We Asked, You Said, We Did

You can see some of the issues we have recently consulted on and their outcomes on our website.

We asked

In February of 2023 we consulted on three proposed amendments to our Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) requirements on gambling businesses for multi-operator self-exclusion, notification of deaths by suicide and a technical update relating to payment services.  

The detailed proposals were to: 

  1. change Social Responsibility (SR) Code Provision 3.5.5 - Remote multi-operator self-exclusion to extend the requirement to participate in the GAMSTOP multi-operator self-exclusion scheme to all gambling licensees that make and accept bets by telephone and email.​ 

  1. add a requirement to Licence Condition 15.2.2 - Other reportable events that would require all gambling licensees to inform us when they become aware that a person who has gambled with them has died by suicide.​ 

  1. amend the text of Licence Condition 5.1.2 – Payment methods and services to ensure that the condition reflects the current legislative provisions plus a further amendment to ensure that the condition also reflects any further legislative amendments that might come into force in the future.

You said

We received 77 written responses to the consultation from a wide range of stakeholders, including consumers, people with lived experience of harm, gambling business, charities and academics.   

We have reviewed the responses to each of the three proposals and they have informed our final position.  

There was generally good support for the proposal to extend the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme to additional categories of betting licensee, we received some mixed views on the proposal to add a new reporting requirement for notification of deaths by suicide and had a generally positive response to the proposal to update the existing licence condition on payment methods and services. 

We did

We have carefully considered all of the responses to the consultation proposals and have decided to proceed with all three proposed LCCP changes. 

We have decided to extend the requirement to participate in the GAMSTOP multi-operator self-exclusion scheme to all gambling businesses that make and accept bets by telephone and email. Our primary focus here has been on assessing the risk of harm (in particular for consumers who are vulnerable) as well as the benefits to consumers of clarity and uniformity of approach, alongside the additional costs faced by gambling licensees. This updated requirement will come into force on 1 April 2024. 

We have decided to add a requirement for all gambling businesses to inform us when they become aware that a person who has gambled with them has died by suicide. Our assessment of the impact of adding the death by suicide reporting requirement to LCCP is that it will have a relatively modest impact on licensees which feels both reasonable and proportionate. This new requirement will come into force on 1 April 2024.

We have decided to update the existing condition on payment methods and services to reflect the current legislative provisions and ensure that the condition is suitably future proofed against any further simple legislative changes. This updated requirement will come into force on 31 January 2024.

You can read more about the response to this consultation and our next steps on our consultations page

We asked

From December 2020 to February 2021, we consulted on proposals to change the research methodology we use to collect adult gambling participation and problem gambling prevalence statistics.

The consultation outlined proposals to improve the quality, robustness and timeliness of our participation and prevalence official statistics. Specifically, the proposals sought to:

  • Develop a single, gold standard population survey for the whole of Great Britain
  • Consolidate current surveys into one population survey
  • Review and refresh the gambling activities included in the participation questions
  • Improve the frequency and turnaround time of the survey data
  • Explore more future proof data collections methods
  • Implement a new methodology from 2022, subject to a satisfactory pilot.

You said

We received 62 responses from individuals, academics, operators, charities and trade associations. Our proposals were well supported, with an average of two-thirds of respondents agreeing with our proposals and only one in five disagreeing.

On this basis, we decided to proceed with our intention to pilot a new methodology approach in 2021/22 and subject to its successful completion, move to implementing a new methodology on a permanent basis from 2022/23. 

We did

We have now issued an invitation to tender via the Research Marketplace to find a suitable supplier to undertake a pilot methodology in 2021/22. We are aiming for the pilot to start in October 2021 and run until March 2022.  

One of the proposals that we consulted on was around the opportunity to review and refresh the gambling activities included in the participation questions in the survey. This was highly supported in the consultation on the basis that stakeholders could feed into the questionnaire design. Therefore, one of the first tasks for the pilot will be a stakeholder engagement phase where we ask for feedback on the gambling activities currently included and how the participation question could be improved.

We will publish an evaluation of the pilot upon its conclusion and make recommendations for next steps. 

We asked

In 2021, we closed a consultation and call for evidence on the steps operators should be required to take to identify customers at risk of harm and the action they should take as a result. We also conducted a short survey alongside this process.

