UK Gambling Commission Looks at Social GamblingPublished January 23, 2013 by OCR Editor
Will the British broaden regulatory scope to address possible social gaming risks?
UK Gambling Commission Chairman Philip Graf announced last week in a speech to industry experts that the regulatory authority is studying potential ways to deal with the rise of social gambling.
Social gambling concerns
Graf explained that the UK Gambling Commission has no desire to widen its regulatory scope unless necessary, but that it must continue to assess the nature and size of the risks. The commission has made no secret in the past about its concerns regarding recent developments in social games.
According to the body, the risks fall into two categories: whether young or vulnerable people might develop problem gambling characteristics from social gambling, and whether there is any possibility of consumers being conned by rigged games or by unscrupulous or incompetent operators.
Work is already underway with the commissioning of a review on trends and a formal request for advice to the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board. The RGSB has already heard from researchers and operators, and is currently working on presenting its conclusions.
In his speech, Graf gave a preview to how the Commission will deal with the matter, saying that a lot depends on whether social games operators consider the potential risks to players and implement necessary gambling consumer protection measures. He suggested they self-regulate if they want to be sustainable.