UK Gambling Commission issues guidance ahead of new safer gambling requirements
In April the UK Gambling Commission announced new rules to ensure online gambling businesses do more to identify and take action to protect customers at risk of harm. The updated consumer protection guidance released today will help gambling businesses understand and comply with the new rules, which come into effect on 12 September.
The existing guidance and additional guidance issued during the COVID-19 pandemic will still apply and be available for operators to refer to until 12 September.
The new guidance provides further information for remote gambling businesses on:
- identifying vulnerable customers
- indicators of harm they must monitor for, including what is considered a ‘strong’ indicator of harm
- when to use automated systems and processes
- how to evaluate the impact of customer interactions.
Gambling Commission Chief Executive Andrew Rhodes said: “Operators must take account of this guidance ahead of the stronger requirements coming into effect. We are giving the industry time to prepare for the changes and expect full compliance by September. Every gambling business has a role to play to prevent gambling harm and this guidance makes clear what we expect to see, which will be supported with enforcement action should we need it.
“In the current context, including the rise in the cost of living, it is more important than ever for operators to meet these requirements to identify customers at risk of harm.”
The new guidance forms part of the Commission’s ongoing drive to make gambling in Britain safer. The Commission will shortly be launching a further consultation on the ways to tackle three key financial risks for consumers: binge gambling, significant unaffordable losses over time, and risks for those who are financially vulnerable.
This forms part of a wider programme of work by the Commission to drive and support industry best practice in identifying customers at risk of harm and taking action. This programme of work also includes:
- supporting the development of an industry led solution to the Single Customer View challenge through the Information Commissioner’s Office sandbox process and working with the gambling industry to evaluate the approach they develop
- working with the industry on best practice algorithms for using algorithms to identify harm and ensure compliance with the requirements.