Sarah Garnder: UKGC consultation conclusions due this summer

UKGC long-term projects bolstered by ICO data assessment

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has welcomed the appraisal of the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) which backs the need for data collaboration to protect gambling consumers better.

Yesterday the ICO published its response to a query by financial services trade body UK Finance on the legal boundaries of data collaboration between gambling and financial services firms.  

The ICO, which serves as the UK’s agency overseeing data rights, privacy and protections, asserted that data laws should not stop gambling firms from conducting risk assessments on customers.

Of relevance, financial institutions should be able to share personal data with gambling operators, provided the process is transparent and customer/consumers are aware of what data is being exchanged.

Posting a response on the Gambling Commission’s website, Director of Policy Projects Helen Rhodes detailed that the ICO’s assessment strengthened the UKGC’s key directives to launch financial risk assessments and the Single Customer View (GamProtect) as part of its regulatory framework.

The financial risk assessment initiative involves new rules requiring licensed  operators to conduct financial risk assessments should customers start to engage in  unusually higher gambling losses than recorded. 

Meanwhile, currently under its “sandbox testing phase”, the Commission seeks to launch the GamProtect ‘Single Customer View’, a centralized system providing stakeholders a full view on customer play and helping expand markers of harms to help earlier interventions.

The Commission noted that the ICO has been involved in the development of both projects, which will require data-sharing between the financial sector and UK gambling.

Rhodes noted: “GamProtect began operating on a trial basis in February 2023 and involves four of the largest gambling businesses. The initial focus is on sharing information between these businesses where customers have disclosed very serious markers of health-related harms.

“We are pleased that the ICO today issued their final Sandbox exit report which sets out the way in which our challenge to industry can be fully implemented across the remote gambling sector.”

 

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