Gambling Commission sets new gambling rules for at-risk customers

The Great Britain’s Gambling Commission has announced a series of new rules relating to interactions with consumers at risk of gambling-related harm.

The rules are due to go into effect on September 12 this year, with licensed operators to be mentored in June to ensure they fully understand the changes and comply with the new rules ahead of implementation.

Starting in September, operators will be required to monitor a specific range of indicators, at a minimum, to identify game-related damage or potential problems among their customers.

These metrics will include customer spending, spending patterns, time spent on gambling, game management tools usage, account metrics and pre-set gaming behavior metrics.

Licensed operators must also flag damage indicators and act in a timely manner, as well as implement automated processes for potentially serious cases.

Other new rules that will go into effect later this year include preventing marketing and accepting new bonuses for at-risk customers.

The Gambling Commission also said operators must provide evidence of their assessment of customer interaction to the regulator during routine work, as well as ensure their compliance, and that of any third parties, with the new rules at all times.

“Our enforcement cases show that some operators are still not doing enough to prevent gambling-related harm,” said Gambling Commission Chief Executive Andrew Rhodes. “These new rules, developed after extensive consultation, make our expectations even more explicit.”

“We hope that operators will identify and address this type of problem with quick, proportionate and effective action. We will not hesitate to take tough action on operators that fail to do so”, adds Rodhes.

Confirmation of the new functions follows a consultation that was launched to address the shortcomings the commission continued to see among online gambling operators. The regulator said operators were able to identify customers who could be harmed by the game, but they did not always do so or act quickly enough.

The consultation and subsequent request for evidence drew approximately 13,000 responses, all of which the commission said were carefully considered before the new rules were drafted.

The Importance of Gambling Commission Actions for Responsible Gaming

The Gambling Commission said it would continue to make online gambling fairer and safer, with the next stage of the program to include more consultation on identifying financially vulnerable customers.

Additional work will focus on other areas such as illegal gambling and significant losses over time as identified in the consultation.

“We will also take into account the government’s current 2005 Gambling Act Review and continue to support a broader program of work to facilitate the identification of at-risk customers,” the inquiry reports.

“This includes supporting a ‘single customer view’ drive to identify harm across all gambling companies, to be tested and the impact evidenced by the industry leads to collaborating with best practices to implement these new requirements and beyond. “.

The consultation on the topic of interaction had initially also included a proposal for a mandatory accessibility threshold, with a suggested value of £100 per month. However, the Commission later withdrew this figure from its action points on the topic.