In an update published on its official website, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) informed the gambling community that new rules regarding customer protection are coming into effect on September 12, 2022.
Under the new rules, the UKGC license holders have to take better care of players at risk and keep track of “specific range of indicators as a required minimum to identify gambling harms”. Thorough guidelines are to be released sometime in June. For now, operators have to prepare to “flag indicators of harm and take action in a timely manner”.
The introduction of the new rules was born out of necessity for fast identification of customers at risk. Up until now, operators have repeatedly failed in taking timely measures and protecting customers prone to problem gambling.
From September 12 onward, operators will have to make sure their marketing and promotional materials do not reach “at risk” customers. They will also have to record indicators that would determine if a player is at risk of developing gambling addiction. Operators will have to provide data to the Commission as well as evidence that they have actually interacted with those players.
“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.”- the Commission said.
Over the past couple of years, the UK gambling sector has been developing at a rapid pace. As a result, many issues emerged, and the UKGC had to take imminent actions to protect the vulnerable part of the population. Legislative changes are expected any day now and the detection of players at risk is just a part of the UKGC's plan to make the market safe and identify the potential harms to players well in advance to prevent deepening the problem.
The UKGC update concludes with: “We will continue to work closely with DCMS and take account of the Government’s Gambling Act Review. Our broader programmes of work, focused on identifying customers at risk of harm will also continue, including close engagement with the BGC and ICO on the ‘single customer view’ pilot.”