At the end of June 2018, the UK Gambling Commission released a report which detailed the enforcement actions it has taken against operators over the last year.
High-profile incidences of the guidelines being enforced included:
- 888’s record fine of £7.8 million for ‘failing to protect vulnerable customers’
- William Hill’s £6.2 million penalty package for ‘breaching anti-money laundering and social responsibility regulations’
- 32Red’s £2 million fine for ‘failing to protect a problem gambler’
The report, whilst it might make uncomfortable reading for some of the operators who have fallen foul of the stricter guidelines, should be seen as a handy ‘what not to do’ list for gambling businesses.
Indeed, Neil McArthur, Chief Executive made it abundantly clear that the fines imposed, as well as being a punishment to the individual businesses, were intended as a wake-up call for the gambling industry at large.
“We want operators to pay attention to the lessons set out in this report.” He explained. “We want them to focus on ways to make gambling fairer and safer for consumers in Great Britain.”
It is not just a question of following the rules, however, and McArthur wants gambling operators to put effort, research and resources into improving their protection procedures.
“We also want gambling businesses to collaborate and to invest the same amount of resources into data, technology and research into building better protections for consumers, as they do to creating new products, or advertising and marketing campaigns.”
Finally, he called on the industry’s top operators to lead by example.
“This is a call to action to the leaders of operators to set the tone from the top, to lead a culture of compliance that puts doing the right thing for your customers first, and to strive to continuously raise standards for consumers.”
With compliance guidelines becoming ever more prohibitive, it is a call which gambling operators would do well to heed.