New ISP filters could block access to gambling websites in UK

28 January 2015

New online filters that have been introduced by a number of Internet Service Providers (ISP) in the UK could lead to some online gambling websites initially being blocked to customers.

The filters have been designed to block access to adult content unless users actively asked their ISP to unblock such websites.

However, the filters are now targeting a much larger range of websites that might be inappropriate for children, with gambling sites falling under this category.

At least two leading ISPs in the form of TalkTalk and Sky will have put the filters in place by the end of this month, while BT and Virgin Media are also set to introduce the filters in the near future.

Although not all ISPs will integrate the filters in the same way, all major providers in the UK market are required to have them in place soon.

Reports suggest that while Sky and Virgin Media will not block access to gambling websites, BT and TalkTalk will restrict these sites when the filters are turned on.

The inclusion of gambling websites in the wider filter options comes after the UK Gambling Commission last year appealed to ISPs to insert warning pages on gaming websites that were not legally permitted to offer services in the UK. However, this proposal was rejected by the ISPs.

Related article: UK betting shops take part in ABB’s GambleAware Week