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Invitation to the public to voice their opinions on gambling regulation 22/02/18
• The UKGC are inviting gambling businesses, stakeholders and members of the public to voice their opinion on proposed changes to regulations linked to marketing and advertising, unfair terms and complaints and disputes.

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission have been working with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) to look at whether the terms, conditions and practices that licensees use are fair and transparent, especially around bonus offers. This work flows from UK consumer protection legislation, which licensees must obey.

They are proposing changes to our licence conditions to make clear to licensees that they must obey relevant consumer protection legislation at all stages of dealing with consumers, and not only when designing marketing materials.

Proposed changes to licence conditions and codes of practice linked to the fair and open licensing objective

The LCCP sets out the requirements operators must meet to hold a licence with the Gambling Commission. They are proposing changes that make clearer our requirements that operators are fair and open with consumers.

The proposals are based on evidence of potential harm or unfair treatment to consumers, concerns about lack of compliance with consumer protection legislation, declining public trust in gambling, and concerns about the impact of gambling on children and young or vulnerable people.

These proposals will support our three-year strategy, which sets out how they will work with our partners to deliver a gambling market that works for consumers. They represent only a part of the work they are taking forwards to help protect the interests of consumers.

Marketing and advertising
  • ensuring that licensees adhere to the UK Advertising Codes
  • making our current requirements about misleading advertising clearer to licensees
  • introducing a new requirement to prevent consumers from receiving ‘spam’ marketing by email or SMS
  • making clear to licensees that they are responsible for the actions of any third party organisations that they use.
Unfair terms
  • making clear that licensees must obey all relevant Consumer Protection legislation at all stages of dealing with consumers and not only when designing marketing
  • materials including consumer notices as a licence condition.
Complaints and disputes
  • making clearer that they expect licensees to handle complaints in a fair, open, timely, transparent and effective manner
  • introducing an eight-week time limit for licensees to deal with gambling complaints and disputes
  • introducing new advice to licensees on receiving and handling complaints
  • seeking views on our approach to simplify and streamline complaints processes, including work they are taking forward to develop a framework of additional standards for approved ADR providers in the gambling industry.
Not all of the information that licensees prepare for consumers is easy to understand. They are seeking views on whether they should introduce a standard of readability that all licensees must meet when preparing consumer-facing material.

Through the proposals they want to:

  • make clear what outcomes they require operators to meet in terms of treating consumers in a fair and open manner
  • improve our regulatory tools to support good practices by licensees, and tackle poor practices
  • permit licensees to design policies and procedures that best suit the needs to their business
  • provide advice which licensees must have regard to, rather than prescribing action where necessary.
This consultation will be of interest to all gambling operators, gambling customers, and to bodies or individuals with an interest in the regulation of gambling.

They would like you to share your own evidence and examples of good practice on the topics for consultation.

They are also interested in your view of the impact the issues and proposals may have on your business, including how these might be potentially mitigated.

Please send your completed response form, or just send your thoughts, to

by 5pm on Sunday 22 April 2018.