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UK Gambling Commission preparing for extensive look at regulations

16 Nov 2023

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is preparing for an extensive examination of gambling regulations by commencing seven new consultations with industry stakeholders.

This initiative is in harmony with the government’s continuous endeavors to enhance its forthcoming gambling White Paper, ensuring that this crucial legislation remains responsive to the dynamic landscape of the digital age.

The latest series of consultations is anticipated to span approximately 12 weeks, concluding in the February-March 2024 timeframe. These consultations aim to delve into crucial aspects of the industry, such as socially responsible incentives, customer-driven tools, transparency in safeguarding customer funds, annual financial contributions to research and treatment, regulatory data reporting, financial penalties, and reporting of fiscal events.

Since its official release on 27 April, the White Paper has already initiated four consultations focusing on essential components like age verification, financial risk assessments, marketing strategies, and remote game design. These efforts have played a significant role in shaping the upcoming legislation, enabling the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) to navigate the increasing complexity and global reach of the gambling industry.

In a recent development, the UKGC engaged in discussions with industry stakeholders regarding the implementation of a mandatory levy, aiming to replace the existing voluntary system. This measure is designed to mitigate the influence of the gambling industry on the operation of gambling harm treatment services. Estimates suggest that the levy could generate up to £100 million for the NHS, contributing to the advancement of gambling research and the treatment of gambling-related issues.

The forthcoming consultations will scrutinize proposals related to incentives such as free bets and bonuses, with the objective of ensuring they do not encourage harmful or excessive gambling behaviors. This proactive approach to address operator concerns underscores the UK Gambling Commission’s (UKGC) dedication to fostering a constructive rapport with the gambling industry, striking a balance between commercial interests and consumer protection.

Moreover, these consultations will delve into potential adjustments to the calculation of financial penalties, aiming to establish a transparent framework where prohibitive non-compliance costs hold operators accountable. The current financial penalties often prove inadequate, creating a disincentive for some gambling companies to implement necessary reforms.
 
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