In the United Kingdom (UK), the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has advised the government that the recommended introduction of a ‘single customer view’ as a solution to help prevent problem gambling would be lawful.
The ICO said that it might be ‘lawful’ to introduce the ‘single customer view’ solution. It would allow operators of online as well as land-based gaming properties to share information with the purpose of preventing gamers from losing excessive sums of money. The ICO’s latest legal guidance means that the UK Gambling Commission could now look towards implementing the solution so long as it conforms to local data protection laws.
Sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), the ICO is a non-departmental public body that reports directly to the UK Parliament. Being an independent regulatory office, it independently deals with the Data Protection Act 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation, and the Privacy & Electronic Communication Regulations 2003 across the country.
The government had asked the non-departmental public body to look into the legality of introducing some kind of ‘single customer view’ solution as part of its efforts to tackle problem gambling. The government asked for the advice as part of its review into the country’s current gaming landscape. Last year, the UK Gambling Commission conducted a two-day conference where it asked the country’s iGaming industry to help it find a workable solution. The iGaming industry is represented by the Betting & Gaming Council (BGC).
Tim Miller, the chief of a Gambling Commission team that works to develop policies and strategies for the reduction of problem gambling, expressed pleasure that the ICO has assured that requirements on data protection wouldn’t be a barrier on the way to implementation of the new solution.
Speaking on the topic, Miller said, “We now look forward to the industry rapidly starting to pilot and then evaluate the approach they have developed to meet the challenge we have set of achieving a ‘single customer view’.”
The government is trying hard to control problem gambling as industry experts have warned that the impacts of problem gambling could be very serious and far reaching, with potential impacts including debt or other financial issues, loss of employment, problems in relationships, issues related to mental and emotional health, and negative impact on family members, especially on children.