UKGC comes up with new guidelines on spending limits and age verification

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The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) publicised new guidelines on spending limits and age verification as a part of making gambling safer in the UK.

 Enhancing the speed and effectiveness of age verification processes, ensuring operators set limits on consumers’ spending until affordability checks have been conducted and protecting children by banning operators from providing free-to-play demo games until a consumer’s age has been attained  are among the proposed changes.

Moreover, the UKGC is also focusing on tackling unacceptable marketing and advertising and unfair terms, and improving complaints and disputes procedures. Requirements will also be strengthened to interact with consumers who may be experiencing, or are at risk of developing, problems with their gambling.

The review shows that industry profits from the sector have grown 10 percent to 4.7 billion in the last year, and public participation has increased from 15.5 percent in 2014 to 18.3 percent in 2017. It is estimated that nine million people across Britain gamble online.

Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission Chief Executive, said: “Britain has the largest regulated online gambling market in the world and we are continually looking for ways to make it even fairer and safer for consumers. The proposals we have announced today are intended to protect children better, reduce the risks to vulnerable consumers and build on the measures we already impose on operators to know their customers and intervene at an earlier stage before consumers experience harm.”

In association Tracey Crouch, the Minister for Sport and Civil Society said: “We are committed to ensuring the gambling industry is safe and sustainable. These proposals for additional regulations will strengthen the controls already in place and further safeguard children and vulnerable people from the risks of online gambling.”

The UKGC said that it is going to assess the effectiveness of the tools consumers have on their power to manage gambling, as well as review gambling product characteristics to identify whether particular features pose greater risk of harm than others. Furthermore, it will also review the requirements on the protection of customer funds and consider whether there are sufficient protections around dormant accounts, whether gambling on credit should continue to be permitted, and if they need to make changes to ensure that consumers can withdraw funds more easily.