UKGC frictionless check start date welcomed by DoTrust

UK Gambling Commission (UKGC)

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has confirmed the start date for finance vulnerability checks, the government’s solution to the widely debated notion of affordability checks.

Frictionless checks will be implemented by British licenced betting operators on 30 August. Operators will be mandated to perform checks on any customers pending more than £500 in net deposits in a rolling 30-day period. 

This threshold will be reduced across a further three deadlines in November 2024, January 2024 and February 2025, culminating with a permanent limit of £150. A pilot period will see the checks initially adopted by the UK’s biggest operators.

The checks have been designed to minimise the chance of customers being required to hand over personal financial information and documentation. In the event this does occur, the use of Open Banking technology has been touted as an ideal solution to facilitate information sharing.

Andrew Rhodes, UKGC CEO, commented: “As a gambling regulator it’s vital that the introduction of new rules is based on evidence and takes into account the views of consumers and other interested parties.

“We have listened to the views expressed in our engagement and in the consultation responses, and we have made changes while still ensuring that we deliver meaningful protections. 

“We are also pleased to be taking forward a pilot of financial risk assessments and data collection, which together will ensure that we can make informed decisions about how these assessments can be implemented in a way that supports both consumer freedom and protections.”

Responding to the UKGC announcement, Department of Trust (DoTrust), a provider of financial risk assessments for safer gambling, welcomed the changes. The firm is confident that it is poised to meet any forthcoming challenges during the rollout.

The company, like other betting stakeholders, has been preparing itself for financial risk check implementation. This has included development of a product specific to the forthcoming regulatory requirement, which has already been adopted by one of the UK’s biggest casino operators, Rank Group.

Charles Cohen – DoTrust

Charles Cohen, CEO of Department of Trust, said: “These important announcements flag the end of gambling’s ‘sus law’ where players faced seemingly arbitrary requests for personal information, operators were placed under a significant burden, and no one won.

“We now know that in 120 days, every operator will need to perform frictionless checks on all players with net deposits in a 30-day rolling period of £500. A few months later this will fall to a much lower level.”

In addition to the UKGC’s clarification, DoTrust has also welcomed the adoption of a new code on customer checks by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the trade and standards body for 90% of British betting and gaming firms.

The code addresses cases when customers make net deposits in excess of £5,000 in a rolling month and when they wish to make net deposits of £25,000 in any rolling 12 month period.

“If operators want to protect their business, keep their customers and reduce costs, smart automation is the only answer,” Cohen continued.

“Department of Trust has spent over two years building the leading plug-and-play solution specifically for the gambling industry. Complete already automates over 90% of the processes required in both the new LCCP and BGC code. 

“Now we know what the requirement will be, we are today committing to the goal of 100%. We want every operator and player to have instant assessments and sensible decisions cost-effectively. No one needs to lose sleep over this.”