Better Consumer Protection
The changes in the rules are intended to better protect consumers from unfair practices by gambling service providers, and ensure that they are always treated fairly.
Any companies which break advertising rules or breaching consumer law can now expect to face a tougher range of sanctions than previously.
The changes relate to five specific areas of behaviour and business practice.
Advertising And Third Parties
The first of these is that it will be easier for the UKGC to take action, including the imposition of fines, against gambling businesses which breach advertising regulations.
Examples of this kind of breach of regulations include targeting adverts at children, or looking to glamorise gambling.
Second, if a third party affiliate of a gambling company breaches advertising regulations, the UKGC can take action against the company.
Speed Of Action
Third, it will be swifter and simpler for action to be taken when there are breaches of consumer law.
Examples of such breaches include unreasonable restrictions on customers’ account withdrawals.
Fourth, there will be an onus on gambling companies to offer better complaints procedures to customers.
Part of this is that firms must resolve all customer complaints within an eight-week deadline.
The fifth area affected by the new regulations relates to marketing and advertising. It will now be easier for the UKGC to take action against firms who send out spam emails or texts as marketing tactics.
All of these new requirements are set to come into force on October 31, 2018.
UKGC Prompted To Take Action
UKGC chief executive Neil McArthur believes that the new rules will help improve the online gambling experiences of millions of customers.
In an official statement, he said: “These changes will protect consumers from irresponsible advertising and misleading promotions, ensure that they can withdraw their money more easily, and will mean that firms have to deal with complaints more swiftly.”
The new regulations were formulated after a consultation was carried out earlier on in 2018.
This consultation involved various stakeholders in the gambling industry, including gambling businesses and consumers.