The UK Gambling Commission has unveiled a three-year plan for gathering evidence and filling the gaps in the existing research about the gambling sector in the UK. With this, the gambling commission looks to create a ‘safer, fairer and crime-free’ gambling environment.
To identify these gaps, the UKGC has unveiled its “Evidence Gaps and Priorities” program, which will take place from 2023 to 2026.
“Evidence matters. We all make decisions based on how we understand the world around us, what the evidence is telling us,” said Tim Miller, the Executive Director of Research and Policy at UKGC.
“The bigger the decision and the wider it’s impact, the more likely we all are to want more information before we act. Before the big choices, we all want to fill in the gaps in our understanding. What’s true for us all in our daily lives is just as true for our understanding of gambling,” Miller added.
Under the new program, the gambling commission will find and collect evidence on 6 areas – early gambling experiences and gateway products, the range and variability of gambling experiences, the impact of operator practices, gambling-related harms and vulnerability, product characteristics and risk, and illegal gambling and crime.
Here’s a brief on some of the areas –
- Gateways and early experiences
Most of the gambling-related products have an age restriction (usually 18). However, some products, like coin machines at arcades, can be accessed by younger individuals, which may be an early gambling experience. Further, esports is also an area of interest for the UKGC, especially, the loot boxes. By studying these phenomena, the commission will try to assess behaviour that normalises gambling.
- Gambling-related harm and vulnerability
By analysing the existing evidence, the commission inferred that there’s no homogeneity among the gambling journeys of players. And this is why deeper research is needed to understand consumer behaviour and products. By studying this, the commission will be able to identify new and emerging risks.
- Operator practices
The main objective of studying this area is to look into the role that operators play in the consumer’s journey. The commission plans to get access to operator’s data, analyse the customer’s journey, find out what helps win consumer’s trust, and identify players at risk.
- Illegal gambling and crime
One of the main goals of the UKGC is to look into illegal gambling and crime related to it. Earlier research suggests that there are links between problem gambling and crimes, which includes financial crimes. With this new three-year plan, the commission aims to delve deeper and find out the extent of criminal activity associated with gambling.
UKGC happens to be one of the strictest Gambling Licenses. So operators with this license are usually trustworthy. Online casinos like PlayOJO and Hello Casino hold this license, and they cater to players in India.