On 23 August 2023, the Gambling Commission announced that they have published new remote customer interaction guidance in relation to Social Responsibility Code Provision 3.4.3 (“SRCP 3.4.3”) of the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice.
In April 2022, the Gambling Commission introduced new “stronger and more prescriptive” remote customer interaction requirements for remote gambling operators under SRCP 3.4.3, which tightened the rules on identifying at-risk customers and taking “proportionate timely action to reduce harm”.
At the time, the new remote customer interaction requirements were due to take effect on 12 September 2022 and in June 2022, the Gambling Commission published associated guidance, designed to support compliance with the new requirements under SRCP 3.4.3.
However, to widespread surprise, in September 2022, the Gambling Commission announced their decision to delay the implementation of:
- paragraph 3 of SRCP 3.4.3 (“Licensees must consider the factors that might make a customer more vulnerable to experiencing gambling harms and implement systems and processes to take appropriate and timely action where indicators of vulnerability are identified. Licensees must take account of the Commission’s approach to vulnerability as set out in the Commission’s Guidance”);
- paragraph 10 of SRCP 3.4.3 (“Licensees must prevent marketing and the take up of new bonus offers where strong indicators of harm, as defined within the licensee’s processes, have been identified”); and
- other references in SRCP 3.4.3 to the guidance,
until at least 12 February 2023.
In the intervening time, the regulator decided that it would “be beneficial to use the time now available” to conduct a consultation on the guidance itself.
The consultation on the remote customer interaction guidance closed in January 2023.
The Gambling Commission also announced that, irrespective of the consultation on the guidance, requirement 10 of SRCP 3.4.3 would come into force on 12 February 2023 in any event.
New customer interaction guidance now published
The new remote customer interaction guidance contains various updates to the guidance originally published in June 2022, which we will explore in an upcoming blog.
Remote operators will be required to take into account the new remote customer interaction guidance from 31 October 2023.
In addition, SRCP 3.4.3 requirements:
- to take into account the guidance; and
- to “consider the factors that might make a customer more vulnerable to experiencing gambling harms and implement systems and processes to take appropriate and timely action where indicators of vulnerability are identified”,
will come into force on the same date.
We are closely reviewing the new guidance and consultation response, and will be sharing our analysis and insights in due course.
Please get in touch with us if you would like to discuss this development, or if you would like assistance on drafting/updating your policies and procedures in light of the new guidance.