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2. Enhancing our core operational functions

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The gambling industry continues to evolve and develop at pace. As the regulator, we must adapt and evolve so we continue to regulate effectively in the public interest. Over the next three years we will improve how we deliver our core operational functions. We will make the necessary investments to deliver best practice licensing, compliance and enforcement approaches. These core operational functions collectively drive the delivery of the outcomes we want for consumers, licensees and the wider public.

Key Commitments

Why? We must ensure that our approach to regulation evolves in line with industry and regulatory developments. This means developing our people and accessing new skills and expertise that reflect the challenges of regulating the British gambling industry in a digital age. Our core technology and systems are reaching the limits of their capabilities. By upgrading our technologies, systems and related approaches we will create efficiencies in the ways we work, freeing up resource to focus on the priorities that best serve consumers and the wider public. There is scope to automate more of our processes, making them quicker and simpler for consumers and licensees to navigate and improving our service as a result.

As a result, our processes, approaches and systems will be digital by default and provide a more responsive and automated experience for applicants and licensees.

Consumers and the wider public will benefit from our use of improved regulatory data to guide our work. That data will drive continuous improvement efforts and enable us to target our interventions on those issues which will have the greatest impact on the regulatory outcomes we are focused on delivering.

We will measure our progress by publishing and demonstrating improved performance against key operational performance indicators.

We will develop our approach to assurance including increasing transparency of industry compliance levels by theme and licensee.

Why? We undertake compliance activities to provide assurance that regulatory requirements are being met. This activity helps inform licensees about their performance and identify areas for improvement and good practice to ensure consumer interests are protected. We continuously look to improve our approach to follow and generate best practice in regulation. It is important that our approaches remain proportionate and deliver the best outcomes for consumers and the wider public. Increasing the transparency of compliance levels in the industry is one area where we consider progress is necessary.

As a result, we will start routinely publishing the findings from our work to assess compliance with our requirements relating to fairness, protection from harm and crime prevention in 2024. This initial step will not identify individual licensees but for the first time will provide a snapshot of our compliance findings. We will, subject to all necessary consultations, consider how the transparency of our compliance work can be improved beyond this initial step over the remainder of this strategy.

By the end of the strategy the gambling industry, including those who advise or are in a position to positively influence licensees, will be more aware of relative levels of compliance and better able to identify areas of good practice on which to build.

Consumers and the wider public will benefit from being more informed about regulatory requirements on the industry and our work to ensure licensees comply with our standards. They will also benefit from our improved ability to identify trends and themes across the industry in order to target our regulation to the greatest effect.

We will measure our progress by reporting on levels of industry compliance, building an initial benchmark and then demonstrating positive trends towards greater compliance.

We will increase investment, resource and capacity to tackle illegal gambling.

Why? Consumer access to illegal gambling undermines the regulatory framework and the protections it provides for consumers and the wider public. It threatens the licensing objectives and the National Lottery duties and is unfair for licensees operating legally. To address this, we require effective partnerships with the licensed industry and others. We must invest the necessary resource to ensure we have the capacity, capability and means to identify and undertake high impact disruption activity against illegal gambling operators targeting British consumers.

As a result, it will continue to be difficult to provide illegal gambling at scale to consumers in Great Britain. It is not possible to eliminate illegal gambling entirely given the nature of modern technology and the way criminal enterprises continue to evolve their approaches. We will, however, demonstrate how our increased focus and investment is resulting in high-impact and targeted interventions which collectively ensure Great Britain remains a difficult market to serve illegally.

Consumers and the wider public will benefit from increased activity to disrupt illegal operators and those who facilitate them in Great Britain. Consumers will be less likely to gamble with illegal operators who are not subject to our standards of consumer protection or the scrutiny and accountability that comes with a British gambling licence. Tackling illegal gambling will maximise the impact of the protections and regulatory measures applied to the licensed industry.

Licensees will benefit from action to prevent those seeking commercial advantage by operating illegally.

We will measure our progress by publishing metrics on the impact of our disruption activity and highlighting case studies. We will explore the availability of reliable proxies to help estimate the scale and risk posed by the illegal market in Great Britain.

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1. Using data and analytics to make gambling regulation more effective
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3. Setting clear, evidence-based requirements for licensees
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