UK Gambling Commission to set VIP Age Limit to 25
by Glenn Baird - April 2, 2020
The UK’s gambling regulator, the UKGC, has decided to enforce an age restriction of 25 years on any VIP schemes or offers from casinos in the UK.
An agreement has also been met to slow down the speed at which slot games spin, with both measures been taken in order to help create a safer online environment for UK gamblers.
Yesterday, the UKGC announced that they had been working with UK operators and on three separate issues and that despite making good progress they would be looking to “go further”.
The regulator had established 4 working groups, made up of representatives from major UK betting companies to get together and discuss changes that could be made to make online gambling a safer experience for consumers.
One group focused on VIP schemes and offers and with discussions leading to the UKGC agreeing to “restrict and prevent customers under 25 years of age from being recruited” into these incentive programs.
“Customers who are old enough to be recruited into these programs will have to pass “thorough” checks of their finances and gambling activity. VIP programs will also need to have “full audit trails detailing decision-making with specified senior oversight and accountability.”
Whilst further discussions will need to take place and additional details ironed out, it is estimated that these new measures will come into place within the next three months.
Advertising on Social Media
The Advertising Technology group will make plans to ensure that targeted gambling advertising on social media and YouTube is restricted to users aged 25 years or older. It was also agreed that consumer information would be used to ensure that vulnerable gamblers are not targeted.
It was also agreed that the group would create a list of negative search terms to help keep vulnerable gamblers safe.
However, it was acknowledged that this would be a two-way street between operators and social media platforms and as such if the proposals are to be a success their cooperation will be required.
Minimum Slot Spin Speed
The ‘responsible product and game design’ group agreed that the minimum time between spins on slots would be 2.5 seconds and that turbo buttons, split screens and any other features that could foster intensive play should be banned.
An industry code of product design should be completed by September this year but the UKGC wants groups to “go further and faster, in particular around using demographics and behaviours to indicate risk.”
Neil McArthur, the UKGC CEO has stated that in the current climate is more important than ever that UK operators do their upmost to keep consumers safe “and if operators cannot protect customers from harm we are ready and willing to act,” including suspending and/or revoking licenses where appropriate.