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New Guidance to Govern Gambling Industry ‘VIP Customer’ Practices

The Gambling Commission has released new guidance for operators to address incentive schemes aimed at high value customers

“Following consultation earlier this year and the Gambling Commission’s drive to strengthen consumer protection, the regulator has issued strict new guidance on incentive schemes for high value customers with the aim of ending malpractice in the management of ‘VIP customers’.

From 31 October, any operator who wishes to make a customer a ‘VIP’ must first:

  • Establish that spending is affordable and sustainable as part of the customer’s leisure spend;
  • Assess whether there is evidence of gambling related harm, or heightened risk linked to vulnerability;
  • Ensure the licensee has up to date evidence relating to identity, occupation and source of funds; and
  • Continue to verify the information provided to them and conduct ongoing gambling harm checks on each individual to spot any signs of harm.

The new rules will also make individuals within the company personally accountable, as operators must appoint a senior executive Personal Management Licence holder to oversee the scheme.

The full guidance document and statement from the Gambling Commission can be viewed here: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/news-action-and-statistics/news/gambling-commission-new-rules-to-stamp-out-irresponsible-vip-customer-practices

Within their statement the Commission have also announced that a consultation on customer interaction (including the assessment of affordability, identifying vulnerability and how to take early preventive and reactive action) will be launched in the coming weeks.”

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