The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), the regulatory body for gambling in the UK, is under investigation by the Parliamentary All-Party Betting and Gaming Group (APBGG). The APBGG is investigating UKGC’s effectiveness and competence.
The Complaint Deadline is Set for October 31, 2021
Licensed operators will be able to file complaints in three categories to the APGGG, under this inquiry. These categories include whether the Commission has gone beyond its power (ultra vires), whether it has delivered services in an incompetent way or with poor quality, and whether it has acted outside of the Regulations Code.
The parliamentary group set a complaint deadline on October 31, 2021, and it will submit all of its findings to the DCMS and if the number of complaints is sufficient, it will inform the 2005 Gambling Act review, along with the relevant BEIS Minister that has any type of oversight or responsibility of the industry regulators.
Moreover, the interim CEO of the UKGC, Andrew Rhodes, is partially the focus of the group, as it intends to invite him and publish the report on its website to have it public and reachable to whomever wants it. Recently, the UKGC appointed Marcus Boyle as the new CEO, but he won’t take office until October 1.
But, the whole case relies heavily on the complaints because the number of complaints collected by the APBGG to inform on the development and to create a report on the activity of the UKGC is not enough.
The Co-Chairman of APBGG, Scott Benton MP, stated that he believes that it is vital for the key player in the gambling industry to be challenged for its actions. He added that the number of complaints towards the UKGC activities has risen a lot in the past couple of years.
APBGG Launched The Investigation To Lead The Way for Scared Companies
The decision to launch an investigation into the UKGC’s activities was led by the idea that some players in the industry may be scared to do so due to the fact that the UKGC holds a lot of power over them. Some of the condemnations of the activities by the UKGC include some cases where licenses were rejected after payment was made, misunderstandings between AML requirements and social responsibility, as well as the authority of the UKGC to impose COVID-19 restrictions on operators. A previous investigation that was published as pieces of reports by the Public Accounts Committee, National Audit Office and House of Lords Select Committee and covered the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry in 2020 did not cover the allegations in their entirety, which is why the APBGG launched its own investigation.
Because the only way to file a complaint against the Commission was through the Commission itself, the APBGG hopes that the new process will create a new platform where operators can anonymously raise their concerns and be heard. Complaints will have to declare their true identity initially, but the submissions in the report will be anonymous.
Benton added that many operators are afraid to take action, even if the action concerns the legality of the UKGC’s activities because the Commission is superior to them. Considering the fact that they cannot file a complaint without directly including the UKGC, APBGG feels like it must provide a platform where the regulator can be criticized in a legitimate manner. He concluded by saying the new interim CEO of the company will be in charge of ‘rebooting the regulator’ and that the investigation findings will help both him and the DDCMS provide answers to serious industry concerns. After all, it is the goal of the British gambling industry to have an effective and competent regulator.