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Annual Report and Accounts 2021 to 2022

The Gambling Commission's 2021 to 2022 Annual Report and Accounts.

  1. Contents
  2. A fairer market and more informed consumers

A fairer market and more informed consumers

We have continued our work to study how regulation can be better used to deliver better and fairer outcomes for consumers.

We know that consumer complaints can be a good indicator of trust in a licence holder’s products and services. An effective complaints and feedback process can help to improve consumer confidence in the industry.

Some consumers struggle to understand ‘industry jargon’ and associated mathematical concepts. This is reflected in customer complaints that show a lack of consumer understanding about how products and services work.

More innovative thinking and trialling of different ways of communicating key gambling concepts will help consumers to make informed choices about their play. We expect to see licensees make more progress in this area in the coming year to ensure gambling is as fair and open as possible.

Our highlights in this area

The following sets out our highlights over the past year for the deliverable of a fairer market and more informed consumers.

We continued to remind operators of our refreshed guidance around interacting with their customers following evidence that some people may have been at greater risk of harm during the various national Covid-related lockdowns in 2021. This guidance included the need for affordability checks, the prevention of reverse withdrawals and restrictions on bonus offers.

During the 2021-22 financial year, our Contact Centre received 5,720 complaints from consumers about operators and their practices which helped to inform our regulatory approach. The Contact Centre has also been well within its Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) this year.

We agreed new arrangements with GamCare which has given our Consumer Contact Centre team the ability to directly transfer vulnerable people who require specific help or signposting to support their needs.

Alongside the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), and the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), we continued to support the development of the Single Customer View project. Alongside the ICO, we concluded Phase One of the project’s Sandbox which examined the legal case for its introduction, with the ICO publishing its Outcomes Report in October 2021. The BGC is now working with the ICO to develop and trial a solution.

We have continued to make sure new products meet our technical standards and have had appropriate and sufficient testing before they are released to market. As part of this, we have ensured all Test Houses continue to meet revised accreditation standards.

Through our research and data, we constantly analysed data, markets, products and trends. These insights continue to allow us to look at the risks and opportunities in the industry which inform our work.

We published an information notice and updated our guidance concerning fair and open Terms and Conditions (T&Cs). We found examples of licensees using terms that were potentially unfair. Licensees were instructed to review their terms against the updated guidance. The guidance also clarifies the role of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) providers in dealing with disputes of this nature.

We supported the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) with its one year review of society lotteries sales and prize limits, which was published on 1 March 2022.

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