Bets Are Off: UK’s Betting and Gaming Council Introduces Raft of New Rules
The UK’s Betting and Gaming Council, or BGC, has once again preemptively made moves to curtail some aspects of its members’ activities – before the government or regulators get there.
The BGC is the biggest trade group in the UK’s gambling arena and represents some of Europe’s biggest gambling names. These include Flutter Entertainment, Kindred Group, Microgaming, Evolution Gaming, Betsson AB, The Rank Group, and many more.
The incoming code of conduct changes are not legally enforceable by the BGC and are merely recommendations to its members.
However, BGC members have mostly followed such recommendations in the past. This includes a moratorium on TV advertising throughout the first peak of the coronavirus pandemic in the UK, which operators stuck to.
This set of new rules also mirrors some of the changes put forward to public proposal in July by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, or UKGC.
That means operators should be even more inclined to put the recommendations into action now, as they may well become law in the next few years anyway.
Commitment to Improving Standards
The new recommendations include:
- A minimum speed of 2.5 seconds per spin on slot games
- No more turbo mode on slots
- No more multi-play slot games – only one can be played at a time
- No VIP rewards for customers under 25
- More KYC checks on VIP customers
- A dedicated VIP program executive to ensure accountability
The BGC is putting the new standards in place from the end of September. However, it’s not certain how tough it will be on companies that don’t or can’t make the changes quickly enough.
“The BGC was set up with the aim of leading a race to the top in terms of standards within the regulated betting industry,”BGC’s Chief Executive Michael Dugher
“And as we prepare for the forthcoming Gambling Review, it is further evidence of our industry’s commitment to improving standards of player safety,”BGC’s Chief Executive Michael Dugher
The first few rules have been on the table for a while. However, the overhaul of VIP schemes may have been influenced by the recent case of a Scottish gambler who is suing betting shop chain Ladbrokes for £3 million ($3.858 million).
Mr. Terry Allan is asking for most of several years’ gambling spend to be returned to him after he illegally gambled millions with Ladbrokes while on holiday in Spain. He claims that Ladbrokes staff must have been aware he wasn’t in the country and thus unable to place legal bets, and he has records to prove it.
The new checks on VIP customers will begin before they are allowed to sign up and will continue at random points throughout the year – or after changes in spending habits. These will include KYC procedures, such as proof of income.
Many businesses in the UK will be in the eye of the media and the public right now, as the recent FinCen business papers leak showed that the country is often mentioned in dodgy financial deals and money laundering across the globe.
The UK betting sector will not want to risk being associated with any of that, so taking more proactive steps to vet high-rolling customers is hardly a surprising step.
For the latest updates on the UK’s gambling market and all the other big betting stories from around the world, make sure to keep up with online.casino/news.