he Rules of Casino Games was first issued in August 2007 and revised and updated the following July as a means of implementing licence condition 9 of the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice. This particular clause states that licensees must only offer or permit to be played casinos games that appear on the Commission's list of approved games, with the exception of those offered on an approved trial basis.
The document is perceived by many to be too prescriptive in the rules and odds that apply to games, so any variations or additional games or side bets require the document to be formally changed. No other gaming sector in the UK requires its games to be set out in such detail by the Commission, or to seek permission for minor changes to their rules.
Additionally, the 2005 Gambling Act contains provisions that allow the Commission to approve new games or rule changes on a trial basis, without requiring a lengthy legislative process that could ultimately be rendered redundant if the game or changes are unsuccessful and are subsequently dropped. Consequently, the rules document is therefore almost constantly out of date.
The Commission has therefore proposed to remove the rules document and replace it with a clause in licence condition 9 that states: "Licensees must not offer or permit to be played casino games that appear on any list of games prohibited by the Commission."
In this way, the Commission would retain the ability to list any games that it did not want to be played and permit those that do not appear on the list but still meet the criteria set out in the Gambling Act.
"This deregulatory proposal is in line with the Commission's general approach and would place the onus on the individual operator to ensure that the licensing objectives are upheld," the consultation document states.
The Commission is inviting responses to the proposals until November 24, after which it will make its decision on whether to implement the new changes.