How to apply
Preparing for accreditation
UPDATE ON COVID-19
Due to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we are temporarily changing the way we undertake Safer Gambling Standard assessments.
Assessments of land-based businesses will be suspended. Assessments of online businesses will be conducted remotely.
The Standard assessment takes a similar format to a regulatory audit. We visit the head office of all businesses that apply for accreditation and, for land-based businesses, we also visit a sample of their gambling venues.
Our GamCare assessor will work closely with your responsible gambling and compliance teams to gather the evidence and to make sure we meet the right people during our on-site visit. You can read about the key stages of assessment below.
- The business will register their interest in accreditation.
- The assessor and business representatives meet to agree the scope of assessment e.g. size and nature of operations, whether land-based and/or online operations will be covered. They agree dates for on-site visits.
- The business submits information on its organisational structure and current approach to safer gambling.
- The business signs their contract proposal and starts to complete a Safer Gambling Standard questionnaire issued by their assessor.
Month 2 – 3
- The business submits their Safer Gambling Standard questionnaire and any accompanying documentary evidence.
- The assessor confirms the agenda for the on-site visit.
- The business provides test account information for their website review.
- The assessor reviews the websites for evidence of compliance with the Standard.
Month 3 – 4
- The assessor meets with the following teams; senior management, compliance, operations, marketing, customer services, training.
- The assessor reviews systems, including; responsible gambling controls, customer interactions, marketing and affiliate controls.
- The assessor visits relevant venues (land-based businesses only).
- The assessor has a final meeting with senior management to discuss findings.
Month 4 – 5
- The business can submit any final/outstanding evidence for the assessor’s consideration.
- The assessor sends their report to the business confirming provisional level of accreditation and advises on any areas for improvement.
- The business has up to four weeks to respond to the assessment report. The response needs to include any final evidence which remains outstanding.
- The business is awarded the Standard at the appropriate level: Base Level, Advanced Level 1, Advanced Level 2 or Advanced Level 3.
- The business has their accreditation award published on this website.
- The business is issued with an accreditation certificate and the Safer Gambling Standard badge.
Note: If a gambling business wishes to increase the level of their accreditation (i.e. those at Base Level, Advanced Level 1 or Advanced Level 2) by supplying evidence of additional improvements made in their approach to safer gambling, the business can apply for an assessment review from three months after being awarded the Standard.
Scope and length of accreditation
Each assessment is limited to the business’s head office and a sample of their venues, brands and websites.
Accreditation measures a business’s effectiveness at a specific point in time and, as such, businesses need to re-apply for accreditation every two years. The Standard is updated every year to take into account developments in best practice and regulation. This means that accredited businesses may have been assessed against different versions of the Standard. See previous versions of the Standard.
Businesses can only apply for assessment if they are licensed by the Gambling Commission and provide gambling services to the public. We do however work constructively with businesses in other jurisdictions.
Evidence for assessment
The evidence a business submits can vary depending on the size and nature of the organisation. Some examples of evidence are listed below:
- Responsible gambling policies and procedures.
- Public statements regarding safer gambling, such as safer gambling strategies.
- Assurance Statements (where applicable).
- Minutes of meetings where safer gambling was discussed.
- Presentations delivered at trade association conferences on the subject of safer gambling.
- Processes for recording and collecting customer data.
All evidence is kept confidential.
Preparing for the on-site visit
Prior to our visit, we ask businesses to complete a Safer Gambling Standard questionnaire so that our assessor has a greater understanding of how safer gambling has been embedded within their business operations.
All teams – regardless of level or role – are expected to foster a safer gambling culture within the business. We therefore ask to meet the CEO and staff who have responsibility for various areas within your business including: senior management, compliance, operations, marketing, customer services and training.
Know Your Customer systems and controls
Know Your Customer (KYC) systems and controls are commonly associated with the subject of Anti-Money Laundering (AML). We look at assessing KYC systems and controls in a wider sense by focusing on whether and how quickly the business can identify a customer experiencing or at risk of experiencing harm from their gambling through the information the business obtains on the customer. This will include documents verifying the customer’s identity and whether the customer is able to gamble at a level which they can afford.
Upon completion of the assessment GamCare provides businesses with an assessment report which sets out whether the business needs to take further action before being awarded the Standard.
Submission and fee
Submissions are currently accepted by email, however, a Safer Gambling Portal is due to launch soon to allow businesses to submit their evidence securely through this website. Businesses can also supply evidence via their own online file transfer platforms if preferred.
Fees are quoted on an individual basis and vary depending on the length and nature of the assessment. If you would like a quote, register your interest and we’ll be in touch.
Using the Safer Gambling Standard badge
Accredited businesses can display a Safer Gambling Standard badge on their websites, apps and in-venue to demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility and safer gambling. See our guidelines on how to use the badge.
Download the Standard
Version 2 2020
Download the Standard document for full details on the assessment process and criteria.