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What the UK is Doing to Promote Safe Gambling

The United Kingdom is one of the countries that gamble the most and with this comes many issues or problems that surround the industry. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission or the UKGC is responsible for regulating the gambling activities in the country.

This is also the commission that is now pushing for safe gambling to its locals. Since last year, the group has been implementing new regulations to ensure the safety of local players. This includes requiring online casino operators to verify each player that signs up on their website.

The purpose of this is to ensure that no young or minor will have access to gambling activities on mobile casinos UK. The online casino operator is given 72 hours or 3 days to check and verify the identity, including the age of a person who signs up on their website. This is a requirement for all online operators even if they only have free-to-play games.

This would mean that the player will have to submit a proof of identification as soon as he or she signs up. The requested document or IDs should be disclosed upfront or before the player signs up. Only after the verification will the player be allowed to make a deposit on his and her account.

Another regulation that was pushed for last year by the Industry Group for Responsible Gambling or IGRG is the ban of gambling advertisements on TV during times when there are viewers who are still minors. There is now a ban on gambling ads in the country before the 9 PM watershed. There are, however, exceptions for horse and greyhound channels.

Jeremy Wright, the State Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport expressed how they are -pleased with this. He said, “Gambling firms banning advertising on TV during live sport is a welcome move and I am pleased that the sector is stepping up and responding to public concerns. It is vital children and vulnerable people are protected from the threat of gambling-related harm. Companies must be socially responsible.” 

Neil McArthur, the UKGC’s chief executive said that this is a significant step towards showing how the gambling and betting industry is mindful of its customers. He added, “Importantly, it also demonstrates the value of collaborating across companies and across sectors to make gambling fairer and safer. I hope that this can be used as a model for future industry action to reduce and prevent harm.” 

Recently, it was also announced that gambling using credit cards will also be banned in the country. This is the government’s attempt to lessen the gambling problems of the country. This will start on April 14 and will surely affect the 22 percent of online gamblers in the country.

McArthur shared why this had to be implemented. He said, “Credit card gambling can lead to significant financial harm. The ban that we have announced today should minimize the risks of harm to consumers from gambling with money they do not have.”

“We also know that there are examples of consumers who have accumulated tens of thousands of pounds of debt through gambling because of credit card availability. There is also evidence that the fees charged by credit cards can exacerbate the situation because the consumer can try to chase losses to a greater extent,” he further explained.

The credit card ban is applicable to all online and in-person gambling activities. The exception includes lotteries and gambling activities for good causes. For lottery tickets, the locals can still purchase these with credit cards in supermarkets and newsagents. The catch is that they will also have to purchase other products aside from the ticket.

The Gamstop self-exclusion scheme will also be launched this year, on March 31. All online gambling operators are required to participate in this. What happens here is that people can sign themselves up on this list to avoid seeing gambling ads online. This is basically a list of people who do not want to be involved in gambling activities.

The UKGC has also launched three groups that would work on or address the gambling problems in the country. These groups will be looking at the different aspects of the online gambling industry. One group is to check on the game design to help see how the industry could create safer games and environments for the players. Another group will be focused on monitoring and promoting safer gambling advertising online. The other group will be taking a look at the VIP incentives that the operators are offering. They will be checking if these bonuses are safe and fair to all players.

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