Whitepaper into the Gambling Act 2005 review
Maris Catania – Senior Responsible Gaming Consultant, SG:certified
Although it has just been published, after examining the initial summaries and take-aways, I think overall this white paper shows a forward-thinking approach to safer gambling, especially with more focus for people up to the age of 25. Although it does recognise the importance of markers of harm, the introduction of the financial risk checks is a great approach, especially since this can prevent binge gambling or unaffordable losses. The only concern is on the latter, as some consumers might spend these amounts across different operators thus missing the financial checks but still gambling high amounts. Per se, falling under the said limit across different operators but when adding up the amounts, this can be quite high.
Nonetheless, on that point, it is great to see that there is a commitment to a single customer view. This can really assist with preventing cross operator harm and it can also improve consumer protection and experience. If possible, this type of data gathering can also greatly assist researchers, where in more research studies published, a limitation has always been that the data corresponds to activity from one operator only.
Although there is no blanket rule about how much of the income should be dedicated to gambling, hopefully this is not used as an excuse by the industry to inflate this number. It would be concerning if the industry allows a gambler to gamble close to the full amount of their salary. I do agree with informed decisions, and I think it is good to consider player set deposit limits as opposed to blanket limits. It is reassuring to see that the aim is to have empirically based approaches on this topic.
Marketing reductions were expected, but there needs to be an understanding that in the online world, it is rather difficult to limit this, and more efforts should be placed on affiliate marketing. Although this is placed on the operator, a shared responsibility might increase the commitment. The levy is great but it should be done in the best manner possible to ensure that funding is distributed appropriately.
Although it is beneficial to consider product risk aspects, I think more research needs to be dedicated towards this especially when it comes to the amount of the stake limit. There are several other aspects that can correspond to high risk on a product perspective which are still present with a stake limit.