Nine months since publication of the White Paper: Where are we now, and what will come next?
Expert insight provided bDavid Whyte and Gemma Boore from Harris Hagan
It is now nearly nine months since the publication of the White Paper on 27 April 2023, which was nearly 30 months in the making. Following its publication, the Gambling Commission was quick to manage expectations by saying that the implementation of the White Paper “will likely take a number of years to fully complete”.  So, where are we after nine months? In this blog, and following the format of the White Paper, we:
  1. look back at the progress made by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (“DCMS”), the Gambling Commission and the industry; and
  2. look forward at what lies ahead in 2024.  
Progress with Chapter 1: Online protections – players and products 
26 July 2023 - Two consultations were published by the Gambling Commission and DCMS to implement proposals to improve online protections in the White Paper:
a)    a Gambling Commission consultation (the “GC Summer Consultation”), which included proposals to reduce the speed and intensity of online products, while making them fairer and increasing consumer understanding about game play; and introduce new obligations on operators to conduct financial vulnerability checks and financial risk assessments to understand if a customer’s gambling is likely to be harmful in the context of their financial circumstances. The GC Summer Consultation also included proposals to extend personal management licence (“PML”) requirements so more individuals within a licensee would be required to hold a PML.
b)    a DCMS consultation on maximum stake limits for online slots (the “DCMS Stake Consultation”).  
4 October 2023 - The DCMS Stake Consultation closed (extended from 20 September 2023 following the publication of incorrect problem gambling rates).  At the time of writing, we await the response. Sources have indicated that responses are expected in “the next couple of weeks”. 
18 October 2023 - The GC Summer Consultation closed.  At the time of writing, we await the response. During his speech in the Consumer Protection Zone at ICE, Andrew Rhodes confirmed that the Gambling Commission hopes to be publishing next steps on financial risk checks “in the coming weeks”.
29 November 2023 - The Gambling Commission launched a further consultation (the “GC Autumn Consultation”), which includes proposals to ensure that tools are available (such as deposit limits) to make it easier for consumers to manage their gambling and increase transparency for consumers if their funds are held by licensees that offer no protection in the event of insolvency.  This consultation remains open until 21 February 2024.
Want to read more? Read more in the following Harris Hagan blogs: 
If you would like to continue reading, the full article is available here: Harris Hagan: Legal Eye... Where are we now, and what will come next?