Insights White Paper: New rule changes to be introduced in stages


The Gambling Commission has today published its response to the consultation which addressed some of the Government’s key White Paper proposals.

Here are the key takeaways:

  • Improved customer choice on direct marketing: Customers will be given more control over the gambling marketing they receive by making it a requirement that they must opt in to direct marketing by product type (e.g. casino, bingo) and channel (e.g. email, SMS). In response to complexities faced by land-based and lottery operators, this will now only apply to remote gambling operators and starts in January 2025.
  • Strengthened age verification: Age verification procedures for land-based gambling will be stricter, requiring all operators (including smaller ones) to conduct test purchasing. This takes effect in August 2024.
  • Remote game design changes: New rules aim to make online gambling fairer and less intense. These include:
    • A minimum 5-second game speed for non-slot games (starts in January 2025).
    • A ban on autoplay for all online gambling products.
    • A ban on operators offering features that allow playing multiple games simultaneously (for casino products, starts in January 2025).
    • A requirement for operators to display net spend and net time information for casino games (starts in January 2025).
  • Financial risk checks: The Commission is introducing a two-part system to identify customers at risk of gambling harm:
    • Light-touch financial vulnerability checks: These checks will use publicly available data (e.g. bankruptcy records) to identify potential issues (and will not require businesses to consider an individual’s personal details such as postcode or job title). They will be mandatory for remote operators starting in August 2024, with the threshold for triggering a check lowered in February 2025.
    • Frictionless financial risk assessments (pilot): In recognition of the practical challenges associated with accessing and sharing data that can be used to perform more detailed financial risk assessments (at higher levels of spend), the Commission will instead run a pilot program that will test data sharing between credit reference agencies and operators to assess how this would work in practice. It will involve only the largest remote operators and will not affect customers during the testing phase (starts in August 2024).
  • PML requirements: The Commission will make changes to those individuals who will be expected to hold a PML:
    • CEO/ MDs must hold PML: The Chief Executive Officer, Managing Director, or equivalent role will need to hold a PML.
    • Chair of the Board: The person chairing the board will also need a PML, but only if appointed for a fixed term, not on a temporary or meeting-by-meeting basis.
    • AML/CTF roles: The member of the board assigned responsibility for compliance with the Money Laundering Regulations will need to hold a PML, as will a licensee’s nominated officer.
  • Regulatory Panels: Interestingly the Commission has decided not to introduce its proposed changes to the composition of regulatory panels, nor will it create a presumption that panel decisions will be made on papers alone.

The response details the implementation timeline for these changes, with most coming into effect between August 2024 and January 2025.