UKGC not prioritising soft affordability cap

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has revealed that an obligatory soft affordability cap has been excluded from its action points from recent research.

A remote customer interaction consultation took place in November 2020, before it was extended due to higher-than-expected interest.

Instead of introducing a soft cap, which was criticised by some within the gambling industry, the Commission will focus on developing other measures to protect players.

High engagement in the consultation

Last year’s consultation was extended in December after the UKGC received significant numbers of responses. 1,000 of the 13,000 submissions were consultation responses. Meanwhile, the remaining 12,000 were short survey answers.

The UKGC had considered a soft affordability threshold of £100 per month for players to spend their money. If the individual could prove that they were able to afford more, this would be increased.

But after going through the consultation responses, the measure was not prioritised.

What will the UKGC focus on instead?

The UKGC has listed three main priorities for protecting players in the world of online gambling. These are:

  • Stopping players from making significant losses in a short period of time;
  • Implementing safeguards to stop players losing a lot of money over extended periods;
  • Introducing further measures for people deemed to be financially vulnerable, and whose gambling habits could have a greater impact.

For the second point, the UKGC said that customer checks are appropriate.

Is the UKGC giving up on affordability caps altogether?

Although affordability caps are not a priority for the UKGC, the regulator is not giving up on such thresholds completely. Soft and hard limits might still come into effect. The Commission is working together with the Department for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport (DCMS) to address these and other issues as part of the ongoing 2005 Gambling Act review.

Commenting on operator thresholds, the UKGC said: “We will also proceed as planned with a consultation on thresholds for operators to take action and guidance on what those actions should be.”

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