As we roll into 2021 it is under extraordinary circumstances as Covid19 continues having a profound effect on all aspects of our lives, changing the way we work, socialise, learn and source our entertainment.
Just like any other part of the economy, the gambling industry is feeling the consequences of Lockdown which are sure to bring significant challenges for the coming years. As social distancing measures continue, the majority of us, unless we are key workers, will be remaining at home for most of the day attempting to keep each other as safe as possible. This need for the hospitality industry to remain closed has resulted in the increased use of online slots, casino gaming sites like Fruity KIng, poker and virtual sports as players turn to the internet in order to find their favourite games.
Unprecedented times call for flexibility
The UK Gambling Commission is well aware that some of the target dates that are set out for 2020-21 may have to flex during the stressful conditions we find ourselves in, and it is also very aware that gambling related harm needs to be reduced, especially as more people turn to the anonymity of the internet.
The online casino market accounts for 29% of the gross gambling yield in an industry that is worth close to £15 billion – long before the threat of the CoronaVirus came into our lives the remote betting and gaming numbers were steadily increasing tipping the balance from the high street.
The key initiatives in brief
- To Protect the Interest of Consumers
- To Raise the Standards in the Gambling Market
- To Prevent as Much Gambling Harm to Consumers and the Public as Possible
- To Improve the Way the Gambling Commission Regulates
- To Optimise the REturns to Good Causes From Lotteries
*The National Lottery licence ends in 2023 so there is to be a fair and open competition set for the next National Lottery licence focusing on finding the right operator who will protect and innovate players with integrity.
One of the continued major priorities of the UK Gambling Commission will be protecting vulnerable people including children from being exploited or harmed by gambling and to this end the industry will be pushed to create a safer market for all of their customers with the Gambling Commission supporting the industry to bring into force and continue evaluating the points set out below.
- Customer Interaction
- Responsible Product Design
- Markers of Harm
- Single Customer View
- The Correct use of Advertising Technology in Order to Minimise the Exposure of Vulnerable People and Children to Gambling Related Products.
By the raising of standards in the gambling market it is predicted that the online gambling sector will be safer through targeted action. The Gambling Commission will also deliver industry events and a programme of initiatives which will raise standards.
The Commission also intends to establish the case for changes to Gambling Commission fees and provide advice to DCMS as well as publishing transparent and jargon free documentation about their Corporate Governance process.
The gambling license application process is to be improved and the digital services are to be accessibility compliant.
Everything the Gambling Commission is putting into place is centered around making gambling a safer, more enjoyable experience whilst identifying the risks that gambling can present to some consumers and members of the general public. It is hoped that the UK Government’s planned review of the Gambling Act is met with a fair response.