The UKGC publishes consumer protection guidance

Marta Dimitrov | Published 22 Jun 2022, 9:22 a.m.

One of the main roles of the UK Gambling Commission is to protect consumers, so it constantly works on creating new practices for the purpose. Back in April, we announced that the Commission plans to add additional rules and regulations and now it publishes new consumer protection guidance.

The intent is to strengthen the rules for the gambling businesses, which will come into effect in September. These businesses will need to comply with the rules from then on.

Previous guidances that are published by the UK Gambling Commission still apply until the 12th of September when their update comes into effect. 

Several New Rules Are Included In The Guidance

In the update, there is new information and rules on identifying vulnerable customers and indicators of harm they must monitor for, including what is considered a ‘strong’ indicator of harm. Also, it is important to pay attention to the updates related to the time when to use automated systems and processes and how to evaluate the impact of customer interactions.

As we recently published, the UKGC has a new Chief Executive. For this purpose, 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.”

He also adds that 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 Main Purpose Is To Make Gambling In Britain Safer

As it is the main job of the Commission, it is also the main purpose of the guidance to make gambling in Britain safer. In the coming period, it will publish a conclusion on the ways to tackle three key financial risks for consumers. These include binge gambling, significant unaffordable losses over time, and risks for those who are financially vulnerable.

The guidance isn’t an initiative on its own, but a part of a wider program of the Commission. This program aims to support industry best practices in identifying customers at risk of harm and, as published by the UK Gambling Commission, it also includes:

  • supporting the development of an industry-led solution to the Single Customer View challenge through the Information Commissioner’s Office sandbox process and working with the gambling industry to evaluate the approach they develop
  • working with the industry on best practice algorithms for using algorithms to identify harm and ensure compliance with the requirements.

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