With recent rules now starting to have an effect, the UK’s online gambling industry could become significantly safer throughout the course of 2020. The UKGC (UK Gambling Commission) has been working with betting sites throughout the country to help provide a safer environment for the industry’s users, helping to reduce the risk of problem gambling and subsequently enhance user experience.
There are two main changes to regulations that could help to improve safety within gambling sector for good, these being changes to:
- Age verification
The new regulations around these areas aim to reduce the risk of problem gambling and thereby promote healthier gambling practices throughout the industry.
As a testament to the industry’s changing attitudes, the gambling sector imposed an advertisement ban in August 2019. This ban was introduced by The Industry Group for Responsible Gambling, and means that betting adverts cannot be played during live sports events. This ban only applies to live sports events shown before the 9pm watershed.
IGRG Chairman John Hagan has commented on this ban imposed by his organisation, stating that:
“We believe that these new voluntary TV measures, which have been approved by the trade associations representing every sector of the gambling industry, will drastically reduce the amount of gambling advertising on television and they complement the strict controls that already govern gambling companies around advertising on digital platforms.”
Mr Hagan further commented: “We believe that this is itself a watershed moment as we strive to provide the ever, safer gambling environment which gambling consumers and the wider public expect, and which is so important to the future success and sustainability of our industry.”
This ban will be applicable and further imposed throughout 2020, and could help to reduce the exposure of gambling ads on young children and other vulnerable members of society that are highly susceptible to problem gambling.
The UKGC has also recently introduced rules that require operators to be stricter on age verification and the rules surrounding age restrictions. Prior to this rule, operators would have a 72-hour gap in which to process an age verification check. This gap enabled those who were underage to gamble for up to 72 hours before the verification was complete.
This new rule means that operators must verify the age of the user before allowing them to gamble with their money, deposit funds, or play the free versions of the games on any and all gambling sites.
By imposing this new rule, 2020 could see a reduction in underage gambling, and therefore problem gambling, helping to promote safer gambling practices, and thereby improve overall user experience.