HomeInsightsGambling Commission publishes update on new remote Customer Interaction requirements and guidance

In April 2022, the Commission published a set of new requirements, Social Responsibility (SR) Code Provision 3.4.3, which requires that remote gambling operators do more to identify customers at risk of harm. Guidance to assist operators to comply with these requirements was published in June 2022. These new requirements, and the accompanying guidance, were due to take effect on 12 September 2022.

The industry requested an extension to the timeframe for implementing these new requirements due to the technical challenges that some remote operators indicated they were facing in delivering full compliance by the 12 September deadline.

The Commission says that after careful consideration, it has decided that most of the new requirements will come into force as planned on 12 September, as remote gambling operators are already subject to a duty to conduct effective customer interaction, and the new requirements reflect the minimum steps that the Commission considers are necessary to meet that duty.

However, the Commission has also decided that the following requirements will not be brought into effect on 12 September 2022:

  • the requirement to take timely action where indicators of vulnerability are identified and to take account of the Commission’s approach to vulnerability as set out in the Commission’s guidance (paragraph 3); and
  • the requirement to prevent marketing and the take-up of new bonus offers where there are strong indicators of harm (paragraph 10).

The Commission will now consult further on matters associated with SR Code 3.4.3 by way of a consultation on the guidance document. Therefore, the requirement to consider the Commission’s guidance on customer interaction for remote operators (paragraph 2, and the reference to the guidance in paragraph 1) will also not be brought into effect in September.

The Commission says that the guidance is a living document which is intended to be amended over time. As part of the consultation, it will be particularly interested to hear about good practice in implementing the requirements, based on the lessons learned by operators during the period between April and September, and to hear about any implications arising out of recent research, evidence and casework.

The consultation is likely to be launched during late September and will last six weeks. Subject to consultation, the Commission’s provisional intention is to publish the guidance on the requirements in December 2022, with it taking effect approximately two months after publication. The Commission considers this will allow the industry a reasonable period to consider the guidance before it takes effect.

It is the Commission’s intention to bring the remaining requirements of SR Code 3.4.3 and the associated guidance into effect on 12 February 2023. To read the Commission’s update in full, click here.