British Gambling Commission to consult on penalties
The British regulator will review its penalties for regulatory breaches.
UK.- The Gambling Commission will carry out a consultation on its penalties for breaches of regulations and on how to improve gambling operators’ accountability. The regulator said it aimed to be more transparent on its enforcement action and about how penalties are calculated.
The regulator will seek feedback on how to improve the way it calculates penalties in order to ensure that they are more effective in encouraging operator compliance. It will also look at how accountability can be improved by expanding the personal management licence regime.
Senior policy director Tim Miller revealed the plans for the consultation at a CMS Tax/Law Gambling Conference in London last week. He said the industry should not be surprised by the move given that the Gambling Commission has warned on several occasions that it was unsatisfied with repeat failings in operators’ customer interactions.
He noted that too many operators still failed to fulfil their duties when it comes to detecting customers that show signs of potential gambling harm and carrying out interactions with them.
He said: ‘Both the commission and the government have stated publicly that more work is needed here, especially on how operators understand whether they are allowing customers to gamble in ways that are unaffordable. So a continuing focus on this should come as no surprise to anyone.”
Miller said there would be changes in how feedback is collected from stakeholders. He said the regulator recognised that it had been criticised in the past for having “sometimes taken a scattergun approach”. Now, rather than running consultations as and when it feels like it, the regulator intends to run “consultation windows” with a set schedule in two fixed periods each year.
Miller said: “I can’t promise we won’t ever be forced to issue a consultation outside these periods but that should be the exception rather than the rule and we would clearly explain why we needed to depart from the usual window.”
Last week, the Gambling Commission has announced that it has suspended Bet-at-home’s British licence while it conducts an investigation into its operations. It said that it suspects the Dusseldorf-headquartered operator, which has offices in Gibraltar and Malta, may have breached social responsibility and anti-money laundering rules.
Meanwhile, the timeline for the UK government’s already long-delayed white paper proposing new gambling legislation has been put in further doubt following the resignation of Chris Philp, the minister responsible for overseeing the review of the 2005 Gambling Act.
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