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Which Steps UK online gambling operators need to follow to be laws compliant?

Published on December 3, 2019, 12:15 am

by Jeff Grant Twitter account Jeff Grant LinkedIn account

How new laws have made it safer to gamble online in the UK

The screws are being tightened by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission when it comes to online gambling. New laws have been brought into effect over the past 12 months, and there seems destined to be more coming. All bookmakers, sportsbooks and casinos online that are operating within the UK have been reminded of these, which means it has never been safe to gamble online.

The laws came into effect quickly after the failed campaign that urged gambling companies to subsidise some of the earnings for gambling treatment. However, the British government have been quick to clamp down on problems surrounding certain aspects when it comes to gambling online. But, what are the new checks that have ensured that gambling is now safer in the UK?

Age Verification

One of the smarter laws that have been brought into effect revolves around the 72 hours that are given to carry out the verification of new customers. Previously, this would have been a problem for those that are looking to withdraw funds, as you wouldn't have been able to do this until your age is verified.

However, under the new law, members signing up for an account will now have to verify their age before they can deposit any funds. Furthermore, age verification will now be in place to ensure the safety steps are followed before any bets are placed. This comes after findings from a report that there are 25,000 problem gamblers aged between 11 and 16-years-old.

As well as this, the Gambling Commission are now insisting that every new player's age must be verified before they are able to play on the free-to-play games at casinos. While, this isn't gambling since no money is changing hands, the Commission has stated that there is no reason why they should encourage children to play.

Making Websites Fairer

Back in March last year, the Commission revealed that various online bookmakers were treating customers unfairly by asking them for more identification in order to withdraw their winnings. The same report also found that 15% of these issues were the bookmakers asking for a specific form of identification in order to take money out of their account.

Sarika Patel (chair of Audit Committee at the UK Gambling Commission) explains the new gambling law in UK

Under the new laws being used in the UK, bookmakers will need to verify information such as name, address and date of birth before a bet is even placed on the website. Also, the bookmaker should promptly ask for any additional information should they need it, and not wait until a player tries to withdraw funds.

Also, bookmakers will now have to let the customers know what other identification they may need, and the circumstances when they might ask for it. Should they fail to comply with these laws, then the bookmaker may see their license revoked. This is also very important for the players on the bookmakers' websites as the new changes will see the operators have better control at preventing harm and they will be able to notice criminal activity easier because of the additional information that they have regarding their customers.

It also encourages fairer playing for gamblers, as they won't be getting a nasty surprise when they try and take their money out of the account. Any additional information that may be needed by the bookmaker should be alerted to the punter before the situation materialises.

Advertising of Bookmakers

Sports betting looks unlikely that it will ever be phased out, but there are slight changes in the way that we may see these promoted. Sports betting advertisements that are shown and sponsorship deals are beginning to change slightly because of the laws that have been brought in. Darcy Lancelot, editor at spoke at the Asian Gaming Summit 2019 and predicted that following GVC Holdings’ call for a blanket ban all advertisements involving betting, many large corporations will be closely following in their footsteps with requests of bans in their respective countries and regions, as the attack on the issue of bookmaker compliance only grows stronger each year and to a wider public reception.

This tactic was based on the thought that the challenge of at-risk gamblers should be tackled head-on. The English football season is unique, as it will see the fist whistle-to-whistle ban on advertising. This is the health bodies, charities and regulators coming together as one to bring an end to what began with the UK sports betting laws from the 2005 gambling act.

These law changes are likely to have a great effect, especially when it comes to identifying somebody that is self-excluded. However, it is also up to the operator's to enforce this by regularly updating their self-exclusion list. The new laws can only have a positive effect on the sector as it makes it safer for players, and covers the backs of the bookmakers that we bet with, to ensure that they are correctly regulated.


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