The UKGC Reveals Three-Year Strategy to Improve Industry

April 8th 2021 4.00pm

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is ready to improve the regulation of the country’s constantly-growing gaming industry. To show that it means business, the UK’s gambling watchdog has revealed an ambitious three-year strategy.

The UKGC was founded in 2005, under the existing Gambling Act. Since then, the regulatory agency has been regulating commercial gambling across the country, including the National Lottery.

An Ambitious Strategy

After laying out its corporate strategy last week, the UKGC pointed out it was completely aware of the importance of the work it planned to do over the next three years. It won’t be easy. The UKGC has to stay flexible as the gambling industry continues to move forward. That’s the regulator’s primary goal, while at the same time, it will make sure the bidding process for the next National Lottery is competitive enough.

As gambling products and services evolve, operators licensed by the UKGC will have to adapt to the demands of their consumers and the rapidly-growing market. However, keeping the customers safe should their primary goal. Dr. William Moyes, the UKGC Chairman, agrees.

He explained that the UKGC regulatory approach couldn’t stand still due to the gambling industry’s dynamic nature. Dr. Moyes pointed out the regulator’s intention to help the National Lottery and added the UKGC needed to adapt, especially as it already had a reputation as an effective regulator.

The Five-Step Plan

The UKGC plans to use five strategic objectives to get the job done. These objectives are:

  1. to protect children and vulnerable groups from gambling-related harm
  2. to create a fairer market and keep consumers informed
  3. preventing gambling-related crime
  4. to optimise the return from The National Lottery
  5. to further improve the gambling regulation

The main objectives are similar to those laid out in the regulator’s first three-year plan introduced in 2018. According to the UKGC, the current blueprint should build on the results achieved through policies developed over the last three years.

The UKGC has also stated the most recent strategy will take into account the ongoing review of the 2005 Gambling Act and the overhaul of the British gambling industry. After the process is completed, the UKGC should get more powers and resources to improve the regulation of the country’s industry.

The Department of Digital, Culture, Media, and Sports (DCMS) should conclude the review by the end of 2022, and in the meantime, the UKGC will make sure it stays flexible enough to adjust to the outcomes.

A Massive Industry

The Gambling Commission controls one of the largest gambling industries in the world. Between April 2019 and March 2020, the UK generated £14.2 billion in total gross gaming revenue. At the same time, the casino industry in Nevada didn’t exceed $12 billion.

But more is yet to come as online gambling continues to grow rapidly. According to the UKGC, the country’s online gambling market managed to generate £5.7 billion in gross gaming revenue during the twelve-month period ending in March 2020, representing an improvement of 8.1%.

At this moment, the regulator oversees more than 10,000 land-based casinos and betting locations across the UK. Unfortunately, that number has been decreasing recently, as many betting shops have been closed due to the ongoing health crisis. Another hard blow was the 2018 change to the maximum stake on fixed-odds betting terminals. After the maximum wager was dropped from £100 to just £2, hundreds of shops were closed.

A lot of work is waiting for the UKGC in the coming years, but we’re sure the agency will be more than capable of steering the British gambling industry through rough waters.

The UKGC is focused on improving the control over the gambling sector.