Ahead of the publication of the White Paper on gambling reforms in the UK, the gambling regulator, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), updated its consumer protection guidance. This was done to help gambling operators understand the new rules that will apply to their operations starting on 12 September.
While the UKGC is taking additional steps to protect consumers, there has been a brand new deal between a gambling business and a UK football club. This partnership comes despite the warnings about possible reform in the Gambling Act that would ban football club sponsorships by gambling businesses.
Recently, members of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) donated £1.2 million to charities. The donation profits were generated through the Britannia Stakes horse race at Royal Ascot. Among the brands that participated in the charity, there were names like Flutter Entertainment, Entain, Bet365, William Hill, and more.
UKGC Publishes New Guidelines for Customer Protection
In April, the UKGC published a new set of rules that gambling operators were required to follow to be able to identify players at risk of harm and take the needed actions to protect them. Last week, the regulator updated the said customer protection guidance, getting operators prepared for the set of rules that will come into effect on 12 September.
Before gambling operators are required to abide by the new guidelines, the current guidance and the additional guidance that was introduced during the pandemic will continue to apply. Meanwhile, the new guidance that was published by the UKGC last week includes further information on how operators should identify players at risk of harm and learn to notice indicators of harm. The guidance also offers information on when operators should implement automated systems and processes and learn to assess the effect of customer interactions.
Andrew Rhodes, Chief Executive of UKGC, said the new guidance’s purpose is to help operators to get used to the stronger requirements that will come into effect in September. According to Rhodes, the Commission gives gambling businesses enough time to prepare for the new guidance and fully comply with the more stringent rules.
The new customer protection guidance is a part of the continuous efforts of the UKGC to make the gambling environment in the UK safer. The regulatory body will soon provide more information on the ways three major financial risks can be tackled. These include binge gambling, long-term losses that exceed affordable amounts, and financially vulnerable people exposed to different risks.
The aforementioned guidance on tackling risks is a part of the UKGC’s effort to ensure best practice, identify customers at risk and provide the required help. The Single Customer View and the development of best practice algorithms are also included in the work of the Commission.
New Sponsorship Between Football Club and Gambling Company Despite Criticisms over Gambling Deals
Last week, the UK football club Everton FC signed a deal with crypto casino Stake. The gambling operator is going to be the club’s main sponsor after Everton lost all of its previous sponsorship deals due to the sanctions that resulted from the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
The new deal came about shortly after Stake announced the rapper Drake as its global brand ambassador, with the Canadian celebrity recently promoting the website’s casino section during a live stream.
The deal between Stake and the Premier League team was announced amidst other PL clubs giving up on gambling sponsorships. With the White Paper on gambling reforms due to be published very soon, it has been speculated that the changes in the Gambling Act may also include a complete ban on gambling sponsorships.
Despite acknowledging the issue that may arise from gambling sponsorships, the football club may not budge on the partnership with Stake as it needs to recover from losses in the past three seasons that amounted to £372 million.
Royal Ascot Horse Race Contributes £1.2 Million to Charities Thanks to BGC Donations
Members of BGC made a generous donation of £1.2 million to charities. The funds were generated thanks to the Britannia Stakes horse race that was held at Royal Ascot the previous week. Paddy Power, Betfair, and Sky Bet, all owned by Flutter Entertainment, participated in the charity event. Ladbrokes and Coral, owned by Entain, also joined the other members of BGC and contributed to the charity donation.
Other brands that were also a part of the scheme that donated all the race profits to various charities included 888, Bet365, William Hill, BetVictor, Betway, Kindred, Rank Group, the Tote, Virgin Bet, Fitzdaresm, and Bet with Ascot.
Jockey Ryan Moore rode the 70th winner of the Royal Ascot race and the prize of £1.2 million was split between several charities. The donation was distributed to the Ascot Racecourse Supports Community Fund, Cotswold Riding for the Disabled, The Ivors Academy Trust, The Soldiers’ Charity, and Sue Ryder.