UKGC to review penalty fees and player incentives in 2024 agenda

UKGC explains changes to ‘Young People & Gambling’ report
Image: Shutterstock

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has notified stakeholders of its plans to hold seven new consultations as part of the continued regulatory review of recommendations put forward by the Gambling Review’s White Paper.

As detailed by Tim Miller, the Executive Director on Policy Development for the Gambling Commission, the consultations will address the topics of “socially responsible incentives, customer-led tools, transparency of customer fund protection, annual financial contributions to research, prevention, and treatment, regulatory data reporting, financial penalties, and financial key event reporting”.

Lasting for a period of 12 weeks, they are expected to close around February-March 2024. The UKGC upholds the aim to implement the Government’s Gambling Act Review recommendations and address regulatory aspects to prepare for future challenges.

Since publishing the Gambling Review’s White Paper on 27 April [Year], the Commission has undertaken four consultations related to age verification, remote games design, financial risk assessments, and marketing and cross-selling.

The forthcoming consultations will review proposals relating to incentives such as free bets and bonuses, to ensure they do not encourage harmful or excessive gambling.

The use of customer-led tools will be examined to empower consumers and make it easier for them to manage their gambling in ways that work for them, such as deposit limits.

Current Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) duties will be reviewed to increase transparency regarding the protection of customer funds, especially in cases where licensees offer no insolvency protection.

In anticipation of a future statutory levy, the Commission will consider removing the obligation to contribute to specific research, prevention, and treatment bodies.

It will also explore changes to the way financial penalties are calculated, aiming for more clarity and transparency on infringements. These changes include setting penalties at levels where the cost of non-compliance is higher than compliance costs.

Feedback is further required on ‘financial key event reporting’ regarding how LCCPs can provide detailed financial information, enhancing the Commission’s risk-based regulatory approach in response to the sector’s increasing complexity and globalisation.

In conclusion, the Commission continues to support the government and DCMS in implementing the Gambling Act Review, focusing on stake limits for online slots, land-based measures, and the introduction of a statutory levy.