Gambling Commission Uses Annual Report to Outline Plan for Consumer Protections

Finger touching CONSUMER PROTECTION key

In the UK Gambling Commission’s annual report, Chairman William Moyes outlined a three-year plan to address issues involving consumer protections and gambling-related harm.

Last week, the UK Gambling Commission released its annual report, which included a plan to tackle issues in the gambling industry. The commission has said that its main concern is protecting the public and, with a new three-year plan, preparations are being made to use five strategic priorities to increase the integrity of the sector, along with taking gambling-related harm more seriously and ensuring fair treatment of consumers.

Five strategic priorities

Over the three-year span, the Gambling Commission plans to implement five strategic priorities to meet its consumer protection goals. The priorities are: protect the interest of consumers, prevent harm to consumers and the public, raise standards in the gambling market, optimize returns to good causes from lotteries, and improve the way the commission regulates.

For each priority, the commission has outlined a plan for meeting its goal. In the “protect the consumer” section, the commission plans on improving consumer understanding of gambling products and helping consumers ask for advice if they feel things are getting out of control.

Of this priority, Chairman Moyes said: “We’ll be identifying ways to give more power and control to consumers to manage their gambling in a way that works for them. We’ll also continue to review and strengthen the rules to tackle unfair terms and misleading practices.”

To prevent harm, the commission will be working with partners to improve the understanding of the scale and nature of problems that can be caused by gambling and how they impact society. The national strategy will then be shaped accordingly to provide safer gambling. The Responsible Gambling Strategy Board has recommended that funding be increased and made available for research, education, and treatment, as it will be necessary in the future to meet the outcomes required by the Strategy of the Commission as well as the National Responsible Gambling Strategy.

To raise standards within the industry, the commission expects gambling companies to use the extensive data they have to understand how to identify players who are developing gambling behavior that could become problematic and then determine how to help them change before the problem becomes unmanageable.

The commission will be focusing on improving regulation as well, with a goal of being a risk-based, evidence-led, and outcomes-focused regulator. The commission is committed to improving the way it regulates, with consideration of the whole market, delivering services that are effective and efficient, with a greater premium attached to data management and an evolving of the regulatory framework as a response to situations as they emerge.

As far as lotteries are concerned, the commission plans on adopting a strategy that will use the regulatory tools during the remaining period of the Third National Lottery license to ensure the integrity of games, improve consumer protections, and increase contributions to good causes.

Chairman Moyes concluded the report by stating that this year will bring more change for the industry and that ambitious plans have been made for the coming year as well as for the life of the new three-year strategy. According to Moyes, the challenge now is to support the gambling industry by raising standards and making gambling fairer and safer for everyone.

William Hill’s responsible gambling campaign

As the UK Gambling Commission calls for a reduction of the problem gambling rates within the industry, William Hill has announced a new campaign to help individuals with a gambling addiction. Titled “Nobody Harmed,” the new campaign provides several commitments that William Hill is taking to ensure player protection.

The new campaign will see the company change its advertising strategies and campaigning for registered play for every product they offer. Lyndsay Wright has been appointed as the company’s first director of sustainability, a new position that she will take on, along with her responsibilities involving strategy and investor relations.

Commenting on the new campaign, Ms. Wright said: “It’s actually something we’ve been working on for about nine months. We’re very conscious the company and the industry have seen a meaningful decline over a period of years in how people perceive gambling. We needed to ask ourselves some very tough questions about why that is the case, to understand the issue better, and how we needed to respond to it. We’ve come out with this ambition that nobody is harmed by gambling, and it’s something we want to put down as what we stand for.”

With the new campaign, William Hill will be focusing on four areas: How they design products and market them, how they identify individuals who might be at risk, how they support those who are suffering from harm, and how they involve staff members in addressing problem gambling issues. The full strategy and new commitments of the gambling company are available at the Nobody Harmed website.