UK's Gambling Comission hurts the industry with regulations

UKGC keeps creating and enforcing new regulation such as banning the payment with credit card and ID verification. This not only hurts the UK gambling industry but might also set an example for other countries.

UK's Gambling Comission hurts the industry with regulations image

UK's Gambling Comission hurts the industry with regulations

The past year and a half have been tumultuous in the UK's gambling industry. Incidents of money laundering and other related crimes in the business led the United Kingdom's Gambling Comission to come up with a new gambling policy and restrictive measures that are hurting the industry as a whole.

Since the Gambling Act of 2005, a rise in the gambling activities in the new market has been present with many providers offering their services in online gaming. Soon enough, more and more new players joined the competition that was becoming fiercer with time. This pushed the aforementioned practices of money laundering and other illegal activities. When the UKGC found that over 400 thousand children from ages as young as 11 were regular betters, it became clear that the gambling operators were not stopping or being able to stop underage gambling.

Current restrictions

A national gambling policy was then created with many regulatory changes. One of the most hurtful of those changes was banning the payment by credit cards for gambling, under the argument that those lead to the accumulation of debt, which disrupted the entire market, a method of payment used by 22% of the country's gamblers according to a UKGC survey.

The next blow was requiring ID verification of all players in the UK, meaning the effective banning of anonymous gambling. This was meant to prevent underage gambling, but it put a burden in the operators to police their customers. Therefore, it shifted the responsibility from the players to the gambling operators.

What to expect

The UKGC was highly criticized by the industry as a whole. This forced many big changes in operations, and the UKGC's has been punishing those who are found guilty of breaking those rules with warning and fines. As expected, many companies decided to leave the UK market. Others, however, took this as a chance to dedicate even more attention to the UK market, now that it is rid of many of the old competitors who were pushed back by those regulations.

This however did not stop the UKGC from continuing to make even more changes and regulations and also enforcing them strictly. There is a lobby in the UK parliament that seems to be in favor of more restrictions. This affects not only the UK industry, but other countries and their regulatory bodies and legislations that could be influenced by this example, therefore affecting the entire gambling industry throughout the world.

The UK players must pay close attention to the news for further changes, as the UKGC and the parliament lobby definitely intend to push new regulations and restrictions to the industry. And players in the other countries would also do good to keep an eye on what their own respective nations are learning from observing the UK's experience. Will they take positive changes or follow UK's example of trying to implement solutions which end up causing more harm?