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Protecting the Vulnerable 2021

Personal_Finance / Gambling Jan 21, 2021 - 01:14 PM GMT

By: Submissions


The shift in players moving online gaming during 2020 saw sites like quickly growing in popularity as increased traffic of both new and existing players visited to enjoy a few games whilst catching up with family and friends. In fact, online bingo has taken over in popularity from its land-based counterpart in a big way with people of all ages now enjoying their games as well as making new contacts online.

We are all well aware that choice is a great thing for consumers but the migration online by many people highlighted issues with the existing legislation with the 2005 Gambling Act being described as ‘weak’ and ‘sluggish’ especially when covering the problem of problem gambling.

Not only was the 2005 Gambling Act shown to be insufficient, as businesses actually struggled to remain compliant. This fact was proven with the online gambling firms of Caesars Entertainment UK and Betway paying in excess of £10 million for breaching problem gambling and ALM laws.

Measures and Changes 2020

In early spring player numbers soared online and with those soaring numbers the associated risks also increased with the gaps in regulatory controls showing themselves.

In May the Gambling Commission brought in some stronger protections for those that enjoy online gambling but may be considered at a greater risk of harm during the stressful times of lockdown. 

  1. Now, gambling businesses are asked to conduct affordability checks, reverse withdrawals and also to put some restrictions on bonus offers for those customers that are showing signs of harm.
  2. The Gambling Commission has also brought in stricter age limits and verification procedures tightening player age and identity checks in order to prevent underaged and problem gambling. This means that now gambling platforms must now verify players' identities before they deposit funds in their account or they gamble using any free bet or bonus offer.  Online betting companies must also enact policies and the associated procedures for detecting duplicate accounts held by the same individual.
  3. For high value customers the Gambling Commission has announced strict new rules for operators in order to prevent any malpractice. Operators must now conduct affordabiltiy checks and assess any risks associated with the gambler. The VIP must have their occupation verified as well as having their source of funds verified too before any VIP status is designated along with the free bets, cashback and special prize offers.
  4. There has also been a ban on gambling using credit cards as this method of making a deposit can tempt a problem gambler to deposit more than they can actually afford although e-wallets which are connected to credit cards are still accepted, however, the companies that provide the e-wallets have to make sure that the connected credit cards are not used for gambling.
  5. Another measure brought in by the Gambling Commission was that it is now mandatory for online operators to join the national online self-exclusion scheme called Gamestop. With this measure put into place it is hoped that even more problem gamblers can be prevented from accessing gambling platforms.

2021 also brings in two important changes that should help protect those considered vulnerable and at risk.

  1. The UK has raised the age limit for those who play the National Lottery from 16 to 18 (this includes scratchcards)
  2. There are to be more restrictions on online advertising, especially on images which are considered to be normalising gambling for children and this includes football sponsorships.

Other, considered measures are to be brought into line to further help those that might develop a problem with gamlbing and the future Gamlbing Act which will probably happen in 2022 with all things considered businesses must be aware of the incoming changes so that they can stay compliant and continue growing their businesses.

By Roger

© 2021 Roger - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

© 2005-2022 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

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