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Consultation response

Changes to information requirements in the LCCP, regulatory returns, official statistics, and related matters

Parts I and II of the consultation response that sets out our position in relation to the information the Gambling Commission requires licensees to provide us.


Proposal 9: Industry Statistics - review of user requirements


We proposed to make improvements to our industry statistics publication. These included:

  • reducing the time lag from the end of the reporting period to publication of Industry Statistics
  • changing how we report half-year data
  • publishing industry statistics data broken down by quarterly periods
  • making the data more accessible and interactive
  • removing Non-Great Britain (GB) data
  • reformatting the Microsoft Excel document as a time series
  • presenting Business to Business (B2B) data in a separate section or report.

Consultation question

Question 2.9a. Do you agree with the proposals?

Respondents' views

There was strong support for us to reduce the time lag from the end of the reporting period to the publication of each industry statistics report. Several respondents asked for us to reduce the time lag to less than the 3 months proposed, with some asking for ‘real-time’ data. The proposal for us to move to publishing a proper half-year data set (covering the period 1 April to 30 September annually) was also supported, with no contrary comments.

Many respondents supported the proposal for us to publish publishing industry statistics data broken down by quarterly periods. Others went further and called for this data to be published quarterly (rather than biannually). Some asked for monthly data publications, commenting that this would provide more insights into seasonal variation and the impact of events (for example a major betting event or a regulatory change).

Making the industry statistics publication more accessible and interactive was welcomed, although one respondent asked us to ensure that we maintain the ability to extract sector-specific statistics, as required. The proposal to reformat the Microsoft Excel document as a time series were supported with no contrary comments. One respondent called for us to go further than our proposal to remove Non-Great Britain (GB) data from the remote section of industry statistics, and to not collect any data for activities we do not licence, suggesting there was no lawful statutory basis for us to do so.

Moving Business to Business (B2B) data to a separate section within industry statistics was supported. At the same time, several respondents asked us to review how we collect and report B2B data, giving examples of issues with data from host operating licences and inconsistencies within the industry relating to Business to Business (B2B) and Business to Consumer (B2C) revenue share agreements, associated costs and proportioning to products.

Our position

While we recognise the benefits of reducing the time lag from the end of the reporting period to publication of industry statistics to less than 3 months, we do not consider this feasible currently; not least because we allow 42 days from the end of the reporting period for annual returns to be submitted to us. However, we commit to reducing the time lag as much as possible, over time, commensurate with ensuring our ability to maintain the quality of the statistics.

We will shift the reporting period for our half-year industry statistics update from 1 October to 30 September (covering 12 months), to 1 April to 30 September (covering 6 months). This change will be implemented from the next half-year update, due for publication in May 2021.

The time periods by which we can breakdown and report industry statistics data is linked to the frequency by which we collect it. As we do not collect any regulatory returns data more frequently than quarterly, it is not possible for us to publish data split by months. We will publish industry statistics data with a quarterly breakdown (within our biannual publications) from autumn 2021 for those sectors where we are able to, expanding this to other sectors over time (noting that this is dependent on linking the requirement for licensees to submit quarterly or annual returns to the aggregate maximum Gross Gambling Yield (GGY) permitted by all their licences).

As we introduce interactive charts on our website, utilising Microsoft Power BI, we will ensure this complies with the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobiles Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018 (opens in new tab). Our primary industry statistics output format will be a Microsoft Excel document, which will be optimised for data analysis and allow for sector-specific extracts. These changes will be implemented from our November 2020 publication.

Our removal of non-Great Britain (GB) data fields from the remote section of industry statistics will also take effect from the November 2020 publication. We will continue to request non-GB data at an aggregated activity level (but not game or sport category level) to assist us in carrying out our statutory functions within this jurisdiction.

The reformatting of the Microsoft Excel document into time series format was implemented in our May 2020 publication. This was well received by analysts and we will continue to use that new format.

Initial changes to Business to Business (B2B) reporting will be incorporated within our November 2020 publication, but more detailed changes may be implemented after that, subject to our review and resolution of the comments raised.

Consultation question

Question 2.9b. Do you have any other suggestions on how we could improve Industry Statistics?

Respondents' views

We received suggestions that we should publish data on safer gambling from licensees (including numbers of complaints received). Several respondents called for us to issue more guidance, developed in cooperation with the industry, to improve the consistency of data measurement and reporting across the industry.

It was also suggested that we should publish open anonymous datasets of the raw data on which we base industry statistics, allowing third parties to analyse that data for safer gambling purposes. One respondent asked us to publish how we use industry statistics to inform our regulatory work.

Our position

The request for us to publish more data on safer gambling is useful. It aligns with our own views in this area and our focus on keeping gambling safe for consumers. We are in a unique position to be able to obtain and publish industry-wide safer gambling data from licensed gambling operators and intend to do so. In Question 2.5 we have consulted on changing the questions related to safer gambling within regulatory returns. Given the data we publish is linked to that which we collect, we will respond more fully on this topic within our consultation response to Question 2.5 (due in early autumn 2020).

We agree that more detailed guidance on our data requirements would improve the consistency of data measurement and reporting across the industry and, therefore, the quality of our industry statistics publication. We commit to working with industry representatives to review and improve the information, advice, and guidance we publish about regulatory returns and other regulatory data.

We do not make the raw data used for industry statistics available on an open data basis due to the commercial sensitivity of that data. While there are approximately 2,700 licensees providing gambling facilities within, or into, Great Britain, many of the sectors we regulate are dominated by large operators. Because of this, anonymisation of the data would not be sufficiently robust for some market leaders to not be identified within the data sets. However, we are committed to putting data and transparency at the heart of the work we do and will continue to review the data which we hold to assess it for publication.

We want licensees to better understand how we use their data to inform our regulatory activity and agree to publish more information on this subject in autumn 2020.

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Proposal 8: Proposal to discontinue collecting monthly non-remote casino drop and win data
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