UK regulator launches consultation on VIP rules

The regulator is looking to review regulations on VIP schemes.
The regulator is looking to review regulations on VIP schemes.

The Gambling Commission is inviting responses to a review of rules for how operators engage with high-value customers.

UK.- The Gambling Commission has launched its consultation into the rules and procedures governing how operators engage with high-value and VIP customers.

The consultation opens after both houses in the UK Parliament called for an overhaul of gambling regulation, including the way VIP schemes are managed. 

The Gambling Commission says it acknowledges the commercial value that VIP players present for operators but set out two regulatory challenges they pose: including the frequency of play which can classify some VIP customers as “at-risk” of gambling-related harm, and conflicts that arise from the “disproportionate financial value of HVCs to licensees.”

The regulator said in a statement: “We are concerned that these regulatory challenges have not been consistently met by licensees. This has resulted in repeated instances of gambling-related harm and in some cases, failure to prevent criminal proceeds being spent on gambling.”

It said customer feedback suggested “regulatory requirements that cover all customers are not being tailored and applied effectively to HVCs.”

Members of the UK Betting and Gaming Council have agreed an industry action plan to change VIP rules by limiting access to VIP programmes to over 25s and introducing independent audits of the incentives and awards offered. 

Meanwhile, Stephen Cohen’s reelection as a Commissioner of the UK Gambling Commission has been approved by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden.

Cohen has served on the UKGC’s commissioner’s board since 2016. His tenure will now be extended for another four years until November 2024.

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