UKGC Sets Its Sights on VIP Gamblers

VIP gamblers
VIP more likely to be addicts - photo by pixabay.com

The United Kingdom Gambling Association (UKGC) who oversees all UK bingo, casino, lottery, and sports betting activities online and offline, has laid out a new set of measures aimed at improving the way VIP schemes are offered by gambling operators.

The new measures follow collaborative work with gambling operators earlier this year. The industry then agreed to the adherence of a three-pronged protocol that incorporates:

  • Restrict and prevent customers under 25 years of age from being recruited to high-value customer schemes.
  • All customers must first pass thorough checks relating to spending, safer gambling and enhanced due diligence before becoming eligible for high-value customer incentives.
  • Reward programmes will also be required to have full audit trails detailing decision making with specified senior oversight and accountability.

The working group is led by the Betting and Gaming Council and GVC who own the gala bingo site. Their aim is to make gambling safer and reduce harm across the sector, without the need for further intervention by the UKGC.

‘Industry Changes'

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.

“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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