In an effort to make gambling safer and fairer, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission has announced an updated set of rules which operators must abide by.
In this post we get into the nitty-gritty of all the changes.
What are the New Gambling Commission Rules?
- Operators are required to conduct verification checks more quickly
- All verification must be completed before a customer can gamble with their own money, or with bonuses
- At a minimum, operators must verify the name, age and address of customers before any gambling can take place
- Operators must also take steps to ensure information on customers remains accurate
The new rulings, which have been published following open consultations, will require operators to verify the identity and age of customers more quickly.
Remote licensees will be required to verify the name, address and date of birth of a customer before allowing them to deposit and gamble either with their own money, or with bonus funds.
The signals a change from previous rules which permitted operators to allow gambling for up to 72 hours whilst the operator conducted verification checks.
Withdrawing Verification Checks
Also, in response to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) report in 2018, changes will be made to improve customer satisfaction.
The CMA report highlighted customer’s frustrations at having to undergo further verification checks when they made withdrawals.
Along with the minimum verification requirements above, operators must also complete any further verifications as quickly as possible after the initial verification.
Customers should also be informed of the specific documents which could be required, the circumstances when they would be required and how the checks should be supplied before any deposits are made.
Operators will also be required to ensure customers’ information remains accurate.
The Benefits of the New Rules
The rulings are part of the attempts of the Gambling Commission to improve the safety and fairness of online gambling.
The Commission has stated that the changes will help operators to detect criminal activity and safeguard against harm through the information they will gather.
It is hoped that the new minimum requirements before any depositing or gambling can take place will help to safeguard against the risk of children gambling online.
Also, the new rulings have been set up to help prevent problem gamblers from evading exclusions systems.
There have been concerns that GamStop, the self-exclusion system for problem gambling, can be easily circumvented, allowing problem gamblers to restart gambling readily.
The Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur had this to say about the new rulings:
“These changes will protect children and the vulnerable from gambling-related harm and reduce the risk of crime linked to gambling. They will also make gambling fairer by helping consumers collect their winnings without unnecessary delay.’’
How Free Spins and Bonuses Can Help
With problem gambling and safety and fairness being such hot topics in the industry, it got us all thinking whether bonuses can aid in helping to prevent such industry problems.
Firstly, with the new Gambling Commission changes, players will not be able to get their hands on bonuses before completing verification checks, thereby reducing the risk of problem gambling and underage gambling.
Also, the nature of the vast majority of bonuses and promotions can make them conducive to responsible gambling.
Winnings are almost always capped with bonuses and promotions, which means the temptation to gamble more in the hope of winning more is negated.
Free spins are particularly good in preventing irresponsible gambling. Ordinarily, free spins bonuses will involve a specific amount of free spins and, usually, those free spins will only be of the minimum bet value. And, of course, the winnings are capped too.
The Bottom Line – Responsible Gambling
These new changes set out by the Gambling Commission seem destined to help in the battle for safer and fairer online gambling.
Also, as we have shown, the nature of bonuses and promotions can be beneficial in encouraging responsible gambling. Whilst there is a long way to go in this challenging battle, we are heading in the right direction.