Gambling Commission and Betting and Gaming Council announce new rules

The rules and voluntary checks are designed to financially safeguard players from gambling harms.

new rule

The Gambling Commission (GC) and Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) have announced a list of new rulings and standards to be followed by gambling companies in the UK.  

The rules by the GC are set to be implemented in four stages until completion in February 2025, while the BGC’s Code on Customer Checks, written jointly with the GC, is a voluntary financial assessment scheme. Both have been created ahead of the implementation of the British government's White Paper. 

What are the new Gambling Commission rules? 

The new rules set out by the GC, which include financial vulnerability checks and frictionless financial risk assessments, are as follows:  

-Light-touch financial vulnerability checks; these checks have been designed to reduce cases of players engaging with gambling when bankrupt, spending more than their annual or monthly salaries or spending excessively in a short period of time. The checks will include ‘light touch financial vulnerability checks for those customers with a net deposit of more than £150 ($187.29) a month on gambling.’ Those with a £500 a month net gambling deposit will be subject to the checks as of 30 August 2024, before reducing to £150 a month deposit checks on 28 February 2025. 

-Frictionless financial risk assessments; the GC will assess players' risk of financial harm in a pilot test, which will include using data from gambling companies and credit reference agencies. The assessment is not being rolled out in a live environment during its pilot and neither the financial risk assessments or financial vulnerability checks will impact consumer credit ratings. 

The pilot is set to run for six months.  

-Reducing intensity and increasing consumer understanding of online products; this will see the removal of autoplay, ‘turbo’ and ‘slam stop’ features, casino spin speeds less than five seconds (bar peer-to-peer poker), multi-game play and ‘audio or visual celebrations of returns less than or equal to stake.’ These will be implemented on 17 January 2025.  

-Direct marketing; companies must provide opt-in options for direct marketing related to specific products and channels to give customers more control over the advertising they are exposed to. This will be implemented on 17 January 2025 and applies only to online gambling. 

-Age verification; all land-based operations must conduct age verification test purchasing and will be required to age verify anyone who appears to be under 25, as opposed to under 21. This will be implemented on 30 August 2024. 

-Personal management licences; those with a Personal Management Licence have had their expected management roles clarified and extended. These provisions will be implemented on 30 November 2024. 

What are the new Betting and Gaming Council rules? 

The voluntary Code on Customer Checks sets out guidelines for operator interactions when players make rolling net deposits of £5,000+ monthly (£2,500+ for those aged 18-24) or £25,000 annually. Currently, those wishing to engage with the latter may have to provide financial documentation to prove they are not at risk, though they are not required to do so in regard to the former. 

The new code is set to rectify this. As such, operators will be required to: 

-Carry out one or more vulnerability assessments on those who meet the above threshold or the threshold outlined by the GC’s financial vulnerability checks.  

-Conduct questionnaires, request deposit limits, send activity statements and engage in telephone and live chat interactions with those deemed vulnerable.  

-Conduct risk assessments on those wishing to deposit £5,000+ monthly, which may include income or wealth checks.  

-Conduct risk assessments on those wishing to deposit £25,000+ annually, which will often include document requests such as Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD). 

-Implement intervention measures for those seen to be at risk. 

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