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Comments

Stuart Langridge

Does the provision covering if one "manufactures, supplies, installs or adapts" software cover a web browser? Does this mean that all web browsers will need to be regulated? Moreover, does "supplies" cover "making available for download", and if so how does this affect open-source software?

Peter

There is an express exemption for a person who "makes facilities for remote communication or non-remote communication available to another person", which might include network operators whose communications networks enable customers to download software to their computers for use in remote gambling. It is not clear that this would include providers of web browsers.

There is no definition of supply, but I would expect that it would include "making available for download".

This provision was intended to catch software determining the outcome of games or the security of gaming sites (the Explanatory Note states: "the purpose of this offence is to ensure that people responsible for generating gambling software do so in a regulated environment, to ensure, in particular, fairness for players").

We will have to wait for the Gambling Commission's Codes of Practice for further guidance on this point - it is "currently working on the licence conditions and codes of practice which will be relevant to the remote sector, and intends to consult on the draft conditions and codes in early 2006" (http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/Client/detail.asp?ContentId=38). Note that this offence is not yet in force.

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