The UK gambling sector is set for an overhaul of its approach to affordability, following the publication of the long-awaited white paper review by the government earlier this morning. 

As part of the white paper, the government said that it will utilise Open Banking tech in order to elevate sharing of data and customer knowledge when it comes to those at risk of problem gambling. 

It outlined that this should commence with “unintrusive checks at moderate levels of spend” of either £125 a month or £500 a year. The White Paper suggested that a further, more detailed intervention should take place when a player loses £1,000 within a day, or £2,000 within 90 days.

Addressing Parliament, Lucy Frazer, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, stated that player protection checks will often be frictionless and take place behind the scenes – specifically searching for red flags such as County Court Judgments. 

Open Banking can be at the centre of the checks, according to the White Paper, with further information from customers only being requested as “a last resort”. 

Charles Cohen, Founder and CEO of the Department of Trust, provider of Open Banking-based financial risk assessments for betting and gaming, commented: “The Department of Trust helps leading gambling operators make frictionless, instant checks on the true financial well-being of customers thanks to Open Banking. 

“Services like this must form a key part of the new framework for assessing financial risk on more customers if the policy goals are to be met in the interests of players and operators alike.”

The government also detailed the importance of account verification, which the paper described as being “on the whole effective”, as it underlined that matching payment details to the account holder does present difficulties. 

Nonetheless, it added that with the implementation of new technologies and payment regulations, the UK Gambling Commission can collaborate with industries to ensure that the most efficient approach is taken. 

At the forefront of this will be data sharing fuelled by new financial and payment technologies, with proposals from the government stating ambitions to make data sharing on high-risk customers mandatory for all remote operators.

It brings the role of Open Banking within the gambling payment journey to the fore, something that has long been touted by many as key to increasing player safety. 

At the turn of the year, Max Emilson, CRO of specialist provider of financial APIs, TrueLayer, emphasised this in a piece for Payment Expert.

He revealed: “Savvy operators are now looking to add Open Banking capabilities to their platforms, to safeguard players and gain a range of additional benefits. 

“Not only does it allow operators to access real time data to understand their player’s spend behaviour, but it also offers an opportunity for their platforms to deliver more personalised and innovative player experiences while reducing the risk to both themselves and their players.”