The UK’s online gambling world is set to face a collection of new rules to abide by, which will span across various topics. This includes the potential for barring minors from accessing free-play casino games, as well as the possibility of a total ban with regard to credit betting.
On Monday, the regulatory body of the UK – the Gambling Commission – released a review of online gambling within the country. This review focused quite heavily on how expansive the market in the UK actually is. It has seen a growth spurt over the past few years. And to add to this, expectations of the Commission see it believe that it will rise from the current 34% of the UK gambling market to 50%. What’s more, this huge jump is expected to take place over the proceeding few years. This also stated that the country now holds the largest online gambling market with regulation in the whole world, generating £4.7 billion gross gambling yield (GGY) every year.
Furthermore, the Commission went on to note that online casino operators and such currently enjoy a vast amount of commercial freedom – especially in comparison with land-based operators. However, these online operators do collect a significant amount of data when it comes to their players. It is this data that the Gambling Commission wants online operators to utilise in identifying and minimising any harm from gambling.
The Four UKGC Recommendations
There are four areas that the UK Gambling Commission is focusing on when it comes to online operators. First of all, it believes that getting rid of the 72-hour window for proceeding through age-verification is no longer necessary – mainly because most operators don’t put it into effect in any case. Instead, online gambling will only be allowed after positive age verification has occurred Furthermore, free-play casino sites will not be accessible until age verification is complete. Despite the fact that the Commission doesn’t have any sort of hold over these free-play gambling games in operation, it still has its concerns about them having the “capacity to encourage young people” towards gambling.
As well as this, the Commission expects online operators to bring a sturdier attitude towards the completion of due diligence. This should be completed before a customer is allowed to gamble at a site. Spending limits should also be set in relation to a client’s financial status, with such limits only able to be raised following proof that the customer can afford to do so.
Finally, the Commission’s last two recommendations relate to the ongoing concerns about unfair and/or unclear terms and conditions relating to promotional offers. This also combines with the ineffective customer interaction processes that are currently in place to ensure that early detection of problem gambling behaviour takes place.
As well as these recommendations, the Gambling Commission has gone on to identify five separate areas that it will study and determine whether further changes are necessary. These areas include certain controversy over operators confiscating funds from dormant accounts and others purposely utilising diligence roadblocks when players opt to withdraw funds.