The Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) may have passed a voluntary code of conduct for the gambling industry; however UK Culture Secretary Maria Miller has asked the UK Gambling Commission to revise the proposed Code for Responsible Gambling and Player Protection, with a view to further strengthening player protection with regards to gambling products, both online and at retail level.
Ms Miller has asked that the government be more involved in the construction of the Code and its constitution in terms of player protection. Ms Miller Commented on the Code “I have asked the Gambling Commission to make this happen. In the future, these rules will therefore form part of the operators’ licence conditions and bookmakers will have to accept them or not be able to trade.”
The Code came into effect on Saturday 1st of March 2014, with management of sports betting operator such as Paddy Power, William Hill and Ladbrokes supporting its integration into UK high street betting shops. The Code designed by ABB, places a high emphasis on the prevention and spotting of problem gambling by UK betting shop staff, it further implements forced breaks on customers who have wagered on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBT’s) and additionally includes warning messages to players stating time spent and money wagered on the machines.
Miller would like the Code to be further stringent on players, this would include forced spending tiers and limited play periods for players. Ms Miller has cited that focus on limiting play should be focused on FOBT ‘s. The Culture Minister would also enforce all UK bookmakers to sign and adhere to the code in order to be a granted a UK betting and gaming licence.
Another area Miller is concerned, is that of marketing and TV coverage of sports betting and casino products. The minister cited that more should be done to protect minors and the vulnerable in UK society. She noted concern about sports betting sponsoring and targeting coverage of it’s brands on popular sports, which may be viewed by minors.
Miller said: “We want a successful gambling industry but not at the price of public protection. Player protections must be made mandatory so that every bookmaker must abide by the new rules”.