White Paper Series: Update from the Gambling Commission
On 7 July 2023, Tim Miller, Executive Director of Research and Policy at the Gambling Commission, published an update on the Gambling Commission’s plans for implementing its 24 key actions as detailed in the Government’s White Paper. The update follows the Gambling Commission’s virtual briefing held on 5 July 2023 for operators.
Miller reiterated that the Gambling Commission has already completed its first deliverable by launching its White Labels Hub, which gives a consolidated guide to White Labels. Please see our blog for further details. Miller confirmed that the Gambling Commission intends to publish web content regarding its approach to vulnerability in July 2023.
Data and evidence
Miller explained that the Gambling Commission is progressing its work to improve evidence and data for gambling in Great Britain, which is a part of its commitment to the Gambling Review. Miller highlighted the publication of the Gambling Commission’s three-year Evidence Gaps and Priorities Review as evidence of its progress.
The most anticipated next step is publication of the Gambling Commission’s consultations. Miller confirmed that the Gambling Commission intends to publish six consultations later this month (July 2023), four of which relate to measures detailed in the White Paper. The Gambling Commission expects most of the consultations to last 12 weeks, with closing dates in October.
The consultations relating to the White Paper measures are as follows:
- Age-verification in land-based premises: Including test purchasing by small bingo premises, adult gaming centres and betting operators, and updating the ordinary code from Think 21 to Think 25.
- Remote game design: Including changes to the Remote Technical Standards and building on the Gambling Commission’s previous work on online slots.
- Direct marketing and cross-selling: Including proposals to amend the social responsibility code regarding marketing to enhance consumer protection.
- Financial risk and vulnerability checks for remote operators: Including the proposed defined thresholds for financial risk checks, transparency requirements and a timetable for implementation.
The two additional consultations are:
- Rules about Personal Management Licences: Proposal to clarify and extend the requirement to hold a PML for certain functions.
- Procedures for Regulatory Panels: Proposal on a package of changes in relation to regulatory panels, including amendments to the Statement of Principles.
Miller explained that the second tranche of White Paper consultations will take place before the end of the year, likely in Autumn 2023, including consultations on socially responsible inducements and gambling management tools. Pre-consultation engagement is expected to begin in the coming weeks.
Miller’s blog highlighted the Gambling Commission’s role regarding the statutory levy, a pillar reform from the White Paper. He confirmed that whilst the Government will lead the creation of the statutory levy, the Gambling Commission’s role will be about administration of the levy, including collection and distribution. Miller explained that, once the levy is introduced, the Gambling Commission’s list of approved organisations for RET payments will likely no longer be relevant or needed. The Gambling Commission also needs to consider the impact of a levy system on the destination of any future regulatory settlements.
Gambling Commission’s role
Miller reiterated that the Gambling Commission continues to support Government with the work on the White Paper and Gambling Review, and that they will continue to monitor the progress of the industry to deliver voluntary commitments.
“Full implementation of the [Gambling Act Review] will be a job of several years, especially when you include evaluating the impact of any changes. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to progress things as quickly as possible. We are determined to make progress at speed”.
We look forward to seeing the next steps of the Gambling Review being put into action. Once the first tranche of consultations is launched in July 2023, we strongly encourage the industry to participate and would be delighted to assist with preparing responses.