No Immediate Plans for Affordability Caps in UK
Following last year’s remote customer interaction consultation, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission has revealed that its points of action do not include an obligatory soft affordability cap.
Rather, the Commission has said it will be focusing on developing measures that will stop players from losing significant amounts of money and ways to stop those who are financially vulnerable from being harmed by gambling.
The consultation began in November last year and was extended through December. In total, the Commission received roughly 13,000 submissions, of which approximately 1,000 were full consultation responses and 12,000 were answers to a short survey. While it was a wide-ranging consultation, a great deal of attention was given to the suggestion of a mandatory affordability threshold, with a proposed figure of £100 per month.
Many industry groups, including the Gambling Business Group (BGB), criticized the proposal. However, it has not been listed as a main propriety by the regulator following its review of the responses.
This was hinted at in a recent speech by the Commission’s acting join chief executive Sarah Gardner, where she said that the body’s “immediate action” will be to prevent players from risking “clearly unaffordable” amounts.
The Commission has outlined three key risks that it will prioritize for action. The first is preventing players from incurring large losses in a very short time. It gave the example of a player who lost £4,000 in six minutes.
The second priority is implementing safeguards to prevent significant loses over time. The Commission said that it will require checks on customers and gave the example of a player who lost £35,000 over two months.
Finally, the Commission said that it will seek to introduce measures for instances where customer data shows that an individual is “particularly financially vulnerable and likely to be harmed by their level of gambling”.
However, it has not dropped the idea of affordability thresholds completely and said that it will carry out a consultation on them. Furthermore, the Commission will be continuing its work with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) on the Gambling Act Review.