VIP schemes to come under scrutiny in UKGC consultation

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has launched a two-month consultation on proposed measures which would change the way that operators interact with high-value customers.

The consultation will consider the seven propositions made by a working group led by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) and GVC, which aim to make gambling safer and reduce harm across the sector.

It includes measures focused upon improving standards relating to VIP incentives, responsible product and game design and online advertising.

Neil McArthur, chief executive of the UKGC, said: “For collaboration to be successful it requires a full diversity of opinions. Before setting the challenges, we took advice from our Digital Advisory Panel and the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling on online harms. Their advice was grounded in evidence and experience and understanding of where the risk of harm lies.

“We chose the areas that we considered would address significant risks to vulnerable groups and adopted a new approach, based on industry collaboration, in order to see where improvements could be made more quickly.”

This April, the UKGC and BGC announced its new industry action plan in which incumbents agreed to radically overhaul VIP customer engagements.

Key changes included restricting VIP programmes to customers aged 25+, and that all operator reward programmes be fully audited with regards to incentives and how they reward players.

McArthur continued: “The work on these challenges is far from done and further involvement from Experts by Experience will be vital as we move to a connected set of consultations.

“In these unprecedented times caused by the impact of COVID-19, we have pushed the industry to make necessary changes to keep consumers safe from harm and we have seen that changes can be made speedily. There is no reason why the industry can’t up the momentum to make lasting changes for safer gambling, and we will ensure they do.

“Much more work remains to be done. Gambling can and must be made safer and we are determined to build on the progress that has been made and introduce other changes in the near future.

“So, thank you to those who have worked with the Commission to make the progress discussed in this update and thank you to those who will be helping us as we go forward with the next steps described below. Working together, I am sure we will continue to make gambling safer.”

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