Safer Gambling Spotlight

Published on Apr 17, 2024

The Current State of Play

The long-awaited 2023 U.K white paper promised a new age of gambling regulation. This public consultation process focused on how to reform gambling for the digital age and curb gambling harm. We are now beginning to see some of the impacts from this consultation take shape and both regulators and operators globally are watching closely.

The Gambling Survey

As part of the consultation, the Gambling Commission developed the Gambling Survey for Great Britain (GSGB) to better understand how widespread ‘problem gambling’ is in the country. This independent assessment has been endorsed by Professor Patrick Sturgis, London School of Economics, however it has proven controversial with some accusing the commission of ‘stoking the fire’. This controversy comes as no surprise as the results of the commission will impact greatly on incoming regulation. The annual survey will include 20,000 participants, making it one of the largest gambling projects globally.  

Early Findings

The first findings of this survey project were recently released:  

  • Overall participation in gambling activity was 48%  
  • The national lottery is the most popular form of gambling with draws purchased by 31% of respondents 
  • Excluding lottery, 18% of respondents participated in land-based gambling with 16% taking part in online gambling  
  • The most popular reason for why respondents gambled was for the fun/enjoyment or for monetary reasons. 

There were no questions related to problem gambling in this first edition. Notably the Commission's survey from November 2023 had found that rates of problem gambling may be eight times higher than previously thought. However, some in the industry challenge these assertions and the methodology used for these studies  

Implementation of White Paper

We have already seen the implementation of new limits as a result of the consultation, with a £2 maximum limit being imposed for under 25s playing online slots. This move aims to protect vulnerable young people from gambling harm. Further responses to white paper measures which include financial risk checks will be published soon.  

Michael Dugher, Chair of the Betting and Gaming Council, welcomed the government decision but warned of “customers drifting to the unsafe, unregulated black market online if we don’t tread carefully and get the balance of regulation right.” Yield Sec has reported on vulnerable players being targeted directly by illegal operators, with the overall black market purported to be 4% of the total gambling market share and gross gaming revenue (GGR). The growth of this market leads to a drop in tax revenue from gambling and therefore a reduction in funds for safer gambling initiatives.  

A Year of Uncertainty Ahead

As the global gambling and gaming industry awaits further results from the Gambling Survey, they know to expect regulatory uncertainty. The U.K. is not alone in shining a spotlight on revamping safer gambling measures and regulators globally will be following developments closely.  

As a result, firms must ensure that their approach to regulation and compliance can adequately scale and manage fast-changing regulation, or they face the ever-present risk of enforcement action. Those that do so by compliantly onboarding more players faster and dynamically managing risk may well manage to get ahead of the curve and gain a competitive advantage. Compliance could yet be the big differentiator. 

Our CLM platform

KYC360’s suite of Customer Lifecycle Management software solutions is designed to transform your business processes enabling you to outperform commercially through operational efficiency gains and superior CX whilst remaining fully compliant with evolving regulatory standards.

Consolidate your system stack and data vendor relationships with one platform to cover all Onboarding, pKYC and Screening tasks featuring pre-integrated data sources under a single license agreement.

Architected for rapid deployment with guaranteed rapid ROI the KYC360 end-to-end no-code SaaS platform is flexible, fully configurable and modular so that you option and pay only for the functionality you need.

Download the brochure



Advance your CPD minutes for this content,
by signing up and using the CPD Wallet

Get started