British Gambling Commission opens new consultations

The Gambling Commission
The Gambling Commission

The second round of consultations includes a focus on free bets and bonuses.

UK.- The Gambling Commission has opened its second round of consultations following the publication of the UK government’s gambling review white paper in April. It’s consulting on five areas for a period of 12 weeks, up until February 21, 2024.

Topics in the consultation are socially responsible incentives, with proposals to ensure free bets and bonuses do not encourage excessive gambling, customer-led tools such as deposit limits and proposals to increase the transparency for customers in cases where licensees provide no protection in the event of insolvency.

The other two areas are the removal of current requirements for financial contributions to research and treatment bodies (such donations will become obsolete under the government’s proposed mandatory levy on gambling operators) and a proposal to switch the frequency of regulatory returns from annual to quarterly.

Tim Miller, Gambling Commission executive director for research and policy, said: “The white paper set out that a top government priority is ensuring that gambling happens safely. We share this commitment and today’s consultations propose how we can deliver on it.

“We need as many people as possible to have their say on any potential changes to the rules operators must follow. These views will ultimately help shape gambling regulation across the country.”

Petition against financial risk checks reaches 100,000 signatures

Meanwhile, a petition started by Jockey Club CEO Nevin Truesdale has collected over 100,000 signatures against the Gambling Commission’s plans for financial risk checks. The figure means that Parliament’s petitions committee must schedule a debate on the issue at Westminster.

The petition calls for the government to abandon the plans for affordability checks for online gambling. It argues that there is a risk of checks being “discriminatory” based on a player’s postcode or job title.

The Gambling Commission proposes ‘unobtrusive’ financial risk checks for online gamblers who lose £125 in a month or £500 in a year but more thorough checks on those who lose £1,000 in a day or £2,000 over three months. It says it expects these more detailed checks to affect just 3 per cent of customers, although it has suggested that the threshold could be higher for those aged under 24.

However, the racing sector is concerned that the move could cause betting revenue to fall by up to £250m, causing an impact on equine welfare.

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Gambling Commission gambling regulation