To run for 12 weeks

UK Gambling Commission launches second round of consultations on white paper proposals

Tim Miller, Executive Director of of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC).
Reading time 1:42 min

The UK Gambling Commission has launched its second set of consultations on proposals from the Gambling Act review white paper, which will run for 12 weeks, implying a February 21, 2024 deadline. 

According to the Commission, this second round of consultations will cover the following topics:

  • Socially responsible incentives, specifically bonuses and free bets;
  • Customer-specific tools, which would give customers greater control of their gambling habits, including setting deposit limits;
  • Increasing the transparency of customer funds, if the funds are held by companies that do not have protection against insolvency;
  • The requirement to make annual contributions to Research, Prevention, and Treatment (RET);
  • Regulatory data.

Tim Miller, Executive Director of Research and Policy at the Commission, said: "The white paper set out that a top government priority is ensuring that gambling happens safely. We share this commitment and today’s consultations propose how we can deliver on it."

"We need as many people as possible to have their say on any potential changes to the rules operators must follow. These views will ultimately help shape gambling regulation across the country," he added.

The Commission confirmed that a further consultation will take place to discuss calculating financial penalties and financial event key reporting. The Commission classified these as "business as usual" matters.

In his blog post this month, Miller said that the consultation process for calculating financial penalties "will include measures to ensure that penalties are set at a level where the costs of non-compliance outweigh the costs of compliance."

"Our enforcement activity has ramped up in recent years and we are proposing changes to the way in which we calculate the penal element of financial penalties imposed following a breach," he wrote.

For financial event key reporting, the Commission aims to change its current rules to bolster its risk-based regulatory approach.

The Gambling Act white paper outlined 60 areas for the Commission to consult upon. The first set of consultations opened in July and closed in October. That round focused on financial risk and vulnerability, online game design, enhancing customer choice on direct marketing, and improving age verification in land-based premises.

Mandy Gill, Director of Compliance at the Commission, said that more than 3,000 submissions were made for the first consultation round. Financial risk checks, also known as affordability checks, were undoubtedly the most controversial topic in the first round. They have been hotly debated since the white paper's publication.

Earlier this week, a petition opposing affordability checks hit 100,000 signatures, meaning that it will now be discussed in Parliament. The petition was created by Nevin Truesdale, CEO of The Jockey Club.

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