UK Gambling Commission issues 'call to action' over player protection

By Harrison Sayers

The UK Gambling Commission is hoping to improve consumer protection and make the gambling industry ‘fairer’ and ‘safer’ through the release of a new enforcement report.

The ‘Raising standards for consumers’ report covers anti-money laundering, customer interaction, self exclusion, unfair terms and practices, marketing and advertising, and illegal gambling.

“We want operators to pay attention to the lessons set out in this report. We want them to focus on ways to make gambling fairer and safer for consumers in Great Britain,” said Neil McArthur, the Commission's Chief Executive.

“We also want gambling businesses to collaborate and to invest the same amount of resources into data, technology and research into building better protections for consumers, as they do to creating new products, or advertising and marketing campaigns.

“This is a call to action to the leaders of operators to set the tone from the top, to lead a culture of compliance that puts doing the right thing for your customers first, and to strive to continuously raise standards for consumers.”

Operators 32Red were the most recent gambling firm to be penalised by the UK gambling regulator. They were fined £2m ($2.62m) for failures related to money laundering and not protecting a consumer from gambling-related harm. The record fine handed out by the Commission was $10.21m in August 2017 for operators 888's failures in its handling of vulnerable customers.

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UK Gambling Commission Fines 32Red £2 million

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The Enforcement report also reflects steps being taken by the UK and other regulatory bodies, charities, and advisory groups to tackle perceived problem areas in the industry, mainly child protection.

The news comes just days after the Commission said it would up its commitment to protecting children from the dangers of gambling, with the assistance of the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board.

The UK's Advertising Standards Authority has also focused recently on child protection.

Three Coral gambling adverts were deemed to have featured animated images, including a leprechaun,  that were likely to be of particular appeal to under-18s. The ASA banned the online slot adverts after finding that they could appeal to children.

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