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Summary of All the Changes in the UKGC’s Rules That Come into Force from 31 October
- October 24, 2018 By Oliver Young -
In the anticipation of the new rules to come into force from 31 October, the UKGC’s Senior Manager for Consumer Policy Pradeep Rajania and the Programme Director for Consumer Protection and Empowerment Ian Angus have recapitulated everything you need to know about the changes to the License Conditions and Codes of Practice.
The main aim of the changes is providing stronger consumers’ protection and fairer treatment by the gambling business. The two UKGC representatives explain how consumers will be better protected with the new rules and what the changes will mean for gambling operators.
Which Rules Will Be Updated?
So far, we know that the UK Gambling Commission has published a summary of the key changes on their website, which were originally announced in August. In addition to that summary, the 5-minute video on YouTube by the UK Gambling Commission representatives aims to further simplify the interpretation of the changes so that there are no misunderstandings for neither the operators nor the consumers.
On 31 October, there are two things that will come into effect: the Complaints and Disputes: Procedural, Information Provision and Reporting Requirements Guidance and the New Standards and Guidance for Alternative Dispute Resolution. These two are complementary in many aspects, although the former is more focused on the operators and the latter on the ADR providers.
The operators must have the arrangements always in place for their customers to refer to an ADR provider for any dispute that has not been resolved within 8 weeks of receiving it. They must also be alert and take into account any further guidance published by the UKGC in order to change their procedures and policies as necessary.
Operators should accept complaints by consumers made in person, via email, over the phone or via a third party support tool or intermediary such as the Resolver web tool, not impose time limits for consumers to make complaints, provide them with written confirmation when they reach the end of the complaint process not later than the end of the eight weeks with further information about how to proceed with the case to ADR, and finally, respond to inquiries from ADR providers within 10 working days of receiving the request.
In addition, according to the new rules, operators should market their gaming products and services in a socially responsible manner and comply with the advertising codes of practice issued by CAP and BCAP and industry codes of practice such as the Gambling Industry Code for Socially Responsible Advertising. Their marketing should not involve misleading actions or omissions and should provide transparent and prominent conditions, displayed in full. Also, they are allowed to send direct electronic marketing to consumers only with their consent and not spam them with information.
What Will Happen If the Rules Are Broken?
Operators who do not abide by the rules will be correspondingly fined and will be held responsible for the actions of their marketing affiliates, and will be required to comply with the Consumer Law, particularly for withdrawals and online promotions. With the aid of these changes, the UKGC will be able to act more swiftly and in a tougher manner to address the problems. Ian Angus encourages operators to fully familiarize themselves with the new standards and put the fair treatment of consumers in the very heart of their operations, otherwise, the UKGC won’t hesitate to use their full power and give them the corresponding fine when necessary.