Priority 3 - Continuing to develop our operational activities effectively
Licensing, Compliance, Enforcement and Intelligence together make up Operations which is responsible for:
- licensing the individuals and businesses that provide gambling in Great Britain, including the National Lottery, generating the Gambling Commission’s income
- seeking to ensure that licensees remain suitable to hold licences and that they conduct themselves in ways which are consistent with the licensing objectives
- conducting regulatory and criminal investigations
- dealing with all aspects of anti-money laundering, hold the Commission's Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO) role and overseeing supervisory duties
- receiving, analysing and actioning intelligence including that relating to sports betting integrity issues
- continuing to tackle illegal gambling.
In addition to our business-as-usual work we will implement a revised Regulatory Strategy. Acting on the recommendations of the National Audit Office (NAO), our approach will aim to proactively influence licensees to protect consumers, deploying a range of measures to drive operators to compliance at pace and to drive up standards in the market. We will also deliver further process efficiencies.
The strategy includes:
- scoping interventions designed to proactively influence licensees to raise standards in protecting consumers
- a clearer and more efficient process to refuse applications where appropriate information is not included and/or the product uses cryptocurrency
- a more robust approach to the late submission of Change of Corporate Control (CoCC) applications
- an expansion of emerging risk factors which we will use to prioritise our compliance activity
- implementing a developed Assurance Statement process to provide greater assurance and hold the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Chairs accountable
- utilising existing enforcement powers to provide clearer expedited case management tracks for certain categories of breach
- greater use of licence conditions as part of application decisions or sanctions packages.
Economic Crime Levy
This year the Anti-Money Laundering team are leading the Commission's work to implement the new Economic Crime Levy. The new levy on regulated financial businesses, including some licensed casino operators, provides a new funding arrangement for the United Kingdom Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). The levy was introduced in the Financial Services Act 2021. The Commission is one of the Supervisory Authorities, along with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). We are required to take on the function of collecting the levy from April 2023 with liability commencing April 2022.
We estimate that around 48 (out of 186) casino licensees would be in scope for the fixed fee levy which is based on turnover. By comparison, HMRC must account for around 1,000 entities and the FCA around 3,000 entities.
The Licensing team manages the accounts of around 2,600 operators and determine the applications which generates the Commission's income. We are forecasting 200 new operating licence applications, 400 variation applications and 300 CoCC applications in the year. The team also deal with 2,000 new personal licence applications and 3,500 maintenance applications supported by automated services resulting in a more streamlined process. In addition to casework applications, the Licensing team also responds to 6,000 contacts from licensees.
The complexity and volume of the work continues to be a challenge, due in part to continued merger and acquisition activity in addition to more complex business and finance structures, which require detailed review. For example, in relation to identity and ownership and source of funds checks.
We expect to carry out 30 full compliance assessments, plus a further 1,000 items of other planned activity to include targeted assessments, thematic assessments, website reviews, security audits and review of personal licences.
We will continue to conduct regulatory and criminal investigations and to carry out intelligence led disruption and enforcement initiatives relating to illegal gambling. The outcome of our work will be made available through our Annual Report and the Compliance and Enforcement Report.
Typically, the team deal with around 3,300 intelligence reports a year. We will continue to manage the large volumes of international requests for help from overseas regulators and manage a broad range of stakeholders across government.
Sports Betting Intelligence Unit
We expect to deal with around 700 suspicious betting reports in the next 12 months.
We will be supporting several major sporting tournaments including the Women’s Euro 2022, the Commonwealth Games and the Rugby World Cup.
The team will continue to provide specialist input into operational and casework matters as well as undertaking responsibilities as statutory supervisor duties for the regulated sector to prevent Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.
We are expanding the Forensic Accountancy team recognising the greater complexity of work. This is because of increased merger and acquisition activity and increasingly complex business structures. We are seeing more examples of opaqueness around ultimate Beneficial Owners and a lack of transparency around source of funds.Previous page
Priority 2 - Responding to the Government's White Paper on the Gambling Act Next page
Priority 4 - Increasing the effective use of data by the Commission and the gambling industry
Last updated: 7 April 2022
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