SBC News GamCare issues guidance to operators on UKGC ‘hot transfers’

GamCare issues guidance to operators on UKGC ‘hot transfers’

The UKGC Gambling Commission (UKGC) is set to introduce new requirements for betting operators, having revised its Social Responsibility Code last month.

From February 2023, licensees will be required to interact with customers at the “level of problem gambling for their relevant activity”, and seek to better identify consumers at risk of gambling related harm. 

Of significance to GamCare, the Commission is due to introduce a requirement for ‘remote licensees’ – online operators – to provide a ‘hot’ transfer into support services where harm has been identified and ‘strong action is required’. 

“For some operators, if introduced, it could present an important step change in how they refer into gambling support services when a customer is experiencing harm. But how can operators go about introducing such a service?” GamCare’s statement read.

The charity is offering a package containing an annual licence for businesses to transfer calls directly into the National Gambling Helpline – operated by GamCare – via a designated line. 

Additional caveats include guidance and training for customer care teams, with the goal of enabling seamless call transfers to the helpline, and quarterly data on call transfers including volume, quality and anonymous outcome information. 

The group’s end goal is to provide a means for operators to easily transfer problematic customers to the helpline, where they can find advice, support and referrals if necessary.

“For customers, the Helpline Transfer Service ensures they can access support services at the same moment as they are asking for help,” GamCare continued.

“Our advisers – who are available 24/7, 365 days a year – will be on hand to ensure they can discuss what they are going through, give practical advice and information, as well as signpost to other support services where appropriate. 

“For organisations, the service ensures that the right safeguards are in place for customers at risk of harm. We also provide regular updates on the outcome of transfers, so operators can see the impact that the service is having.”

Although predominantly a charity focused on reducing gambling harm for consumers via treatment and education, GamCare also operates an industry standards division, headed by Dan Whitlam.

In an interview with SBC News earlier this year, Whitlam broke down how this aspect of GamCare’s service operates, in particular highlighting the Safer Gambling Standard.

“We look at a business’s culture, how they manage their customers, who they look after their colleagues and collaborate with other businesses,” he explained.

“We then assess that against a set of criteria and give up to a three-star rating to show how well that company is doing in terms of safer gambling.

“Through that, we’re providing recommendations on how they can go further and go above and beyond the regulatory requirements and further improve the customer experience on player safety.”

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