The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is preparing for an extensive review of gambling regulations by initiating seven new consultations with industry stakeholders. This move is in line with the government’s ongoing efforts to refine its upcoming gambling White Paper to ensure that the legislation can effectively address the ever-changing industry landscape in the digital age.
The consultations, which are expected to last approximately 12 weeks and conclude around February-March 2024, will cover critical industry aspects such as socially responsible incentives, customer-led tools, transparency in protecting customer funds, annual financial contributions to research and treatment, regulatory data reporting, financial penalties, and fiscal event reporting.
Four consultations have already taken place following the official release of the White Paper on April 27, focusing on important components like age verification, financial risk assessments, marketing strategies, and remote game design. These consultations have played a significant role in shaping the new legislation and helping the UKGC adapt to the increasing complexity and global reach of the gambling industry.
One recent development involves the UKGC discussing the implementation of a mandatory levy with industry stakeholders, aiming to replace the current voluntary system and prevent the gambling industry’s influence on gambling harm treatment services. It is estimated that the levy may generate as much as £100 million for the NHS to fund gambling research and treatment.
The upcoming consultations will also address proposals related to incentives like free bets and bonuses to ensure that they do not promote harmful or excessive gambling habits. Additionally, there will be discussions about modifications to the calculation of financial penalties to hold operators accountable for non-compliance.
The UKGC emphasizes its commitment to supporting the government and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport in implementing the Gambling Act Review. These consultations are crucial in establishing a more robust and responsible gambling environment in the UK, enhancing the current risk-based regulatory approach in response to the gambling sector’s growing complexity and global reach.