The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) wants to use first-hand experience from former gambling addicts to refine its safety policies.
Announced on June 19, the latest innovation will garner thoughts and opinions from those affected by problem gambling.
The Experts by Experience Group, as it’s known, will advise the British regulator on a variety of matters. What makes the panel unique is that it will be the UKGC’s first real connection with those on the frontline.
Direct Input from Personal Insights
Although the UKGC has conducted numerous surveys in the past, the comments have often been generalized or anonymous. Members of the Experts by Experience Group have all been personally affected by problem gambling.
Their comments will be more than token contributions to a larger pool of evidence. Instead, the advisory panel will have a direct say in how the UKGC handles responsible gaming. These insights will be combined with input from online poker and gaming operators such as GVC and Playtech.
The UK is renowned for its tough but proactive stance to gaming regulations. Prior to legalizing online poker and gaming in New Jersey, representatives for the Division of Gaming Enforcement consulted with their British counterparts.
UKGC chief executive Neil McArthur wants to build on this reputation and, in turn, set an example for other regulatory bodies.
“Our goal is to make gambling safer for consumers and the creation of the interim group is another important step in helping us bring a wider range of perspectives into our work,” McArthur said on June 19.
Using personal insights is a proven technique within the industry. Partypoker set up its own Player Advisory Panel in 2017. By consulting with the likes of Jason Koon and Sam Trickett, Partypoker’s executives now get a players’ perspective on what’s hot and what’s not.
UKGC Continues to Innovate
The UKGC will be hoping to achieve something similar with the Experts by Experience Group. It’s already received feedback from those with direct experience of problem gambling about a variety of issues.
One of the main topics of discussion in last week was high value customers and how operators incentivize VIPs. McArthur has admitted that it’s “early days,” but he’s hopeful the information provided by the panel can offer guidance in important areas.
“We are determined that EbEs should play a continuing and much more active role in the deliberations and decision making across the whole remit of the Commission as part of the National Strategy to reduce gambling harms,” McArthur continued.
The UK is regarded as one of the safest gaming markets in the world. Online poker activity across all sites is strong, even with through licensees have to abide by some of the industry’s strictest standards.
The Experts by Experience Group will not only help the UKGC improve its policies but, potentially, inspire regulators in other countries to set up their own advisory panels.