UKGC thinks operators too slow to protect customers, wants more data

businessman looking over evening skyline with data concept
businessman looking over evening skyline with data concept

The U.K Gambling Commission (UKGC) has been implementing a lot of changes lately as it looks to assert closer scrutiny on how gaming operators manage their businesses. It constantly explores the industry from different angles to figure out what changes it can introduce, even calling on gamblers to help shape its policies. As the UKGC advances its initiatives, it is now looking for a great deal of feedback and guidance from virtually everyone in the gaming ecosystem, asserting that operators aren’t reacting quickly enough when it comes to protecting their users. 

SBC News reports that the UKGC is launching a consultation to determine how online gaming operators interact with their users. The commission wants input from all sorts of companies, as well as their customers, operating in the gaming space in order to determine “what protections should be offered by online gambling operators to prevent harms to their customers.” The UKGC decided to launch the new investigative study after field research showed that operators are “sometimes too slow to protect customers.”

According to UK gambling laws, operators have to complete a thorough verification check on their users to ensure they are properly identified and registered. This is designed to help prevent money laundering, as well as to provide a mechanism that can assist in identifying potential gambling issues. Operators are required to intervene any time a user is suspected of having a gambling problem, stepping in to provide access to addiction and gambling education programs.

The UKGC said in a statement, “Action to protect customers could mean that more customers have to provide information to gambling operators about their income and what they can afford, or give permission for credit agencies to provide information. Many customers are reluctant to provide information to gambling businesses and they may feel that they would prefer such information to be private.”

The UKGC’s new plan involves receiving input from the gambling community in order to develop new controls that can be used by casino operators to create safer gambling environments. The goal is to keep potential at-risk gamblers from chasing wins to recuperate losses and spending more than they should. A survey is being used to help the commission determine its next steps, with participants asked to return their responses no later than February 9. It isn’t clear when the UKGC will have its new controls in place.