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National Strategic Assessment 2020

This report sets out our latest assessment of the issues we face and the risks that gambling poses to consumers and the public

  1. Contents
  2. Annex 1 - Making gambling safer: a timeline of action

Annex 1 - Making gambling safer: a timeline of action

We focus our efforts on the areas we judge would have the biggest and most positive impact on consumers and the licensing objectives.

This is a brief timeline of the actions we have taken and successes from the last business year, since April 2019:

  1. April 2019

    We published the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms (opens in new tab) the first time health bodies, charities, regulators and businesses have teamed up to tackle gambling harms.

    We clamped down on operators’ attempts to circumvent the fixed-odds betting terminals (FOBT) stake cut (opens in new tab).

    We warned operators about the risks of novelty markets (opens in new tab).

  2. May 2019

    Following consultation, we brought in tougher age and identity verification rules (opens in new tab) to further protect children and vulnerable people from harm.

    We took action against four gambling online businesses (opens in new tab) (InTouch Games Limited, Betit Operations Limited, MT Secure Trade and BestBet) as part of our ongoing work to raise standards in the online casino sector.

    We published a new framework for measuring gambling related harms among children and young people (opens in new tab).

    We hosted a co-creation workshop on making gambling products safer (opens in new tab).

  3. June 2019

    We launched the new National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms in Wales and Scotland (opens in new tab).

    We revoked Maxent Limited's licence (opens in new tab).

    We concluded our investigations into Gamesys (Gibraltar) Limited (opens in new tab) and our investigation into Platinum Gaming Ltd (opens in new tab).

  4. July 2019

    We announced stricter requirements on operators to interact with customers at risk of harm, (opens in new tab) higher standards for alternative resolution providers and new rules to ensure that funds contributed by gambling businesses for research, prevention and treatment are effectively targeted at delivering the National Strategy.

    Following a regulatory investigation Ladbrokes Coral Group paid £5.9 million for anti-money laundering and social responsibility failings (opens in new tab.)

    Seven bookmakers had their licence to offer gambling reviewed (opens in new tab) because they allowed a 16-year-old to place a bet.

  5. September 2019

    We suspended online operator EveryMatrix (opens in new tab) and launched an investigation following compliance activity which included examining its customer interaction framework.

    We concluded an investigation into Silverbond Enterprises (opens in new tab) which resulted in additional conditions being added to its licence and a financial penalty of £1.8 million.

  6. October 2019

    We brought senior leaders in the industry together to set our three challenges to the industry (opens in new tab): to make online games safer, to change the way it interacts with VIP customers and to make better use of technology to minimise the risk of children, young people and vulnerable adults seeing gambling adverts.

    We published the outcome of our investigation into Petfre (opens in new tab) for money laundering failures resulting in a £322,000 penalty package.

    We ran a collaborative workshop which bought marketing professionals together (opens in new tab) to discuss the challenges and opportunities in marketing and safer gambling.

  7. January 2020

    We announced that gambling on credit cards was to be banned (opens in new tab).

    We made it mandatory for online operators to participate in the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme, GAMSTOP (opens in new tab).

    We announced the formation of industry working groups to raise standards and reduce gambling harm in the areas of high value customer incentives, advertising online and responsible product design.

    We released guidance to help consumers limit gambling related content on Twitter (opens in new tab).

  8. February 2020

    More than 100 gambling and technology specialists attended our event aimed at creating a solution to help reduce gambling harm among customers who have multiple online accounts (opens in new tab).

    We began investigations into, and suspended the licence of online operator Triplebet Limited (opens in new tab). We also suspended the licence of Addison Global Limited (opens in new tab).

    We concluded an investigation into online operator Mr Green (opens in new tab).

  9. March 2020

    We published the outcome of our investigation into Betway (opens in new tab) which involved a package of improvement measures and a substantial £11.6 million payment.

    We began investigations into, and suspended the licence of online operator Multi Media Entertainments Limited (opens in new tab). We also suspended the licence of and Stakers Limited (opens in new tab).

    We reminded operators of their responsibilities to ensure consumers are safe from gambling harm during the COVID-19 lockdown (opens in tab) – a warning that was later backed up by new guidance instructing affordability checks, prevention of reverse withdrawals and restrictions on bonus offers.

  10. April 2020

    We began investigations into, and suspended the licences of, online operators Dynamic and Sportito for failure to fully integrate the self- exclusion scheme GAMSTOP (opens in new tab).

    Our investigation into Caesars Entertainment (opens in new tab) led to the departure of a number of senior managers, a package of improvement measures and payment of a penalty of £13 million.

    Our collaborative work with the industry led to restrictions on VIP schemes, a reduction on intensity of online play, and a joint effort to shield children and young people from online gambling advertising.

    The credit card ban came into effect. Read why we banned gambling with credit cards (opens in new tab).

    We directed £9 million to boost resilience of gambling harm treatment services during COVID-19 (opens in new tab).

  11. May 2020

    We instructed operators to follow tighter measures to protect consumers during lockdown because of new evidence that showed some gamblers may be at greater risk of harm.

    We also announced how our investigation into systemic failures in player protection at PT Entertainment Services (opens in new tab) led to the company’s closure.

    We published new data which showed no uplift in complaints about illegal gambling (opens in new tab).

    We published the implementation update on the first year of the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms.

  12. June 2020

    We opened a consultation into proposed changes to the rules operators must abide by when transacting with high value customers (opens in new tab).

    We announced that we had established an interim Experts by Experience group (opens in new tab) who will provide advice, evidence and recommendations to help inform decision making and raise standards.

  13. July 2020

    We launched a consultation on plans to make online slots safer (opens in new tab).

    We suspended the operating licence of Genesis Global Limited while we carry out a licence review.

  14. August 2020

    HM Treasury’s Anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) supervision report, 2018-2019, praises the Commission for high standards of AML and CTF supervision.

  15. September 2020

    We announced strict new rules operators (opens in new tab) must abide by when transacting with high value customers.

  16. October 2020

    We announced the outcome of three investigations (opens in new tab) into online operators for social responsibility and money laundering failures.

  17. November 2020

    We opened a consultation into customer interaction, affordability and vulnerability.

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COVID-19 and its impact on gambling consumers
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