GC seeks wider opinion on regulatory change

5 September 2018

The UK Gambling Commission has launched a consultation to harness opinion on proposed regulation designed to protect children, reduce gambling-related harm and keep betting fair.

The regulatory body is aiming to speak with consumers, gambling operators and members of the public about the mooted changes, announced earlier in the year.

Should the new regulations come into effect, licensed operators in the UK would be required to verify the age of players before they are able to deposit money, gamble or access play-to-free versions of games.

Companies would also need to verify the identity of a customer before they are allowed to gamble, as well as ensure that the name associated with a customer’s payment method matches that of the gambling account holder.

Brad Enright, programme director at the Commission, said: “Our aim is to protect children, reduce gambling-related harm and keep gambling fair and crime-free.

“We would encourage anyone with an interest in gambling matters to read our consultation and ensure they have their say on these proposals.”

With gambling now so easily accessible on smartphones, tablets and computers, it is becoming increasingly difficult for operators to clamp down on underage betting.

In December, the Commission published a report that said around 25,000 children aged between 11 and 16 have been identified as problem gamblers.

A recent report in the Mirror newspaper also cited a case involving a 13-year-old boy, who stole his father’s credit card to spend £80,000 (€89,300/$103,700) on online gambling. This included around £60,000 in just one week.

The Commission has been rather vocal about its commitment to clamping down on such issues in recent months after issuing a call for the industry to “step up” and support its efforts to raise standards in the industry.

Last month, the regulator also set out new rules for gambling advertising and revealed that it is to work with the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board on a new research project that will look into whether some gambling products and environments are more harmful than others.

In addition, the Commission this week announced plans to stage a number of events to help smaller operators improve their responsible gambling strategies.