Affordability Thresholds to be Lowered to Pragmatic Levels in New UKGC ReviewPublished November 22, 2020 by Lee R
The perceived stringency of the new review is a solution to longer term harsh measures direct from Parliament.
The affordability of gambling in the UK is the latest initiative for which the UK Gambling Commission UKGC is seeking stakeholder consultation.
The 10-week consultation is set to welcome both industry members and consumer feedback on regulatory reform.
The key initiative under consideration is a new £100 ($130) per month affordability threshold for all UK customers.
Long Term Solution
The Commission seeks to introduce new regulation ahead of impending Parliamentary review of the Gambling Act of 2005 currently governing play as a greater solution for avoiding more intense long-term Parliamentary restrictions.
Previous Consultation Benefits
An earlier similar consultation into VIP betting in the UK resulted in the establishment by the UKGC of a series of required checks before an operator makes a customer a VIP--including origin of funds; occupation and identity verification, with operators further called upon to assign a senior executive with personal responsibility for ensuring customer safety in VIP schemes.
Protecting Consumer Spend
The new requirements under review are designed to inform the new UKGC thresholds which will serve “affordability measures” to protect vulnerable players from gambling too much of their money.
Time Limits to be Discussed
Other key protections to be discussed in the coming review include the mandatory time limit for gambling after which customers will be alerted.
While acknowledging operator efforts for customer protection, the UKGC is calling for new restrictions to bring the whole industry into line.
In a prepared statement, UKGC executive director Tim Miller said of customer interaction processes:
“We are clear on the need for gambling companies to take further action and that the Commission must set firm requirements to set consistent standards.”
UKGC's New Data
Current consultation documents published by the Daily Telegraph last week indicate UKGC's characterisation of thresholds of “tens of thousands of pounds” ineffective in combating gambling-related harm' while calling a £2,000 limit “neither realistic nor appropriate.”
Upon further review of evidence-based research, the documents revealed that the Commission is leaning towards loss limits as low as £100 per calendar month to launch the interventions under discussion.
The use of data to inform legal restrictions looks like the key component that can inform UKGC policy and legitimize what might other seem like harsh restrictions for operators.