GamCare has expressed its support for the proposed enhanced affordability checks on online gambling, but has raised concerns about the threshold levels for these new measures. The organization, which provides support for those affected by gambling harm in Britain, believes that the proposed plans do not go far enough in protecting vulnerable players.
Under the proposed terms, online gambling operators would be required to conduct detailed checks on the affordability of players who lose £1,000 in 24 hours or £2,000 over a 90-day period. Additionally, “passive” checks would be performed on players with a monthly net loss exceeding £125 or £500 annually.
While GamCare acknowledges that these checks represent a positive step towards player safeguarding, the organization has consulted with its Lived Experience Community and raised concerns about the efficacy of the proposed measures. One major issue highlighted by GamCare is the absence of a “single customer view” of all accounts held by a player, which could lead to oversight and significant losses going unnoticed.
Furthermore, GamCare has voiced concerns about the threshold levels for checks, as the organization believes that players could still lose substantial amounts of money before any interventions are made. GamCare argues that the proposed thresholds for financial risk assessments are too high, as players could potentially lose significant sums of money before the system intervenes, especially if they hold multiple accounts.
As a result, GamCare is advocating for stronger checks to be implemented when accounts are opened, in order to proactively address potential financial hardship for vulnerable players. The organization acknowledges the argument that these checks may drive players towards unlicensed operators, but believes that if the checks are as unintrusive as planned, the incentive to shift to illegal operators would be reduced.
Despite the controversy surrounding the issue of affordability checks, GamCare is committed to advocating for maximizing player protections wherever possible. The organization is urging for further research to understand the implications of players turning to the illegal market and remains dedicated to supporting the well-being of vulnerable players.
As the debate over affordability checks continues, it is clear that there are differing opinions on the proposed measures. While the government seeks to implement enhanced safeguards for online gambling, stakeholders like GamCare are calling for stricter measures to protect players from financial harm.