decide how and when gambling operators can reach out, whether it is by email, mobile push notifications or text. This will be done by allowing players to opt-in and out of different forms of communication at any time through account settings. The measures will likely have a knock-on effect on affiliates.

Financial Impact 

Addressing the new initiatives brought about by the white paper review, Denmark-based affiliate Better Collective revealed that there will be little to no financial impact on the company. In a statement, the company stood by the new initiatives stating that they will help to create a safer gambling environment for consumers.

Better Collective maintained that UK sportsbooks have already implemented new compliance measures such as affordability checks when the white paper was initiated and it has not impacted their revenue. In fact, the affiliate’s financial targets for 2023 and 2024 have remained unchanged since the white paper review.