The Gambling Commission is introducing new rules with the aim of ensuring online gambling businesses do more to identify and take action to protect consumers at risk of harm.
The new rules follow a consultation which found that the following were major issues:
- unaffordable binge gambling
- significant unaffordable losses over time
- failure to identify consumers who are particularly financially vulnerable.
The Gambling Commission intends to consult further on these key risks, but is introducing new rules in the meantime. They come into effect on 12 September 2022, following the planned publication of guidance in June.
The new rules are stricter and more prescriptive and require gambling operators to:
- monitor a specific range of indicators, as a minimum, to identify gambling harm;
- flag indicators of harm and take action in a timely manner;
- implement automated processes for strong indicators of harm;
- prevent marketing and the take-up of new bonuses for at-risk customers;
- evaluate their interactions and ensure they interact with consumers at least at the level of problem gambling for the relevant activity;
- evidence their customer interaction evaluation to the Gambling Commission during routine casework; and
- comply with the above requirements at all times. This includes ensuring the compliance of third-party providers.
The Commission also plans to take account of the government’s current review of the Gambling Act 2005 and will support a broader programme of work to support identification of customers at risk of harm. This includes supporting the piloting of a ‘single customer view’ to identify harm across gambling businesses, to be trialled and the impact evidenced by the industry; and encouraging the industry to collaborate on best practice to implement the new requirements.
“We expect operators to identify and tackle gambling harms with fast, proportionate and effective action and we will not hesitate to take tough action on operators who fail to do so” - Gambling Commission