The Gambling Commission
Everything you need to know about the Gambling Commission
Gambling licences are issued to operators wishing to offer their gaming services to customers in Great Britain. There are different types of licences granted depending on the gambling service on offer.
Why do operators need a licence?
Operators need licences in order to ensure that they are offering services that comply with the Gambling Act 2005. They must adhere to the Gambling Commission’s Licensing Conditions and Code of Practice; failure to do so can result in penalties, including fines and revocation of licences. Some individuals working in the gambling industry also hold personal licences (Personal Management Licences).
- Issues licences to gambling operators
- For remote gambling, the Commission issues licences to those operators who wish to supply and advertise their services in England, Wales, or Scotland.
- Can levy fines and revoke licences, make recommendations and amendments to operating practices.
- The Commission has the right to visit its licensees and examine their financial activities.
- Is tasked with investigating and prosecuting illegal gambling.
- Is responsible for advising national and local government on gambling-related issues
- Ensures that licensees act in accordance with the requirements imposed by the Gambling Act 2005 and other related regulations and standards.
- The list of operators and personal licence holders who have had a regulatory sanction imposed on them is published on the website of the Gambling Commission.
The LCCP is the rulebook setting out the measures that operators must take and contains other requirements that the UK Gambling Commission think are good practice. To run a business in a socially responsible way is to use the LCCP as a starting point, and build on these provisions to ensure that the operator puts its customers at the heart of its business.
Codes of practice are either:
- social responsibility code provisions - which must be adhered to by all licence holders
- ordinary code provisions – these do not have the status of licence conditions but failure to take account of them can be used as evidence in criminal or civil proceedings.
The Gambling Commission was established under the Gambling Act 2005 and is responsible for regulating gambling in Great Britain. It regulates gambling activity taking place in arcades, betting shops, bingo premises, casinos, slot machines and lotteries, but not spread betting (regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority).
The Commission's stated aims are :
"to keep crime out of gambling, to ensure that gambling is conducted fairly and openly, and to protect children and vulnerable people".
All presenters need to have knowledge in this area
The following signs may indicate that a player has or may be developing a problem with gambling (note this is not an exhaustive list):
- spending more money and time on gambling than they can afford
- finding it hard to manage or stop their gambling
- having arguments with family or friends about money and gambling
- losing interest in usual activities or hobbies like going out with friends or spending time with family
- always thinking or talking about gambling
- lying about their gambling or hiding it from other people
- chasing losses or gambling to get out of financial trouble
- gambling until all of their money is gone
- borrowing money, selling possessions or not paying bills in order to pay for gambling
- needing to gamble with larger amounts of money or for a longer time to get the same feeling of excitement or buzz
- neglecting work, education, family, personal needs or household responsibilities because of gambling
- feeling anxious, worried, guilty, depressed or irritable.
Whilst gambling is an enjoyable pastime for many, for some people addiction can become a problem.
The Gambling Commission requires that staff should be trained to be able to deal with any customer requesting help with their gambling problem.
This part aims to help give you an awareness into what social responsibility is and how concerns should be actioned.
Most people who gamble do so safely most of the time. But gambling can be harmful for some.
Excessive play due to inexperience or binge gambling, periods of loss of control and more serious gambling addiction.
The harm suffered is not restricted to the gambler, but also felt by families, friends, communities and employers.
Problem gambling will be explored in more detail later.
There are organisations which help with Problem Gambling
A full list of organisations can be found here
Social responsibility is about protecting people from gambling-related harm.
Your role as a Presenter means that you are required to support our social responsibility obligations by
- referring to our Control staff any player whom you believe may be showing signs of problem gambling
- being familiar with the external resources available to players with gambling problems
It can be hard to detect a problem, however, there may be triggers that you notice which might suggest a gambling problem, such as a player referring to his or her losses, questioning the honesty of the game or becoming irritable. It is important to look out for signs which might suggest that there is a problem; if you do have concerns they should be reported to Control who will take the necessary action.
