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UK Gambling Commission Announces Fresh Measures for Safer Online Gambling

- March 26, 2018 By Oliver Young -

UKGC wants operators to do more to combat problem behaviour

UK Gambling Commission proposes new measures for online gambling safety.

UK Gambling Commission has been, so far, very active in 2018 with lots of changes implemented and advice offered in order to provide safe gambling environment to UK consumers. At the very start of this week, the UK gambling authority has announced a fresh package of measures that are believed to further improve the safety in this ever-popular sector.

According to Neil McArthur, Chief Executive of the Commission, Britain boasts with the “largest regulated online gambling market in the world” and therefore they were constantly looking for ways to make the sector “even fairer and safer” for all players. He further commented on the proposed measures saying that they are focused on protecting children better as well as reducing risks to vulnerable consumers and building on the measures that have already been imposed on operators.

Namely, these measures come shortly after statistics revealed that industry profits from online gambling have jumped for 10% to 4.7 billion in the past year. Moreover, public participation has grown to 18.3% in 2017 from 15.5% in 2014. According to the figures, around nine million consumers across the UK gamble online.

Banning Demo Play Without Age Verification

All proposed measures for additional regulations would strengthen the controls that have been already put in place, said Tracey Crouch, Minister for Sport and Civil Society. He added that the proposals would also additionally safeguard children and vulnerable consumers from the online gambling risks.

So, one of the changes focused on protecting children proposes banning operators from the option to provide demo play for their games before age verification is completed. Moreover, it is proposed that the age verification processes should be made faster and more effective.

In terms of vulnerable people, operators would have to set limits on spending until affordability checks have been completed. Dispute procedures as well as unacceptable marketing and advertising are to be tacked too. Furthermore, requirements regarding interaction with consumers that have or are likely to develop problem gambling should be strengthened.

Meanwhile Gambling Operators Start Changing Promotions

As the UK Gambling Commission stays focused on protecting consumers and tackling unfair conditions set by operators, it seems that gambling companies have started taking it more seriously. Therefore, shortly after the Commission, in collaboration with the CMA, conducted an investigation that revealed unfair practices and terms, gambling operators have started changing their promo terms.

The last name on the list, after William Hill, Ladbrokes and PT Entertainment have already changed their terms, is BGO Entertainment Ltd. According to reports, the company has agreed not to include terms that could enable changing promos after consumers have opted in. All the changes announced by gambling businesses are expected to be implemented by 3rd of April 2018.

Ian Angus, Program Director at the UK Gambling Commission, stated that it was crucial for consumers to feel that the odds were not against them when they take part in online gambling. Moreover, he announced a program of compliance activity and even robust regulatory actions.

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