The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has introduced new rules in the areas of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and on spotting problem gambling signs.
The rules came into force as of October 31 and will apply to all licenses except those related to gaming machines and gambling software. They mandate that all betting firms can only use ADR partners that meet the UKGC standards. The standards include criteria for customer service, governance and decision making. The UKGC hopes that this will lead to a more consistent ADR process across the sector and reassure people of the process’s independence.
Firms will also have to abide by new rules on engaging with customers at risk of gambling harm. The rules are focused on the way that betting firms engage with such customers, and how they assess the effect of each customer interaction on the risk of gambling harm.
It is clear the UKGC is serious about pushing for improvement in these areas. Speaking about the rules, the UKGC Executive Director Paul Hope said that firms would have to abide by the new rules:
“These changes have been designed to make gambling fairer and safer for consumers and we expect gambling firms to meet their responsibilities in these areas.”
The UKGC will also impose new rules on voluntary funding into gambling harm research. These rules will include an agreed list of organisations that betting firms can contribute to. They will also force more transparency on the extent of a firm’s donations.
The rules relating to gambling research donations will not come into effect until January 1, 2020, but they are another example of the UKGC’s focus on improving the reputation of the gambling sector.