Stringent Regulations Have Been Issued By UK Gambling Commission For Consumer Protection During Lockdown
UKGC issued a new set of rules after looking at the evidence in which a number of players will be at high risk of losses between the period of lockdown. These new rules will deal with the requirement of affordability checks, control on bonus offers, and prevention of reverse withdrawals.
Close Monitoring Of Operators
UKGC had gathered data from YouGov surveys as well as from the gambling industry. The data reveals that during the lockdown, the overall gambling participation has been reduced. As a result, all land-based venues are closed and all major sports events are canceled.
The data collected from the survey also reveals a significant increase in the number of gaming sessions that are played for an hour regarding time spent gambling. On the other hand, the overall duration of gaming sessions has been decreased to a significant rate.
Neil McArthur is the chief executive of UKGC. According to him, online operators must look at the data to protect their players. They must gain accurate knowledge about their customers, especially in terms of their gambling practices and their consequences. It can be done by observing their playing patterns and understanding how financial uncertainties affect them and what is the limit of spending they can afford in gambling.
In order to make sure that operators perform these practices, the commission is strengthening their guidance and expecting them to limit their bonus offers. Moreover, the guidance will also cover inducements that are being provided to players who present any signal of harm.
The work is already under process to address such challenges. They also added that they will continue to supervise and report the data that they have gathered. If required, they will also take action against online operators. They are keeping a close eye on online operators and if they found any susceptible behavior, they will immediately suspend their license.
Nigel Huddleston is the minister for sports, tourism, and heritage. According to him, citizens must be protected from gambling harms. He accepts and approves these latest measures taken by the UKGC. He and the commission together will continue to supervise the situation closely and will take strict actions if required.
Recommendations Made By UKGC
The UKGC has outlined its current rules in terms of the risks that customers are facing at the time of lockdown. Besides, online gambling companies must follow some of the major guidelines that are issued by the commission. The major guidelines are as follows:
- The online operators must limit the option of reverse withdrawal for their customers till the time of further notice.
- Assess thresholds and triggers for new players to react against the operator’s inadequate knowledge regarding their specific spending and playing strategies.
- Operators must halt to provide promotions and bonuses to all those customers who present an indicator of harm.
- Online operators must interact with their customers who have come to pay for a single one-hour session.
- Operators must plan affordability assessments for the ones who preferred taking up new or current thresholds and triggers or in the case where customers can experience harm. In such situations, operators are not supposed to allow their customers to play further until supporting evidence is found and checks are been achieved.
- Operators should carry out proper processes to ensure a regular check on their customers. It should be in terms of their pattern of playing, behavior, etc.
Online operators are supposed to make modifications to act on this set of rules imposed by UKGC. The commission will further promote their plans to determine if protection measures regarding their customers are required permanently.
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