Gambling Commission opens consultation on regulatory changes

15 February 2019

The GB Gambling Commission has launched a consultation to gather opinion on a number of planned regulatory changes it said will help make online gambling fairer and safer.

The regulator is seeking opinion from consumers, gambling businesses and other interested groups on three proposed measures related to consumer interaction, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and gambling blocking software.

The Commission is inviting all stakeholders to give their views on the regulator strengthening its controls for identifying and interacting with customers, as well as evaluating best practice and taking into account Commission guidance on customer interaction.

Meanwhile, all UK-licensed operators are currently required to meet certain standards when handling complaints and offer dispute resolution by an ADR provider. However, the Commission will consult on whether operators should only use ADR providers that have met additional standards set by the regulator.

The Commission will also call for evidence on whether operators should have to provide customers access to blocking software free of charge and how this could most effectively be delivered.

Paul Hope, executive director of the UK Gambling Commission, said: “We would like as many people as possible to have their say on these two consultations and the call for evidence. The proposed changes are intended to accelerate progress in protecting consumers and preventing them from experiencing gambling related harm.

“Making gambling fairer and safer is at the heart of how we regulate and better customer interaction, higher ADR standards and facilitating readily available blocking software are all part of this.”

Earlier this month, the Commission also announced a series of changes to rules for verification processes. The updated regulations state that operators must now verify a customers’ age and identity details faster, and do so before they can place a bet.

The regulator has also launched an investigation into the use of non-disclosure agreements in operators' settlements with customers after claiming they could breach licence conditions.