The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has chosen to extend the deadline for its affordability and intervention consultation period. 

Gambling customers, as well as industry stakeholders and ‘people with lived experience’ were initially invited to share their thoughts in November 2020. 

Since then, the commission has received high levels of engagement – prompting an extension of the consultation until 9th February. 

Allowing time for “more detailed feedback” 

Originally, the consultation period had been set to finish at the end of the week commencing 4th January. However, the UKGC believes a period extension will enable them to get more first-hand insights to make better decisions. 

The UKGC launched the consultation because they believed that gambling operators could do more to reduce related harms. It was argued that businesses can identify problem gamblers without problems, effectively meaning that they need to take more action. 

When the consultation period was extended, a spokesperson for the commission said: 

“With high engagement since the consultation opened last month, the Commission has extended the call for evidence deadline by four weeks to Tuesday 9th February 2021.

“This extension will allow more time for detailed feedback and the strongest evidence base possible from consumers and other stakeholders.”

The UKGC is particularly interested in customer opinions 

Above all else, the UKGC is looking to find out when action should be taken to stop customers from continuing with excessive gambling. The commission also wants to know how vulnerable individuals should be identified. 

When the consultation was launched, UKGC Executive Director Tim Miller said the following:

“We are clear on the need for gambling companies to take further action and that the Commission must set firm requirements to set consistent standards.

“But we want to have an open discussion with the gambling industry, consumers, people with lived experience and other stakeholders, to ensure we strike the right balance between allowing consumer freedom and ensuring that there are protections in place to prevent gambling harm.”

The potential for increased player safety in other areas has also been assessed

Over the past 12 months, the UKGC has sought consultation in various gambling areas with a view to maintaining player safety and keep the activity as strictly a means of entertainment. 

Last July, a consultation period was launched on slots and game designs which closed in September. 

The commission also launched a consultation period on VIP schemes over the summer of 2020, which followed on from its credit card gambling ban last April.