Skip to main content

Gambling Commission response to Summer 2023 consultations


The Gambling Commission has published its responses to the Summer 2023 Consultations which proposed the implementation of a number of key elements of the Government’s Review of Gambling Regulation. 

This follows the response from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to its Summer Consultation on the Reduction of Stakes for online slots games at the end of February 2024 and its imminent response to the reform of land-based gaming entitlements and is connected to the Government’s White Paper “High Stakes: gambling reform for the digital age” (“the White Paper”) which followed the review of the Gambling Act 2005. 

There is a phased implementation period for each different topic.

Tightening Age Verification in Premises

All gambling land-based licence holders, including smaller operators, will now be required to undertake test purchasing exercises.

“Challenge 21” is to be replaced by “Challenge 25” and all licence holders must have procedures that require staff to check the age of anyone who appears to be under 25 years of age.

These changes will take effect on 30th August 2024

Extension of Personal Management Licence Regime

With effect from 30th November 2024 the holders of the following posts will be required to hold a Personal Management Licence:

  • Chief Executive Officers and Managing Directors must apply for their licences immediately if they do not already hold one;
  •  The Nominated Officer (in the case of remote and non-remote casinos) – applications will be accepted from 1st June 2024;
  • The person responsible for the application of the Proceeds of Crime Act and the person responsible for filing suspicious activity reports in the case of all other sectors (except lotteries) – applications will be accepted from 1st June;
  • The person appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors, where that is a permanent appointment either on a fixed or indeterminate term of office, (licensees will be required to retain evidence that an appointment is on a transient and short-term basis for individual meetings where there is no permanent appointment) – applications will be accepted from 1st August 2024.

Direct Marketing (for the remote sector only)

Operators will be required to provide customers with the ability to opt into the product type they wish to receive and also the channel through which they wish to receive marketing. 

These new provisions will come into force on 17th January 2025 and customers will be required to up-date their marketing consent the first time they log on after this implementation date and before they gamble.

Land-based gambling and lotteries have been removed from the scope of the new requirements.

Financial Vulnerability Checks (for the remote sector only)

The Commission has introduced “light touch” financial vulnerability checks for customers who make a net deposit of more than £150 a month on gambling. Following the consultation, the additional annual threshold that was proposed will not be implemented but the thresholds will be kept under review.

These checks will be made using publicly available data such as bankruptcy, Individual Voluntary Agreements and Debt Relief Orders and will not, as proposed, require remote operators to consider personal details such as a customer’s post code or job title.

The checks will initially be introduced on 30th August 2024 where a customer deposits over £500 a month, before reducing to the £150 a month level from 28th February 2025.

“Frictionless Financial Risk Assessments”

This was one of the most controversial elements of the White Paper and the Commission will now carry out a pilot to test the details of frictionless assessments in practice, working with credit reference agencies and gambling businesses in order to examine the potential customer impact. Through the data collected the Commission will examine the exact financial thresholds at which the assessments will be conducted. The pilot assessments will not be undertaken in a live environment and will not impact a customer’s credit rating. The pilot will commence at the end of August 2024 and should the Comission decide as a result to implement the proposals they will not be introduced in a live environment until 2025.

Remote Games Design – reducing intensity

The requirements that already apply to online slots will be extended to other online games and will ban:

  • Features that speed up the time for a result to be shown or give the illusion of control such as “turbo” or “slam stops”;
  • Autoplay;
  • Audio or visual celebrations of less than or equal to stake;
  • Operator-led functionality which facilitates playing multiple simultaneous casino products such as roulette and blackjack tables. Bingo, virtual betting and peer to peer poker have been removed from scope following the consultation; and
  • Casino games spin speeds of less than 5 seconds, with the exception of peer-to-peer poker;

Operators will also be required to display to customers in real time their net spend and time they have spent gambling for all casino games, excluding peer-to-peer poker.

These changes will come into force on 17th January 2025.

Security Audits

 The last date for completion of audits against 2013 standards will be 31st October 2024. All security audits from 1st November 2024 must be against the up-dated 2022 standards. Until 31st October 2024 security audits can be against the 2013 or 2022 standards.