04/15/2012 : UK GAMBLING COMMISSION BACKS OFF ON TV SHOWS ISSUE
An inconclusive end to a storm in a tea cup
It appears that the UK Gambling Commission has wisely backed away from any action against British television shows Deal or No Deal and Red or Black following a probe into whether the presentations might have constituted unlicensed gambling.
Earlier this year the producers of the prize giveaway shows, which attract millions of viewers, were warned by the Commission that they might be contravening gambling laws because the presentations did not involve elements of skill.
The warning shot caused a furore in the game show industry, and is believed to have been a contributing factor in the cancellation of plans to bring back Bruce Forsythe's hit ‘eighties show Play Your Cards Right.
Over the weekend the Daily Mirror reported that the Gambling Commission has confirmed that following consultations with the shows' broadcasters it has decided, for the time being, that it will not take any further action.
A senior television source told the newspaper Saturday, "A television programme isn’t where the Gambling Commission should be and it seems it now realises that."
A spokesman for the Gambling Commission said: "We have been and are still consulting with relevant stake holders and we have decided that an advice note on this topic at this stage would not be the most appropriate way to help broadcasters and producers of television game shows to comply with the Gambling Act."
There were no plans to write to broadcasters advising them to get a gaming licence, he added, although it is understood that talks between the Commission and broadcasters are continuing. The Commission refused to disclose details of its discussions with broadcasters.