UKGC Creates New Industry Forum

UKGC Creates New Industry Forum

The UKGC has created a new industry forum to give the Commission greater insight into operator views.

The new forum was announced by the UKGC last Thursday, September 14th. The group will comprise stakeholders from Britain’s gambling industry to provide greater insight into operator opinions and views. The group’s coverage includes account management, consultations, and the Commission’s data program.

Marcus Boyle, Chair of the UKGC, said: “We’ve always listened to the views of the industry when deciding how best to make progress but this new forum will give us another way to work with representatives from the industry we regulate”.

Several stakeholder initiatives and advisory groups (the Lived Experience Advisory Panel, the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling, and the Digital Advisory Panel) are already pivotal in the UKGC’s “evidence-led” approach to gambling regulation, with the new forum adding to these.

The UKGC has not announced how industry forum members will be selected, but they have revealed how the Chair will be recruited and appointed. The Forum Chair will have a three-year term and understand “the industry and the challenges and opportunities it faces”. Recruitment for the Chair will open before the end of the month.

The forum will comprise ten members from different sectors of the gambling industry. The UKGC will provide more information regarding how expressions of interest should be submitted over the coming weeks.

The forum’s creation follows a period of industry confusion following the publication of the White Paper, which was released in April 2023 and aims to update UK gambling legislation for the modern digital age.

The White Paper introduced many new regulations but left the finer details up to the UKGC and the result of stakeholder consultations, which kicked off in July. According to Andrew Rhodes, CEO of the Commission, there have been over 1,500 responses in the first five weeks of talks, with many of the responses concerning affordability checks and the UKGC seeing “a significant amount of misinformation about proposed financial risk checks in direct responses to the consultation, in the media and on social media.”

In response, Rhodes released an official UKGC blog post featuring a series of FAQs to clarify the current proposals and make the most of the remaining consultation period. Rhodes stated that ensuring stakeholders contributed based on the correct information will help the UKGC “strike the right balance” and allow as many voices as possible to be heard.

Similarly, Rhodes recently cautioned against rushing the consultation period while speaking to the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport Select Committee on Gambling Regulation, saying that allowing proper consultation avoids later problems and legal challenges.

What Will the Industry Forum Mean for Players?

Creating the new forum will mean better communication and consultation between gambling operators and the Commission. While there’s no direct consumer input in the discussion, players will be positively impacted by the straightforward and precise implementation of new safeguarding policies the White Paper introduced, like affordability checks, stake limits, rules for game design, and bonuses.

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