Are high roller online casino VIP schemes at risk?

  • Updated
  • By Hannah Timoney
VIP schemes in danger
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The British Gambling Commission has issued new rules and regulations regarding VIP schemes at online casinos. As of the 31st October licensees will be required to carry out enhanced affordability and responsible gambling checks to better protect their players. 

The Gambling Commission chief executive Neil McArthur has even warned that loyalty and VIP schemes may be banned altogether if operators fail to abide by the new rules and regulations. 

“Operators can be in no doubt about our expectations,” he said. “If significant improvements are not made, we will have no choice but to take further action and ban such schemes."

Under new regulations players will be asked to provide proof of their funds, ensuring they can afford their level of gambling, and they may have their past gambling habits assessed before they are allowed access to loyalty schemes. 

A representative of the Gambling Commission clarified that the source of funds check must be supported by evidence provided by the customer, rather than data such as property values. This is in an attempt to prove to a greater degree of certainty the affordability of gambling for the customer. 

It should be noted that having previously used self-exclusion schemes will also become a factor in deciding whether a player can become part of a VIP scheme. Having used these exclusion schemes, such as GamStop, in the past will not outright ban a player from any loyalty schemes going forward, but will be significant in determining eligibility.

For players under 25, the new rules are bad news as the BGC’s voluntary code also includes measures restricting VIP schemes to players aged 25+. 

Incentives offered as part of VIP schemes are also to be limited for players, as they must “not encourage risk behaviours such as chasing losses and excessive time or money spent gambling.” Last week the Betting and Gambling Council announced a new code of conduct that limits how fast you can spin the reels, with 2.5 seconds per spin being the maximum speed, as well as banning turbo play and multi-play. 

These new measures are in place to protect players and promote responsible gambling, though they could result in many players not being able to participate in VIP schemes at their favourite online casinos and online slot sites, despite proving their source of funds.