The UK government is preparing to perform a revision of gambling legislation and the country’s regulator considers banning programs with privileged memberships in the gambling industry. According to the regulator, these kinds of schemes are built to reward individuals who are feeding their problematic habits.
The Guardian reports that the UK gambling industry is hugely dependent on premium clients who throw money on gambling in large amounts.
The GBCG performed research on loyalty and VIP schemes recently. This research included nine operators, some of which were among the largest brands in the UK.
It turned out that one of the operators earned 83% of deposits placed from 2% of the total number of customers, and these 2% were VIP members.
Other operators were in a similar situation, mostly relying on VIP members to produce a steady income.
This means that if the regulator decides to ban the VIP membership program, operators would be severely crippled by this decision.
Also, the research states that VIP clients are more prone to developing gambling addiction than other members. There are 47,000 VIP members in Britain and 8% of them are believed to have a gambling addiction.
So, the regulator came up with the idea to establish a VIP code of conduct that will limit the VIP schemes. Also, there is another proposal that suggests the complete ban of VIP status.
The regulator commented:
“Operators must improve their interaction with VIPs and we have challenged the industry to make faster progress to improve how they manage their customers. We have also taken robust action against operators who fail to protect consumers and we will be even tougher if the behavior does not change.”
Brigid Simmonds, chair of the BGC trade body, announced as follows:
“Our industry recognizes the need to change practices in this area and we will soon publish the terms of a review for a new industry code of conduct. We intend to consult widely on the shape of this new code, to ensure we are always putting the welfare of our customers first.”