Reflecting on the Gambling Commission's activities in the last year and what the future might hold for gambling regulation in Great Britain

This summer the gambling industry has had some insight into what the Gambling Commission's current and future priorities are when it comes to regulation. This came in the form of the Gambling Commission's Annual Report for 2015/16 and Philip Graf's departing speech as Chairman of the Gambling Commission at the RSA in July. Both of these provide some insight into what we can expect to see in the coming year and it is apparent that issues around protecting consumers are likely to remain at the forefront of the Gambling Commission's mind. As (in the words of Graf)  gambling becomes a "normalised" activity it is interesting to look at how the Gambling Commission hopes to engage and work with operators to protect consumers in an ever more digitalised world.  The threat of tougher enforcement action against operators and personal licence holders also looms on the horizon.


Marketing under scrutiny

Gambling operators may feel that the regulatory spotlight rarely strays from their use of advertising, with adverts closely scrutinised and any missteps increasingly subject to regulatory action. Simultaneously, they face mounting pressure from the media and public to 'play by the rules'.  Perhaps the greatest area of contention – and the pitfall into which operators most frequently fall – is marketing that misleads the consumer.


Home of the Espadrille!

It may be a little known fact that the “espadrille”, that popular summer shoe worn the world over, originated, not from Spain, but from the Basque country on the French side of the border.  A region aptly named "Soule" of which the main capital is Mauléon-Licharre. Global recognition of this fact, however, may be just around the corner as the Soule Espadrille Association of sandal-makers, created in 2000, has applied to the French Intellectual Property Office for protection of the geographical indication "ESPADRILLE DE MAULEON – MAULEKO ESPARTINA" (“Espadrille from Mauléon” in French and Basque) in relation to the manufacture of espadrilles.  Any interested parties have until 6 September 2016 to file observations with the French IP Office.