APBGG Increases Stakes in UKGC Incompetency Claims

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A UK government committee is coming down hard on the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), but wants to come down even harder. The All-Party Parliamentary Betting & Gaming Group (APBGG) has alleged that the gaming regulator isn’t pulling its own weight, going so far as hinting at its incompetence. Now, the committee is extending its investigation into the UKGC and wants the entire gaming industry to weigh in.

UKGC Becomes Target of the UK Parliament

Last month, the APBGG announced that it was investigating the UKGC over concerns that the gaming regulator wasn’t living up to expectations. It asked for input from industry insiders, setting a deadline of October 31 for any comments or complaints to be submitted. The APBGG reportedly received more than it had bargained for and the amount of feedback has led it to extend its deadline. Now, anyone who wants to provide input has until December 1 to do so.

According to a statement from Scott Benton MP, the co-chair of the APBGG, “We have been shocked by two things since we launched this investigation, the sheer scale and severity of evidence that has been submitted to us and the abject terror that the industry has of recriminations by the regulator.”

UKGC boss Andrew Rhodes is likely already preparing for the hot seat, as he is expected to sit before the APBGG to answer questions about the investigation before the December 1 deadline.

UKGC’s Future In Question

The APBGG has reportedly received input that confirms its suspicions that the UKGC has been negligent on several fronts and that it had abused its regulatory authority and the code of conduct established through the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006. The committee has also raised concerns that the regulator has managed to keep itself out of government-led audits, including those conducted by the Public Accounts Committee, the House of Lords Select Committee and the National Audit Office. The UKGC allegedly played a larger role in the collapse of the Football Index, as well, according to the feedback the APBGG has received.

Benton added, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank those who have submitted evidence of what is showing to be numerous examples of often incredibly tortuous, arbitrary and expensive dealings with the UKGC and reiterate our promise of absolute anonymity to any remaining operators or advisors to submit their experiences without any fear of retribution. As a Group we stand wholeheartedly behind the British gambling industry’s desire to be well regulated by a competent and fair regulator.”

Once all the feedback is submitted and reviewed by the APBGG, the committee’s findings will then be turned over to the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The UK’s regulator of regulators will then determine what steps need to be taken.

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