UKGC issues new rules to gambling operators to protect vulnerable people

UKGC issues new rules to gambling operators to protect vulnerable people

It has been announced today that the UKGC has issued new rules and guidance to gambling operators to do more to protect vulnerable people who may be at risk of gambling harm, including addiction.

The new rules set out by the Gambling Commission are designed to ensure online gambling businesses are doing more to identify those at risk and take prompt action.

A notice period of six months has been given for the new rules to take effect, which begin on the 12th September 2022 and will be ‘more prescriptive’ than the current rules in place.

Guidance will be provided to gambling operators in the coming months to assist and support businesses with understanding the new rules and consumer protections to ensure compliance.

Engagement and interaction will take place between the UKGC and operators so that any support and queries can be dealt with following the publication and introduction of such new rules.

Among the rules being introduced later in the year will be monitoring of a specific range of indicators, whereby license holders must check and identify possible flags for gambling harm or potential harm, these include customer spending, spending patterns, gambling time duration and customer-led contact among others.

Additionally, action must be taken on potential flags of gambling harm in a timely manner and automated processes are to be implemented for ‘strong indicators’.

Furthermore, ‘at risk’ customers must be protected from marketing and the ‘take-up’ of new bonuses, along with evaluations of interactions between operators and customers, which can be presented as evidence to the UKGC during casework.

Compliance of the new rules will be mandatory at all times and any third party providers working with licensees must follow the new rules also.

Andrew Rhodes of the UKGC commented on the introduction of new rules and what they will mean in future online gambling activities:

Time and time again our enforcement cases show that some operators are still not doing enough to prevent gambling harm.

These new rules, developed following an extensive consultation, make our expectations even more explicit.

We expect operators to identify and tackle gambling harms with fast, proportionate and effective action and we will not hesitate to take tough action on operators who fail to do so.

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