The United Kingdom’s online gambling market remains to be the largest regulated gaming market in the world something that has both its merits and demerits. In a bid to get rid of the demerits, the UK Gambling Commission has been working tirelessly to ensure that the country’s gaming industry is not only safe for underage people and people at risk of gambling-related harm but also that it is fair and convenient for the millions of online gamblers who participate. The organization is going to ensure that this is met through a new set of rules and principles that were arrived at following extensive consultation with various industry stakeholders and they are expected to take effect as from May 7.
No More Grace Periods
Until May 7 when the new rules are implemented, operators will still be afforded the 72-hour grace period within which they will be required to verify the ages and identities of their customers. The new rules have slashed this grace period particularly because it was a loophole that allowed both underage gamblers as well as registered problem gamblers to access gaming services within that 72-hour buffer period. This move follows growing concern over the significantly large number of underage gamblers as revealed by recent market studies on the United Kingdom’s online gambling market. On the same note, the number of problem gamblers has also remained largely the same despite a number of efforts to curb the issue.
As per the terms of the new rules, all the online gaming operators will have to indiscriminately verify the ages and identities of their new customers before allowing them to access any form of gambling service for free or with their own money – this will go for the free spins, free bets and bonuses as well. As such, it will be up to the gaming operators to improve on their verification speeds in order to ensure that the eligible customers are able to access their services as fast as possible.
Safer and More Convenient Withdrawals
Last year, a CMA report revealed that one of the biggest concerns for online gaming consumers was the tedious withdrawal process that most operators subjected them to. In most, if not all cases, the operators required the customers to provide additional identification information from customers whenever they needed to withdraw funds from their casino accounts. Well, this will no longer be the case as from May 7 since the operators are not only going to be prohibited from asking for additional identification information as a withdrawal requirement but they will also be required to collect any of the relevant information beforehand. This way, withdrawals will be safer and much speedier. Great news for gamblers in the UK.