The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has set out new rules to protect consumers from irresponsible advertising and misleading promotions by gambling operators.

The new rules are set to come into force on October 31st and follow a public consultation into ways to provide stronger protection for consumers to ensure they are treated fairly by operators.

“Protecting the interests of consumers is a priority for us and needs to be a priority for gambling operators,” said UKGC chief executive Neil McArthur. “These changes will protect consumers from irresponsible advertising and misleading promotions, ensure that they can withdraw their money more easily, and will mean that firms have to deal with complaints more swiftly.”

The changes make it easier for the regulator to take action against operators, including imposing fines for any breach of advertising rules, such as those concerning appeal to children. Previously, the UKGC only had authority to impose fines for misleading advertising. 

Operators will also face action for advertising failings by third party affiliates, while the UKGC will be able to take quicker action for breaches of consumer law, including unfair and misleading practices or unreasonable restrictions on withdrawals.

Operators will also have to provide better complaints processes, including an eight week deadline for complaints to be resolved, with the UKGC also granted powers to take action against gambling companies that send ‘spam’ marketing emails or texts.

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