The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has praised the new guidelines rolled out by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), stating that the new measures are a clear demonstration of the industry’s commitment to drive up standards.
From 31 October, operators must establish whether ‘spending is affordable and sustainable as part of the customer’s leisure spend’ before making a customer a VIP. A full assessment of ‘whether there is evidence of gambling related harm, or heightened risk linked to vulnerability’ must also be carried out.
In addition, licence holders must ensure that they have up to date evidence relating to identity, occupation and source of funds. The UKGC also stated that they must continue to verify the information provided to them and conduct ongoing gambling harm checks on each individual to spot any signs of harm.
Responding to the Gambling Commission’s announcement on VIP schemes, Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC, said: “The BGC, working with the Gambling Commission, has taken tough action on VIP accounts, including the introduction of a strict new code of conduct which has seen the number of players enrolled in them reduced by 70%.
“The code restricts anyone aged under 25 from taking part, while any customer considered for a VIP reward programme must first pass rigorous safer gambling checks and be subject to ongoing checks on their betting behaviour.
“Reward programmes must be overseen by senior management and conducted in a clear and transparent way to prevent any betting-related harm. Operators are also banned from incentivising customers based on losses.
“This is further evidence of our commitment to driving up standards within our industry.”
The new guidelines follow on from a two-month consultation which analysed a series of proposed measures submitted by a working group led by the BGC and GVC.
The consultation focused upon improving standards relating to VIP incentives, responsible product and game design and online advertising.