United Kingdom’s Gambling Commission Proposes Changes to Its Policies

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The Gambling Commission of the United Kingdom launched a consultation where it described upcoming changes in its policies. The proposed change of rules will affect compliance activities, regulatory enforcement, licensing and risk assessments.

The Proposed Changes

One of the envisioned changes seeks to speed up the enforcement process. Because transparency is important to the regulator, the UKGC seeks to update the licensing, compliance and enforcement policy in a way that demands offers for settlements to be put forward earlier in the investigation process.

Furthermore, the authority will require licensees to regularly inform it about internal changes such as changes to ownership, submission of regulatory returns and variation applications.

Another change concerns financial penalties. The UKGC’s proposal is to allow the regulator to demand a licensed operator’s financial information. This way, the authority will be able to determine a fine that is fair. It should be known that when assessing an operator’s financial details, the UKGC will take into account not only the operator itself but its parent company or group as well. If an operator does not provide its financial details for whatever reason, the regulator will be free to impose any fine that it determines.

The new rules will allow the UKGC to reject incomplete applications. Licensed operators, on the other hand, will be able to challenge interim suspensions during the regulatory panels of commissioners.

In case a licensed operator is found to be in breach of some of the compliance rules, an urgent action plan will be compiled in order to address the failings. This process may require an operator to forfeit their proceeds from the failings. If the UKGC is content with an operator’s work in addressing the failings, it will not review its business license.

UKGC Seeks to Tackle Products Falling Under Multiple Regulators

The Gambling Commission also spoke about the regulation of products connected to shares, stocks and investments. The regulator thinks that those should instead be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Since that won’t happen before the review of the current Gambling Act, the gambling regulator instead proposed to temporarily stop issuing licenses to businesses that provide such offerings.

The UKGC explained that products falling under more than one regulator “create risks of uncertainty as to where the regulatory responsibility may lie.”

The described changes are yet to go live and are currently only propositions. Gambling-related parties, such as operators, shareholders, associations, charities and even bettors will have until February 9 to voice their opinions on the proposed changes.

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