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Operator and PML holder query

Request date: 9 March 2023

This version was printed or saved on: 16 June 2024

Online version: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/about-us/freedomofinformation/operator-and-pml-holder-query

Request

  1. Any cautions given & results of audits of Argyll Entertainment and their online domains SportNation & RedzoneSports. I am aware at least two audits took place and where the GC were concerned at each audit putting them in ‘special measures’.
  2. Email communication between GC and PML holders [REDACTED] regarding the audits and subsequent closing of their licences.
  3. why have those named individuals been allowed to retain PML when no longer operating.
  4. Are there any conditions set on licence holders & operators in respect of suppliers when closing licences despite not going into insolvency or administration.
  5. Please may I have the name and contact details of the manager at GC who dealt with these operators.
  6. Information as to procedures that allow action to be taken post licence closures, if any.

Response

Thank you for your request which has been processed under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).

In your email you have requested:

  1. Any cautions given & results of audits of Argyll Entertainment and their online domains SportNation & RedzoneSports.

The Commission is a regulatory body with licensing, compliance, and enforcement functions; through our regulatory activity, the Commission aims to protect consumers and the wider public, and to raise standards in the gambling industry. Regulatory action may only be imposed where the Commission thinks that a condition of a licence has been breached. Section 116 of the Gambling Act (opens in new tab) gives the Commission the power to review the performance of licence holders and their operation of licence conditions. The section provides for two different types of review.

Following a review under section 116(1) or (2) of the Act, the Commission may:

Under Section 117 of the Gambling Act (opens in new tab), it can:

Section 21 of the FOIA provides that information is exempt where it is reasonably accessible elsewhere. We release details of our enforcement activity through public statements.

The public statements will detail the nature of the failings by the operator and the amount of the fine or settlement. Further to this, the Commission also publishes a list of recent regulatory sanctions we have imposed on licence holders.

Any information falling within the scope of your request will be published on these pages on the Gambling Commission website.

  1. Email communication between GC and PML holders [REDACTED] regarding the audits and subsequent closing of their licences.
  2. why have those named individuals been allowed to retain PML when no longer operating.

The Gambling Commission publishes a register of individuals who hold a Licence. However, information that the Commission holds identifying a specific premises associated with an individual, would constitute personal data.

The Data Protection Act 2018 requires personal data to be processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject. It is the view of the Commission that confirming whether we do or do not hold the information falling within the scope of your request would constitute the disclosure of personal data and would contravene this principle.

This information is therefore exempt under section 40(5) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Section 40(5B) provides that the duty to confirm or deny does not arise in relation to other information if or to the extent that any of the following applies—

(a) giving a member of the public the confirmation or denial that would have to be given to comply with section 1(1)(a)— (i) would (apart from this Act) contravene any of the data protection principles.

It should be noted that A Personal Management Licence (PML) belongs to the individual named on the licence, not to the company that the individual is employed by. If the business operating licence is surrendered, the individual’s PML remains active until such time as it is surrendered or revoked.

However, the Commission does not expect PML holders to retain a licence if they do not need it. If the PML holder has no intention of seeking further employment in the gambling industry in a position that requires a PML, the licence should be surrendered.

If the PML holder decides to retain their licence, they remain subject to the licence conditions and codes of practice attached to personal management licences. They must keep the Commission aware of any changes to their contact details and inform the Commission of any key events e.g. criminal convictions, bankruptcy etc.

A PML does not expire but the holder must take steps to maintain their licence every five years from the date of issue. If the PML holder fails to complete the maintenance process or to pay the maintenance fee, the Commission will revoke the licence.

  1. Are there any conditions set on licence holders & operators in respect of suppliers when closing licences despite not going into insolvency or administration.

There are no spcific conditions Licencees are expected to meet when leaving the British gambling market in relation to suppliers. However, the Gambling Commission does publish guidence on the expectations of licensees leaving the market:

Guidance: Gambling Commission issues reminder of expectations to licensees leaving the market

  1. Please may I have the name and contact details of the manager at GC who dealt with these operators.

The Data Protection Act 2018 requires the processing of personal data to be fair and lawful.

It would be disproportionate for us to publicly disclose the identity of these individuals unless there is a strong public interest in doing so. These individuals have a legitimate expectation that their personal details will not be disclosed in the context in which they were held.

On balance, there is no legitimate public interest in disclosing this information and it would not be fair to do so. This information is therefore exempt under section 40(2) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

  1. Information as to procedures that allow action to be taken post licence closures, if any.

No specific information is held falling within the scope of this part of your request. However, any information which relates to the suitability, competence or conduct of a license can be kept on record and may be considered as part of any future license application.

Review of the decision

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your Freedom of Information request you are entitled to an internal review of our decision. You should write to FOI Team, Gambling Commission, 4th floor, Victoria Square House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B2 4BP or by reply to this email.

Please note, internal review requests should be made within 40 working days of the initial response. Requests made outside this timeframe will not be processed.

If you are not content with the outcome of our review, you may then apply directly to the Information Commissioner (ICO) for a decision. Generally, the ICO cannot make a decision unless you have already exhausted the review procedure provided by the Gambling Commission.

The ICO can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office (opens in a new tab), Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF.

Information Management Team
Gambling Commission
Victoria Square House
Victoria Square
Birmingham B2 4BP