Gambling Commission announces “two way conversation” initiative with gamblers

By Alex Hammond
The Gambling Commission (GC) released its updated plan on communicating with consumers today. Recognising that consumers are the keystone for its work, the Commission is acting to improve efficiency in contact and provide more information to reduce problems that stem from the gaming industry. Investigations into consumer behaviour are being launched to improve policy surrounding problem gambling.

One key area that is highlighted in the report is a desire to install greater protections for those who are marginally connected to gambling, due to the issues surrounding problem gambling. The Commission has announced a consumer interest assessment for current standards of transparency, clarity and accessibility. The focus will be feedback from consumers and consumer protection organisations.

This is partly due to the increase in gambling availability, 29% of the gambling market share now belongs to i-gaming and 45% of people surveyed for the report had gambled recently. With this increase in consumers and ease of access, the Gambling Commission has had to act to ensure this substantial consumer base can easily share their concerns.

Feedback is central to the Gambling Commission’s latest action plan. Specifically, the Commission wants to know what consumers think of its processes and how to improve its policies and tailor them to consumer needs.

In addition, the GC also made it clear that companies need to improve their dispute resolution processes in order to make them simpler and more effective to use, and for alternative dispute resolution bodies to be readily accessible to consumers if the companies own system is insufficient for the consumer’s issue. This will be done via new guides and signposting tools to aid consumers in finding what they need to solve their problems.

Commenting on the two-way conversation plan, Commission chief executive Sarah Harrison said: “We want gambling companies to do much more to put consumers at the heart of the businesses – we’re doing this via the regulations that we set and the way in which we go about enforcing them.

“But we know we also have to do more ourselves to tap into consumer concerns, understand consumer interests and communicate better with consumers – that’s consumers who enjoy gambling, as well as those for whom it may become a real problem.”


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