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UKGC invites comments on its gambling proposals

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has invited comments on its proposals “to make gambling more fair and open,” at the same time as welcoming a new report by Citizens Advice.

Consumers, gambling businesses, stakeholders and members of the public are all able to voice opinions on proposed changes, related to marketing and advertising, unfair terms, and complaints and disputes.

Proposed changes to license conditions and codes of practice, forming one part of a wider programme, are to ensure consumers are being treated in a fair and open manner by operators.

Amongst the proposals are a focus on compliance with UK advertising codes, ensuring operators comply with all relevant consumer protection legislation and improvements to consumer complaints handling, which includes the introduction of an eight-week time limit for licensees to deal with gambling complaints.

Sarah Gardner, Commission Executive Director, said: “We are proposing these changes because of the risk of consumer harm, concern about lack of compliance with consumer protection legislation, declining public trust in gambling and concerns about advertising. We’re very keen to hear the views of all those with an interest in the gambling industry.”

The UKGC, who last year launched a three year commitment to prevent harm to consumers and the public, has welcomed a new report published by Citizens Advice, which considers the causes and impacts of problem gambling.

Tim Miller, Executive Director at the Gambling Commission, commented: “Citizens Advice provides a vital gateway to vulnerable consumers, particularly those that are already seeking support for their issues, including problematic gambling.

“We welcome this report which puts a focussed lens on those that are at the extreme end of gambling-related harm, and provides a strong start in us being able to understand the impact problem gambling can have beyond the individual gambler themselves; on friends, family, work colleagues and communities.  

“This report will also help us understand the costs associated with its impact on public health services, on families and communities, on employment and debt, and on justice and court services.

“Understanding the full impact of problem gambling will help the industry, the Commission and other key stakeholders to properly manage and minimise those impacts.  Together we can work towards the prevention of gambling-related harm, as well as ensuring that effective support and treatment is readily available for those who need it.”

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