VIP customers and enticements to gamble Code of Practice to be published in Spring 2020

As reported in SBC News and CasinoBeats today:

  • the Betting and Gaming Council has confirmed that, in Spring 2020, it will be rolling out a new code of practice that will focus on outlining new protocols regarding VIP customers and operator enticements to gamble, and
  • whilst details of the code of practice have not yet been published, it is expected that it will address the implementation of safer gambling measures.

This news represents a response to the following call for action delivered by Gambling Commission Chief Executive Neil McArthur in a speech at a CEO Breakfast Briefing on 2 October 2019:

Inducements to gamble

I have already mentioned how concerned the Commission is about the prevalence and impact of the various incentives the industry offers to VIP consumers.  We already have LCCP provisions which cover this but the evidence we get from our enforcement work, our compliance work and the feedback we receive from consumers suggest that the current requirements are not effective.

We know that conversations have already been taking place about the question of the treatment of VIPs and associated inducements to gamble.  As a result, we recently received an offer from one major operator to lead the development of a code of conduct in this area.

We want to take up that offer and hope to see firm commitments in this area soon, including a pacey timetable for that work.

Brigid Simmonds OBE, Chairman of the Betting and Gaming Council is today quoted by SBC News and CasinoBeats as saying:

We can announce that the Betting and Gaming Council are drafting a new code of practice to set the highest standards in protecting loyalty and VIP customers as part of our safer gambling commitments.

We will be consulting with operators, the regulator, charities and other stakeholders on the new code. The code will include requirements we have already identified such as the comprehensive source of wealth checks, barring anyone with a history of self-exclusion from any product or group of products, continual monitoring of betting activity and regular safer gambling interactions.

Further any customer identified at risk must not be not invited to hospitality, must stop receiving all marketing communication and their loyalty or VIP account or status should be closed. No staff bonuses can be linked to the profitability of VIP or loyalty customers.

We expect the new code to be published in the Spring 2020.