UKGC Expects Extra Operator Vigilance During Lockdown

The Chief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), Neil McArthur, has warned gambling operators to remain vigilant about player protection measures as the UK’s regional governments impose tough lockdown restrictions for the coming months.

In a recent statement, he cautioned operators that the UKGC will be closely monitoring and ready to take any action that they deem necessary if the usual standards are not upheld. He also reiterated concerns that at-risk players may be feeling isolated and vulnerable during lockdown, which may exacerbate their gambling problems.

Neil McArthur Chief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission

We know that some consumers, such as highly engaged gamblers who play a range of products, are likely to spend more time and money gambling and the fact that sport will continue during this lockdown will mean there are more opportunities for betting customers to gamble.

Neil McArthurChief Executive of the UK Gambling Commission

The UKGC has told operators that they must continue to maintain the protocols put forward in the ‘COVID-19 Strengthened Guidance’, which include rigorous player affordability checks and more attentive customer care.

The regulator also warned operators that it would not tolerate them exploiting the lockdown conditions to promote their services.

The UK government has warned that lockdown restrictions are likely to continue for much of this year and in response, the UKGC has said that it will continue to update its regulatory (RTS) and license (LCCP) requirements on player protections.

McArthur told operators that they can expect to be monitored very closely to ensure that they are complying with all regulations during a year that will be critical to the gambling sector.

In the statement, he explains that he wants to make sure operators are clear of the UKGC’s expectations before adding, “Since March we have all adapted to new ways of working and this new phase will be a challenge for us all. However, operators must now more than ever, continue to be vigilant to protect their customers.”

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