UKGC considers mandatory operator funded blocking tools

The UK Gambling Commission is considering forcing operators to fund and provide blocking software to customers free of charge.

Software designer

The Commission is taking consultation and considering a number of different proposals. © Pexels.

The proposals revolve around operators upgrading their efforts in blocking customers that have already self-excluded from their sites, or across all operators, via the UK’s national self-exclusion scheme, GamStop.

The Commission has launched a consultation over the issue as part of its efforts to update its code of practices for the industry to better protect vulnerable players.

Those efforts saw a tightening of age verification measures introduced last week. The Committee of Advertising Practices (CAP) also announced new advertising standards designed to stop under-18s beings exposed to gambling adverts.

Speaking about the proposals, Paul Hope, the Gambling Commission’s executive director.

The proposed changes are intended to accelerate progress in protecting consumers and preventing them from experiencing gambling-related harm… Making gambling fairer and safer is at the heart of how we regulate, and better customer interaction and facilitating readily available blocking software are all part of this.Paul Hope, executive director Gambling Commission

The Commission is also consulting on measures to improve how customers and operators communicate with one another. Recent failures, highlighted by the UKGC itself in a recent report, discovered multiple failures by betting company employees to act in cases of clear signs of problem gambling. The Commission wants to ensure that employees are able to spot these signs and act accordingly in the future.

New methods of dispute resolution are also up for debate. Specifically, the Commission is interested in improving the process of resolving disputes raised by customers about specific bets. One current idea is to force operators to engage with independent dispute resolution services that meet standards set out by the Commission.

Most major operators are already members of the International Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS). However, customer disputes would rarely reach the level of that organisation, which seeks primarily to maintain integrity in sports betting. A more customer level resolution body would therefore be more effective.

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