The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) will require online gambling operators to fund a multi-million pound, nationwide self-exclusion scheme.
According to a draft framework published by the regulator last week, the anticipated cost of creating the Central Hub for Online Operator Self Exclusion (CHOOSE) would be £2m, with ongoing costs of approximately £1m annually.
“The costs will need to be funded in full by the industry, being both the costs of the scheme itself plus any additional running costs to administer it,” UKGC said. “A mechanism will need to be created so that all operators who participate contribute towards the costs in an equitable way.”
It was last year that the commission announced its intention to create a one-stop shop through which customers could exclude themselves from all British licensed operators. The system is expected to be available in 2017.
The UKGC said that all operators have a responsibility to ensure that they protect the vulnerable as part of the social responsibility requirements of the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP). Operators must offer customers the option to self-exclude from online gambling for a minimum six-month period.
Once the levy or the annual license fees are selected, the commission would undertake a separate consultation on how to allocate the costs between operators, such as whether these costs will be based on the operator’s size.
There will be a different mechanism on how the operators can access the data. Larger operators will be able to access the scheme database while smaller operators could just access CHOOSE at each customer log-in.
The working group is led by the Remote Gambling Association with the help from other online gambling operators such as William Hill. SkyBet, Paddy Power, Bet365 and Betfair. Horseracing operators and gaming suppliers were also involved including Coral Racing, GTECH, IGT, Openbet and Playtech.