The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has released strict ruling for UK based operators on the treatment of their VIP customers. Under the new guidance, before any operator declares a customer as VIP, it must establish that spending is affordable as part of the individual spend of customers and assess whether there is evidence of gambling-related harm. Moreover, the operator has to ensure the licensee has up to date evidence related to players’ identity, occupation and source of funds.
UKGC’s work and changes they’ve made in the casino and betting industry have significantly improved the regulative flow and public image. It seems that today the audience has more confidence in the large number of online casino providers that contribute to the community with many preventive initiatives and educational programmes. Have a look at the latest slot reviews at SlotsWise where you can compare player’s experience, offers and games by different casino providers.
This is done in order to regulate shady practices of so-called VIP schemes stating that if operators respect the guidelines, there should be no irresponsible incentivisation. As part of the Commission’s initiatives to improve consumer protection, the regulator has made addressing these schemes a priority after repetitive failures to meet standards and protect high-value players.
Following extensive consultation, all operators will now need to follow new guidance on these schemes – which see high-value consumers provided with tailored bonuses, gifts, hospitality, and preferential service from an operator designed to maintain or increase their custom. Before any customer is declared as VIP operators must align with the abovementioned checks. These measures must be in place starting from October 31st.
Besides the UKGC, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) is rolling out a new code of conduct that should help the industry to address better the challenges regarding the player’s safety and gambling addiction. As one of the measures, we’ll mention the minimum speed cycle of 2.5 seconds for online casino games. That might seem short but, in an industry, where players use multiplier options and turbo modes, it’s a quite decent and safe time frame. This can potentially save players a lot of money as they will have reduced spins due to the increase in in-game time. Another change that will curb and rationalise the number of games that players can wager on is the removal of multi-player slot feature. Before, players could wager on multiple games at the same time and often resulted in fast money loss. Additionally, operators will need to make more mandatory checks on the player’s activities. This is to ensure that signs of gambling harm are avoided and quickly resolved.
The UKGC chief executive Neil Mc Arthur said that their reviews identified too many cases of misconduct in the management of VIP schemes and that this is the last chance for operators to show that they handle operations honestly and appropriately. While the number of VIP schemes is already reduced by 70% since last year when they called for a change, this set of rules is designed to ensure the progress continues to prevent and protect vulnerable players.
This set of rules are also a part of the Commission’s comprehensive program of tougher reinforcement and compliance activity which has also strengthened protections around online age and ID verification, improved customer interaction and credit card bans.
In the upcoming weeks, the Commission will launch a consultation on customer interaction which will include the assessment of affordability and vulnerability of online gaming, and how to take preventive actions and react when there are risk indicators. Moreover, they will soon respond to the consultation regarding safer online game designs and user experience.