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How we make gambling safer

Making gambling safer is at the core of what we do. Find out more about how we continue to make the gambling industry safer.

Published: 8 September 2020

Last updated: 7 April 2022

This version was printed or saved on: 20 April 2024

Online version: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/about-us/guide/how-we-make-gambling-safer

Overview: Making gambling safer is at the core of what we do. Find out more about how we have made gambling safer for consumers in Great Britain over the past two years.

Involving experts by experience in our work

We have created an experts by experience group. By involving people who have experienced gambling harm in what we do, we can better shape our work.

Being tough on compliance and enforcement

We have increased our focus on gambling businesses to make sure that they are prioritising consumer safety and keeping to the rules. If this is not the case, we take firm action.

Safer marketing and advertising

We have introduced new rules around advertising. Any gambling operators who breach consumer laws now face firmer action through financial penalties, suspensions and settlements.

Banning gambling with credit cards

We have banned gambling on credit cards to keep people safe and to avoid spending money that they may not have.

Protecting young people

We have introduced stricter age and identity checks for online gambling in order to keep young people safe from gambling harm.

Improving how operators interact with their customers

Improvements have been made to customer interaction guidance for gambling businesses. This ensures they are asking the right questions at the right time. A consultation will follow on this area in autumn 2020.

Making those at risk safer online

We require all gambling businesses to sign up to GAMSTOP (opens in new tab), which is the the online self-exclusion scheme. GAMSTOP gives consumers the opportunity to exclude themselves from all online gambling for a period of at least six months.

Providing additional online gambling protection during lockdown

There are tighter measures in place to protect consumers who were gambling online during the COVID-19 lockdown. These measures include preventing reverse withdrawals, not offering bonuses to customers who are displaying signs of harm, and improving online customer interaction.

Launching the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms

We successfully launched the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms across England, Scotland and Wales in April 2019. The Strategy ran for three years until April 2022.

The Strategy drove and coordinated work to bring a lasting impact to reducing gambling harm.

Read more about the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.

Introducing consistent alternative dispute resolution

All gambling businesses must only use alternative dispute resolution providers who meet our additional standards.

Protecting consumers by opening consultations on VIP schemes and making games safer

We continue to work with the industry to introduce new rules around so-called VIP schemes. The outcome of a current consultation will provide us with further regulatory options, as well as a consultation on the design of games to make them less addictive.

Protecting people on social media

We created guidance to help consumers limit the amount of gambling related content they see online.

You can read our guides on: