Progress Report on the National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms
ABSG progress report 2020
Strengthening the LCCP
A ban on gambling with credit cards was introduced in April 2020. In addition, a number of changes have been made to the Gambling Commission’s licensing conditions and codes for gambling firms in 2019/20. These include:
- Minimum requirements for identity and age verification.
- Requiring all online gambling to participate in GAMSTOP - the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme.
- Strengthening requirements on how operators identify and interact with customers who may be at risk of or experiencing gambling harms.
It is encouraging that the Gambling Commission is now taking steps to evaluate the impact of the credit card ban. We look forward to the results of this evaluation later in the strategy period – and hope this can be used as an opportunity to lead by example in the evaluation of what works in reducing gambling harms. The evaluation should also provide valuable information on any unintended consequences from this policy change – for example increased borrowing from payday lenders.
The strengthening of ‘customer interaction requirements’ is positive – but evaluating the impact of this change on consumers will be essential. A key next step will be to accelerate work on ‘affordability checks’ and making further improvements to identify whether consumers are vulnerable to harm based on analysis of their data. This is central to avoiding gambling harm, and action will be needed to set clear standards and demand consistent approaches across the industry. The existing approach has seen too many instances where several operators’ practices have fallen significantly short of required standards44.
44 Enforcement report 2018/19, gambling Commission
Last updated: 18 August 2021
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