All operators providing gambling facilities to consumers in Great Britain must be licensed by the Gambling Commission and comply with licence conditions, which include the protection of vulnerable people from being harmed or exploited by gambling. Operators are required to prevent underage gambling, to intervene when a customer shows signs of being at risk of harm and to offer the facility to self-exclude. Online operators must also offer a ‘time out’ facility and can make other tools available to help players manage their gambling, such as setting time or spend limits.
In May last year the Government published its response to the Consultation on proposals for changes to Gaming Machines and Social Responsibility Measures, which set out a comprehensive package to strengthen protections across all forms of gambling, including online. Next month, the Gambling Commission will bring in new rules requiring operators to complete age and identity verification before consumers can deposit money and gamble, or play free-to-play demo games.
The Gambling Commission is also currently consulting on proposals to strengthen the requirement for operators to interact with consumers who may be experiencing gambling related harm. They are also reviewing whether gambling online with credit cards should be restricted, and will explore the potential consequences of doing so.