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2020 changes to the UK online gambling law

The UK Gambling Commission has set its targets for 2020, and big changes loom on the horizon for online gambling platforms. Set to tackle issues related to gambling harm prevention and consumer protection, this ambitious plan seeks to raise industry standards and increase regulation where needed.

Among other things, the UK Gambling Commission will be implementing the EU’s 5th Directive against Money Laundering and Terrorist Funding, enforce the introduction of Gamstop, restrict credit card use for gambling, enforce gambling regulation for transparency and embark on a whole campaign dedicated to safer products, safer online advertising and take a closer look at VIP incentives.

With so much on the agenda for spring 2020, online gambling sites will experience an increase in their workload as they strive to implement the changes and provide appropriate training for their employees. Affiliate sites related to gambling are bound to be affected as well, and sites like
C​​ will surely be required to adhere to the new regulations, especially those related to advertising. But let us take a closer look at what operators should expect in the next few months.

Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism

The EU’s 5th Directive against Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism will bring to the table a number of additions to the already existing regulation. Some of these require companies to provide appropriate training for employees, take necessary measures when introducing new products or services, and apply more stringent due diligence.


Gamstop is the new multi-operator self-exclusion scheme introduced by the UK Gambling Commission. According to new legislation, all UK licensed gambling operators must participate in this project. The scheme was designed to allow consumers to self-exclude with one entity only instead of having to file a request with every single operator. The purpose of the initiative is to leave no door open for those who need help staying away from gambling sites, while also ensuring they are not exposed to any online gambling advertisement.

Credit Cards and Gambling

According to the UK Gambling Commission, in the UK alone there are around 24 million gamblers, and while only over 10 million of them gamble online, almost a million of consumers use credit cards for their activities. A research carried out by the commission has shown that 22% of these credit card gamblers are prone to problem gambling.

The decision by the UK Gambling Commission to ban the use of credit cards both from land-based casinos and online gambling platforms came after a public consultation carried out in 2019. The ban will come into force on the 14th of April 2020.

Game Transparency

After the discovery of a number of operators hosting a number of games with a buy-in feature that requires thousands of pounds to unlock, the Commission will be applying increased pressure to ensure game transparency and the best safety standards.

Safer Products, safer advertisements and VIP incentives.

Taking on a ‘bold and innovative approach’, the UK Gambling Commission has set up three working groups with the aim to come up with innovative solutions over three very important areas. Product design will see a complete evaluation of how gambling games and services can be made safer while analyzing the impact and risk they pose. The second group will be focused on putting together a safer advertising campaign that is

inconspicuous to children and young people. The final group will address VIP incentives offered by casinos and the way they can function without exacerbating at-risk behaviour.

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