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3 Protection of children and other vulnerable persons

3.5.4 - Self-exclusion – Remote ordinary code

Applies to:

All remote licences (including ancillary remote betting licences), except gaming machine technical, gambling software, host, ancillary remote bingo, ancillary remote casino, remote betting intermediary (trading rooms only) and remote betting (standard) (remote platform) licences.

Ordinary code

These do not have the status of operator licence conditions but set out good practice. Operators may adopt alternative approaches to those set out in ordinary code provisions if they have actively taken account of the ordinary code provision and can demonstrate that an alternative approach is reasonable in the operator's particular circumstances; or that to take an alternative approach would be acting in a similarly effective manner. Ordinary codes of practice are admissible in evidence in criminal or civil proceedings and must be taken into account in any case in which the court or tribunal think them relevant, and by the Commission in the exercise of its functions; any departure from ordinary code provisions by an operator may be taken into account by the Commission on a licence review, but cannot lead to imposition of a financial penalty.

  1. Self-exclusion procedures should require individuals to take positive action in order to self-exclude:

    1. over the internet; this can be a box that must be ticked in order to indicate that they understand the system
    2. by telephone; this can be a direct question asking whether they understand the system.
  2. Before an individual self-excludes, licensees should provide or make available sufficient information about what the consequences of self-exclusion are.

  3. Licensees should encourage the customer to consider extending their self-exclusion to other remote gambling operators currently used by the customer.

  4. Within the licensee’s information about self-exclusion policies, the licensee should provide a statement to explain that software is available to prevent an individual computer from accessing gambling internet sites. The licensee should provide a link to a site where further information is available.

  5. Licensees should take all reasonable steps to ensure that:

    1. the minimum self-exclusion period offered is of a duration of not less than 6 nor more than 12 months;
    2. any self-exclusion may, on request, be extended for one or more further periods of at least 6 months;
    3. the self-exclusion arrangements give customers the option of selecting a self-exclusion period of up to at least five years;
    4. a customer who has decided to enter a self-exclusion agreement is given the opportunity to do so immediately without any cooling-off period. However, if the customer wishes to consider the self-exclusion further (for example to discuss with problem gambling groups) the customer may return at a later date to enter into self-exclusion;
    5. at the end of the period chosen by the customer, self-exclusion remains in place, for a minimum of 7 years, unless the customer takes positive action to gamble again;
    6. where a customer chooses not to renew, and makes a positive request to begin gambling again, during the 7 year period following the end of their initial self-exclusion, the customer is given one day to cool off before being allowed to access gambling facilities. Contact must be made via phone or in person; re-registering online is not sufficient; and
    7. notwithstanding the expiry of the period of self-exclusion chosen by a customer, no marketing material should be sent to them unless and until they have asked for or agreed to accept such material.
  6. The licensee should retain the records relating to a self-exclusion agreement for as long as is needed to enable the self-exclusion procedures set out in paragraph 5 above to be implemented.

  7. Please note that the Commission does not require the licensee to carry out any particular assessment or make any judgement as to whether the previously self-excluded individual should again be permitted access to gambling. The requirement to take positive action in person or over the phone is purely to a) check that the customer has considered the decision to access gambling again and allow them to consider the implications; and b) implement the one day cooling-off period and explain why this has been put in place.

  8. In providing training to staff on their responsibilities for self-exclusion, licensees should have, as a minimum, policies for induction training and refresher training.

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