UKGC Launch First Ever National Strategic Assessment

With the launch of its first ever National Strategic Assessment, the UK Gambling Commission has discussed the ‘issues and risks gambling presents to consumers and the public.’

It is said that the paper uses the latest available data, from a broad variety of sources and case studies, to assess the challenges and threats posed to customers and the public by gambling.

It will outline the priority actions of the UKGC in resolving gambling-related risks while also highlighting a range of areas where ‘significant progress is already made to make gambling safer.’

Neil McArthur, UKGC chief executive, when discussing the launch said: “We will use our National Strategic Assessment as the foundation for prioritising our work over the coming months and years.

“We look forward to working with the government on the forthcoming review of the Gambling Act and alongside that work we will be working hard to address the issues that we have identified in our Strategic Assessment.

“We have demonstrated that we are willing and able to respond quickly to emerging issues and risks and that we will use the full range of our powers to protect consumers. We have made considerable progress in many areas to make gambling safer – but we want to go further and faster.”

The release of the regulator ‘s annual Compliance and Enforcement Report comes alongside the introduction of the National Strategic Evaluation.

The report presents the outcomes of the systematic casework of the regulator against licence holders and details where standards need to be improved by the industry.

This year’s report points out how the Commission’s work over the past financial year has included:

  • Commencing reviews on 49 people who hold personal licences to operate gambling businesses.
  • Suspending five operating licences.
  • Revoking 11 operating licences.
  • Issuing 12 financial penalty packages of regulatory settlements – totalling over £30m.
  • Carrying out 234 security audits and 33 website reviews.
  • Conducting 350 compliance assessments of land-based and online operators.
  • Dealing with 630 reports of suspicious betting activity, sports rules breaches and misuse of inside information.
  • Generating over 3,000 intelligence reports.

Commenting on the report, McArthur added: “Holding an operating licence or a personal licence is a privilege, not a right, and we expect our licensees to protect consumers from harm and treat them fairly.

“Our latest report shows that where licensees fail to meet the standards we expect, we will take tough action, including the suspension and revocation of licences. It also charts how we are shifting our focus towards personal management licence holders – those in boardrooms and senior positions need to live up to their responsibilities and we will continue to hold people to account for failings they knew, or ought to have known, about.

“Everyone has a part to play to make gambling safer and learning the lessons from the failings identified in this report is one way of doing that.”