UK Gambling Commission Updates Existing Fair Practices Guidelines

UK Gambling Commission Updates Existing Fair Practices Guidelines ( Click to Enlarge )

The UK Gambling Commission has recently made adjustments to its existing guidelines. These changes are focused around improving fair terms and practices. The guideline updates will require licensees to adjust their site practices accordingly.

UK Gambling Commission Outlines Improved Fair Terms and Practices

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission has recently released updates to its existing guidelines. These updated terms concern how licensees handle fair terms and daily operations. Its new guidance is set to take effect immediately.

The UKGC has overhauled its existing guidelines for how operators handle fairness and transparency in their day-to-day dealings with customers.

The UKGC noted that some of its licensed operators were following fairness policies that left something to be desired. In some cases, the operators current practices had the potential to cause harm to their player pool.

Additionally, the Commission noted that some operators have policies in place that give them undue power to apply terms unfavorably. This led the Commission to decide that a revamping of its official guidelines surrounding fairness was in order.

Some of the policies that the UKGC’s revised guidelines will address include the following:

  • Terms that permit operators to take unstaked deposits
  • Additional terms for handling customers’ funds when they are flagged for suspicious activity
  • Terms that allow licensees to reduce potential winnings on open bets
  • Promotions which allow operators to void winnings if a customer inadvertently breaks a rule while betting

These are a handful of the most serious offenses the UKGC is undertaking.

UKGC Sets Its Sights On Safer, Clearer Gameplay Rules For Its Licensees

The UKGC is prepared to step in and handle these potentially harmful terms on behalf of its citizens. The Commission has also noted that there are a few additional terms which might be problematic.

This includes convoluted or complicated terminology in operators’ official terms and conditions. In addition, it encompasses confusing stipulations on welcome and bonus offers. The new guidelines also address bonus offers that appear to encourage excessive wagering or play times.

Transparency in the industry is something that many regulatory bodies have been fighting for in recent years. This is especially true as more markets begin opening their borders to online gambling operators.

As the UKGC has rolled out these newly revised guidelines, it is now up to licensees to become familiar with them. The impetus will now rest on licensees to ensure that they are compliant with all of the updated terms.

This means that licensees must review their daily operations to make sure they are fully compliant with consumer protection laws. Licensees must be prepared to show concrete evidence proving their terms and conditions are as fair and transparent as possible.

Additionally, the UKGC recommends operators review all of their current welcome and bonus offers. According to the LCCP, all offers must be formed and presented in a socially responsible way. While it is ultimately up to players to wager responsibly, the UKGC adds another layer of protection.

This means that licensees must carefully balance the wording of their bonus offers.

How UKGC Licensees Are Likely to Proceed Under New Guidelines

All current operators under a UKGC license are expected to make reviewing these new guidelines a top priority. The Commission is expected to continue taking a closer look at how its licensees are handling fairness and transparency.

As operators update their practices to remain compliant, consumers are still able to lodge complaints with the casinos. If they feel that an operator does not address their complaints adequately, the Commission encourages further action.

Consumers are encouraged to refer unresolved complaints to an alternative dispute resolution provider. This gives players an additional level of professional assistance when they feel fairness and transparency guidelines have not been met.

The UKGC has clearly instructed ADR providers to consider all consumer protection legislation in these cases. This ensures that the dispute is resolved as fairly and completely as possible.

Operators must also remain compliant according to the Consumer Rights Act of 2015, which states “customers must be notified of material changes to terms before they come into effect.”

Additionally, the Commission has stated that the Competition and Markets Authority’s 2018 regulations should be used as a benchmark for compliance.

In a statement, the UKGC said to operators:

“You must adhere to the CMA’s principles in order to demonstrate compliance with licence conditions and to ensure that gambling is provided fairly. This is in line with the second licensing objective of ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way.”


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