UK Gambling Commission Unveils New Strategy For Fairer and Safer Gambling
November 20, 2017
Last week the UK Gambling Commission set out a commitment to shaping a new well-regulated market by creating a three-year strategic plan.
The strategic plan’s focus has been split into five priority areas, which aims at improving the fairness of the gambling industry for consumers, by raising the responsibility standard of gambling businesses and gambling commission’s.
With 63% of people in the UK having gambled in the past year, the Gambling Commission believes that more needs to be done to combat the risks for individuals and wider society.
“This is an ambitious strategy to deliver fairer and safer gambling over the next three years. We can only be successful in this by engaging with consumers and by working closely with all our regulatory partners and the industry,” said the Gambling Commission Chair Bill Moyes.
“In the same way that this strategy challenges the industry, we also challenge ourselves – as the regulator – to deliver effective, targeted and innovative regulation.”
The UK Gambling Commission’s five priority areas are as follows:
- Protecting the interests of consumers – for example, the Commission expects operators to intervene to make play safe and to protect consumers at risk. There will also be tougher and broader sanctions on operators (including lotteries) who fail to treat customers fairly and make gambling safe
- Preventing harm to consumers and the public – for example, the Commission expects consumers to be provided with more information about gambling and its risks, and better controls to manage their gambling
- Raising standards in the gambling market – for example, the Commission expects effective and independent arrangements to resolve consumer complaints and disputes
- Optimising returns to good causes from lotteries – for example, the Commission will regulate in a way that delivers a healthy National Lottery for customers and good causes, and plan for the competition for a new licence to be awarded for 2023
- Improving the way the Commission regulates – for example, the Commission will improve the way it taps into consumer and public issues to inform action; it will help industry comply but take precautionary action where necessary, and will give independent and well-evidenced advice to government on gambling and its impact
Gambling in the United Kingdom has come under intense scrutiny from MPs and the national media in recent months, which has spurned the UKGC to take decisive action with initiatives and harsh penalties.
In late October the Gambling Commission ran their inaugural Responsible Gambling Week to promote safe gambling, and in the past three months have penalised Ladbrokes, Stan James, and 888 for social responsibility failures.