Commission explores the risks of social gambling

29/01/2013

In a speech to gambling experts Gambling Commission Chairman Philip Graf has highlighted the Commission’s continuing work in assessing the potential risks of social gambling.

Graf explained “We have no desire to widen our regulatory scope unless necessary, but we must continue to assess the nature and size of these risks.”

The risks broadly fall into two categories, whether young people or other vulnerable people might develop problem gambling characteristics from social gambling and whether there is any possibility of consumers being duped by rigged games or unscrupulous or incompetent operators.

The Commission has made no secret about its concerns regarding the recent developments in social gambling. Last year it announced that it is seeking to better understand whether there are aspects of social gambling that pose risks to the public and, if there are, whether adequate protections are already in place.

Work is already underway with the commissioning of a review of existing knowledge and trends and a formal request for advice to the Responsible Gambling Strategy Board (RGSB). Last month the RGSB brought together research experts and practitioners to discuss the issues in an event held at the Commission’s Birmingham offices.

In his speech to more than one hundred industry representatives at London’s City Hall, Graf outlined how the Commission’s approach could be shaped by effective self-regulation.

“A lot depends on whether those who provide gambling-like social games consider the potential risks to players and implement the necessary responsible gambling consumer protection measures.  I would suggest it is in their interests to self-regulate if they want their business model to be sustainable.”

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