UK Gambling Commission tightens regulation
The Gambling Commission is introducing in tighter regulation for online gaming firms, in a bid to try to make gambling safer and fairer. The new rules come into force on 7 May.
The new rules will mean that operators will need to confirm customers’ age and identity faster than the 72 hours previously allowed, the result of which will be that unverified gamblers will be unable to deposit funds or place bets, including free bets and bonuses.
The Commission says that will help stop problem gamblers circumventing exclusion systems, as well as further limit the risk of children gambling. The new rules will also make collecting winnings fairer and more transparent, a move that comes in the wake of complaints that winners were being unfairly asked for additional information when attempting to withdraw winnings.
Around 15% of complaints to its contact centre were about licensees not allowing a customer to withdraw funds until they submit certain forms of ID.
Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission chief executive, said: “These changes will protect children and the vulnerable from gambling-related harm, and reduce the risk of crime linked to gambling. They will also make gambling fairer by helping consumers collect their winnings without unnecessary delay.”
Last month, a BBC 5 Live investigation reported “deep concerns” about the way GamStop, the system set up to help problem gamblers, was working. GamStop allows addicts to ban themselves from online betting platforms. However, the BBC found that a gambler who had self-referred could still place bets online by simply changing their user details.
Late last year, three online casino companies were given penalties of £14m and one prevented from operating in the UK after the Gambling Commission found they had not made sufficient checks on customers.
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