Tim Miller, the executive director of the UK Gambling Commission, delivered a speech at the Regulating the Game conference on September 25, 2023, where he discussed the challenges and opportunities of regulating the gambling industry in the UK. He shed light on the strides made in the realm of gambling regulation following the Government’s Gambling Act Review. The review, a seminal endeavor to update the regulations that had remained unchanged since 2005, set the stage for a series of consultations and initiatives aimed at making gambling safer, fairer, and crime-free in Great Britain.
Miller detailed the launch of the first set of consultations by the UKGC and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in July 2023. These consultations, open until 18 October 2023, focus on pivotal areas including age verification, modification of features on non-slots casino games online, regulation of cross-selling and direct marketing, as well as financial risk and vulnerability checks. With over 1800 responses already received, the dialogue between the public and the authorities is in full swing, aiming to shape the future of gambling regulation.
A significant portion of Miller’s address was devoted to clarifying the financial risk check proposals. Misunderstandings surrounding this initiative led the UKGC to publish a Q&A, elucidating that only 3% of gambling accounts would be impacted by frictionless financial risk assessments, primarily carried out through a credit reference agency with no effect on credit scores.
Looking ahead, Miller announced the launch of more consultations in early winter, with focal points on socially responsible incentives and gambling management tools, including the consideration of mandatory online deposit limits. These consultations are part of a continuum, with further discussions planned for the New Year, highlighting the ongoing commitment to refining the regulatory framework.
Noteworthy projects such as GamProtect, a multi-operator data-sharing scheme, and the prospective establishment of an industry-led Ombudsman for better consumer redressal were spotlighted as critical endeavors to prevent harm and provide robust consumer protection.
Moreover, in the quest for better regulation, Miller underscored the importance of data and evidence. A new survey, the Gambling Survey of Great Britain, is set to launch, aiming to provide a more precise picture of gambling trends and issues in the country. Additionally, a three-year evidence gaps paper has been published to guide future analytical focus in six key areas including gambling-related harms and the impact of operator practices.
Miller’s discourse was a clarion call to stakeholders, emphasizing the historic opportunity the Gambling Act Review presents to overhaul the gambling regulatory landscape in Great Britain. The collaborative efforts between the UKGC, DCMS, the gambling industry, and the wider public are a testament to the collective aim of navigating the complex waters of gambling regulation to arrive at a safer, fairer, and crime-free gambling environment.
The transcript of the speech can be found on the Gambling Commission’s website.