The so-called “FairPlay” Initiative launched by Rob Yong has allegedly misappropriated the logo of the UK Gambling Commission, potentially deceiving poker players into thinking that the initiative was approved by the regulator.

The “FairPlay” Initiative is an attempt to share personally-identifying information of customers between online gambling companies to reduce the risk of fraud to online gambling corporations.

In an explosive revelation, a representative from the UK Gambling Commission said yesterday that they “do not regulate nor endorse this particular website.”

The UK Gambling Commission went on to disavow any association, saying “we have no link to this website in any way.”

Despite the UK Gambling Commission disassociating itself, the so-called “FairPlay” initiative showcases the Gambling Commission logo on its front page.

The UK Gambling Commission logo is displayed prominently on the “Fair Play” Intiative website. The logo is on both desktop and mobile versions of the website. The “FairPlay” Initiative website was first reported by PokerFuse early this month.

In response to a question, “Fair Play” Initiative board member John Duthie said, “the site is in development.” He promised that they “will be consulting with Gambling Commission” at some stage in the future.

However, online poker reporter Haley Hintze reported on 14 July that “UK-based online-poker stalwarts Rob Yong and John Duthie have announced the launch of Fairplay.”

The UK’s Gambling Commission regulates one of the world’s largest online gambling jurisdictions. Approval and endorsement from this regulator would be valuable for an organisation committed to reducing fraud. Faking a connection with the UK Gambling Regulator brings the entire organisation into question.

It appears that the so-called “FairPlay” Initiative is trying to associate itself with the reputation of the British regulator, despite no approval from the Gambling Commission. This is akin to how fake soldiers steal the medals of military heroes. This “stolen valour” can often go undetected without proper scrutiny.

The UK Gambling Commission has confirmed it is going to continue considering the matter. It may take further action to protect players against deception by the so-called “FairPlay” Initiative.

Michael Josem is a long-term consumer advocate, most prominently as a global leader in combating fraud in the online gambling industry. He was in part the inspiration for the 20th Century Fox Movie, Runner Runner, starring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake.

Josem has over a decade of experience as a senior business leader working across various high-tech and online industries, and takes action to build a better community. His primary volunteer roles include service for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and Graih, the homelessness charity.

Join the Conversation


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *