UK Gambling Regulator Increases Its Fines by 50% during the Latest Fiscal Year
November 10th, 2020 3.00pm
There’s no break for the British gambling industry, as the country’s regulator continues to impose stricter rules.
The UK Gambling Commission has also revealed it has significantly increased the size of financial penalties issued during the latest fiscal period. At the same time, the gambling watchdog continues to warn operators doing business in the UK against taking advantage of players.
Warning to All Licensees
Last week, the UKGC posted its Compliance & Enforcement Report covering the regulator’s efforts during the twelve-month period that ended in March 2020. The report also provides detailed information about the UKGC work on making sure its licensees, both on and offline, adhere to the rules. It also lists all the fines imposed whenever an operator violated any of them.
According to the report, the UKGC issued a total of twelve financial penalties, including regulatory settlements during the said fiscal period, worth more than £30 million. That sum represents an increase of over 50% when compared to the previous fiscal year when the regulator collected £19.6 million from various financial packages of the same kind. In total, the UKGC suspended five licenses, while 11 were revoked. During the same period, it reviewed 49 personal management licenses.
Commenting on the report, Neil McArthur, Chief Executive Officer at the UKGC, said it demonstrated the regulator wasn’t afraid to utilise all the necessary means to reprimand its licensees.
He pointed out the UKGC was paying more and more attention to executives and those in senior positions, which would be held accountable for violating rules, no matter whether they knew or should have known about it.
Due to ongoing health crisis and the latest lockdown, McArthur stated the UKGC had already imposed tight measures to protect players across the UK and explained the rules would still apply. He also warned online licensees to adhere to the said rules, or they could be facing harsh penalties.
Getting Ready for the Upcoming Overhaul
The regulator will pay special attention to several areas. First of all, the UKGC will oversee marketing campaigns in the upcoming period, especially when it comes to offering online gaming to fans of sports betting. The watchlist will also include customer affordability checks, which have recently become the issue of the regulator’s public consultation.
Last week, the UKGC posted its National Strategic Assessment, the first document of its kind, which summarised all essential issues the regulator faced in the process of creating a safer and fairer gambling environment for customers in the UK. The report provides plenty of detailed information on the country’s gambling and gives a much clearer insight into the role the UKGC has in it.
However, the report itself doesn’t reveal anything new. Experts believe the UKGC published it only as a protection against some politicians who have been calling for a complete overhaul of the UK’s gambling industry. Only a couple of days before the report was made public, MP Carolyn Harris said she believed the UKGC couldn’t continue in its current form. Harris also pointed out it needed a complete change, as it simply couldn’t function properly at the moment.
The UKGC is fully aware that the authorities are working on a much-anticipated review of the country’s current gambling legislation, which has been in effect since 2005. But, the Gambling Commission wants to make sure that any changes brought by the updated legislation are made solely on the actual data.
The latest news emerges only a week after the UKGC revealed its plans to impose more stringent rules on the industry, whose goal would be to identify gambling-related harm among customers.
The regulator continues to impose stricter rules