Red or Black escapes gambling clampdown

Game shows including Red or Black? and Deal Or No Deal have avoided plans by gambling regulators to impose tough rules upon them.

The Gambling Commission had previously warned the makers of both shows that they could technically be breaking laws by failing to include any elements of skill, and threatened to take action against them.

The move prompted fears that the shows would have to be broadcast after the 9pm watershed or scrapped altogether unless expensive gambling licences were purchased – but the Commission has now decided not to take the matter further.

“We have been and are still consulting with relevant stake holders,” a spokesperson told the Mail On Sunday, “and we have decided that an advice note on this topic at this stage would not be the most appropriate way to help broadcasters and producers of television shows to comply with the Gambling Act.”

According to the rules of the Gambling Act of 2005 all games which offer prizes – whether on TV or elsewhere – are required to have an element of skill in them.

Red or Black, which was hosted by Ant and Dec, was screened over a week last autumn, and gave contestants the chance to win £1m based on the spin of a giant roulette wheel.

Deal or No Deal, meanwhile, gives its participants the chance to play for £250,000 by opening numbered boxes in a chosen order.