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Advisory Board for Safer Gambling: advice to the Gambling Commission on actions to reduce online harms

This paper sets out recommendations on steps the Gambling Commission should consider for making online gambling safer. This builds on previous advice in relation to reducing online harms.

The following table summarises our main recommendations:

Summary of key recommendations

The Gambling Commission should consider:

Transparency and evaluation
  • Making operator assurance statements public documents - with formal written feedback from the Gambling Commission to operators.
  • Creating a data repository.
  • Updating the evaluation protocol – with greater focus on resources and co-ordination to ensure more widespread evaluation of what works.
Detection of harms
  • Requiring operators to be more transparent about the approaches used to detect harm in their customer base.
  • Increasing focus and resources on establishing what is best practice in the use of data to detect harm.
  • Mandating minimum standards based on this best practice.
Effective interventions
  • Using the Implementation Plan for the National Strategy to provide leadership and co-ordination for the piloting and evaluation of a wider range of strong harm prevention interventions.
  • Including measures in this piloting and evaluation which do not only rely on the individual experiencing harm being responsible for restricting their own gambling.
  • Creating mechanisms to work with experts by experience to co-create effective harm prevention activities.
  • Using evaluation findings, when available, to inform improvements to the online multi-operator self-exclusion scheme - and consider how addition support options can be made available to those who self-exclude.
  • Considering how the Gambling Commission can be assured that operators processes and interactions are sufficiently robust in relation to customers returning from self-exclusion.
  • Expanding partnership work with the financial services sector.
  • Explore with Government the potential to obtain IP blocking powers to further disrupt illegal online gambling.
Game design and product characteristics
  • Improving understanding on product and game characteristics and their links to harm.
  • Banning the use of credit cards for online gambling, and monitor impact carefully to understand and mitigate unintended consequences.
  • Exploring how more effective and useful information could be provided to consumers on products and risks.
  • Banning reverse withdrawals.
  • Using further strong enforcement, and measures to increase operators’ duty of care for their consumers, to change the culture of the industry towards greater responsibility for making gambling safer.
Stake, prize and speed of play limits
  • Planning how a regime of stake, prize and speed of play limits could be implemented for online gambling.
  • Unless significant progress is made by operators on player protection, working with government to introduce online limits on stakes, prizes and speed of play.
Marketing and advertising
  • Exploring the potential of technological solutions to reduce exposure for children and vulnerable people – including the use of ad-tech to proactively restrict exposure
  • Advocating a precautionary approach – there is sufficient evidence to justify this, particularly in relation to children and people who are vulnerable to harms.
Next page
Introduction: Advice to the Gambling Commission on actions to reduce online harms
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