News Gambling Commission Launches Consultation on Tougher Rules for Remote Operators to Tackle Gambling Harm

The Commission is calling for comments from stakeholders on proposals to strengthen rules for identifying and preventing gambling harm

“The Gambling Commission has today launched a new consultation on remote customer interaction. The Commission is proposing stronger requirements on operators to identify customers who may be harmed by gambling and for operators to interact early and effectively.

The Commission’s casework in this area has shown that although remote gambling operators have the capability to identify vulnerable customers, in the Commission’s view operators are setting financial thresholds for interaction too high (in some cases at tens of thousands of pounds) and that operator responses are too slow and complicated  when a risk of potential harm is identified.

The proposals under consultation include requirements for online gambling operators to act on information they have about a consumer’s vulnerability and for operators to conduct defined affordability assessments at thresholds set by the Commission. The Commission are calling for evidence to help determine the nature of affordability assessments, what the thresholds should be and how operators should be required to protect customers following an assessment.

The consultation will explore how key stakeholders, including the Commission, the financial sector and the industry, can help to mitigate the risks. The Commission are particularly keen to hear from customers on how they think operators should be required to identify vulnerability and gambling which is unaffordable. As part of their engagement with customers during the consultation the Commission intends to release additional material to aid discussion.

The consultation and call for evidence will run until 12 January 2021. At the end of this period, depending on the evidence received, the Commission intends to carry out a short supplementary consultation on the final draft requirements and guidance, including any proposed thresholds that may be set for affordability assessments.

Further details and the consultation survey can be found here:  https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/news/2020/Have-your-say-on-tougher-rules-for-identifying-and-tackling-gambling-harm-–-including-customer-affordability.aspx