A stricter new license conditions re com in the UK gambling scene as the gambling commission began to consult for the feedback from all the parties involved in online gambling. This could affect the many real money online casinos that target Indian players.
Since the start of the year, the UK Gambling Commission is cracking down on different gambling industries. The UK gambling watchdog is reviewing its operators if they have enough policies and procedures that can help problem gamblers and cope with international money laundering problems. Lawmakers in the UK also continue to tighten their gambling regulations
On Tuesday, November 3, the commission began looking for views of feedback from the gambling industry. The commission isn’t only seeking opinions from the operators, they are also getting views from the casino players and stakeholders. The UK Gambling Commission announced that they will continue to accept feedback until January 12, 2021.
Seeking feedback to battle gambling harm
UK Gambling Commission is seeking feedback from all the parties involved to find the best way for its licensed online casino operators to identify problem gamblers among its members.
According to them, they will use the data that they have gathered to present a proposal that would be able to allow its licensees to deal with problem gambling in the most efficient way. The commission wants to establish mechanisms that could be used to prevent any harmful behaviors from gambling.
The commission also wanted to conduct an assessment on whether licensees’ customers have enough funds to afford their gambling habit. They added that their licensed online casino operators should be capable of identifying and assessing whether their members have enough money to gamble and react if they notice that their players were no longer able to control their gambling activity.
To assess the issue of problem gamblers, the commission wanted to introduce affordability checks. The UK Gambling regulator will require its licensees to provide evidence that the thresholds set are implemented.
How will this affect Indian online casinos?
Since most of the online casinos in India got their license in the UK, they will be affected by these changes. These casino websites need to follow these rules. Failure to do this may result in the loss of their gambling license.
Because of the unclear regulations in the country, anyone in most States can sign up for a casino account online and place their bet. The Public Gaming Act of 1867 is the only legislation relating to gambling in the country but it did not mention anything about online gambling in India. Moreover, international online casinos attract Indian players with their signup offers and other bonuses.
Over the years, several cases of suicide have been recorded in India related to online gambling. Some of the victims include students who used their savings to play in an online casino. If tougher license conditions are implemented, the Indian online casino operator itself can reduce gambling harms.
Some operators failed reducing gambling harms
UK Gambling Commission stated that its licensees are capable of identifying customers who may be at risk with their gambling. But according to the gambling commission, the current situation shows that the industry failed to use their capability to deal with gambling harm
Executive Director of UKGC Tim Miller said that some locally licensed operators had improved how they interacted with their customers but there are still numbers of online casino operators that continued ignoring the threshold set by the regulator.
Miller noted that this negligence will put players in danger. He also added that operators should identify those players at risk before it’s too late.
The news about the gambling commission’s consultation arises after they found out three gambling operators in the UK are lacking procedures and policies in their social responsibility and anti-money laundering practices.
Last October, the commission found out that BGO Entertainment, GAN plc, and NetBet Enterprises Limited doesn’t have enough policies and procedure to fight money laundering, criminal spending, and gambling harm.
As a consequence, the condition added new conditions on its license. These include but not limited to carrying out extra social responsibility and anti-money laundering checks on its top customers.
The commission also requires GAN PLC to ensure that its personal management will take extra training.
As part of the consequence, the commission also required the operator to pay a total of £2.894 million or approximately INR 254.866 million.
BGO entertainment will have to pay £2 Million (INR 176.127 million); GAN PLC will also pay £146,000 (INR 128.573 million; while NetBet Enterprises will have to pay £748,000 (INR 658.716 million). The money collected will be used toward the implementation of “National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms”, which is another project of the commission.