UK Gambling Commission announces new advertising enforcement rules

The UK Gambling Commission is set to increase its enforcement capabilities against operators who breach advertising standards with new powers to be introduced this year.

Logo of the UK Gambling Commission

The Commission aims to strengthen consumer protection with the new rules. © UK Gambling Commission.

The new regulations are contained in a consultation response by the Commission, in a document entitled Changes to licence conditions and codes of practice linked to the fair and open licensing objective.

It is hoped that the new rules will enable the Commission to protect consumers from all kinds of irresponsible advertising.

The document outlines three areas of focus, which are: marketing and advertising, unfair terms and practices, and complaints and disputes.

Making the announcement earlier this week, the Commission stated that under the new rules, set to be implemented on 31 October 2018, it will be able to enforce penalties to operators who breach any advertising standards. Previously, the Commission could only issue penalties against misleading advertisements.

Speaking about the new rules, Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission CEO, said:

Protecting the interests of consumers is a priority for us and needs to be a priority for gambling operators. These changes will protect consumers from irresponsible advertising and misleading promotions, ensure that they can withdraw their money more easily, and will mean that firms have to deal with complaints more swiftly.Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission CEO

Operators will also be required to comply with further new directives. Better complaints processes for customers, along with a maximum eight-week deadline for complaints to be satisfactorily resolved, must also be complied with from October.

Operators will also take more responsibility on ensuring their affiliates do not breach advertising rules, with the Commission able to fine operators whose affiliates do not comply.

Breaches of consumer law, such as restrictions on customers withdrawing funds or unfair practices by operators, will also fail under the Commission’s new immediate enforcement powers.

Along with the increased scope of enforcement power, the Commission will now be able to issue fines much quicker than before.

You can read the new requirements in full at the Gambling Commission’s website.

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