Skip to main content

Start date: 25 January 2018
End date: 22 April 2018

This consultation is now closed 

We invited gambling businesses, stakeholders and members of the public to voice their opinion on proposed changes to regulations linked to marketing and advertising, unfair terms and complaints and disputes.

Fair and open consultation response - August 2018

Summary of key changes to LCCP - August 2018

The LCCP sets out the requirements operators must meet to hold a licence with the Gambling Commission. Following consideration of the consultation responses we have decided to strengthen the requirements on operators to deliver fair and open gambling.  

We are making these changes based on evidence of potential harm or unfair treatment to consumers, concerns about lack of compliance with consumer protection legislation, declining public trust in gambling, and concerns about the impact of gambling on children and young or vulnerable people.

These changes will support our three-year strategy, which sets out how we will work with our partners to deliver a gambling market that works for consumers. They represent only a part of the work we are taking forwards to help protect the interests of consumers. 

Marketing and advertising

We are introducing changes so that: 

  • Licensees adhere to UK Advertising Codes 
  • Requirements about misleading advertising are clear 
  • Consumers do not receive ‘spam’ marketing by email or SMS 
  • Licensees are responsible for the actions of third party parties, including marketing affiliates. 

Unfair terms 

We are introducing changes that make it easier to take action where a licensee is not following the rules covering:

  • Consumer notices 
  • Changes to customer contracts
  • Unfair commercial practices at any stage of a customer relationship.

Complaints and disputes 

We are introducing changes to to make it clearer that operators must handle complaints in a fair, open, timely, transparent and effective manner. We will be providing guidance to assist operators in handling customer complaints. This will include guidance on:

  • Defining complaints and disputes 
  • Complaint handling procedures 
  • Receiving complaints from different sources
  • Time limits for complaint handling and escalation
  • Customer information standards 
  • Reporting requirements.

General

The consultation noted that not all written information provided by licensees is easy to understand. This is particularly true of the terms and conditions provided on their websites.

We welcome the feedback received and will consider this issue further to see what more can be done to make consumer material easier to read.

In the meantime we continue to urge operators to consider what more they can do in this area as progress here is, in our view, likely to lead to a decrease in complaints and increase in consumer satisfaction. 

Strengthening regulations alone does not guarantee the outcomes we seek. That is why these changes should be viewed as one part of a much wider programme of work in which regulators, industry and consumer groups work together to deliver a fairer and more trusted gambling market.

Original consultation:

Proposed changes to licence conditions and codes of practice linked to the fair and open licensing objective