Metrics Monthly | September 2019 | UK Edition

The SCOR dilemma

David Wylie argues that the existing SCOR restrictions on creditworthiness checks can be sidestepped by gambling operators

Individual’s can change dramatically from one minute to the next, without a gambling provid- er being aware of it. Up until recently, it has been impossible to address this issue, given the SCOR restrictions. However, there is a way around this. An overlooked feature of the Open Banking revolution is that it can be used to give those who are not part of the SCOR framework access to real- time current account statement data. And retrospective mis-selling actions - such as PPI that has hobbled the banking sector - cannot be discounted for gambling operators that have failed to make adequate affordability and creditworthiness checks. creditworthiness Gambling is now a large and obvious target on the Government’s regulatory radar. High profile problem gambling cases have exposed a culture of lax, some might say lazy, consumer safeguard- ing checks that have led to individuals racking up massive debts. The drip feed of cases covered in the national Press has prompted Tom Watson, Labour’s deputy leader, to call problem gambling a ‘public health emergency’ and demand far tougher government oversight. The regulations that currently apply are no doubt going to get even tougher as time passes - even if Labour does not get in at the next election.

The big issue for those trying to ensure they are compliant is that they are cur- rently restricted in making thorough checks because of the Steering Com- mittee on Reciprocity (SCOR) data sharing framework. At present, full banking data access is not allowed to those who are not part of the SCOR closed-user groups who contribute, as well as tap into, credit- worthiness data.

Gambling companies are outside this arrangement and do not have access, so have always had to make do with historic credit checks such as AML and PEP. In an analogue era, this and paper documentation was workable, but in an age of online gambling, when tens of thousands of pounds of gambling debt can be accumulated in a matter of minutes, this arrangement has exposed a giant area of vulnerability.

14 | Metrics Monthly

September 2019 | UK Edition

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