Recovering Gambling Addicts to Advise UKGC on Regulatory Standards

3 min read

An expert panel of advisors will guide the UK Gambling Commission during its next stage of responsible gaming updates.

UKGC advisory panel
The UKGC has created a new advisory panel made up of experts with personal experience dealing with gambling issues. (Image: Women’s Preventive Services)

Although COVID-19 has delayed the formation of a permanent advisory panel, the interim Experts by Experience Group will remain in place for six months.

The group consists of recovering addicts, relatives of those with problems, and those who have lost loved ones due to gambling-related suicides. UKGC chief executive Neil McArthur believes the personal insights will help raise standards across the industry.

UKGC Wants Personal Insights

The group’s formation follows a workshop held in March. The UKGC brought together people with “lived experience” of problem gambling and asked for their views on a variety of topics.

The talks focused on the industry in general, along with conversations about high-value customers, advertising technology, and safe game design. The initial discussion fed into the UKGC’s “Industry Challenges” report.

GVC, Playtech, and Scientific Games all contributed to the latest round of updates. In collaboration with the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), a variety of ideas were put forward to make online gambling safer.

Removing turbo features from slots and setting a minimum spin speed of 2.5 seconds are among the changes proposed. These ideas, along with others, will be looked at by the Experts by Experience Group.

Partypoker began taking advice from players in 2017. The online operator recruited a team of pros to give their views on the site. Dubbed the Player Advisory Panel and featuring the likes of Jason Koon, the group now acts as an intermediary between the poker community and Partypoker’s executives.

Experts to Refine UK Gaming Standards

The UKGC is hoping to create a similar dynamic with the Experts by Experience Group. Even though the UK has some of the best safety standards in the world, the UKGC has toughed its stance in recent months.

Betway, Caesars Entertainment, and FSB Technology were fined a combined $30 million prior to the coronavirus pandemic. The record-breaking fines were a sign of intent and the message seems to have been received loud and clear.

As the UK went into lockdown on March 23, online poker and gaming activity increased dramatically. However, instances of problem gambling haven’t increased over the last three months.

The Experts by Experience Group will further improve the regulator’s ability to raise standards and, moreover, set an example for the rest of the gaming world.

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