The Gambling Commission has addressed concerns, stating that financial risk checks would only impact an estimated 3% of accounts.
In an effort to dispel misconceptions, Andrew Rhodes, CEO of the British Gambling Commission, recently elucidated the commission’s stance on financial risk checks. Through a comprehensive Q&A segment on the Gambling Commission’s official website, Rhodes sought to enlighten the public, especially with a mere six weeks remaining in the consultation period.
Acknowledging the complexities of the financial risk checks, Rhodes termed it as the “most intricate segment of our current work.” He expressed concern over widespread misinformation that’s being propagated not just during consultation responses, but also across media channels and social platforms.
One predominant “myth” that Rhodes addressed was the notion that the proposed checks might inconvenience players. He emphasized the commission’s strategy of executing “proportional checks” which are particularly tailored for high-expenditure players who are at the highest risk of potential harm. The CEO reassured that the streamlined “frictionless financial risk assessments” would likely affect a mere 3% of gambling accounts.
Rhodes elaborated, “Our proposals intend to harmonize the individual’s freedom to gamble with the necessity of conducting proportional checks. This ensures that we can identify and safeguard our most vulnerable patrons.”
Most of these assessments would be conducted via a credit reference agency, ensuring that individuals’ credit scores remain unaffected. Rhodes specified, “In the rare instances where no credit file exists and the patron opts against open banking data sharing, only then would we request additional evidence of their financial standing. This means a minuscule estimated 0.3% of account holders might be required to submit documents like payslips or bank statements.”
Additionally, Rhodes mentioned that rudimentary financial vulnerability assessments, using “publicly accessible data”, would be conducted on around 20% of accounts.
Highlighting the commission’s flexible approach, Rhodes stated, “We aren’t suggesting any overarching mandates about the subsequent actions post-check. Information obtained through these assessments should be juxtaposed with other potential harm indicators when considering any actions.”