GC Restricts VIP Schemes, Players Under 25 Banned in the UK

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Following the creation of the gambling industry workgroups in January, the UK Gambling Commission is taking further action towards vulnerable adults and young people.

Age Restriction Offered by the GC

The UKGC has announced additional restrictions for the gaming operators in Great Britain. The actions are aimed at the young population with the idea of restricting anyone under 25 from joining VIP schemes for online gambling. The changes are yet to be approved by the BGC (Betting and Gaming Council). The newly announced restrictions are actually a new chapter in the reform series deliberately reducing the gambling related harms in the United Kingdom.

Back in January, 2020 three industry working groups were created by the GC with the purpose of making gambling safer for the society.

GC chief executive Neil McArthur commented on how quickly consumer behavior and technology was changing and emphasized that an innovative approach was needed to help better protect those most at-risk players in the United Kingdom.

McArthur specifically commended the readiness of a number of operators to take the issue personally and embrace the UKGC campaign of rooting out problem gambling in the country:

“I’ve been encouraged by the willingness of so many operators to work with us on these challenge”

Gambling Industry Workgroups in Action

The first group will aim for safer products. ‘The industry code for responsible product and game design working group’ will be responsible for outlining the production of safer products in the future by the gaming operators.

The group will set the rules for online gambling products, application design and include clear instructions on unacceptable practices. Currently this group implemented a minimum spin time for all slot games of 2.5 seconds.

The second group is aiming at making online advertising safer and preventing vulnerable adults, children and young people from exposure of gambling adverts. The group goal is to reduce the gambling content for those groups. The last group is ‘The incentivization of high value customers with the aim of making online gambling safer and fairer’. Incentive programs and VIP bonuses will be reviewed in order to ensure that gambling license rules are being followed.

Screening and Restrictions for VIP Clients

With GC’s announcement, it is now clear that all clients who want to join VIP programs will have to go through examination related to online gambling expenses prior to receiving incentives.

In a GC report dated January this year it was revealed that even though 2% of all players online are with VIP status – they are holding about 83% of all deposits. While GVC Holdings is overseeing the VIP workgroup and currently planning most of the oncoming significant changes, advertising will also go through an overhaul.

Every YouTube content containing relations to gambling must have an age restriction but that’s not all. Even pay-per-click advertising will have to target groups of 25 plus in age. Every workgroup created by the GC is currently working with gaming suppliers and processing the changes.

It is expected for those to be implemented no later than July this year.  “I am pleased with our members’ hard work and continued commitment to delivering substantial progress on the three safer gambling challenges set by the Gambling Commission on high value customers, advertising and game design” said the Betting and Gaming Council chair, Brigid Simmonds.

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