The UK Gambling Commission has published the advice it has provided to the Government as part of the Gambling Act Review.
The focus of the advice is to further protect those at risk of experiencing gambling harm while also making gambling fairer for all consumers. The advice highlights both recommendations to the Government and commitments by the Commission.
The Commission, as a statutory advisor to the Secretary of State on gambling, has reviewed evidence from a wide range of sources in putting together advice to Government and also made a number of commitments for a significant strengthening of the requirements on operators. As part of this, the Commission will consult on safety measures to:
- Ensure bonus offers and incentives do not lead to excessive or harmful gambling
- Set further product controls for safer online games
- Require operators to identify and take action for financially vulnerable consumers and to tackle significant unaffordable gambling through frictionless checks that are not disruptive for consumers.
In addition, recommendations for Government set out that there is a need for legislative change to:
- Set stake limits for online slots
- Create an independent ombudsman to fill the gap for consumers to seek redress when they have been treated unfairly
- Introduce a statutory levy to provide effective and sustainable funding for research, education and treatment and;
- Enable a better-funded, future-proofed regulator, well equipped to tackle illegal gambling and to build new data informed approaches to make gambling safer and ensure operator compliance.
Andrew Rhodes, CEO of the Gambling Commission, said: “The gambling industry has changed significantly since 2005 and our advice sets out changes that will ensure Britain is the safest and fairest place to gamble in the world.
“The review is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to deliver positive change for gambling in Great Britain and for all people impacted by it. Everyone at the Commission welcomes today’s publication of the White Paper and is determined to work with Government and partners to make these changes a reality. Given the correct powers and resources, the Gambling Commission can continue to make gambling safer, fairer and crime free. This White Paper is a coherent package of proposals which we believe can significantly support and protect consumers, and improve overall standards in the industry.
“As the detailed implementation of the review now begins, we will also be reiterating to all operators that the Commission will strongly maintain its focus on consumer protection and compliance.”