The UK Gambling Commission Introduced a New Set of Rules for At-Risk Consumers

UK Gambling Commission

2022-04-16 – The UK Gambling Commission has released a new set of rules that oblige operators in the country to have more effective ID and protection mechanisms in place for at-risk punters. An official press release by the authority describes the directives as being stronger and more prescriptive, and they are expected to come into force from September 12.

Local gambling operators will need to do more in identifying and taking action to protect players on their sites at risk or harm.

iGaming Operators Did Not Do Enough to Protect At-Risk Players

Operators are free to ask the UK Gambling Commission for guidance before the regulation enters into force in September. It has been stated that the new set of rules comes as a result of the failure of operators to identify risk consumers and deal with them appropriately.

With the new regulations, operators now need to be prepared to flag all harm indicators and act promptly. According to the UKGC, iGaming operators had everything they needed to ID risky consumers, but the vast majority of them did not react in time, so punters were exposed to even more harm.

As Andrew Rhodes, who is the CEO of the UK Gambling Commission, explains, the new rules are crafted with extensive consultation, so they will be “more explicit.” He continues that the UKGC would not hesitate in the future to take “tough action” against operators who do not meet the standards.

The New Rules are Stronger

The new regulations that are set to come into effect on September 12 this year will require iGaming operators to monitor even the slightest indications of gambling harm among players. Of course, they will need to flag the indications and act accordingly and immediately.

Additionally, UK gambling sites will be required to stop any marketing campaigns toward at-risk punters. They will also need to implement automated processes for harm indicators, and they will need to make sure that third parties that they cooperate with also comply with and respect the rules in place.

The UK gambling scene evolves all the time, and these new rules are the result of a collective effort to make the country the safest and the best-regulated gambling market in the world.

Andrew Rhodes further explains that the regulator received some 13,000 responses to this endeavour, and he thinks that iGaming companies do not act fast enough to prevent harm, despite them having all the tools in place to identify at-risk customers.

He insists that operators are not doing enough to prevent gambling harm. The new rules are way more explicit, so there is no room for interpretation. He notes that the regulator fully expects to identify and tackle gambling harm with fast and proportionate action.

Of course, as stated above, strong penalties are in place for operators who do not comply with the new set of rules.

Future Aspirations

The new rules from the UK Gambling Commission are introduced as the PM Boris Johnson has disclosed his plans of releasing a so-called white paper that will have changes to the nation’s online and land-based gambling activities.

The UK Gambling Commission has announced that it fully intends to work very closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. With further improvements in the cooperation between these bodies, there is another piece of legislation that is set to be released – a revised set of rules that will make online gambling much safer and fairer for everyone involved.

The UK gambling scene is often the main reference to regulators worldwide, and a further set of rules, like the latest one, is further proof of how much the regulator and the government value the safety of their online gambling scene.