This week several of the leading licensed UK iGaming operators have announced five pledges which they will adhere to with a view to enhancing and improving safer gambling.
The operators which include the likes of bet365, William Hill and GVC Holdings who own and operate Ladbrokes Coral, in making these pledges will no doubt be welcomed by the industry as a whole.
The pledges that the operators have signed up to and which will be independently monitored are:
- The prevention of underage gambling and protect young people.
- Increase support for treatment of gambling harm.
- Strengthen and expand codes of practice for advertising and marketing.
- Protect and empower our customers.
- Promote a culture of safer gambling.
Strengthening the code of practice for advertising and marketing is in particular an area where operators are continuing to strive to improve on. Especially in light of the UK Gambling Commission having handed out several penalty packages to their licensees during this time.
Online marketing and advertising of iGaming properties, especially by third parties such as affiliates has come under the spotlight over the past few years, with the Gambling Commission alongside the Advertising Standards Authority introducing strict criteria and regulations concerning what can and cannot be done.
For example, when promoting and advertising online introductory offers for new players at any UK licensed online casino, links to the terms and conditions have to be clearly highlighted and made available.
Only a few month ago the Gambling Commission sent out an email to all their licensees stressing the importance of operators to put compliance with the UKGC regulations above everything else, including the marketing activities an operator undertakes.
Another aspect which is covered by the pledges listed above, that the Gambling Commission have been seen to take action over, is that of the prevention of underage gambling and the protection of young people.
Back on the 7th May 2019 the UKGC introduced compulsory age and identity verification checks, prior to allowing players to deposit at any UK licensed iGaming site. At the same time, an verified age verification process had to be implemented, before any visitor to a site ( whether owned by an operator or an affiliate marketing partner ) could access and play free play games.
Whether the announced pledges and actions will head off any draconian action with regards stake and bet limits on online games remains to be seen.