Start date: 18 January 2021
End date: 09 February 2021
The Gambling Commission is the regulator for most forms of gambling in Britain. At the moment, we are running a consultation and calling for evidence on the actions that gambling companies should be required to take to prevent harm to their online customers. You can access the consultation/ call for evidence here. We are gathering responses from consumers, gambling businesses, charities and many others, and the closing date is 9 February 2021.
This survey provides a summary of some of the key themes we are seeking views on and includes some brief questions to help us gather perspectives from as many people as possible.
Why we are consulting
Gambling businesses have information about their customers because they are required to verify the identity of their customers. This helps to verify that they are over 18 and to meet anti-money laundering rules. Gambling businesses are also already required to have processes to spot signs of harm in customers – perhaps because a customer is chasing losses or because they appear to be spending more than they can afford.
Our evidence shows that a proportion of online gambling customers experience financial difficulty or spend more than they can afford.
Our casework also shows that gambling businesses are sometimes too slow to act to protect customers. In some cases, customers were able to spend many thousands over short periods of time. In others, customers spent money that was needed for day-to-day expenses. Both of these can have devastating impacts.
So, we are consulting on strengthening our requirements on gambling businesses even further and we are calling for evidence on the best way of doing this. You can access the consultation/ call for evidence here.
Action to protect customers could mean that more customers have to provide information to gambling operators about their income and what they can afford, or give permission for credit agencies to provide information. Many customers are reluctant to provide information to gambling businesses and they may feel that they would prefer such information to be private.
The consultation and call for evidence cover a wide range of issues - summarising the evidence, setting out the detail of what operators could be required to do, and asking about how to minimise the impact on customer freedom.
Essentially, we want to gather views on what is the right balance between consumer protections and consumer freedom and privacy. This survey offers an opportunity for people to provide some views on this core question.
Respond to the survey.