UK Gambling Commission Dispels Common Misunderstandings About Financial Checks

Significant changes are on the way for the gaming industry in the United Kingdom. This journey began with a review of the Gambling Act of 2005, which ended in the publication of a critical White Paper. This thorough document puts out an ambitious strategy for sector-wide changes, motivated by a desire to protect customers, combat financial crime, and fulfill a variety of strategic goals.

A shadow of uncertainty hung over the sector in the years leading up to the publishing of the White Paper. Industry stakeholders and casino operators speculated nervously about the impending changes and their potential consequences. The gaming Commission, the UK’s gaming authority, has produced a paper to debunk myths and give clarity. This research focuses on financial risk assessments, which are a significant component of the projected changes.

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The financial risk tests mentioned in the White Paper are at the heart of the issue. According to the gaming Commission, around 3% of gaming accounts are scheduled for frictionless financial risk evaluations. Importantly, these tests are only intended for people who have been recognized as at-risk or problem gamblers. Customers who are not judged vulnerable or at danger will be allowed to gamble without being subjected to further scrutiny. The regulator underlines that these checks, which will be carried out largely through a credit reference service, will have no effect on credit ratings.

Under the proposed framework for financial risk checks, all participants in gambling activities will have a “credit reference file.” If approved, this mechanism will enable seamless checks on these files, even for high-spending customers. The Commission estimates that approximately 0.3% of gambling accounts may be requested to share limited data with a third-party open banking provider.

In cases where customers decline to share data through open banking or lack a credit file, an alternative path is outlined. These individuals will be asked to provide supplementary evidence of their financial circumstances to assess risk. The regulator anticipates that only a small fraction, about 0.3% of gambling accounts, will need to furnish bank-related information like statements or pay slips.

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On a more benign note, publicly available data will be harnessed to identify individuals facing bankruptcy. This measure may affect roughly 20% of account holders, though the Commission assures that it will not cause undue inconvenience.

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