UKGC: operators are still not doing enough to prevent gambling harm


The UK Gambling Commission has rolled-out a raft of a new rules in a bid to ensure online gambling businesses do more to identify and take action to protect consumers at risk of harm

This introduction, which will become effective as of September 12, 2022, follows a consultation that was launched during the past year in a bid address failings that the regulator stated it “continued to see among online gambling operators”.

Adding that although these entities were “capable of identifying customers who may be harmed,” the UKGC states that they “were not always doing so or acting quickly enough.

The rules, which aim to be stronger and more prescriptive, include requirements to monitor a specific range of indicators, as a minimum, to identify gambling harm; flag indicators of harm and take action in a timely manner; and implement automated processes for strong indicators of harm.

Furthermore, following over 13,000 responses to the consultation, the UKGC will also mandate operators to prevent marketing and the take-up of new bonuses for at risk customers; evaluate interactions and ensure they communicate with consumers at least at the level of problem gambling for the relevant activity; and provide evidence of this being undertaken to the regulator during routine casework.

Andrew Rhodes, Gambling Commission Chief Executive, said: “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.”

Fresh guidance regarding this latest introduction will be issued in June to aid firms in their understanding of the requirements, with the UKGC to also engage with operators to take account of queries.

Furthermore, the regulator notes that its next phase of work “to make online gambling fairer and safer” will include consultations on furter identifying customers who are financially vulnerable and tackling significant unaffordable gambling.