UKGC Provides New Guidance for Gaming Industry
The UK Gambling Commission has decided to create new guidance regarding the terms and conditions section of online gambling operators.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is constantly working to create a stable and uniform gambling environment. The landscape needs to provide a safe and secure way for patrons to enjoy gambling while also protecting individuals who may be in harms way. This week, the UKGC just revealed new guidance to ensure fairness and transparency within the industry.
Bring On Standard Terms & Conditions
It is not uncommon for an online gambling operator to use the terms & conditions section to pull one over on players. With confusing or odd language, the operator can trick a player, which results in an unfair gaming environment.
For the UKGC, the regulator wants to use this new guidance as way to uniform the industry. Standard terms & conditions will take away from the mentality that no one reads this section, and it can just say whatever. The UKGC wants operators to understand that if a consumer clicks through the T&C and agrees to it, it does not mean the operator can say whatever they want in this section.
The regulator decided to make the changes due to terminology being used that allows license holders to remove un-staked deposits or reduce wins on an open wager. To create a fair environment, the UKGC wants operators to use transparent language. The regulator cited that operators’ terms and conditions need to comply with consumer protection laws and treat customers in a fair manner.
The UKGC is stopping operators from listing only certain conditions within the terms & conditions section. The information must be displayed prominently beforehand. Promotional banners must include a way for consumers to access the terms & conditions section as well.
The new guidance will be hard to enforce, despite its requirement. Literacy levels will vary among consumers, so there may be friction as to who the terms & conditions sections are interpretated. The main goal of the UKGC is to ensure that all operators are conforming to consumer protection laws and following the License Conditions and Codes of Practice.
How is the Industry Faring?
Along with the new terms & conditions guidance, the UKGC also revealed an update on the UK online gaming industry and how it is faring. The latest report provides insight into the third quarter of the current fiscal year. For the quarter, the gross gaming yield came in at £1.2 billion ($1.63 billion).
The industry is doing well, but the third quarter was significantly lower when it comes to earnings when compared to the third quarter. Online slot games were up for the quarter, bringing in an additional 1% with £568 million ($773.9 million) in earnings.
Spin totals were up by 3% with 18.2 billion. The UKGC also reported that the number of active slot players increased for the quarter by 5%, with around 9.8 million taking part. The report also indicated that gamblers are spending more time enjoying online slot gaming. Sessions increased in the quarter by over an hour at 8% with average gamblers spending around 19 minutes playing a game.
Several changes have taken place over the past few months regarding gambling regulations and operators are doing their part to take heed. The COVID-19 pandemic played a major role in how the changes came about and despite some issues, the industry seems to be foraging ahead. It will be interesting to see how the fourth quarter rounds out and how the gambling industry fares for the full year.