Update on our plans for Gambling Act Review implementation
This month will see the Gambling Commission open our first consultations in the implementation of the Government’s Gambling Act Review White Paper.
Posted 7 July 2023 by Tim Miller
It’s been a busy time since I last wrote an update on our work to support implementation of the Government’s Gambling Act Review back in May.
Since then we have already completed and published the first deliverable we committed to as part of the Review: to reinforce our expectations on gambling businesses in relation to White Labels – which we have completed via a consolidated guide to White Labels on our website. For those of you interested, our White Labels Hub is now live.
We will also soon publish our web content relating to our approach to vulnerability.
We’re also progressing in the important work around improving the evidence and data for gambling in Great Britain. The implementation of our groundbreaking new participation and prevalence research methodology and building the evidence base are both Gambling Act Review commitments. We have made further progress towards these aims with the publication of updates on our work to improve our Participation and Prevalence Statistics and the publication of our three-year Evidence Gaps and Priorities review.
But another milestone is now fast approaching: the publication of our first tranche of Gambling Act Review consultations. Our intention is to publish the following four consultations in July:
- age verification in premises
- remote games design - building on our earlier work on online slots, we plan to consult on similar protections for other online casino games
- direct marketing and cross-selling - we want consumers to have more control over the direct marketing they receive
- financial risk and vulnerability checks for remote operators.
These four consultations will also be joined by two that are not related to the Review but have been previously flagged:
- rules around Personal Management Licences
- procedures for Regulatory Panels.
Launching these two consultations alongside the other four builds on our commitment to stick to consultation windows as far as possible as well.
Most major Gambling Act Review consultations will last 12 weeks as is our usual practice for significant proposals. And that is true of the four we will be launching this month, with expected closing dates to be in October.
And by then we will be well advanced in the planning for our second tranche of Gambling Act Review consultations too. Likely in late Autumn and certainly before the end of the year, we will be opening consultations on a number of other Gambling Act Review commitments, including:
- Socially Responsible Inducements
- Gambling Management Tools.
For this work we expect to start pre-consultation engagement in the coming weeks, gathering data and discussing topics with stakeholders.
The Gambling Commission’s work is of course also running alongside the work of Government and the voluntary commitments of the gambling industry to implement the Review.
We continue to support our sponsoring Department, DCMS with their vital work. The Commission has a key role in advising Government on amending aspects of the legislation and on implementation of these changes. It is important that we are clear on roles and responsibilities. For example, in relation to a levy, Government will lead on the creation of a statutory levy, including deciding the destination of such funding. The Commission will collect the levy and distribute in line with Government’s direction. Our role will be about administration of the levy. Once a levy system is created, it is likely that the Commission’s LCCP RET list will no longer be relevant or needed. We will also need to consider the impact of a levy system on the destination of any future regulatory settlements.
We will also continue work with the Department to monitor the progress of industry to deliver on their voluntary commitments, such as the ombudsman and the single customer view.
Full implementation of the 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.
Implementing the Gambling Act Review is a key part of our work to make gambling safer, fairer and crime free over the next few years. But so is our day-to-day work of ensuring compliance with our rules. So whilst the work on implementation picks up momentum, rest assured we won’t be slowing down on protecting consumers across Great Britain either.
About the author
Tim Miller is the Commission's Executive Director for research and policy.