New rules for UK online casinos: No targeting of at-risk players allowed

  • Operators will need to monitor a new set of indicators to spot at-risk players.
  • No players that are considered at-risk of gambling harm may receive marketing.
  • New rules are set to come into place by the 12th of September 2022.
UK bans contacting at-risk players
It’s no secret that the UK has one of the strictest regulators in the world running the online casino industry. 

The Gambling Commission has proven that they will make any changes necessary to how casinos operate in the UK to keep players safe. 

One of the latest changes is a new set of rules for operators and how they must monitor potentially at-risk players. A specific set of indicators has been provided to reveal whether or not a player is considered “at-risk.”  

The indicators include: 
  • Customer spend 
  • Patterns of spending 
  • Time spent gambling 
  • Customer-led contact 
  • Use of gambling management tools 
  • Account indicators 
  • Established gambling behaviours 

When monitoring players for these red flags, it’s up to the operator to take action as quickly as possible. Strong indicators of harm will require that immediate procedures are followed once an automated system is set in place. 

Keeping at-risk players safe 

Even if a player is an active customer and has not chosen to opt-out, take a break from their account, or self-exclude, operators will not be able to market to at-risk players. 

This means that players marked as “at-risk of gambling harm” will not receive any marketing contact from the casino. They will also not be able to use any bonuses.  
Gambling Commission chief executive Andrew Rhodes commented on the changes, saying:

“Time and time again our enforcement cases show that some operators are still not doing enough to prevent gambling harm. These new rules, developed following an extensive consultation, make our expectations even more explicit. 
We expect operators to identify and tackle gambling harms with fast, proportionate and effective action and we will not hesitate to take tough action on operators who fail to do so.”

More than just a way to avoid marketing to at-risk gamblers, the Commission will require casinos to provide evidence of their interactions with these customers. The Commission hopes to encourage a culture of operators taking responsibility for possibly at-risk customers before harm is done. 

The new rules will come into effect on the 12th of September 2022. The Commission will provide guidance on how to implement these rules in June. 

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