The UK government is proposing a tougher regulatory environment for the gambling industry that may require online casinos and sportsbooks to ask players for payslips. The proposal is intended to help people avoid unaffordable losses.
The regulatory measures were outlined by current gambling minister Chris Philp who is also proposing a series of other reforms. Philp’s concerns about punters losing more than they can afford are shared by the head of the UK Gambling Commission, Andrew Rhodes, who accused some operators of failing to comply with existing rules.
In his speech at the annual GambleAware conference, Philp insisted that operators needed to do more when they see that “a customer is at risk of harm.”
“We need them to step in – to talk to them, impose limits or help them set their own, or perhaps even close their account. As part of this, a robust system to prevent unaffordable online gambling will have a transformative impact, and I know everybody here today agrees. We have all seen and heard too many cases of people spending enormous sums and operator interventions coming too late,” Philp said.
The minister added that such regulation needs to be implemented in a way that doesn’t inconvenience punters who don’t spend a lot. As such, the initial checks would be far less intrusive than those targeting customers who spend large sums of cash.
Philp said that the Gambling Commission may be given greater powers and more funding to regulate the industry.
“I want the Commission to excel in holding the industry to account. The operators who meet and surpass our high standards have nothing to worry about from this. Those who breach the rules do. The upcoming White Paper will provide further detail on how we will make sure that the Gambling Commission is equipped to deal with the range of challenges that it faces across the gambling sector today and in the future,” Philp concluded.