UKGC Announces Restrictions to Make Gambling Safer

  • Players under 25 years of age will be restricted from VIP schemes
  • Operators must control online advertising and avoid appealing to young people
  • Game features like speeding up a spin and turbo controls must be removed  
barrier tape for no entry
The UKGC and more than 30 operators have agreed to a series of restrictions aimed at creating a safer gambling environment for players. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

More than 30 operators on board

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and more than 30 operators have pledged to make gambling safer by cracking down on certain areas of the industry.

restricting players under 25 years of age from accessing VIP schemes

Specific changes coming to the industry include restricting players under 25 years of age from accessing VIP schemes. The UKGC’s plans also include lowering the intensity of gameplay, such as reducing the option to speed up spins on slot games and removing turbo controls.

Result of months of work

The publication of changes to the VIP incentives and creating safer products within the gambling industry comes after many months of work. The regulator worked with operators and leaders in the industry to bring about the following changes.

For VIP incentives, the industry will adhere to certain protocols. This approach restricts operators from recruiting players under 25 years of age within high-value customer programs.

Before a player is eligible for a high-value incentive program, they must pass several checkpoints. This includes safer gambling, spend, and enhanced due diligence. Reward programs will now be subject to full audits that detail decision making, with accountability and oversight in place.

Encouraging progress

According to Neil McArthur, chief executive of the UKGC, the commission is encouraged by the progress on VIP incentives, safer products, and advertising. The UKGC set challenges to operators in an effort to see real and rapid change for consumers who fit into areas of risk.

McArthur said: “However, it is important these commitments are implemented as soon as possible. It should not take months to implement safeguards many would expect to be in place already.”

April 14 is the implementation date for certain VIP restrictions.

Additional changes

Along with these VIP changes, the UKGC is placing restrictions on the speed of games and advertising. Slot games now must have a minimum spin speed of 2.5 seconds. Titles that encourage intensive gaming must remove options like turbo controls and slam stops.

wants operators to cut back on ads seen by children, young people, and vulnerable adults

The UKGC is working on a plan to offer in-game messaging to assist players in safer gaming. The new Betting and Gaming Council Testing Lab is also reviewing other game features.

As far as advertising is concerned, the UKGC wants to see a decrease in online advertising. It wants operators to cut back on ads seen by children, young people, and vulnerable adults. This includes suppression websites and negative search terms. Operators must ensure that paid ads are not targeting vulnerable groups via social media or YouTube channels.