Gambling Commission licensees are required to report certain information to the Gambling Commission in accordance with the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (“LCCP”).
On 26 February 2020 the Gambling Commission issued a consultation, in two parts on its changes to regulatory data reporting requirements. Its proposals seek to:
- improve data quality and the efficiency of regulation;
- reflect continued focus on consumers and social responsibility;
- ensure requirements are reconciled against…current and future data needs; and
- streamline…existing requirements and, where possible, reduce regulatory burden.
Part 1: Proposed changes to information reporting requirements within the LCCP
We recommend that all licensees read the consultation and respond. We highlight some of the Gambling Commission’s significant proposals:
Licence condition 15.1.3 – Reporting of systematic or organised money lending
This new licence condition will require licensees to report any suspected organised money lending between customers, elevating existing ordinary code provisions 3.8.1 and 3.8.2.
Licence condition 15.2.1(19b) – Reporting key events
This key event will be amended to include the need to report any criminal investigation involving a person holding a key position.
Licence 15.2.2 – Other reportable events
Elements of ordinary code provision 8.1.1 will be elevated to licence condition 15.2.2, to ensure the reporting of any material change to a licensee’s structure, operation of its business, managerial responsibilities or governance arrangements.
Additionally, the Gambling Commission proposes to add a new requirement for reporting actual or potential breaches under Parts 7 or 8 Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, Part III Terrorism Act 2000 or any superseding legislation.
LCCP 15.2.3 – Other reportable events
The Gambling Commission proposes to include a new licence condition, for non-remote and remote casino operating licensees, requiring them to report:
- any actual or potential breaches by the licensee of the Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Transfer of Funds (Information on Player) Regulations 2017 (the “2017 Regulations”);
- within 14 days of appointment, the identity of the officer responsible for the licensee’s compliance with the 2017 Regulations;
- within 14 days of appointment, the identity of the nominated officer; and
- within 14 days of the departure or removal of the above-mentioned persons.
Licence conditions 13.1.1 and 13.1.2 – Pool-betting
The requirements for licensees to proactively notify the Gambling Commission of any person authorised to offer pool-betting on a track or in relation to football pool-betting have been removed.
Licence condition 15.2.1 – Reporting key events
Good news! Various key events, including the investments other than by subscription of shares and referral of a dispute to an ADR entity, have been removed.
Ordinary code provision 8.1.1 – Information requirements
This provision will be removed in its entirety as the Gambling Commission proposed to incorporate elements within licence conditions 15.2.2 and 15.3.1.
Other proposed amendments
Submission of key events
The Gambling Commission proposes to rearrange key events in licence condition 15.2.1 and reportable events in licence condition 15.2.2 and include wording that requires all key events to be submitted via eServices. This will mean key events can no longer be submitted by email.
Licence condition 15.3.1 – General and regulatory returns
Currently, the Gambling Commission allows licensees to choose their reporting periods for regulatory returns. It planned to harmonise reporting periods after point of consumption licensing in 2014, but these plans were disbanded due to the GBGA judicial review. This variation in reporting period dates complicates the Gambling Commission’s internal processes and impacts on the quality of its official statistics. It proposes to align and harmonise, with unified reporting periods across the industry, as follows:
|Type of return||Reporting period||Submission window|
|Annual||1 April to 31 March||1 to 28 April|
|Quarterly||1 April to 30 June|
1 July to 30 September
1 October to 31 December
1 January to 31 March
|1 to 28 July|
1 to 28 October
1 to 28 January
1 to 28 April
Further, it proposes to reduce the period of 42 days for a licensee to submit an annual regulatory return to 28 days, to mirror the 28-day period to submit quarterly regulatory returns.
Part III – Personal key events
Personal licensees will be provided with 30 working days to report key events (presently five working days). These will have to be reported via Personal eServices only, meaning they cannot be submitted by email.
Part 2: Proposed changes to regulatory returns
The Gambling Commission’s proposals include significant reduction to the amount of data requested in regulatory returns. However, it “also intend to introduce new datapoints that place a greater focus on commitment towards consumers and the prevention of gambling-related harms, and to implement several changes focused on improving data quality…”. The wording of questions will be amended to ensure consistent use of terminology.
Reduced data requirements
- Non-GB data will only be required at an aggregated activity level.
- Reporting of GGY will be simplified to combine B2C revenue share GGY with proprietary GGY.
- Gaming machine technical licensees will no longer need to provide the number of units sold, software sales, gross value of software sales, instead just requiring total value of sales. This will include removal of the requirement for reporting numbers of machines leased, sold, profit share, by venue type, the number of machines purchased or scrapped, by second-hand and new.
- The total number of inactive, acquired or disposed premises will no longer be required.
- Non-remote casino data on a venue-by-venue basis, and monthly casino drop/win data, will no longer be required. However, the Gambling Commission may require aggregate level data to be split by ‘High End London’ casino and ‘Other’ casino.
- Software game titles will no longer be required as this has been superseded by the Games Register.
- Turnover figures for non-remote bingo, split between participation fees and sales, will no longer be required.
- The RET questions will be simplified to two questions requesting the name of the recipient of the contribution and the value.
- Workforce numbers will no longer be required due to inherent data quality issues.
The Gambling Commission proposes to add new questions focusing on safer gambling, including customer complaints, customer accounts, customer interactions and safer gambling tools such as deposit limits and exclusion schemes.
Length of return periods
Whether a licensee submits quarterly or annual returns is currently dependent on the sector the licence relates to. The Gambling Commission intends to change this to be based on aggregated GGY. This would result in larger operators, such as bingo operators, changing from annual to quarterly returns and smaller remote operators changing from quarterly to annual returns. The thresholds are yet to be determined.
New digital service
“ proposes to improve the usability, accessibility and availability of eServices system for the submission of regulatory returns; possibly building a new digital service.” At this stage, we understand this will allow regulatory returns questions to be dynamic and tailored to a licensee’s activities with, for example, use of an API.
The Gambling Commission intends to make “improvements” to its industry statistics. These are contingent on implementation of the regulatory returns’ improvements detailed above. At this stage, we understand this will include:
- reducing the current lag (seven to eight months) from the end of the reporting period to publication of the industry statistics, to three months;
- half-year updates; and
- presenting the information in a more accessible format and embedded within the Gambling Commission’s website.
Respond to the consultation
The consultation closes on 20 May 2020 and can be accessed here.
Any changes to the LCCP will be implemented in October 2020.