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The UK Gambling Commission has provided further details on exactly what it is looking for in the second round of the Gambling Act review white paper consultations.

In a blog post on the commission’s website, Executive Director of Research and Policy Tim Miller presented an update on the UKGC’s plans for the next batch of consultations.

Published back in July, the first round of consultations focused on four areas: age verification on premises; remote games design for online casino games; direct marketing and cross-selling; and financial risk and vulnerability checks for remote operators.

These consultations closed last month and the UKGC is analysing the responses it has received.

Miller noted that the second round of consultations – consisting of seven topics and to be opened in the coming weeks – will focus on fulfilling the UKGC’s “aim to progress White Paper recommendations at pace”, but also address other aspects of regulation. 

The second round of consultations will focus on:

  • Socially responsible incentives – consult on proposals relating to incentives such as free bets and bonuses, to make sure they do not encourage harmful or excessive gambling.
  • Customer-led tools – consult on proposals to empower consumers and make it easier for them to manage their gambling in ways that work for them, such as deposit limits.
  • Transparency of protection of customer funds – consult on proposals to increase transparency to consumers if their funds are held by licensees that offer no protection in the event of insolvency.
  • Requirement to make annual financial contributions to research, prevention and treatment – consult on removing the existing requirement to contribute to a set list of research, prevention and treatment bodies in the context of government proposals to introduce a statutory levy in the future.
  • Regulatory data – consult on increasing the frequency of reporting for many licensees from annual to quarterly.
  • Financial penalties – bring greater clarity and transparency to the way financial penalties imposed on companies following breaches are calculated, including measures to ensure that penalties are set at a level where the costs of non-compliance outweigh the costs of compliance.
  • Financial key event reporting – amend rules so that licensees provide relevant information about finances and interests, enabling the UKGC to strengthen its risk-based approach to regulation. Miller noted that this is “particularly important” given recent changes in the sector, such as the “increase in complexity of mergers and acquisitions and the globalisation of gambling”.

These consultations will last for 12 weeks, with expected closing dates to be in February-March.

Miller also stated that the UKGC will continue to support the Department for Culture, Media and Sport with the implementation of the Gambling Act review, as the government considers the outcomes of recent and current consultations on stake limits for online slots, land-based measures and the introduction of a statutory levy.

The Director concluded: “We are rightly putting emphasis on implementing the government’s Gambling Act review recommendations. This goes hand in hand with our vital regulatory ‘business as usual’, to keep gambling safe, fair and crime-free.”