March 27, 2024 3 min read


UKGC Mandates Quarterly Regulatory Returns from License Holders

This strategic update broadly aligns with stakeholder sentiment and should provide the Commission with more accurate information for player protection initiatives

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) has announced a significant amendment to license condition 15.3.1, mandating that all license holders submit regulatory returns quarterly. This decision follows the UKGC’s Autumn 2023 Consultation on proposed Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP) changes and represents a positive step towards improved gambling harm prevention.

A Quarterly Approach Has Substantial Benefits

The LCCP will now be modified to require licensee submissions every three months. This change aims to provide more timely insights into gambling harms, facilitate better evaluation of public health interventions, and ensure that the data received is relevant. Additionally, quarterly returns should promote greater efficiencies among licensees with multiple license types by aligning remote and non-remote submission dates.

All submissions will be aligned to the same reporting period, which will make the process more efficient for operators.

UKGC statement

The decision to implement quarterly returns was informed by feedback from industry stakeholders, with 49% of respondents agreeing or strongly agreeing with the proposal. Respondents highlighted the potential for quarterly reporting to enable an enhanced understanding of the ever-evolving gambling behaviors, improving response times in case of unexpected challenges.

The UKGC released a statement outlining the advantages of quarterly reporting, including improved budgeting capabilities, a deeper understanding of income levels, and a more accurate picture of the gambling sector. Quarterly returns also align with the Commission’s aspirations and the intentions of the government’s White Paper, which should bring the country’s gambling regulations up-to-date with industry developments.

The Changes Align with the UKGC’s Broader Objectives

Despite concerns from some licensees, the Commission believes that the benefits of quarterly reporting outweigh any potential administrative burdens. Quarterly returns will support the Commission’s aim to be a risk-based, evidence-led, and outcomes-focused regulator, enabling better market condition monitoring and informing accurate regulatory changes targeting emerging problems before they pose a danger to consumers.

By aligning reporting periods across the industry, the quality of our data will improve as we will no longer need to apportion data from each operator to the financial year.

UKGC statement

The Commission addressed stakeholder concerns, noting it had streamlined regulatory returns by removing approximately 600 fields across all license types. Many of these questions relate to non-GB information, workforce inquiries, and some information on gaming machine technical and gambling software. These amendments aim to outweigh the administrative burden of the new quarterly reporting requirements.

The period mandated for submitting regulatory returns will be 28 days, consistent with the current requirement window for quarterly returns. The Commission plans to comprehensively communicate these changes and improvements, supporting all affected stakeholders leading to the 1 July 2024 implementation date. The extra data should ultimately benefit the ongoing White Paper revisions, contributing to an improved and future-oriented regulatory framework.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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