November 23, 2022
The GB Gambling Commission (the “Commission”) introduced new, more prescriptive customer interaction requirements for remote operators in April 2022, with the majority coming into effect on 12 September 2022. These fourteen requirements are set out in Social Responsibility Code Provision 3.4.3 (“SRC 3.4.3”).
SRC 3.4.3 envisages that the Commission will issue guidance on the interpretation and application of SRC 3.4.3 itself (the “Guidance”), and that operators must take such Guidance into account. The Commission initially published the Guidance in June 2022, with the original intention that it would take effect on 12 September 2022 (at the same time as all provisions of SRC 3.4.3 were due to come fully into force). However, neither the Guidance nor requirements 3 (consideration of the factors that might make a customer more vulnerable to gambling harms and implementation of systems/processes to take action where such vulnerability is identified) or 10 (prevention of the marketing and take up of new bonus offers where strong indicators of harm have been identified) of SRC 3.4.3 came into force on that date. At present, remote operators are not required to take into account the Guidance or any guidance specific to SRC 3.4.3.
The Commission’s hope by using the window created by the postponement of the coming into force of the entirety of SRC 3.4.3 (until February 2023) to consult on possible amendments to the Guidance is that: “there is a specific opportunity to use the consultation exercise to explore recent experiences of stakeholders in the implementation of a set of new requirements…and examples of good practice”.
Given the lack of clarity in parts of the current Guidance (see our previous blogs here and here the impact on operators in implementing, in full, some of the provisions of the Guidance, the consultation window is a valuable opportunity for remote operators to provide the Commission with feedback, details of any issues encountered or envisaged with executing the Guidance, and any relevant case studies.
Note that the consultation pertains to the Guidance only and does not include: (i) the requirements of SRC 3.4.3 itself; (ii) matters associated with affordability and spending thresholds; or (iii) anything associated with data sharing across operators to identify customers potentially at risk of harm (the ‘single customer view’).
The Commission has confirmed that, irrespective of this consultation, requirement 10 of SRC 3.4.3 will come into force on 12 February 2023 in any event.
The consultation window is open until 23 January 2023. The form to respond is here.
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