Andrew Rhodes stepped in as an executive director of the Gambling Commission back in June 2021. That happened after his predecessor, Neil McArthur, stepped down vacated the post. His resignation came amid the review of the Gambling Act and many challenges related to the growth of online and mobile gambling.
UKGC May Keep Its Current Chief Executive Permanently
Back in December 2021, Rhodes spoke at the annual GambleAware conference. In his speech, he acknowledged that the GC remains focused on reducing the share of illegal gambling and the black market. According to Rhodes, the GC isn’t going to be “deflected away from that mission.” Moreover, he outlined that recently, an increase in the regulatory fines was observed. Rhodes explained that this is the direct result of “recidivist behavior.”
“We’re also seeing the proportion of regulatory settlements versus fines change, with fines increasing, and that is because we are seeing recidivist behavior.”Andrew Rhodes, interim chief executive at the Gambling Commission
According to a new report released by the Guardian earlier this week, Rhodes will likely keep his executive position at the Gambling Commission permanently. His salary is expected to be £150,000 ($203,000) and he is expected to be appointed permanently by the culture minister Nadine Dorries. Once that happens, key priorities for Rhodes are going to be the fourth National Lottery license, as well as the government gambling review.
The Commission Keeps Focus on Fair, Transparent and Crime-Free Gambling
Undoubtedly, having Rhodes permanently in his position will bring positive changes for the UK market. In fact, back in December, he reiterated that a GC’s key objective is to keep gambling fair, transparent, and crime-free.
Moreover, a key objective for the GC is to protect the vulnerable from harm. Not unexpectedly, last year the GC was quite busy. In mid-December 2021, the Commission announced that it took regulatory action against Buzz Group Ltd operating as Buzz Bingo. Back then, upon investigating, the regulator said that the operator breached social responsibility and money laundering rules. Consequently, a fine of $1,038,820 was imposed for the breaches.
After that, the GC released details regarding an investigation into the business of International Multi-Media Entertainments (IMME), an Isle of Man-based company. The regulator said that it found “significant suitability, social responsibility and money laundering failures.” However, no monetary sanction was imposed despite the result of the investigation.