The UK Gambling Commission has revealed a new three-year five-point strategy to improve its overall operations and protect gamblers.
The gambling industry is undergoing a lot of changes, online and off, and the UKGC is updating its policies to improve its regulatory responsibilities.
The strategy, which aims to reshape the gambling market with consumers at the forefront, features five priority areas, including;
- Consumers: The UKGC’s new strategy aims to protect the interests of consumers by introducing tougher penalties for operators who fail to adhere to responsible gambling practices and intervene when consumers are at risk.
- Problem Gambling: Given the prevalence of problem gambling in the country, the UKGC wants operators and relevant authorities to provide consumers with more education on gambling and the associated risks. The regulator also wants better controls introduced to allow players to manage their gambling.
- Raising the standards in the gambling market: The UKGC wants gambling operators held to a higher standard and plans on introducing effective tools to resolve consumer complaints and disputes.
- Optimising lottery returns: The UKGC will seek to improve the returns to community causes from lottery revenue, as well as plan for a new National Lottery licence in 2023.
- Improving the UKGC operations: The gambling regulator will also focus on how it regulates and improve the way it operates. It will improve the way it helps gambling operators comply with legislation, while also taking precautionary measures when necessary. It will also work with the government to provide advice.
UK casinos and sports betting companies have been under a lot of scrutiny in recent months, due to the triennial review of the gambling industry.
Gambling Commission Chair Bill Moyes said the “ambitious strategy” aims “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,” he added.
“In the same way that this strategy challenges the industry, we also challenge ourselves – as the regulator – to deliver effective, targeted and innovative regulation.
“At the end of three years, we expect to see an industry that strives continuously to raise their standards, treat customers fairly, and protect vulnerable people.”
The strategy complements the recent changes by UK-licensed online casino operators, including the elimination of free spins. UK online casinos now offer bonuses with fair or extra spins, or promotional offers with clear wagering terms and conditions.
Offline, betting shops are awaiting the government’s decision on whether it will reduce the maximum bet limit on fixed odds betting terminals from £100 down to £50, £30, £20 or £2. The government is currently in the midst of a 12-week consultation period to allow interested parties to submit their arguments on the issue.
The Commission states that it wants “to balance consumer choice and enjoyment against the risks and impact gambling can have for individuals and wider society” and the strategy aims to support its vision.
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