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Challenges that UKGC Faces in the Online Gambling Industry

Written by:
Payton
Published on:
Dec/04/2019

Gambling is one of the favourite pastime activities in Great Britain. As one of the oldest gambling jurisdictions, the UK prides on hosting some of the best bookmakers as well as casinos in the world. The invention of the internet and the widespread online casinos led to the introduction of gambling laws and regulations. 

Before the first independent regulatory body was created in 2005, the Gaming Committee was under the Ministry of Sports and Culture. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) was a fruit of the amended Gambling Act of 2005. This article covers steps to improve customer protection, verification laws, the self-exclusion program, penalties for violators, and many other responsibilities of the UK Gambling Commission.

Steps to Improve Customer Protection

Recently, the Gambling Commission published different measures to provide protection to young people from being exploited. The new framework was created by Ipsos MORI, together with the UK Gambling Commission, the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling and GambleAware. 

It is aimed at educating young people on the impact of gambling on their health, relationships, and finances. This report was echoed by the Gambling Commission’s Programme Director for Safer Gambling, Helen Rhodes, who said that gaining a better understanding of the effects of gambling on the young generation is the main focus of the Commission.

Protect Consumers with Self-Exclusion

According to the new self-exclusion law, all UK Gambling Commission licenсe holders – bookmakers and casinos - have to register with GamStop before they offer their services to the British customers. This is a step taken to provide a solution to the threatening problem of gambling addiction. GamStop has been operational since April 2018 with the goal of ending problem gambling. However, many gamblers still join and spin latest non Gamstop casino slots not connected to the National Scheme or change their login details (name, e-mail, postcode) and register at UKGC-licensed online casinos again.

When registering at GamStop, you will be required to provide your personal information and select the duration you wish to be banned from accessing gaming and betting sites - between six months and the five years. Once the forbidden time has come to an end, you are supposed to write to Gamstop to request them to reinstate your gambling rights.

Stricter Verification to Prevent Frauds

The newly announced rules by the UK Gambling Commission will affect operators based in England, Wales, and Scotland. It requires operators to verify the customer’s name, address, and date of birth before they offer services. These KYC steps in online gambling must also be followed when players are depositing funds or claiming the bonus offers. 

As if that is not enough, players will also be denied access to free trial games if they don’t verify their identity. This move was supported by Jeremy Wright, the Secretary for State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sports, when he said that the implementation of stricter verification rules will help to reduce harm to underage people. 

Penalties for Violators

All operators who fail to comply with the new UK Gambling Commission’s self-exclusion law will be subject to very severe penalties. As a fact, four leading UK based casino operators are expected to pay a total fine of 4.5 million euros – MT Secure Trade (700,000 euros), InTouch Games (2.2 million euros), BestBet (230,972 euros) and Betit Operations (1.4 million euros). These fines come as a result of failing to meet the required standards of player protection. So far, more than 123 UK based operators have been accessed, and only 34 were compliant with the law.

Other Responsibilities of UKGC

Besides creating and enforcing new laws, the UK Gambling Commission is also responsible for:

  • Ensure that the betting companies have proper systems to provide solutions;

  • Ensure that casino and bookmaker operators support safe and reliable payment options and advanced security systems;

  • Investigate licensees to ensure that they use the required software

  • Ensure that operators protect the underage and vulnerable people

  • Ensure that the license holder has separate bank accounts to keep the players’ money.
     



 

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