In a significant development, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has embraced the evaluation conducted by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), highlighting the importance of data collaboration in safeguarding gambling consumers.
The ICO recently published its response to an inquiry by UK Finance, a financial services trade body, regarding the legal boundaries of data collaboration between financial services and gambling firms.
As the authority overseeing data rights, privacy, and protections in the UK, the ICO emphasized that data laws should not hinder gambling operators from conducting risk assessments on customers. The ICO stated that financial institutions should be able to share personal data with gambling operators, as long as the process is transparent and customers are informed about the data being exchanged.
Director of Policy Projects, Helen Rhodes, expressed her satisfaction with the ICO’s assessment, stating that it further reinforces the UKGC’s key initiatives, including the implementation of financial risk assessments and the GamProtect Single Customer View as part of its regulatory framework.
The financial risk assessment initiative entails new rules mandating licensed operators to conduct financial risk assessments when customers exhibit unusually high gambling losses compared to their previous records.
Additionally, as part of its ongoing “sandbox testing phase,” the UKGC aims to introduce the GamProtect Single Customer View. This centralized system will provide stakeholders with a comprehensive overview of customer behaviour, enabling early interventions to address potential harm.
The UKGC highlighted the ICO’s involvement in the development of both projects, emphasizing the need for data sharing between the financial sector and the UK gambling industry.
Rhodes added, “GamProtect has been operating on a trial basis since February 2023, with the participation of four major gambling businesses. Initially, the focus is on information sharing among these businesses when customers disclose severe indicators of health-related harms.”
“We are delighted that the ICO has released their final Sandbox exit report, outlining the implementation of our challenge to the industry across the remote gambling sector.”