As if the UK Gambling Commission was not strict enough with online bingo, poker and casino operators, news came to light this week that the Gambling Commission has contacted Channel 4, which screens the very successful teatime show that usually attracts more than 4 million viewers during its 4pm timeslot, that it might actually constitute gambling. A meeting is set to take place between officials from the Gambling Commission and executives from Channel 4 to address those concerns.
When reached for a comment, a spokesperson for the Commission said that they don’t comment on individual cases, while a spokeswoman from Channel 4 said that it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time, having only said that Channel 4 was indeed contacted by the Gambling Commission in regards to the Deal or No Deal show. Channel 4 classifies the game as an Entertainment show under their Quizzes and Games Shows section and does not consider it to be gambling.
The UK Gambling Commission basis their concerns that the show is gambling, on the fact that there are no elements of skills involved when a person participates in the show. According to UK Gambling laws, any non-skill games that are played to make profit should have a gambling license. In this case, Channel 4 would have to obtain a gambling license that costs £60,000, while the yearly renewal fee is set at an extra £30,000. In the meantime, ITV’s plans to resurrect an old classic, the Play Your Cards Right quiz show, has been put on hold as they wait to see what happens with the Deal or No Deal case.
Even though the UK Gambling Commission has made changes to their laws in recent years and they also plan to release a guidance note next month informing broadcasters and programme producers of the laws and regulations, Deal or No Deal which is fronted by Noel Edmonds, has been on Channel 4 since 2005. If it actually takes them 7 years to come to this conclusion, who knows what will happen next. One thing is for sure, Deal or No Deal is alive and kicking at some of the best bingo sites today.