Gambling Commission publishes response to consultation on changes to the LCCP
On 17 October 2023, the Gambling Commission published a response to their consultation which proposed changes to the Licence conditions and codes of practice (“LCCP”) in relation to: (1) the scope of the requirement for gambling operators to participate in GAMSTOP; (2) events explicitly listed by the Gambling Commission as “reportable” in the LCCP; and (3) the technical wording of an LCCP provision in relation to payment method services.
The consultation opened on 28 February 2023 lasted 12 weeks, closing on 23 May 2023. As outlined in our blog in March 2023, the Gambling Commission proposed the following changes to the LCCP:
- Change social responsibility code provision 3.5.5 – Remote multi operator self-exclusion to extend the requirement to participate in the GAMSTOP multi-operator scheme to all gambling licensees that make and accept bets by telephone and emails.
- Add a requirement to licence condition 15.2.2 – Other reportable events that would require all gambling licensees to inform the Gambling Commission when they become aware that a person who has gambled with them has died by suicide.
- Amend the text of licence condition 5.1.2 – Payment methods services to ensure that the condition reflects the current legislative provisions, plus a further amendment to ensure that the condition also reflects any further legislative amendments that might come into force in the future.
Having received 77 written responses to the consultation (including 29 from gambling businesses), the Gambling Commission have decided that they will implement each of the three proposed LCCP changes. The Gambling Commission’s rationale for the forthcoming changes, the timeline for implementation and the final wording of the provisions are outlined below.
1. Extend the multi-operator self-exclusion scheme to all gambling businesses that make and accept bets by email
The Gambling Commission’s decision to extend the requirement emanates from their “focus…on assessing the risk of harm (in particular for consumers who are vulnerable) as well as the benefits to consumers of clarity and uniformity of approach to self-exclusion…alongside the additional costs faced by gambling businesses.”
Specifically, they considered that the extension would yield the following benefits:
- Consistency with the current approach applied to online gambling services;
- Simplicity for consumers, gambling business, the Gambling Commission and GAMSTOP;
- Providing the most comprehensive protection for vulnerable consumers.
The amended wording to social responsibility code provision 3.5.5, which is set to come into force on 1 April 2024, will read as follows:
“Applies to: All remote licences except: any remote lottery licence the holder of which does not provide facilities for participation in instant win lotteries, ancillary remote betting when relied upon to provide facilities for betting via a machine (commonly known as self-service betting terminals) on premises where a betting or track premises licence has effect, remote general betting (remote platform), remote betting intermediary (trading room only), gaming machine technical, gambling software, host, ancillary remote bingo, and ancillary remote casino licences.
1. Licensees must participate in the national multi-operator self-exclusion scheme.”
2. Reporting deaths by suicide to the Gambling Commission
The Gambling Commission considers that their decision to require gambling businesses to inform them upon becoming aware that a customer has died by suicide is “both reasonable and proportionate”. The Gambling Commission has clarified that they “are not expecting gambling businesses to determine whether the person’s death was caused by or connected to their gambling activity”, which is the responsibility “for a coroner or the police to determine”. Nonetheless, the Gambling Commission will “require notification as early as possible”.
The Gambling Commission cited further reasons for their decision, including in relation to data integrity, privacy and/or data protection issues and economic impact.
The added requirement to licence condition 15.2.2, which is set to come into force on 1 April 2024, will read as follows:
“Applies to: All operating licences.
2. The licensee must notify the Commission, as soon as reasonably practicable, if it knows or has reasonable cause to suspect that a person who has gambled with it has died by suicide, whether or not such suicide is known or suspected to be associated with gambling. Such notification must include the person’s name and date of birth, and a summary of their gambling activity, if that information is available to the licensee.”
3. Payment services – technical update
The Gambling Commission confirmed that the amendment “simply updates the existing licence condition to reflect the current legislative provisions and also ensures that the condition is suitably future proofed against any further simple legislative changes.”
The updated wording of licence condition 5.1.2, which is set to come into force on 31 January 2024, will read as follows:
“Applies to: All remote casino, bingo and betting operating licences, except ancillary, host and remote betting intermediary (trading room only) licences.
1. Licensees must only accept payment from customers using their gambling facilities in Great Britain by a method which involves the provision of payment services as defined in Schedule 1 Part 1 of the Payment Services Regulations 2017 (SI 2017 No 752) if the provider of those services is a ‘payment service provider’ within the definition of that term in regulation 2 of those Regulations (or the equivalent requirements of any UK Statutory Instrument by which those regulations are amended or superseded).”
The consultation asked an additional question regarding any potential equalities impacts that could arise from the proposals. There were very few responses to this question, and the Gambling Commission noted that the responses did not give rise to “themes or major areas of concern”.
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