UKGC published safe online gaming guidance

Cvetanka Cvetanovska | Published 30 Mar 2020, 2:04 p.m.

The UKGC has issued consumer guidance to help players stay safe while online during the Covid-19 outbreak. The regulator clearly stated that this guide is more than needed now when people practice social-distancing and the world experiences global lockdown mode. As they reported, more people will likely engage and play on different online casino websites.

A call for using the provided tools

The issued guide presents an overall update of the measures that UKGC enforced in the last couple of months. Here, the regulator reminded consumers that licenced sites have a built-in tool that allows them to set deposit limits, which will keep the spend at a manageable level for both the player and the operator.

Meanwhile, the UKGC made a partnership with Twitter in order to create a guide for users who want to limit the gambling related content on the social media platform. With this in mind, users can adjust their safety tools in order to reduce the risk of exposure to such content.

The regulator also pointed out that players can self-exclude from gaming websites through the GAMSTOP scheme. This platform is created for players who think they’re spending too much time gaming online and want to take a break. All licenced operators in the UK are required to participate in this scheme starting from March 31st.

Operators licenced by the UKGC are required to make a summary of their terms and conditions, which will be available to users. Customers will be required to read these conditions in order to understand the risks before they make a decision to play. In addition, casino websites must give users access to their historic account so they can monitor their gaming activities.

In terms of unlicensed operators, the regulator warned that there’s an increased risk of offshore providers that will try to target players due to current circumstances. The Commission clearly stated that this period they will carefully observe, track and take drastic measures against such sites. Players can access the UKGC licence register anytime to see which sites are approved and licenced by them.

BGC announces action plan for safe gambling 

The UKGC guide has been published alongside the ten-step action plan from the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC). This plan is created to ensure that BGC members will keep their online customers safe during this period. The action plan builds on interventions already brought by BGC members as part of their effort to protect players. Members will be required to monitor their customers’ behaviour. Additionally, they will be obligated to deliver evaluations and new actions which will reflect the situation of social distancing and work from home. 

The BGC chief executive Michael Dugher stated that this period of national crisis, with so many people self-isolating and social distancing, calls for immediate action. It’s crucial to do everything possible in order to provide a safe gaming environment and protect potentially vulnerable groups. Sports betting and other levels of gaming have declined not just because of casino and betting shops closures, but because of the absence of sports activities. Recommendations will come into force immediately, ensuring that players who may be more vulnerable as a result of the crisis are properly protected. He added that all BGC members must ensure advertising is appropriate and responsible while monitoring the volume. All illegal, rogue and non-compliant advertising activities will be reported to authorities.