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Offering help and support

This formal guidance for remote gambling operators is not current and from 12 September 2022 operators are no longer required to take it into account. It was published in July 2019 and remained in effect from 31 October 2019 to 11 September 2022.

Following our consultation on customer interaction, Social Responsibility Code Provision 3.4.3 for remote gambling operators has been introduced and the majority of requirements are in effect from 12 September 2022. We issued this update on the regulatory requirements and status of formal guidance regarding customer interaction for remote gambling operators. The guidance issued in June 2022 under Social Responsibility Code Provision 3.4.3 is not in effect and is subject to further consultation. Operators are not required to take it into account.

Encourage customers to think about their gambling. Their responses will help you work out the right kind of help and support to offer.

It is good practice to suspend direct marketing to customers who show signs of harm so that you do not actively encourage them to keep gambling while you consider them to be experiencing or at risk of harm.

If you have difficulty making contact with a customer, you could suspend account access until you are able to interact with them.

A self-assessment questionnaire can help customers think about their own gambling. Their shared responses, alongside their gambling behaviour, can help both you and the customer work out the right kind of help and support they may need.

You will need to direct some customers to information about safer gambling, and/or suggest suitable gambling management tools. You might need to signpost them to sources of help and specialist support from organisations who deal with advice and treatment for problem gambling.

You will need to interact with some customers a number of times. Your records of previous interactions with customers will help you decide how to provide the right help and support.

Feedback from consumers shows that they often respond better to being informed about their behaviour and why, rather than being “told” what to do. But for some customers, and particularly if the behaviour continues to cause concern, you may need to take a more proactive approach. In some cases, you may need to take action for the customer, such as setting limits or refusing service by closing their account.

The role of staff

You should ensure that your staff:

  • understand the types of interaction that could take place and how to interact appropriately e.g. only need a brief intervention may be needed.
  • know the type of help or support to offer, such as information, signposting customers to specialist support or the gambling management tools which are available. These may be the minimum required under the LCCP or the Remote Technical Standards, or tools you offer which go beyond minimum requirements.
  • know the circumstances and process for refusing service to customers, such as by applying limits or closing an account.
  • understand their respective responsibilities and who is designated to carry out customer interactions, if only certain staff members are authorised to interact.

Whilst training on the legislative framework is important, staff also need to be trained on the skills and techniques they need to help them carry out customer interactions, including what to do if a customer becomes distressed.

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Tailoring messages for your customers
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