DCMS Receives Request for Copies of White List Applications

24 August 2007

Under the U.K. Freedom of Information Act (FOI), an unknown party has requested copies of the applications submitted by several jurisdictions for inclusion on the Gambling Act 2005 advertising white list.

Via e-mail, the U.K. Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on Wednesday informed Alderney, the Isle of Man, Alexander First Nation, Netherlands Antilles and Tasmania that a request had been made for all documents relating to each jurisdiction's application, including details of meetings, telephone conversations and e-mails between representatives of each jurisdiction and the DCMS.

Under the FOI, the government is not required to disclose the identity of the person or entity requesting the information, said Nick Morgan of the DCMS.

He added that the requester is also protected under the provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998. Section 40 of the act says that "if a request asks for the personal data of the applicant himself, the information is exempt; and if a request asks for the personal data of someone else then that information will be exempt if its disclosure would contravene any of the data protection principles in the Data Protection Act 1998 (or certain other provisions of the Data Protection Act 1998)."

On the other hand, any personal information included in the documents or correspondence between the representatives of the jurisdictions and the DCMS are subject to publication.

According to Section 1.25 of the white-listing criteria, "all information in responses, including personal information, may be subject to publication or disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. Confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, and will only be protected if considered appropriate under the legislation."

The DCMS will, however, consider requests for striking personal information, but only if it is deemed a reasonable request for exempting the information.

The jurisdictions have until Sept. 5 to respond.

The white list, released two weeks ago, included Alderney and Isle of Man as jurisdictions approved to advertise gambling products and services in the United Kingdom. It may strike some as curious that they are included in the request.

Emily Swoboda is the senior staff writer at IGamingNews. She lives in St. Louis, Mo.