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BT and TalkTalk reject ban on unlicensed gambling websites

ISPs have knocked back attempts by the government to hinder access to unlicensed gambling websites, according to a report by the FT.

The Gambling Commission is said to have met with ISPs, such as BT and TalkTalk, in a bid to get the providers to insert pages before an internet user clicks on a link to a gambling page that warn them the site is unlicensed.

These “splash pages” would put the sites on par with sites carrying pornographic content. However, the firms rebuffed the commission’s efforts to stick warnings on website, insisting that only a court order or legislation would force them to make such a move.

The move comes as the Gambling Commission struggles to clamp down on gambling websites operating offshore and outside its remit.

“We have been exploring the internet service providers’ approach when faced with clear evidence that sites are unlicensed and engaged in illegal activities,” the Gambling Commission said in a statement to the FT. “At this stage we are just exploring back-up options as we do not expect illegal sites to be a major issue given the attractiveness and width of the legal offer.”

A TalkTalk spokeswoman told the FT that her company did not believe that its was for ISPs to decide what content customers should access.

“It is really important that there is either a proper legal framework when it comes to blocking access to sites, just like with copyright infringement, or that it is down to customer choice,” she said.

Image”: Flickr/Joel Kramer

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