Regulator to start second round of consultations, including financial penalties and RET funding, with feedback window open until March 2024
The Gambling Commission (GC) is to hold a further seven white paper consultations to be concluded by March 2024, including a potential change to financial penalties handed out by the regulator.
April saw the long-awaited white paper into the Gambling Act 2005 review published and months later, in July, four consultations were published which looked at age verification in land-based venues, remote games designs, direct market and cross-selling and financial risk checks.
The initial tranche of consultations closed in October, with financial risk checks drawing much ire from the industry.
The seven new consultation topics will run for 12 weeks, with expected closing dates to be in February or March 2024.
The first will look at socially responsible incentives, consulting on proposals around incentives such as free bets and bonuses to ensure they do not encourage or lead to potentially harmful gambling activity.
Customer-led tools will also be explored as part of the consultations, in terms of how players manage the way they gamble, including deposit limits.
Likewise, transparency of protection of customer funds to ensure gamblers are made aware if their money is held by an operator that offers no protection in the event of insolvency will be consulted on.
Feedback will also be open on the change to the research, education and treatment (RET) funding that operators currently voluntarily pay towards.
Additionally, the GC will consult on increasing the frequency of the operator data reporting rate, from annual to quarterly.
The regulator is also planning to delve into a shift in how it calculates financial penalties against operators. The GC said the new proposals will “bring greater clarity and transparency” to proceedings.
Finally, a consultation on amending the rules specific rules so that licensees provide the regulator with key information about finances and interests, following the increase in complex M&As and the “globalisation of gambling”, will be included in the tranche.
Tim Miller, executive director of the GC, said: “We also continue to support our sponsoring department, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, with its work to implement the Gambling Act review, and will continue to do so as government considers the outcomes of their recent and current consultations on stake limits for online slots, land-based measures and the introduction of a statutory levy.
“We are rightly putting emphasis on implementing the government’s Gambling Act review recommendations. This goes hand in hand with our vital regulatory ‘business as usual’, to keep gambling safe, fair and crime free,” he added.