The GC has published its proposed changes to its standard Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP), to which all British licensed operators are subject, and has opened up the floor to the industry and customers to comment on these proposed changes.
The stated aims of the amendments to the LCCP include reducing the potential for harm to customers, and helping arrest the decline in public confidence in the gambling industry following a recent spate of fines and negative publicity for operators. The consultation is accompanied by the familiar recent warning that the Commission will not hesitate to use the full range of its powers to enforce compliance. The key proposals are as follows:
Marketing and Advertising
- Protect young and vulnerable people from marketing by making compliance with the UK Advertising Codes a mandatory provision of the SR code in the LCCP – meaning that those who breach the codes could be liable to the Gambling Commission’s full range of sanctions
- Introduce a provision to the LCCP providing that operators must not contact customers with e-marketing without their informed and specific consent. The GC notes its frustration with operators and affiliates in this regard, despite warnings – this addition to the LCCP is intended to “help drive up standards”
- The GC considers that unfair terms remain an industry-wide problem, as evidenced by its support of the ongoing CMA investigation into the sector. Consequently, it proposes to amend the wording of the LCCP in order to ensure compliance with the Consumer Rights Act 2015
- The GC also proposes to add a reference to the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 (CPR) to the LCCP to ensure that gambling operators do not provide consumers with terms that are deemed unfair under the CPRs
- The GC’s recent review of the industry concluded that consumer complaints were not being dealt with adequately, and as a result it proposes to amend the LCCP to make it easier for consumers to complain, to ensure that gambling operators are obliged to respond quickly, and to clarify how the complaints process actually works
- The GC observes that 20% of the UK’s population have a literacy standard of a D-G grade at GCSE, and that much of the information and terms provided by gambling operators are of such complexity that a significant minority of their audience will not understand them
- The proposal is therefore to introduce a standard of readability in the LCCP that operators must meet when providing information, including terms and conditions
Responses are required by 22 April 2018, and should either be submitted via this form, or to firstname.lastname@example.org.