The consultation section explored the following proposals:

  • Proposal 1: Require operators to implement effective customer interaction processes and follow the overall process of identify, interact/ act and to evaluate.
  • Proposal 2: Require operators to monitor an account from the point of opening, to use a set of minimum indicators of harm, to require timely flagging of indicators of harm (including feeding in to automated solutions) and to clarify that operators are responsible for implementing these requirements even where there is a third party provider. We also proposed that there would be additional requirements for specific indicators put in place now (vulnerability and time) and in the future (unaffordable gambling).
  • Proposal 3: Clarify that an operator must take action in a timely manner when potential harm is identified, and tailor that action to the nature of the indicators. For indicators that the operator classes as ‘strong’, we proposed that this must include automated solutions.
  • Proposal 4: Require operators to evaluate the effectiveness of their approach on the individual customer and the overall effectiveness of their approach.

You said

We received around 13,000 responses to the consultation and short survey. Responses came from a wide range of stakeholders - consumers, people with lived experience of harm, gambling businesses, academics and others.

We have carefully reviewed the responses. There were a wide range of views. Many people think there should be protections in place for the most vulnerable and that appropriate checks should be in place to identify and prevent cases of clearly unaffordable gambling. Many respondents emphasised that measures should be proportionate and targeted at those at risk of harm. At the same time, customers were also concerned about privacy and freedom of choice.

It was clear that the Commission should continue as planned with a further consultation on the topic of unaffordable gambling to allow these issues to be explored further.

In the meantime, the Commission took account of the detailed comments we received on the proposals for other actions which operators must deliver to identify and take action for customers at risk of harm.

We did

We have continued to gather new evidence and review operator progress, and we have been working with Government to take account of the Review of the Gambling Act 2005.

We will bring into effect significant and strengthened requirements on gambling businesses to identify customers at risk of harm and to take action as a result. This sets new and stronger minimum standards for operators, which will come into effect on 12 September 2022. Operators will be required to:

  • monitor a specific range of indicators, as a minimum, to identify gambling harm
  • flag indicators of harm and take action in a timely manner
  • implement automated processes for strong indicators of harm
  • prevent marketing and the take-up of new bonuses for at risk customers
  • evaluate their interactions and ensure they interact with consumers at least at the level of problem gambling for the relevant activity
  • evidence their customer interaction evaluation to the Gambling Commission during routine casework
  • comply with these requirements at all times, this includes ensuring the compliance of third-party providers.

New guidance, which operators are required to take account of, will be issued during June 2022 to help them understand and comply with the requirements. We will engage with operators to enable the guidance to take account of queries we receive about the requirements following publication.

In the next phase of our programme of work to make online gambling fairer and safer, the Commission will proceed as planned and consult further on identifying customers who are financially vulnerable and tackling significant unaffordable gambling. Further updates will be provided when the consultation launches.

You can read more about the response to this consultation and our next steps on our consultations page.

We asked

The Gambling Commission consulted on a proposal to maintain transparency to customers when the exclusive horse-race pool betting licence ends on 12 July this year. To do this, we proposed extending the existing requirement, set out in our Licence conditions and codes of practice, that applied to pool betting on dog races, to also apply to horse-race pool betting.

In proposing this change, we considered that the transparency requirements should apply to all pool betting - for example dogs, horse-race, and football pool betting.

You said

We received responses from individuals, trade associations and business. The majority were in favour of the proposal for the purposes of transparency to consumers, and consistency between different forms of pool betting.

Two respondents supported the proposals but raised a number of queries about how to interpret the transparency requirements for horse-race pool betting, which they considered to be much more complex than pool betting on dog races and potentially requiring a degree of flexibility to accommodate those complexities.

One respondent considered that the proposals should be extended to cover additional areas such as the source of liquidity in pools.

We did

We have implemented the extension of existing requirements from pool betting on dog races to other forms of pool betting, including horse-race pool betting. This will come into effect from 13 July.

The detailed questions which were raised by respondents will be addressed in guidance to be made available on our website very shortly. This will set out further guidance on how to interpret the requirements relating to ‘potential dividend returns’ and ‘unit stakes’. This guidance reflects the  principle that consumers understand the bets being offered to them - what they could win in the case of win and place bets or what is available to be won for combination bets.

In due course, we will also issue guidance to businesses on further issues which we consider necessary to maintain basic transparency to consumers. This will cover liquidity and seeding of pools. Operators may choose various strategies to enhance prize pools, examples being but not limited to, offering minimum guaranteed returns or by purchasing entries within the pools (be that directly or indirectly). In circumstances where operators are applying strategies to their own pools, they should make all customers aware.  As a minimum, this information should be included in readily accessible terms and conditions. Operators must ensure that all customers are treated equally through the application of a single pool closing time and the provision of consistent information about pool sizes and selections made.