The Future of Online Casino Regulation in the UK: An Analysis of Recent Changes - The Redditch Standard

The Future of Online Casino Regulation in the UK: An Analysis of Recent Changes

Redditch Editorial 22nd Mar, 2023   0

Online gambling has been around for a long time, at least in the UK. Many countries around the world are still establishing their gaming commissions, but the UK has extensive experience in how to regulate this form of entertainment. Of course, playing casino games isn’t always a positive experience for everyone.

There are user groups that end up developing problems due to this hobby and lack of discipline. This is why certain casino features need to be analyzed and adjusted in order to protect these players. Recently the UK Gambling Commission added a few changes to its regulatory policies. So, let’s take a deep dive into these changes and see how they will affect the industry going forward.

Balancing Casino Features

If you play casino games frequently then you are probably aware of different promotions, and similar incentives. For many players, these are great features that help them save real money and even gamble risk-free. Today you can play even with £1 minimum deposit required because many sites want to be appealing, trustworthy, and cost-friendly. Low deposits, free spins bonuses, cashback promotions are all amazing features for all casual players out there. They allow for a casino win without risking any losses. However, believe it or not, these same features can also be a problem.




Because these features make casino games accessible many players are persuaded into trying out this content. A small percentage of these users are prone to developing gambling problems, and some of them end up with serious financial issues. From that perspective, they wouldn’t be a problem if the content wasn’t that accessible.

This doesn’t mean that these features will get removed. The casino tips or casino life hacks that revolve around claiming bonuses will still be viable. But regulators aim to isolate a portion of the gamer community that is prone to developing a gambling addiction.


Recent Rule Changes

In September 2022 the UKGC added a few new rules that dictate how responsible operators need to conduct their business.

● Monitoring risk indicators in playing patterns

● Flagging user activity that corresponds to these risk indicators

● Implementing an automated response

● Providing data to UKGC that indicates high-risk behavior

● Users that are identified as risk profiles won’t receive ads and won’t be able to claim new bonuses

● Evaluation of user behavior after the measures have been implemented

The rules were designed with the goal of preventing harm or financial hazard that a player can experience due to gambling. Both operators and third-party providers they use need to comply with these new regulations

New Whitepaper

It’s been speculated for quite some time what is in the new Gambling Whitepaper. Near the end of last year, Paul Scully talked extensively about changing the Gambling Act and how to protect players more effectively while not taking away any enjoyment. Basically, he reiterated that we are all in the process of finding the right way to adapt to the gambling industry in a digital age. However, there is no concrete feedback on how new regulations will be implemented.

Many criticized how gambling advertisement issues did not receive the attention they deserve. And in all honesty, this is a difficult issue to address. A lot of jobs and a lot of companies are sponsored by the gambling industry. Even online casino sites are urging players to gamble responsibly, but many anti-gambling groups don’t feel this is enough. They want an outright ban on the ads, or for ads to say that gambling kills. With all this in mind, the above-mentioned changes do seem reasonable to an extent. The main issue is the lack of concrete information on what they entail.

Increased User Monitoring

One thing that is pretty apparent is that gambling sites and apps will probably request additional permissions or find another way to monitor users more closely. They will do so with supposed noble intentions but many feel skeptical about this. Already, people don’t like the idea of their personal data being collected by other companies. Even if these companies are regulated by the government, it doesn’t mean much to those who don’t trust the government.

In other words, they feel this is all a ploy for an excuse to gather additional data, and then sell it to brokers. Many platforms already do this, but those platforms are social sites that are free to use. Casino clearly takes player money whenever they play slots or place a bet. So, the idea they get additional payment from selling personal data doesn’t sit well.

In recent years we have seen an increase in crypto casinos and even no-account casinos that basically don’t require registration. On the surface, these look more appealing, but their safety is questionable. Many gaming commissions won’t license an operator that conducts business in this fashion.

What Does the Future Hold

It’s difficult to imagine that strict measures are going to have an overall positive impact. If the majority of players aren’t satisfied they might gravitate towards unlicensed off-shore providers. This would only create additional problems, especially if the player base you are trying to protect drifts off. So, the more likely scenario is that there won’t be massive changes to advertising and restrictions. An increase in monitoring of user behavior is highly likely. Furthermore, gambling companies might be obligated to support self-exclusion programs even more.

Conclusion

To sum up, the iGaming industry does pose a challenge to regulators but it can also be very useful for the economy. Moreover, charity events and good causes tend to be more successful when gambling features or lotteries are involved. Basically, people are more likely to help if they have a chance to win a meaningful prize. So, it’s difficult to argue that limiting access to this content will only bring about positive change.

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