The UK Gambling Commission announced in a new update to its customer interaction requirements and guidance instructions that requirements for operators to act on indicators of vulnerability, as well as to prevent marketing and new bonus offer for those with strong indications of harm are being postponed.
Granting the Industry Extension
In a new update on September 2, the Gambling Commission backtracked on its timeline for operator requirements after being asked for an extension from the industry citing technical challenges related to the implementation of the requirements, and will not bring these requirements into force on September 12.
The Commission stated that the majority of the new requirements will come into effect according to its timetable on September 12, subjecting operators to a duty to “conduct effective customer interaction” for which the regulator believes the guidance provides a blueprint of the minimum steps considered necessary to meet the requirements.
The national regulator outlined that the requirement for operators to “take timely action where indicators of vulnerability are identified and to take account of the Commission’s approach to vulnerability as set out in the Commission’s guidance” will not be brought into effect.
The second requirement for operators that will not become effective is “to prevent marketing and the take-up of new bonus offers where there are strong indicators of harm,” providing the extension to these requirements as requested by the industry.
Initiating Further Consultation
The Commission believes that, in the light of this extension, a further consultation on matters related to the guidance associated with the Social Responsibility Code Provision 3.4.3 should take place and hence, will not bring into force the requirement for remote operators to take into account the Commission’s guidance on customer interaction and the reference to the guidance.
The regulator is planning to launch a six-week-long consultation period in September and will take into consideration all views expressed in response to the consultation before deciding on the content of the guidance on the new requirements.
The Gambling Commission intends to publish the guidance on the requirements in December and the guidance will take two months later to provide the industry with a reasonable period to consider the guidance.
The Gambling Commission outlined its provisional intent, subject to consultation, to bring into force the remaining requirements of the SRC 3.4.3 and the associated guidance on February 12, 2023, giving the industry seven months to prepare.