Customer interaction guidance - for remote gambling licensees (Formal guidance under SR Code 3.4.3 - not in effect)
Section C - Act - Requirement 10
This guidance was originally published in June 2022. It is not in effect and operators are not required to take it into account.
Following our consultation on customer interaction, Social Responsibility Code Provision 3.4.3 for remote gambling licensees has been introduced and the majority of requirements are in effect from 12 September 2022.
We have issued this update on the regulatory requirements and status of formal guidance regarding customer interaction for remote gambling operators. We intend to conduct further consultation on matters to be addressed in the guidance associated with Social Responsibility Code Provision 3.4.3, by way of a consultation on the guidance document itself, likely to commence in late September. This consultation will be available on our consultations page.
The entirety of requirement 10 comes into effect on 12 February 2023.
10. Licensees must prevent marketing and the take up of new bonus offers where strong indicators of harm, as defined within the licensee’s processes, have been identified.
It would be irresponsible for a licensee to encourage or incentivise a customer displaying strong indicators of harm to gamble further. The aim is to create a consistent position across licensees that where there are strong indicators of harm, the customer no longer receives any direct or targeted marketing and that the customer is prevented from taking up any new bonus offers.
Direct and targeted marketing and the take up of new bonuses should be prevented as soon as practicable. We would expect operator processes to include the use of automation in some cases to assist with the timeliness of the response. There should be processes to extend the restriction across all product types and where relevant across the Group.
This requirement does not act in isolation. Where there are strong indicators of harm, it may be appropriate for further, separate action to be taken, which may include ceasing the business relationship.
If a customer is identified as displaying strong indicators of harm, while they are part way through a bonus, licensees should consider, based on all of the information they hold on the customer, whether to prevent completion of the bonus offer. This should include giving consideration to the structure of the bonus offer and whether it would be responsible to allow the customer to complete it.
If a customer is part way through the requirements of a bonus and the operator ends the business relationship for safer gambling reasons the operator should consider whether it would be fair and reasonable for the customer to receive a proportion of the bonus based on the customer’s position at the time.
Commercial considerations should play no part in the decision to withdraw a bonus that has been partially completed. Instead, licensees should take into account and be able to demonstrate fairness and prevention of harm.
For the purposes of this requirement a bonus is defined as: any funds or equivalent provided by an operator and added to a customer’s account from which the customer can place wagers, including deposit matching funds for wagering at the customer’s discretion, free spins on specific games, and free bets for sports betting. Promotions which are not caught by the definition of a bonus, such as those that increase the odds a customer is paid out at, are not in scope for this requirement. One such example is ‘best odds guaranteed’. For the avoidance of doubt, such promotions must be widely available and not targeted. All targeted marketing is within scope of this requirement.
This requirement does not apply immediately to all non-monetary bonuses. However, licensees should consider whether there is a need to also prevent the take-up of non-monetary bonuses, and these should only be continued in circumstances where the practice does not increase the risk of harm for the consumer.
Licensees are required to have fair and transparent terms and practices (Licence Condition 7.1.1 of the LCCP). They should therefore consider the circumstances where they would prevent a customer from completing a bonus for regulatory reasons and how to ensure transparency through terms and conditions, notifications to customers and other practices.Previous section
Section C - Act - Requirement 9 Next section
Section C - Act - Requirement 11
Last updated: 15 September 2022
Show updates to this content
- A callout with the latest information on this guidance has been added to the beginning of each guidance page.