UKGC urges operators to focus on customers
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has issued a call to licensed operators to adopt a strategy that puts customers at the heart of their business decisions.
Speaking during the regulator’s first Raising Standards Conference, UKGC chief executive Sarah Harrison said that while brands have made progress in areas such as harm reduction strategies and gambling management tools for consumers, she believes operators can do more to protect customers.
Harrison urged brands to “raise your ambitions and your sights higher”, adding that the UKGC can help operators with their strategies moving forward.
“You need to step up the pace of change in how you handle customer complaints; ensure advertising is clear; simplify terms and conditions; develop your risk management strategies on money laundering; evaluate the impact of social responsibility initiatives – and, working across all these areas, in how you do more to share best practice… don’t wait for a crisis to happen that shakes the very foundation of customers’ trust in your industry,” Harrison told delegates at the event.
“Act now and demonstrate to consumers that your interest in their needs is genuine.
“One of the principles in the Commission’s existing statement for licensing and regulation is a preference for pursuing compliance through means that stop short of a licence review, in favour of a regulatory settlement; we propose to remove this bias in favour of settlement.
“We will put access to all tools, including licence review – both of the operator and personal management licences – on an equal footing.
“Put simply we will use the right tool for the job.”
Harrison added: “In addition, we will propose changes to our statement on financial penalties with the likelihood of higher penalties going forward, in particular where we see systemic and repeated failings.
“Our principles on penalties already reflect the need to remove profits from non-compliance, take account of costs and consumer harm, and deter poor compliance but higher penalties are likely if we do not see behaviour changing.”
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