Changes to the way Licensing works at the Commission
On 27 June 2022, the Gambling Commission announced that it was changing the way that licensing applications are processed and determined to “make the best use of [its] resources”. In doing so, the Gambling Commission stated it hoped “to be able to solve queries more efficiently and effectively”, which we would welcome given the longstanding and frustrating delays on applications, particularly changes of corporate control.
What are the changes?
As many of our readers will be aware, previously operating licensees were appointed dedicated account managers who were the first point of call for any enquiries or applications. This model has been gradually phased out and, in its place, Licensing has restructured into four sub-groups:
- The Operating Licence New Group
Responsible for processing applications for new operating licences.
- The Change of Corporate Control Group
Responsible for processing applications relating to changes of ownership and control for existing licensees.
- The Operating Licence Vary Group
Responsible for processing applications relating to changes to existing operating licences.
- The Personal Licence Group
Responsible for processing all applications relating to personal licences.
Where an online service exists for applications, such as those listed on the Gambling Commission’s website, this process has not changed.
Where applications cannot be submitted online, they must be submitted via email to [email protected].
Shortly after submission, the allocated caseworker should email the application contact and provide an estimated timeline for the process.
If applicants wish to query their application, and do not have caseworker, they must contact [email protected].
General enquiries should be submitted via an online form and the Gambling Commission “aim[s] to respond…within 20 days” – it is not clear whether that is calendar or working days.
Despite its encouraging intention, given the significant licensing backlog, the reality is that so far we have experienced no noticeable improvement, particularly on change of corporate control applications. Also, and more worryingly, we continue to identify inconsistencies in the approach across Licensing, which is something we are able to do because of the breadth of our experience preparing and submitting all types of licensing applications to the Gambling Commission.
We act for a wide variety of B2C and B2B businesses, including start-ups, throughout the world extensively preparing, submitting and managing non-remote and remote operating licence applications to the Gambling Commission. We have unmatched licensing experience and provide every client with a bespoke service tailored to their needs and business. We provide our clients with extensive resources, reference guides and templates to help navigate the application process, streamline and accelerate their preparation of the application and ensure clients understand, at an early stage, the Gambling Commission’s requirements.
Please get in touch with us if you require assistance with any licensing applications.