The Gambling Commission website uses cookies to make the site work better for you. Some of these cookies are essential to how the site functions and others are optional. Optional cookies help us remember your settings, measure your use of the site and personalise how we communicate with you. Any data collected is anonymised and we do not set optional cookies unless you consent.

Set cookie preferences

You've accepted all cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time.

Skip to main content

Guidance

Customer interaction guidance - for remote gambling licensees (Formal guidance under SR Code 3.4.3)

Customer interaction guidance for remote gambling licensees (Formal guidance under Social Responsibility Code 3.4.3)

Section C - Act - Requirement 10

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.

Aim

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.

Formal guidance

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
Is this page useful?
Back to top