Gambling Affordability Checks Could See UK Operators Checking Customers’ Payslips

by Ciaran McEneaney - Friday, December 10th, 2021 10:00

gambling affordability checks

The UK’s gambling minister Chris Philp has outlined a raft of government proposals that include checks to prevent gamblers from incurring losses they cannot afford at online bookmakers and regulated & legal UK online casinos.

Speaking at GambleAware’s annual conference, Philp said:

“I have heard too many stories of people who lost obviously unaffordable amounts of money … without proper checks being made by the gambling operators who had the data available. I have also heard about direct marketing, offers and VIP treatment being targeted at people with manifest gambling problems. This is not how gambling should operate, and we must take decisive measures to change it.”

He went on to state that a new white paper set to be published next year will outline the proposals in further detail but that affordability checks would be very likely included saying that it was ‘far too late’ for this kind of action to be made mandatory.

He went on to add:

“Demanding payslips or bank statements from every customer spending £100 is probably going to be unwelcome, disruptive and disproportionate. But there is a level at which that is appropriate.”

Data from credit rating agencies may also be used for players who wager smaller sums while in-depth checks that include the checking of payslips and bank statements will be used for larger sums or more frequent gamblers.

Gambling Commission Interim CEO, Andrew Rhodes also spoke at the conference and stated that the rise in social responsibility breaches by operators implied that many operators simply saw fines as a ‘ compliance tax’ that must be paid.

He noted:

“Too many operators are not complying with our rules. This year is on course to be our busiest year. We still see cases that make everyone blush. That has to stop.”

Zoe Osmond, chief executive of GambleAware, added:

“We welcome the minister’s announcement that the government is working with the Gambling Commission to take steps to better protect people at risk of gambling harms through affordability checks, a single customer view, and a data repository to inform intervention and uphold industry standards.”

Ciaran McEneaney

Ciaran has a decade of experience writing for some of the biggest names in the eSports, poker, and casino industries.