More changes afoot in 2021 in connection to Online Gambling Compliance
Over the last couple of years, it is fair to say that the online gambling landscape has changed considerably across a number of variables. Without a doubt, there are more options for people to gamble than ever before, especially with new sites in different regions launching on a monthly basis, while new and more legislation is being passed in different markets.
Certainly, in 2020, there were a number of significant changes in relation to online gambling compliance, and it has been predicted that this will be the case for 2021 as gambling commissions around the world aim to get a tighter grip on the industry.
Factor in that the global pandemic has meant that more people than ever before are engaging in online gambling activity and the potential need for more and tighter online gambling compliance does begin to make sense.
In 2020, changes to gambling compliance for sites that are regulated by the UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) saw significant new legislation. This included a ban on sites being able to offer credit cards as an option for players to deposit and withdraw in line with new and stricter controls on responsible gambling.
In addition, even stricter measures were introduced in line with the COVID-19 situation which meant that sites had to apply even tighter KYC (Know Your Customer) affordability checks due to the number of people who may have been impacted financially due to the crisis. This meant that there were affordability checks and more control over the number of bonuses available to people who may be in a position to abuse these.
Every site that operated within the UKGC framework had to be a member of the national self-exclusion scheme, GAMSTOP in the hope that problem gamblers could be prevented from accessing online gambling problems, while there were also stricter age verification processes introduced.
Below are currently certain elements that are reportedly being considered by the main gambling commissions as they look to build on changes from the last couple of years.
Newer Age Limits
This is an initiative that is currently being considered in the hope that it will help to contribute to a slowdown in problem gambling in an age group that is seen as most at risk. The UKGC currently has a legal gambling age limit of 18 and this could well be increased. Furthermore, the UKGC has announced that it is increasing the age limit on the purchase of physical lottery tickets and scratchcards from 16 to 18 in the hope that this will help to prevent this age group from developing a gambling problem at what is considered to be an early age.
Tougher Advertising Laws
A change that has been in the pipeline for a considerable amount of time and one which has sparked a certain amount of debate. It relates to the amount of gambling exposure to young children, not only in the form of traditional advertising but also sponsorships. Sports partnerships, in particular, have been of considerable concern to the UKGC with children exposed to gambling operators at events such as football matches. Already a significant amount of football clubs have sponsorship deals with gambling companies and as such their logos adorn many team’s football shirts and merchandise, which is available to children.
More Robust Licensing Requirements
While the UKGC is considered to be one of the most well-respected regulators in the industry, with rigorous measures in place already, it is anticipated that these will increase. It is thought that these will be in line with better responsible gambling measures, while there is also likely to be a tightening of sanctions on companies who do not comply with the regulation.
Written for onlinecasinosrealmoney.co.nz by Adiela de Bruyn on 04-01-2021