UK Gambling Commission Proposes Improved Regulations

Published Saturday, January 27, 2018 -
UK Gambling Commission Proposes Improved Regulations

The United Kingdom has been regulating the online gambling industry for years now and the UK Gambling Commission recognizes that the industry has changed and it needs to upgrade the rules of engagement.

Recently the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) revealed the proposed changes to licensing conditions and codes of practice (LCCP) for operators. A deadline of April 22 has been offered to stakeholders and members of the public to submit their opinions on the proposed changes to the rules.

It has been suggested that UK gambling operators may face harsh financial penalties for breaching the UKGC advertising rules.  The UKGC is in the process of implementing its vision of a ‘fairer’ gambling market.   The Commission is promoting a consumer oriented approach and a zero-tolerance policy that violates social responsibility requirements. This particular aspect of the new directive, licensees’ adherence to socially responsible (SR) marketing activity is a focus for the Commission.   Licensees are now being told they “must” comply with codes as directed by the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP) and the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice (BCAP).

The revised social responsibility code provision says violators could face “the full range of [the UKGC’s] regulatory powers,” including big financial penalties, if advertizing for gambling products are considered unsatisfactory.

Marketing efforts containing misleading bonuses or ‘free bet’ offers, has been revised to indicate “licensees must ensure” that it’s not misleading. Furthermore, all “significant conditions” related to these offers and products must be “provided transparently and prominently to consumers.”

All the conditions must be “clearly indicated” that conditions apply and online operators must ensure that these conditions are revealed in full “no further than one click away.”

Operators are also prohibited from contacting consumers via direct electronic marketing without their informed and specific consent, and operators will have to provide “evidence which establishes that consent.” Opportunities to withdraw consent must be provided with penalties for violations of the rules. It was also made clear that “licensees are responsible” for any improper activity by their affiliate partners.


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