Affordability checks pilot scheme could see net loss thresholds altered

Gambling Commission provides update as it reveals operators will not be required to act on customer losses during four to six month-long scheme
The post Affordability checks pilot scheme could see net loss thresholds altered first appeared on EGR Intel.  

The Gambling Commission (GC) has revealed the affordability check pilot scheme will run for four to six months, during which operators will not be expected to act on any data they obtain.

In a blog post penned by executive director Tim Miller, the details of the long-awaited pilot scheme have now been revealed, ahead of the publication of the consultation into affordability checks next month.

While Miller did not confirm when the pilot scheme will begin, he once again emphasised the importance of any checks being “frictionless” for customers.

The affordability checks, which are set at two tiers, and are due to be debated by MPs in Parliament next week, have been met with frustration from some in the sector.

The first tier encompasses light-touch checks for a net loss of £125 within a 30-day period or £500 within a one-year period.

The second tier, the enhanced level checks, will come into force when a player records a net loss of more than £1,000 in a rolling 24-hour period or £2,000 in a rolling 90-day window.

Miller said the light-touch checks will identify financial vulnerability in the shape of bankruptcy orders or history of unpaid debts, with the focus solely on publicly available data.

These checks will not require operators to consider an individual’s personal details including postcode and job title.

Lower-level checks will also be initially introduced with higher net loss thresholds, before reverting to the intended level later in the year to ease the introduction of the measure.

At the enhanced checks level, the pilot scheme will draw on data-sharing from credit reference agencies and gambling operators.

The GC’s Miller said customers “should not be affected” during the pilot scheme to ensure the data-sharing process is fully refined before a live rollout.

The pilot for the enhanced checks will see a selection of operators take part that can provide the GC with “sufficient information to inform future decision making”.

The pilot will run for between four and six months, with Miller stressing that operators will not have to intervene and, instead, they can utilise the scheme as a means to evaluate data-sharing techniques.

However, Miller did say firms will be expected to implement their own existing customer safety tools during the pilot scheme.

Miller also added that the results of the pilot and the gathered data will inform the “final thresholds and definitions of loss or spend for implementation”.

The executive director concluded: “At the Commission we completely understand why there has been such interest in financial risk checks.

“But it should be remembered that protecting people who are vulnerable, while still affording the freedom of others to gamble safely, is complex, and there is no single solution.

“And that is why we will continue to take forward all of the government’s white paper proposals, which we believe can significantly support and protect consumers and improve overall standards in the industry.”

The post Affordability checks pilot scheme could see net loss thresholds altered first appeared on EGR Intel.


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