The Gambling Commission has commenced a much-anticipated consultation on measures to “reduce gambling harms and help consumers in dispute with operators”.
Three issues will be considered:
Customer Interaction – the Commission is requesting views on strengthening “expectations on identifying and interacting with customers, evaluating what works, and taking into account the regulator’s guidance on customer interaction”. This will lead to changes to LCCP social responsibility (SR) code provision 3.4.1 (Customer Interaction) and associated ordinary code provision 3.4.2. Almost every public statement issued by the Commission following enforcement action in the last couple years has cited a breach of 3.4.1. The obligation to not only interact with customers but to do so “effectively” is so open to interpretation and the resulting uncertainty is disadvantageous to operators but, more importantly, customers. It will be interesting to see if the Commission adopts a more prescriptive approach to regulating this notoriously complex area.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) – the Commission is asking “whether it should require operators to only use ADR providers who have met additional standards it has set.”
Gambling blocking software – the regulator is also “seeking views through a call for evidence on whether operators should have to provide access to blocking software free of charge to customers, and how this could most effectively be delivered”.
The consultation can be accessed here.