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The Gambling White Paper: Customer Freedom and Protection from Harm

The long awaited UK Government white paper on the gambling Industry, published yesterday, outlines the Government’s plans for the industry.
The gambling industry has changed significantly since 2005, with multinational tech companies now offering online gambling services.
In 2020 the UK government commenced a review to ensure gambling regulation meets the challenges and opportunities of the digital age, focusing on protecting vulnerable individuals and preventing addictive and harmful gambling practices.
The resulting white paper outlines a package of new measures, including an overhaul of online game design rules, new obligations on operators to prevent unchecked and unaffordable spending, and modernising the rules for land-based gambling.
The Rt Hon Lucy Frazer KC MP,  Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, says of the report:
The Rt Hon Lucy Frazer KC MP,  Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, says of the report:
“At the heart of our Review is making sure that we have the balance right between  consumer freedoms and choice on the one hand, and protection from harm on the  other. It has become clear that we must do more to protect those at risk of addiction and associated unaffordable losses.
We must also pay particular attention to making sure children are protected, including as they become young adults and for the first time are able to gamble on a wide range of products. Prevention of harm will always be better than a cure, so we are determined to strengthen consumer protections and prevent exploitative practices.”
We’ve outlined below three of the key areas tackled by the white paper:

Online Protections

There are a number of checks that the Gambling Commission is looking to consult on, or introduce, to increase player protection online by way of financial risk checking, a mandatory data-sharing cross-operator harm prevention system, updated design rules for online products, a stake limit for online slots and mandatory opt-out player-set deposit limit.

Improved Age Verification

Safeguarding children from gambling-related harm is a clear priority.
It’s noted that there are strict and well-observed rules for age verification online and in many land-based venues at present. However, the report challenges the online gambling industry in the UK to improve their age verification efforts. The Commission plans to legislate to strengthen licensing authority powers of alcohol-licensed premises by making provisions in the Gambling Commission’s code of practice compulsory.  Ensuring that all licenced venues are held to the same standards, they plan to remove the exemption from test purchasing requirements for the smallest venues.

Proactive Regulation

The regulator aims to become more proactive, in starting to analyse more data from online operators to identify non-compliance with licence conditions. Where breaches are spotted, the Commission will have increased resources to use its enforcement powers to full effect.
In all, the report aims to emphasise the need for a balance between consumer freedoms and protection from harm. This is not an easy tightrope to balance, however gambling operators can leverage technology to do the heavy lifting.
SQR is in the final stages of building a product that will enable gaming operators to support the increased demands from The Commission, while also enabling low friction logins and preventing multi-account creation. SQR’s Digital ID solution also includes built in self-exclusion limit features and works across both land based gaming venues as well as online.
Our technology ensures that an individual’s ID is verified directly to their person rather than their device. And from a player’s perspective you share your personal data on a need to know basis.

Would like to join our public beta programme?

Get in touch with info@sqr-group.com to chat more with one of our team.
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