The Betting and Gaming Council has introduced a new voluntary Industry Code on Consumer Checks to support the implementation of financial vulnerability checks.

Betting and Gaming Council

The UK Gambling Commission on Wednesday confirmed that light-touch financial vulnerability checks for customers will be introduced in two stages from August this year.

The regulator also confirmed again it is to pilot enhanced frictionless financial risk checks.

The BGC’s new measure, which has been developed in partnership with the Commission, will operate as a voluntary interim scheme “until the frictionless financial risk assessments set out in the government’s white paper can be developed, tested and implemented,” it said.

The code sets out what actions BGC operators must take when customers wish to make deposits of more than £5,000 in a rolling month. The code will also be applicable to operators whose customers wish to make net deposits of £25,000 in any rolling 12-month period.

The code will set out that only customers wishing to spend over £25,000 in any 12-month rolling period may have to provide financial documents to prove they are not at financial risk. The BGC said the code will “raise standards while reducing the need for requests for private financial documents.”

However, it said the Industry Voluntary Code on Customer Checks is not a “complete solution,” with the BGC and the UKGC therefore working on a new Code on Anti-Money Laundering checks, which also trigger requests for documents.

BGC CEO and acting chair Michael Dugher said the code should be “particularly welcomed” by the British horseracing industry, which led the campaign against financial risk checks.

He said the code will “significantly increase the consistency of safer gambling standards while removing intrusive document checks for many who are currently subject to detailed checks.”

Dugher added: “While this is good progress in the right direction, we are acutely aware more needs to be done.

“So I wish to see a new Code on Anti-Money Laundering Checks to complement this Code on Customer Checks to further raise standards on consistency and reduce the disproportionate need for document requests, rightly ensuring that betting with our members remains free from crime.”

Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said the code will be a “major step forward” which will “help ensure that we can continue to protect those at risk of gambling harm without penalising ordinary punters.”

“Under the new interim code, there will be a reduction in the number of customers subject to the current inconsistent approach, as well as greater transparency and consistency across the sector,” Frazer said.

“We welcome the work of industry to agree this voluntary code, and their contribution to the Gambling Commission’s recent consultation on financial risk checks.”

Frazer said the government is committed to only bringing in the frictionless financial risk assessments “if we are assured they will be genuinely frictionless for the vast majority of punters.”