Tim Miller, a research director at the GB Gambling Commission, has revealed plans for the next series of consultations as part of the ongoing Gambling Act Review. These consultations will critically address bonuses and free bets, emphasizing their responsible use.
Ensuring Social Responsibility in Bonuses
The upcoming consultations will scrutinize incentives such as free bets and bonuses to prevent them from encouraging harmful or excessive gambling behaviors. This initiative aligns with the broader objective of the Gambling Act review white paper to regulate gambling responsibly in the UK.
Revisiting Financial Penalties
A significant aspect of the consultation will involve reevaluating how financial penalties are calculated. Miller highlighted the Commission's efforts to increase clarity and transparency in this process. The proposed changes aim to ensure that sentences are sufficiently deterrent, making non-compliance more costly than compliance.
Consulting on Statutory Levy and Other Areas
The consultations will extend to various domains, including customer-led tools, the protection of customer funds, and the obligation to contribute annually to Research, Prevention, and Treatment (RET) initiatives. Specifically, the Commission will explore removing the current contribution requirements in light of potential future statutory levies.
Progress on Gambling Act Review Implementation
In his blog post on the Commission's website, Miller mentioned the considerable progress made since the release of the white paper. The Commission plans to consult on seven topics over 12 weeks, with the consultation period expected to close in February or March.
Addressing Key Issues in the Gambling Industry
The forthcoming consultations are a part of the Commission's commitment to swiftly implement the white paper recommendations while addressing other regulatory aspects to prepare for future challenges. These consultations aim to balance rapid progress with thorough deliberation on crucial issues.
First Round of Consultations: Engaging the Industry
The initial round of consultations, which focused on affordability checks, online game design, marketing, and age verification, received broad engagement with over 3,000 submissions. The Commission is currently analyzing these responses to inform future regulatory decisions.
Industry Response to Affordability Checks
Affordability checks, a contentious topic in the industry, sparked significant debate and opposition, including an online petition against such checks by The Jockey Club's CEO, Nevin Truesdale, and critical remarks from Lord Lipsey, chair of Premier Greyhound Racing.
The GB Gambling Commission's ongoing consultations reflect its dedication to evolving and enhancing UK gambling regulations. By addressing bonuses, financial penalties, and other vital areas, the Commission seeks to create a safer, fairer, and more responsible gambling environment in the UK.