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Consultation response

Changes to the licence conditions and codes of practice on age and identity verification for remote gambling

A summary of the responses to our consultations on changes to LCCP on age and identity verification for remote gambling.

Introduction

The Gambling Commission

We license and regulate commercial gambling within Great Britain, including the National Lottery, with the exception of spread betting which is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Our functions under the Act include:

  • licensing operators and individuals
  • monitoring compliance with licence conditions and the law
  • investigation and enforcement, both in relation to licensees and illegal (unlicensed) gambling
  • providing advice to central and local government on the incidence, manner, effects and regulation of gambling.

We have a statutory duty to aim to permit gambling provided that it is reasonably consistent with the licensing objectives.

Consultation proposals

In March 2018 we published our review of online gambling. It set out several policy recommendations and areas of further work. Two of those recommendations were to strengthen the existing requirements to verify a customer’s age and identity.

The review outlined the following specific proposals for consultation, to amend our Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP):

  • requiring remote licensees to verify the age of all remote gambling customers before they can deposit money or gamble, and also before they can access play-for-free versions of gambling games that licensees make available on their websites
  • requiring remote licensees to verify more information about their customers at an earlier stage in the relationship, to ensure they are better equipped to reduce the risks to the licensing objectives.

In September 2018, we launched a 12-week consultation relating to these points. We proposed to amend social responsibility (SR) code provisions 3.2.11 (remote licensees excluding lotteries) and 3.2.13 (remote lotteries) on age verification to deliver the previous first bullet point.

We proposed a new licence condition on customer identity verification in respect of the second bullet point above. We considered it appropriate to deliver the provision via a general licence condition rather than a social responsibility code given that the new provision aimed to support all three of the licensing objectives.

As part of our consultation, we asked for any information or evidence of good practice that helps licensees and customers to ensure gambling remains fair and safe. We were interested in information about existing practice, current plans and what may be possible in the future.

The consultation provided thirty-eight questions and specific areas for discussion, to which stakeholders were invited to respond.

We received written responses from the following categories of respondents:

  • licensed operators - 27
  • consumers - 424
  • third-party identity verification providers - 13
  • trade associations - 2
  • others (including licensing authorities, forums, gambling support bodies) - 17.

During the consultation period we also engaged with several licensees and third-party identity verification providers through a workshop that allowed both groups to provide their views on the consultation questions, as well as providing them with an opportunity to inform us of any evidence of good practice.

We have revisited the proposed changes to LCCP and have made some revisions based on the feedback received from respondents. We have also made some additional changes to ensure clarity.

The details of the responses we received to the consultation questions, along with the Commission’s position in view of those responses, are provided in the following section.

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AV CI consultation responses: Executive summary
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AV CI consultation responses: Summary of responses – age verification
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