Online Gambling Cookie Law Compliance Working Well

Published Saturday, June 02, 2012 -

Its been a few weeks since the Information Commissioner’s Office in the U.K. was put in charge of regulating the new rules in the UK, requiring operators to gain permission from users to use cookies while viewing their web sites. Users must ‘knowingly indicate their acceptance’ and any cookies being used for analytical purposes or first and third party advertising will not be permitted. There are signs that there are those in the industry that are implementing the changes as required with the larger operators doing what is expected. It is likely that with a £500,000 penalty the smaller firms are going to comply soon. It has been reported though that many organizations have not done so yet.

Tom Grant is a senior associate at gambling and leisure industry law firm Harris Hagan explains: “At the very least, the Information Commissioner’s Office wants to see that websites are taking positive steps towards addressing compliance rather than burying their hand in the sand.” Grant continued, “The ICO’s initial recommendation is that website owners should carry out an audit to identify the cookies operating on or through their website and confirm their purposes such as how privacy-intrusive they are.”

Group manager for the ICO, David Evans, explained, “It is important to know that monetary penalties can only be issued by this office in cases where there’s been a serious breach that’s likely to cause substantial damage to people, and where there is a will full element of non-compliance.” Evans continued, “Now it is difficult to imagine that non-compliance with the cookies rules is ever going to trigger a situation in which we would be able to issue a monetary penalty. That’s really quite difficult, it’s at the extreme end of non-compliance if you like.” Time will tell if the web operators who haven’t complied will be penalized to the full extent of the law, for the most part though the ICO looks to be an understanding organization.

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