UKGC Introduces New Rules to Protect Consumer Safety

New rules from the UKGC, which come into place on October 31st, 2018, mean it will be easier to take action against operators that break advertising rules.

People sitting and using a computer and handheld tablet.

Consumers using a tablet and a laptop.

Changes include operators facing action for advertising breaches made by any third-party affiliates, and a mandatory better complaints process that includes an eight-week deadline for complaints to be resolved. It will be quicker and easier to take action in cases of consumer law breaches mainly in the form of tougher fines.

“Protecting the interests of consumers is a priority for us and needs to be a priority for gambling operators. These changes will protect consumers from irresponsible advertising and misleading promotions, ensure that they can withdraw their money more easily, and will mean that firms have to deal with complaints more swiftly” said Neil McArthur, UK Gambling Commission Chief Executive.

These requirements are intended to target any advertisements that might appeal to children or glamourize gambling along with any ‘spam’ marketing emails or texts. In June of 2018, an Executive Director at the UKGC, Tim Miller said: “We have a strong commitment to protecting children and young people from the harm gambling can pose – it’s at the heart of how we regulate.”

Safeguarding children in a digital age is complex, and what both RGSB and our research has highlighted is that it takes a multi-faceted approach by us, government, educators, gambling firms and parents. It will take firm ongoing commitments from the Commission as gambling regulator, but also from all of those with a part to play.Tim Miller, Executive Director, UKGC

Miller also explained that the UKGC asked the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board to consider the protection of children and other at-risk individuals. He said that the board’s advice helps to “refocus and reinforce what we are doing already, and what we need to do next. For example, this year we will be carrying out targeted compliance and enforcement activity to identify and tackle any weaknesses in the age verification processes.”

This is a bold step from the UKGC to ensure the fair treatment and safety of consumers is taken seriously by operators.

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