A long-promised white paper on gambling reform that will have profound effects on the UK gambling industry is nearing completion, according to recently published reports. The Gambling Act Review is the centerpiece of a significant overhaul of UK gambling regulations that is aimed at bringing legal codes in line with contemporary technology, and increase accountability and compliance rules for operators.
Any operators who are hoping for a post-review environment of relaxed background checks and increased advertising opportunities will be extremely disappointed by what’s coming down the pike. Nigel Huddleston, the Parliamentary Undersecretary for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, addressed the legislative body this week and said, “a key point about the responsibility and role of the financial services sector in the review.” Many industry watchers believe this hints at some sort of central database where operators can review the spending habits of individual players in an effort to curb problem gambling.
In a statement reported on by iGaming Business, Carolyn Harris, an MP who chairs the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Gambling-Related Harm (APPG) commented on what she hopes to see in the review saying, “Most importantly, the case for a centralised and independent affordability assessment is overwhelming,” Harris said. “Putting a limit of £100 a month on net deposits is a sensible, proportionate and, more importantly, evidence-based position, especially when we consider that the average level of disposable income in Britain is £450 a month, and that 73% of slot players and 85% of non-slot players lose £50 or less a month.”
While it’s unclear if Harris will get everything she wants from the review, but it’s clear that significant changes are coming for UK-facing operators, and they’re going to involve a lot more customer background checks and monitoring.