Presenter Guidelines and Rules
Important presenter guidelines and rules
Your Agreement with us contains a list of your Duties with which you must fully comply. This slide and the following two slides are to remind you of some of your key Duties:
- You will not use defamatory, abusive, threatening, racially offensive or illegal words nor make derogatory comments about players or presenters
- You will not participate or be involved in any way in the provision of prostitution or escort services whilst presenting or at any other time
- You will not have any physical contact with any player at any time nor make any attempt to meet with or otherwise initiate any such contact
- At no time whilst you are presenting will any branded objects be visible to players
- You will not at any time solicit, offer to purchase or sell or propose any business deal or other transaction or trade to a player
- You will keep our information confidential at all times and will not disclose your user name or password to any third party not connected with us
- You will not permit any other person to undertake your role as presenter
- When presenting you must be physically present on camera; pre-recorded videos or still images are prohibited
- It is forbidden to give or request personal information from players including email, online messenger IDs, physical addresses, social and Skype accounts (or similar)
- It is forbidden to advertise any other website or service unless specifically permitted by us
- Nudity of any kind is prohibited
- Phone use, eating or sleeping in camera area is prohibited
- As Presenters on the front line of our business you are custodians of our legal obligations and, in particular, must ensure that you do not in any way encourage players to play for longer periods of time or place a greater number of bets or place higher bets.
- You must NEVER indicate to a player that enhanced play will increase winnings or reduce losses.
It can be hard to know how to react to a customer in certain scenarios, so here are some common examples and some responses:
Inappropriate or Abusive Behaviour
Presenter - Hello Jason, Welcome to XXX, how are you today?
Player 1 – (Jason) You’re really beautiful, are you a model?
Presenter – Thanks Jason. This is a chat area for people playing the game, if you could keep the conversation away from personal observations, that would be great! Is this your first time playing here?
Challenge to Game Fairness
If a player starts talking about the game being rigged, or the operator cheating
Inform the player that operators are regulated and licensed and there is no possibility of the games being fixed.
Player 1 (Anne) – This game is fixed, I have not won a hand in ages.
Presenter – Hi Anne, I can assure you the games are not fixed, the operators are all regulated and licensed. You can check the operator website for details of how the game outcomes are decided and what the odds for each game are.
- Do not use suggestive language whether verbal or body language.
- Be friendly but avoid any intimacy in conversation.
- Be ready to halt any conversation, politely but firmly, if the tone of it strays into personal areas.
- Keep notes relating to your customers, particularly those who are regular.
- Never pass any comment on any gambling operator
- Greet returning customers in a friendly way - you may refer to information previously given to you but briefly; beware offending less well known customers who may feel left out if you have too familiar a relationship with other players.
- Treat all customers with equal friendliness - do not use a different tone for those who you may know better.
- Speak only in the language of your country/area - If someone engages in a different language, respond in the language of your jurisdiction. If you do not understand the dialect, make it known in the language of your jurisdiction.
- Do not encourage customers to play for longer, deter them if they are thinking about leaving, to place large bets, or in any way to encourage them to gamble - reference to bets should be kept to asking customers to place bets for that particular game at hand and to refer to hands that they have.
If a conversation starts to become inappropriate in nature, for example someone starts talking about religion or politics
Steer the conversation to a new area
- Plans for weekend
- Celebrity gossip
- TV shows
- No discussion with third parties of your customers
- Do not ask personal questions - should personal information be disclosed by customers in chat, it must be kept confidential.
- Do not disclose any personal information relating to yourself - particularly that relating to your location, other occupations, personal status.
- Nobody else present in the room – you must work alone and there must be absolutely no presence of other adults, children or pets.
- Neutral environment – the area of the room visible to customers must be completely neutral and with no distractions (pictures, personal items, technological equipment etc).
- No excessive consumption of alcohol before a shift. Drunkenness will not be tolerated.
- Minimal background noise– this includes music, television, building works, people, traffic noises – all must be kept to an absolute minimum.