Gambling Commission outlines new plans to make gambling safer

The UK Gambling Commission has announced new plans that it hopes will make online gambling in Britain safer than ever before.

Man making plans on a whiteboard

Alongside the plans that are underway, the Commission outlined a number of areas it will focus on in the near future. © Pexels.

One major goal of the plans is the Commission’s aim to protect minors from exposure to gambling. To achieve this a number of measures have been proposed.

Firstly, the Commission has vowed to ban operators who provide free-to-play games without a user verifying their age. While these games are not strictly gambling, the Commission believes they can encourage young people to gamble and lead to further gambling in the future.

Secondly, the age-verification process will be modified and made more efficient, to prevent those under the legal gambling age being able to access gambling games. A customer due diligence could be introduced, which would give operators more information on their customers at an earlier stage.

Further areas of concern are customer checks, unacceptable marketing and advertising, unfair terms and how complaints are disputes are handled. The Commission has proposed changes to all these areas by consulting on amending the LCCP.

Speaking about the plans, Neil McArthur, chief executive of the Gambling Commission, said:

Britain has the largest regulated online gambling market in the world and we are continually looking for ways to make it even fairer and safer for consumers. The proposals we have announced today are intended to protect children better, reduce the risks to vulnerable consumers and build on the measures we already impose on operators to know their customers and intervene at an earlier stage before consumers experience harm.Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission chief executive

Five key areas of further concern

Alongside the proposals made by the Commission, there are five key areas designated for attention in the future. These are:

  • Assessing how effective current tools customers use to try to manage gambling are
  • Identify if there are specific characteristics of products that pose a greater risk to consumers
  • Review whether the protections of customer funds, for example in dormant accounts, are sufficient or need to be updated
  • Consider if gambling with credit should be banned
  • Assess if the methods and rights for consumers to withdraw funds are adequate

The Commission is currently working on a timetable for the above work, with a business plan to be published at a later stage.

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