Don’t gamble with your operating licence

The Gambling Commission has recently unveiled their new strategy to enforce stronger penalties for operators who do not adequately guard against money laundering, problem gamblers or who fail to provide a fair and adequate service. Sarah Harrison, the Commissions Chief Executive, has said they would take “tough action” against any operators who do not comply with the latest changes which are designed to put the customer first and increase social responsibility. This comes in the wake of the news that some major gambling operators faced large voluntary settlements for failing to protect against money laundering and problem gambling, and others who offered unfair sign up promotions.

Key Changes

License holders both inside and outside Great Britain will be required to continuously monitor money laundering risks and keep up to date assessments, whilst actively managing risks with appropriate procedures.

Advertisements must not be placed on websites which infringe on copyright laws (for example torrent sites), and operators are required to ensure that any affiliates or third parties working on their behalf also comply.

There will be tighter controls on the placement and use of gaming machines including ensuring adequate supervision and distinctions between the use of gaming machines in different types of licensed gambling premises.

License holders will be expected to ensure that bets are not in breach of any rules from sporting or other governing bodies and must void any bets which don’t comply. Employers will require employees to report any indicators of suspicious or irregular betting and prevent employees from using information to their own advantage.

Operators will be forced to comply with consumer law, particularly with reference to sign up offers, some of which have been accused of being misleading, with complicated terms and conditions which prevent customers from withdrawing winnings.

Sarah Harrison has made it quite clear that operators will be held on a tight leash from now on. “The gambling industry should be under no illusion that if they don’t comply with consumer law, we will see this as a breach of their operating licence, and take decisive action,” she said.