The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has reiterated the importance of ongoing vigilance regarding customers who may be displaying gambling-related harm.The regulator is due to issue a new set of rules in an “ongoing drive to make gambling in Britain Safer”. From September 2022, gambling operators are required to identify vulnerable customers, monitor for indicators of harm, when utilising automated systems and processes, and evaluate the impact of customer interactions.Guidelines and practices introduced through Covid are still applicable until the aforementioned date.
Indicators of Harm
Licensees must follow the fresh guidelines and “implement effective customer interaction systems and processes” to minimise the risk of harm to their customers by harmful gambling practices. The three core elements operators must act upon are ‘identify, act and evaluate’ and continue customer interactions as an ongoing process.Operators must have correct systems in place to monitor their customer’s gambling activities, gambling behaviours, customer usage of management tools, and account indicators.Furthermore, customers who flag as strong indicators of harm must not be targeted with promotional material such as bonus offers and marketing material. Indicators must be used to determine a customer’s spending habits, patterns of spending, time spent gambling, customer contact, and the use of gambling tools.Licensees interacting with customers must take steps to understand their customers and take steps to ensure the effectiveness of their approach.
The UKGC is shortly launching a new consultation tackling three financial risks if customers are binge gambling, unaffordable losses over a time frame, and the overall risk for financially vulnerable customers.Chief Executive for the UKGC Andrew Rhodes said, “Operators must take account of guidance ahead of the stronger requirements coming into effect.“We are giving the industry time to prepare for the changes and expect full compliance by September.“Every gambling business has a role to play to prevent gambling harm and this guidance makes clear what we expect to see, which will be supported with enforcement action should we need it.”