The UK Gambling Commission has clarified their stance on auto top-up/rebuy facilities on online poker sites, after professional players complained about the new rules – and it’s good news of the professional grinders of the world.
How annoying would it have been to constantly top up your cash game tables, manually, had the UK-facing online poker rooms gone ahead with plans to remove the auto top-up/rebuy facility as a result of The Remote Gambling and Software Technical Standards (RTS)?
Well you have been spared that debacle.
The UK Gambling Commission has acted swiftly, in the face of mounting pressure from players, to clarify their position on the auto top-up/rebuy issue, and it’s great news for the professional grinders of the world.
The Commission have confirmed, in a recently published document, that the regulation in question: RTS 14, is a ‘guideline’ and not necessarily a ‘mandatory’ requirement.
The regulation in question states:
‘Gambling products must not actively encourage customers to chase their losses, increase their stake or increase the amount they have decided to gamble, or continue to gamble after they have indicated that they wish to stop. When a customer buys-in at a poker table they should have to choose to purchase more chips to play at the table – auto rebuy should not be provided.’
The clarification document states that online poker rooms have two choices in connection with RTS.14. They can either remove the auto top-up/rebuy feature – which companies like PokerStars, Full Tilt and Sky Poker were planning – or they could ensure player protection is in place in other forms on the site.
“We would expect licensees to effectively implement other responsible gambling measures that are intended to protect players from harm,” the document read. “This means an operator is expected to monitor the play of their customers and, if unusual or excessive gambling activity occurred, take appropriate action.
“In future we are planning to review RTS and we may seek to make this more explicit and/or consider specific controls around auto-rebuy, for example, player pre-set financial limit on their cumulative value.
“But for present purposes license holders would comply with RTS 14 if they offer auto-rebuy provided other player protection measure are effectively implemented.”
According to eGaming Review: PokerStars, Full Tilt and Sky Poker were happy with the announcement, and will now look at others ways of complying with RTS.14 whilst also appeasing the players need to auto top-up/rebuy.
The news will no doubt please UK poker player Richard Richardson who took action after receiving e-mail from PokerStars stating that the auto top-up/rebuy functionality would be removed, immediately, after the launch of the new PokerStars.uk site.
Richardson drafted a petition, which he shared with 2+2 readers, and was readying it to be sent to the UK Gambling Commission’s Chief Executive, before the good news was received.
The implementation of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014, has been delayed until Nov 1, 2014, after it was felt more time was needed to allow the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association’s (GBGA) High Court legal challenge to go through the motions.