The UK Gambling Commission has published proposed changes to its online gambling software and technical standards.
The UKGC launched a consultation on its Remote Gambling and Software Technical Standards (RTS) last year and the initial results (viewable here) have resulted in a number of proposed revisions, on which the UKGC is seeking further input from industry stakeholders.
Among the changes are a requirement for in-play betting software to allow customers to “choose whether to automatically accept price fluctuations that occur after a bet is placed.” These options would have to be presented on the bet slip or in the account settings, and operators would need to provide sufficient info to ensure customers understood their options.
Online poker operators are potentially facing new rules on funds confiscated from players due to integrity issues. Some cases involve funds that rightfully belong to other players, yet the UKGC says players are “insufficiently informed” at present as to what happens to confiscated funds.
The UKGC wants operators to provide “a brief description” of their policies regarding confiscated funds. The UKGC recognizes that integrity issues can be complex and thus the operator’s policy need not cover every single scenario, merely “highlight the main aims of the policy.”
Regarding the use of third-party software like heads up displays, seating scripts and bots, the UKGC doesn’t think it’s “appropriate at this stage to be prescriptive” about which types of third-party software it finds kosher.
That said, the UKGC believes operators should prominently display what third-party software they permit on their sites so customers know what they’re up against. Operators should also periodically send email reminders of the key features of third-party software policy. Operators who ban certain types of software “must implement measures intended to deter, prevent and detect their use.”
The UKGC added new guidance for live dealer casinos, saying that if a live dealer operator has been audited by a respectable licensing jurisdiction, the UKGC sees no need for its own audit. But in the event that no audit has been conducted, operators must submit to a UKGC-approved test house for initial testing and annual testing thereafter.
To help mitigate problem gambling behavior, the UKGC wants operators to permit customers to set financial limits at an account level, not just on an individual product basis. If limits are set across separate products, operators need to make it clear that limits will need to be set for each individual game.
Furthermore, if a customer sets both daily and weekly deposit limits, the lower of these two should prevail. For example, if a player sets a £10 daily deposit limit and a £100 weekly limit, the daily limit will prevent he/she from depositing more than £70 per week.
Other areas of focus in the proposed changes include progressive jackpots, information security standards, new and emerging game designs, the rounding of odds on virtual sports and doing away with the term ‘in-running’ in favor of the more popular ‘in-play’ betting. You should check out the whole thing. It’s a real-page turner.