UKGC urges gambling operators to raise customer welfare standards
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has published a 2017-18 enforcement report detailing the enforcement action it has taken against gambling operators over the last year. The report is the first of its kind to be issued by the Commission.
The document is aimed at the industry with the intention of increasing compliance and raising welfare standards. The Commission pointed out that it will be even swifter in taking enforcement action in the future against operators who fail to conform with the guidance issued in the document.
Along with covering the actions taken against operators who have broken welfare standards, the Commission hopes the report will serve as a guidance document for operators on a range of topics, from anti-money laundering, customer interaction and unfair terms and practices, to marketing and advertising standards and best practices.
The last twelve months has seen operators fined a record amount for failures relating to customer protection.
Most recently, 32Red were fined £2m for money laundering failures after an investigation by the UKGC found that one customer was able to deposit £758,000 without any social responsibility or money laundering checks being carried out by the operator.
This followed numerous other fines, including a record £7.8m issued to 888 for massive social responsibility failures.
Neil McArthur, head of the Gambling Commission believes not enough is being done by operators to protect consumers:
We want operators to pay attention to the lessons set out in this report. We want them to focus on ways to make gambling fairer and safer for consumers in Great Britain. We also want gambling businesses to collaborate and to invest the same amount of resources into data, technology and research into building better protections for consumers, as they do to creating new products, or advertising and marketing campaigns. This is a call to action to the leaders of operators to set the tone from the top, to lead a culture of compliance that puts doing the right thing for your customers first, and to strive to continuously raise standards for consumers.– Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission chief executive
The Commission unveiled a new tougher approach to enforcement back in July 2017. You can read the Commission’s enforcement report in full at its website.