UK to Improve Online Protection

UK to Improve Online Protection

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

The UK's online poker scene looks set to receive another licensing shake-up this year following a review of how the industry currently operates.

Following the mass changes that came into effect back in November 2014 when all operators had to obtain a new UK-based licence, igaming outlets will now have to improve their player protection facilities.

A review of the current operating system in the UK has shown that operators could be doing more to minimise the risk of problem gambling. The review, which took place last year, has identified a number of areas in which the industry can tighten up and these points have been addressed in an updated version of the Licensing Conditions and Codes of Practice.

This set of rules, which every licensed online poker site in the UK must abide by, will be updated officially on May 8 after which time operators will have to place a greater emphasis on "social responsibility".

"The work we have done through the review represents a significant strengthening of the social responsibility measures in the LCCP. But we have reached the point at which it is clear that much more could be achieved if anonymous gambling in cash was not such a prominent feature of land-based gambling," said the Gambling Commission's Chair, Philip Graf.

Anonymous gambling refers to the way in which operators and players can track their own spending, or not (easily) as is currently that case. Although Graf has only called for a public debate on the matter, he has pointed to a similar model that's been successfully rolled out in Sweden as an example of how things could work.

For now, however, the UK's leading poker operators will essentially have to show a greater transparency and be more proactive when it comes to social responsibility. In summary, the main features that will be coming into effect over the coming months will include:

Measures to make it harder for underage children to ante-up online.
Improved self-exclusion measures and trained members of staff designed to help those with issues.

Annual assurance statements from top operators outlining the measures in place and the figures relating to problem gambling on their platforms.

More transparent marketing and the removal of any ads that could be deemed as misleading.

Tags: Gambling Commission, regulation