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Enforcement report 2018/19

Chief executive's introduction

This report – the Gambling Commission’s second annual enforcement report – provides an overview of the enforcement work we have undertaken over the past year and the lessons that operators should learn from that work.

We want as many people as possible within the gambling industry to read this report. More than anything, the report is intended to be a support tool which the industry can use and digest the lessons to be learned for the future. The aim of our enforcement work is to protect consumers and the wider public and to raise standards in the gambling industry through targeted actions that drive a culture where operators:

  • act in a way that minimises the risks to the licensing objectives and reduces gambling related harm
  • have due regard to the interests of consumers, treating them fairly and communicating with them in a clear way that allows them to make a properly informed judgment about whether to gamble
  • work with the Commission in an open and co-operative way
  • are deterred from acting in a way that does not comply with either the letter or the spirit of the regulatory framework set by the Commission.

During 2018-19 we have seen progress in some areas, which we welcome and want to build on, but there have still been too many occasions where we have had to step in with tough action to protect consumers and the wider public. For example, we have carried out a substantial number of investigations into online gambling operators. Several online casino operators and members of their senior management have been sanctioned at the conclusion of those investigations due to social responsibility and anti-money laundering failings. Enforcement action thisfinancial year has resulted in £19.6million in penalty packages,the surrender of three Personal Management Licences, warningsfor four PML holders and two advice as to conduct notices for PML holders.

In total we carried out more than 160 regulatory and criminal investigations last year, an increase on previous years. We also dealt with 2,000 intelligence reports and carried out hundreds of risk-based compliance assessments.

On a more positive note, we have also worked with operators to raise standards by successfully launching a programme of co-creation workshops and webinars which engage with operators on a whole host of issues - encouraging ideas, debate and solutions. We have been pleased with the initial results of these initiatives, which look positive, and we expect this work to continue and grow in the coming year. We will also be evaluating the impact of these initiatives to ensure they are resulting in standards be raised for consumers.

I am in no doubt that there is much more to do to make gambling in Great Britain fairer and safer and we all have apart to play in achieving that. Our enforcement work is a key part of our work at the Commission.

Neil McArthur

Chief Executive

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Enforcement Report

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