UK and Portugal’s Gambling Regulators Sign Cooperation Agreement
The UK Gambling Commission announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ), known to be the Portuguese gambling regulator, for cooperation and exchange of relevant information.
Inked in May 2016, the agreement is aimed at strengthening the two regulatory bodies’ controls, improving online gambling regulations in both the UK and Portugal, and fighting illegal gambling activities. The signatories will try to achieve this by introducing what they consider adequate procedures.
The agreement was signed by SRIJ Vice Chair Teresa Monteiro and UK Gambling Commission Chief Executive Sarah Harrison. Under it, a mutual collaboration plan is to be implemented in a bid for the online gambling industry to be safeguarded in “a fair and open” manner. The two gambling regulators have also pointed out that they want to make sure that gambling is not a source of disorder and criminal activities and to prevent the vulnerable part of the population, both in the UK and Portugal, from falling victim to gambling addiction and exploitation.
The Memorandum of Understanding also comes as complement to the cooperation agreement signed by regulators from Member States of the European Economic Area late last year.
Commenting on the latest announcement, Nick Tofiluk, Director of Regulation at the UK Gambling Commission, said that they are pleased with the bilateral agreement as they consider working with other regulators instrumental to effective regulation of the online gambling industry. Mr. Tofiluk further noted that Memorandums of Understanding are excellent way for formalization and streamlining of information so as for collaborations between international gambling authorities to be as efficient and effective as possible.
Portugal closed its online gaming market last spring after introducing new laws. Back then, the country’s gambling regulator demanded that any international operators that wanted an online gambling license leave the market immediately. In May 2016, SRIJ granted the first license for the provision of online sports betting options. Betclic Everest Group has become the first operator to be given the green light to operate in Portugal’s newly regulated online gambling market.
Local media has reported that applications from eleven Europe-facing gambling companies are being reviewed by the regulator and more licenses are to be granted soon.