UK Gambling Commission updates guidelines for operators and reports online earnings

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Posted on: February 17, 2022, 07:00h.

Last update on: February 17, 2022, 10:14 a.m.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) wants to bring greater stability and uniformity to the way gambling operators present their terms and conditions. As a result, he created new guidelines to improve fairness and transparency in the industry.

Grand-Ben
Big Ben keeps a watchful eye on London. At the same time, the UKGC is keeping tabs on the gambling industry, introducing new rules for operators to follow. (Image: Getty Images)

It’s a known fact that some companies like to slip confusing or otherwise “quirky” language into their online terms and conditions. The hope is that consumers won’t pay attention or be just confused enough not to question the definitions of terms.

UKGC wants standard terms and conditions

The UKGC hopes new guidelines will prevent gambling operators from profiting from the ‘no one reads the terms and conditions’ mentality. Just because a consumer simply clicks on accepting a site’s terms of service doesn’t mean the operator will be off the hook.

Citing the use of terminology that allows licensees to confiscate unstaked deposits or reduce potential winnings on open bets, the regulator updated guidelines published on its website that all operators must follow. In order to create fairness, the UKGC wants operators to use ‘intelligible’ and ‘transparent’ language.

Operators must comply with consumer protection laws and treat customers fairly, openly and transparently. This extends to terms and conditions and operator practices,” says the UKGC in its updated terms and conditions guidance.

Additionally, operators can no longer include certain terms only in the UGC section of the website. They will need to post the information prominently beforehand. Promotional banners must also include direct access to the T&Cs. They cannot lead directly to a registration page.

The updated guidelines will be difficult to enforce for the same reasons the UKGC introduced them. Since “literacy levels vary widely,” there will be some friction over the interpretation of T&C language. However, the UKGC wants to ensure that all operators comply with consumer protection laws and the License Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP).

Online gambling increases as COVID-19 restrictions ease

The UKGC also provided an update on the state of online gambling in the country. The latest data covers the third quarter of the fiscal year, along with some corrections to previously published information.

Gross Online Gaming Total Return (GGY) for the quarter reached £1.2 billion (US$1.63 billion). This follows the addition of £421m (US$573.61m) in December. Compared to the second quarter, third quarter results are down 6%.

There were some increases despite the drop in GGY. The online slots return rose 1% and closed at £568 million (US$773.9 million). This came as the number of global spins increased by 3% to 18.2 billion. Additionally, the UKGC reported that the number of active slots players saw a 5% increase in the quarter, closing at 9.8 million.

Apart from the increase in the number of spins, the time spent by players in front of virtual slot machines has also increased. The number of sessions lasting more than one hour increased by 8% to just over 8.1 million. On average, players spent 19 minutes playing slots, with only 7% of all sessions lasting over an hour.

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