The UK Gambling Commission keeps track of the current Coronavirus crisis, too, and has already given operators guidance in light of COVID-19 outbreak last week.

This week, Neil McArthur, the UKGC’s CEO, has issued a statement himself, reminding operators to maintain good practice and respect the well-established rules. He addressed operators, encouraging them to stay calm and abide by the rules in these uncertain times, helping the Commission protect the vulnerable gamblers and underage players.

Neil McArthur Addresses Operators on Behalf of the UK Gambling Commission

UKGC’s CEO wrote to operators last week, reminding them that everyone in Great Britain was affected by the current health crisis. Understanding the significant impact that these unsettling events had on their businesses, employees and players, McArthur promised them that the Commission was working on assessing how they could approach their work over the coming months.

McArthur reminded operators that UKGC’s main priority has always been protecting those vulnerable and underage players. Being mindful of the risks of harm arising, considering online gambling has increased as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, especially casino gaming, poker, slots and virtual sports, he stated the Commission’s expectations.

He stressed that player protection must be paramount. Here, he emphasized that operators should know their players, and step in if they notice these players are showing signs of being at risk of harm. They should keep in mind that in these uncertain times, their players, being home-isolated, could experience feelings of boredom, loneliness or anxiety, and take that into consideration.

Marketing has to be conducted responsibly, emphasized McArthur. New players should be accepted in a socially responsible way, affiliates should be reminded to conduct themselves responsibly and operators should be very cautious in their marketing strategies in these difficult times.

Finally, McArthur highlighted compliance with license conditions and codes of practice. Players should be treated fairly. Operators should communicate with their players to help them make a clear judgment

on whether they really want to gamble or they’re doing it for other reasons. He added that operators are invited to work with the Commission in a cooperative and open way and act in accordance with both this statement and the regulatory framework as set by the UK Gambling Commission.

Warnings and Advice

Naturally, Neil McArthur reminded operators that they must play their part in keeping players safe during these unprecedented events, warning them that if the Commission notices irresponsible behaviour, it would step in immediately.

McArthur invited players to report concerns about the behaviour of a certain operator or share information with the Confidential Intelligence Hotline, via phone or email. For general questions, they can contact UKGC’s Account Manager, and the Commission would do its best to give them an answer.

Finally, he invited operators to share information relevant to the Commission’s work on Coronavirus, or share their own analysis of impacts to the UK gambling industry, by contacting the Programme Director for Industry Insight, who was collating all of the information about how the pandemic was affecting the industry.

Apr 01,2020