The UKGC has started a consultation which will run through August 14 and seek the input of high value customers to help regulate the high-roller and VIP segment without dealing a major blow to the gaming industry.
Overregulation Prompts UKGC to Seek VIP Players Opinions
With over-regulation the new buzzword in the United Kingdom, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission is trying to stave off an overwhelming political pressure to impose stricter measures. However, the regulator has been treading cautiously and not allowing political score-making stop it from providing accurate and helpful service.
Earlier this week Gambling Related Harm All-Party Parliamentary Group has called for the complete suspension of VIP programs, eliminating ads from public spaces and placing the online slot limit to £2. On Friday, the regulator offered to set strict loss limits and minimum spin speed in a bid to help achieve better consumer protection.
Responding to an avalanche of suggestions, the UKGC has now started a consultation with high value customers (HVC), responsible for the majority of the income that casinos generate, but also for the amount they pay to the public purse. The commission announced the consultation on June 19 and will now seek to introduce raising standards for HVC collaborations in the gaming business.
Anyone willing to offer input will have until August 14 to provide the commission with opinions, facts and knowledge that may end up shaping the entire country’s HVC standards.
High Value Customers: An Apple of Discord
HVC have long been a hotly debated topic amid regulators, lawmakers and the casino businesses which generate a pretty penny on customers inclined to spend the highest amounts.
Often, to incentivize customers, casinos have gone so far as to shower them in various bonuses, gifts and an overall preferential treatment with the single purpose of retaining customers and engaging them with the casino product.
However, over the years, there has been evidence that problem gamblers tend to be mostly VIP customers. In fact, a study published earlier this year revealed an interesting fact, and specifically that some companies may claim as much as 83% of their overall deposits from just 2% of their customers.
The UKGC has outlined two specific challenges. HVC tend to be too engaged and often unable to calculate risk, and therefore the most likely individuals to suffer gambling-related harm. The second challenge outlined by the regulator is the fact that HVC continue to generate the highest value for casinos, as mentioned before, and over-regulating the segment could deliver a final, killing stroke to the entire industry.
Time to Work Closer with Gambling Firms, Not Against Them
A solution, though, is not beyond the means of the regulator, which has already created an industry work group led by GVC and the Betting and gaming Council (BGC), tasked with producing an outcome be able to strike a balance between consumers’ safety and the industry’s best interests.
In fact, GVC and BGC have already prepared a draft code that would set new standards in vetting HVC customers as well as put a keen eye to how bonuses and various other incentives are extended to high value customers.
Specifically, gambling firms will now have to confirm that an HVC can actually afford to spend the money they are committing and conduct very quick KYC checks. These checks will need to be carried out on a regular basis to ensure the safety of customers.
The code will ask of gambling firms to assign a board member or a senior executive who will have to monitor and direct how HVC schemes run and what incentives are extended to customers.
Based on the draft, there will be no bonus extended to executives based on the results achieved by managing the HVC programs.