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Scope

The group’s function is to approve the destination of monies paid as part of regulatory settlements and to approve applications to be added to the approved LCCP RET list.

Regulatory Settlement funds

The group's scope for Regulatory Settlement funds includes:

  • the consideration of the destination for those parts of regulatory settlements which do not relate to identified victims and thus the monies are to be directed for socially responsible purposes
  • approvals in response to operator proposals in relation to destinations. These proposals are normally considered after the regulatory settlement amount has been agreed by the Gambling Commission and publicly announced
  • the consideration of destinations / proposals for pre-approval in principle, to be referenced in the event that they are proposed by an operator in the future, or where an operator requests assistance on an approvable destination.

The group does not:

  • have any role in setting the amount which the Commission may approve as sufficient by way of divestment, payment in lieu of financial penalty or Commission’s costs of investigation
  • agree the divestment of funds to victims (this may be completed during the enforcement process and may be done voluntarily by operators outside a regulatory settlement)
  • have powers of commissioning or procurement, and does not manage money nor is accountable for spend.

The group acts in accordance with the Commission’s Statement of Principles for Determining Financial Penalties, and particularly, the following extract:

Payments in lieu of financial penalties

2.14. Payments made in lieu of a financial penalty as part of a regulatory settlement do not need to be paid into the Consolidated Fund as financial penalties imposed under section 121 do. As a result there is more flexibility about how such monies may be used. However, The Commission will apply the following principles in approaching such agreed payments:

  • The Commission reserves the power to approve the destination of monies paid as part of a regulatory settlement
  • Operators must not generate positive publicity from the settlement
  • Payments need to be demonstrably over and above 'normal' RET contributions
  • Where practicable, the operator should return money to any identified victims
  • If victims cannot be identified or there are no victims, the monies should be given to charity for socially responsible purposes
  • Socially responsible purposes would include purposes which address gambling related harm or in some way promotes one or more of the licensing objectives
  • where payments are made with the aim of addressing gambling-related harm, the presumption is that the money would be paid to GambleAware (formerly Responsible Gambling Trust) to be used for specific agreed purposes that accelerate their commissioning plans
  • Operators should have no interest in organisations who will receive divested funds
  • There should be meaningful evaluation of the effectiveness of projects or research funded by a specific regulatory settlements
  • Research findings must be made public to help raise standards
  • Clear timeframes should be set for payment of monies and for delivery of work paid for from those monies.

In applying the above principles, the Commission takes into account the following points, where relevant:

  • where payments are made with the aim of addressing gambling harms, the funds should accelerate progress against existing structures to reduce gambling harms
  • the operator must make the offer to direct funds under the current Licensing Compliance and Enforcement policy statement, but may initially make a proposal which seeks Commission input on what destinations they would consider approvable, consistent with the approach set out in the current Statement of Principles for Determining Financial Penalties
  • approvals will track and take account of the potential for overlap of funding of projects or programmes of work with funding or commissioning from other organisations (where known)
  • it will normally be more effective to use one-off payments for projects or programmes of work that will not require ongoing funding
  • the body to be in receipt of the funds must be willing to accept the money with clear associated paperwork that the monies are part of a settlement in lieu of financial penalty, not a voluntary donation.

Applications to join the LCCP RET list

The group's scope for applications to join the LCCP RET list includes consideration of the application received, assessing criteria has been met through:

  • evidence of appropriate governance through independent oversight or regulation
  • evidence that they are signed up to deliver or commission one or more of the functions of research, prevention or treatment to reduce gambling harms
  • a commitment to delivering aspects or actions of reducing gambling harms against a set timetable, within the collaborative structures of the Strategy and to full but proportionate evaluation processes
  • organisations seeking to be on the approved list for treatment should be part of the existing National Gambling Treatment Service, and/or part of existing NHS England, Scotland or Wales mental health or addiction services and registered with the CQC, or the Care Inspectorate Wales or Scotland.
  • assessing organisations periodically, to ensure that the organisation still meets the criteria to be on the LCCP RET list.

The group does not:

  • have any role in deciding which organisations on the LCCP RET list gambling businesses contribute to and has no influence in facilitating financial contributions elsewhere
  • have powers of commissioning or procurement, and does not manage money nor is accountable for spend.
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Social Responsibility Funds Group - Terms of Reference
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