Gambling Commission to start trial of financial risk checks

The Gambling Commission
The Gambling Commission

The trial is the next stage in plans to implement financial risk checks for online gambling.

UK.- The British Gambling Commission has announced that it will launch a pilot for proposed enhanced financial risk assessments to test data-sharing practices with credit reference agencies and gambling operators. The pilot will involve select operators and will last four to six months.

Five principles will be used to measure the performance of the pilot: refining data-sharing models, a frictionless assessment process, supporting at-risk customers, integrating financial risk assessments with other protections and a formal policy evaluation.

Executive director of policy development Tim Miller said that players “should not be affected during a pilot period to make sure that we can refine the data-sharing processes before the assessments are rolled out in a live environment.”

The Gambling Commission’s proposal is for “light checks” to be applied to accounts with net losses of £125 (without bonus funds) within a 30-day period or £500 within 365 days. Enhanced checks would apply to accounts with losses of over £1,000 within 24 hours or £2,000 in 90 days. Implementation will begin with the enhanced checks, with the light checks to be added at a later date.

Miller said: “We have been working closely with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to ensure that the next steps closely reflect the intention of the White Paper. That is, that the process of conducting these checks will be frictionless for the vast majority of customers who undergo them.”

The debate around financial risk checks

Financial risk checks have been one of the most controversial topics amid the UK government’s review of gambling legislation. Parliament will debate the proposed plans today following a petition against them from the racing sector. However, a recent survey commissioned by GambleAware found public support for the proposals.

The Gambling Commission said: “We completely understand why there has been such interest in financial risk checks. But it should be remembered that protecting people who are vulnerable, while still affording the freedom of others to gamble safely, is complex and there is no single solution.

“That is why we will continue to take forward all of the Government’s White Paper proposals, which we believe can significantly support and protect consumers and improve overall standards in the industry.”

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