New UKGC Guidance to Fight Problem Gambling

The UK Gambling Commission unveiled its new customer protection guidance which will help gambling businesses to comply with the new rules that are coming into effect in September. 

dices and casino chips on a table

The goal of the upcoming September changes is to ensure that high-risk gamblers are more easily detected. This updated consumer guidance is going to help gambling establishments to better understand and comply with the new rules by 12 September, when they come into effect.   

Thanks to the latest UKGC guidance, remote businesses are provided with more information on: 

  • identifying vulnerable customers 
  • indicators of harm they must monitor for, including what is considered a ‘strong’ indicator of harm
  • when to use automated systems and processes
  • how to evaluate the impact of customer interactions

It’s all about making gambling safer in Great Britain. The Commission will shortly be launching a further consultation on the ways to tackle three key financial risks for consumers: binge gambling, significant unaffordable losses over time, and risks for those who are financially vulnerable.

Gambling Commission Chief Executive Andrew Rhodes said: 

“Operators must take account of this guidance ahead of the stronger requirements coming into effect. We are giving the industry time to prepare for the changes and expect full compliance by September. Every gambling business has a role to play to prevent gambling harm and this guidance makes clear what we expect to see, which will be supported with enforcement action should we need it. In the current context, including the rise in the cost of living, it is more important than ever for operators to meet these requirements to identify customers at risk of harm.”

The new rules, which come into effect on 12 September 2022, are stronger and more prescriptive, requiring operators 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
  • implement automated processes for strong indicators of harm
  • prevent marketing and the take-up of new bonuses for at risk customers
  • evaluate their interactions and ensure they interact with consumers at least at the level of problem gambling for the relevant activity
  • evidence their customer interaction evaluation to the Gambling Commission during routine casework
  • comply with these requirements at all times, this includes ensuring the compliance of third-party providers.

The UK Gambling Commission is constantly expanding its program to drive and support industry best practice in identifying customers at risk of harm and help the most vulnerable members of the gambling community. Their programs also include working on best practice algorithms aka using algorithms to identify harm and ensure compliance with the requirements. 

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