The Gambling Commission website uses cookies to make the site work better for you. Some of these cookies are essential to how the site functions and others are optional. Optional cookies help us remember your settings, measure your use of the site and personalise how we communicate with you. Any data collected is anonymised and we do not set optional cookies unless you consent.

Set cookie preferences

You've accepted all cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time.

Skip to main content

Consultation response

Regulatory Panel Reform: Consultation Response

Regulatory Panel Reform: Consultation Response

Regulatory Panel Reform: Consultation Response

Regulatory Panels ('Panels'), comprised of Commissioners, provide the opportunity for applicants / licensees to attend an oral hearing to challenge the decisions Commission staff are minded to take about personal or operator licenses.

In enforcement cases Panels make decisions on a wide range of issues; for example, whether an operator has breached the Licence Conditions and Code of Practice, and the most appropriate sanction that should be imposed.

In licensing cases Panels may make decisions on a variety of matters that are referred to them, such as deciding to grant or refuse licences where Commission officials are minded to refuse an application.

Panels provide an escalation option which allows for a decision to be made by senior persons who are separate from the enforcement and/or licensing case team. Their role is important in ensuring that decisions made are impartial, transparent and consistent. Our current approach to Panels has been in place since 2007.

We launched a consultation on changing our approach to Panels in May 2020. The consultation proposed introducing legally qualified Adjudicators as members of our Panels. The consultation also covered proposals to deal with the late admission of evidence, arranging a hearing and representations on financial penalties. The consultation included proposals to change the time limits relating to the submission of bundles, communicating decisions and the date by which financial penalties should be paid.

We have considered the responses to our consultation, which proposed changes to our Scheme of Delegation of licensing and regulatory decisions in respect of gambling, and our procedures and guidance documents in relation to Regulatory decisions and Licensing decisions as follows:

  • employ between four and six Adjudicators, who are legally qualified persons employed solely for the purposes of sitting on Panels
  • set the quorum for conduct of any business by the Panel as one Commissioner and one Adjudicator for matters relating to an operating licence and one Adjudicator for matters relating to a personal licence
  • enable a Panel to occasionally be asked by Commission staff to provide steers on regulatory settlement proposals / indication of an appropriate figure for a financial penalty
  • make changes to the procedures set out in the guidance for Regulatory Panel and Licensing hearings with reference to the timescales for the service of hearing bundles, requests to submit further evidence, the process for arranging hearing dates and the process for considering additional evidence at the hearing.

Having reviewed the consultation responses, we will:

  • employ between four and six Adjudicators, who are legally qualified persons employed solely for the purposes of sitting on Panels (as proposed in the consultation)
  • set the quorum for conduct of any business by the Panel as a minimum of one Commissioner and one Adjudicator for matters relating to an operating
  • licence, with a proviso that the Panel will normally comprise two Commissioners and one Adjudicator. For matters relating to a personal licence, the quorum will be one Adjudicator. This is a change in response to the consultation feedback
  • enable a Panel to occasionally be asked by Commission staff to provide steers on regulatory settlement proposals / indication of an appropriate figure for a financial penalty (as proposed in the consultation)
  • make changes to the procedures set out in the guidance for Regulatory Panel and Licensing hearings with reference to the timescales for the service of hearing bundles, requests to submit further evidence, the process for arranging hearing dates and the process for considering additional evidence at the hearing. We have amended proposals regarding the process of arranging hearing dates in response to consultation feedback, and have amended the guidance to show that Case Management Hearings will take place before the Adjudicator sitting alone
  • in due course, publish an Adjudicator Governance Framework (“AGF”) as part of the Commission’s Corporate Governance Framework, to codify the role, training and operating framework of Adjudicators. This is as a response to consultation feedback.

Next Steps

The changes to the affected documents will come into effect during 2021 to 2022 once adjudicators can be recruited. We will provide 4 weeks notice of the date of change via the Commission website, and will apply to all Regulatory and Licensing decisions/requests for escalation to Panel made after that date.

Documents affected:

Previous section
Contents page
Next section
Introduction - Regulatory Panel Reform: Consultation Response
Is this page useful?
Back to top