With this document you can:

This box is not visible in the printed version.

Compliance assessments

As a licensed gambling business you may be required to take part in a compliance assessment. Find out more about what this means for you.

Published: 17 May 2021

Last updated: 26 October 2023

This version was printed or saved on: 25 June 2024

Online version: https://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/licensees-and-businesses/guide/compliance-assessments

Overview: ## Notification of an assessment

If you are required to take part in a compliance assessment, we will normally send you a formal notification by letter. However, we will conduct unannounced assessments where it is appropriate.

Where an unannounced assessment is conducted our staff will always identify themselves when they arrive and show their Gambling Commission identification. Should you have any concerns over the legitimacy of an individual please call our Contact Centre on 0121 230 6666.

Where an assessment is announced the notification letter will provide the following details:

Preparation for the assessment

Before the assessment is conducted, we will:

We may:

You should confirm your attendance at the assessment, and we would expect that the times and dates are followed, unless there is significant reason for a change.

The assessment

Our assessments are conducted on the basis of ‘show me, don’t tell me’.

We want you to demonstrate to us how your business is compliant, rather than providing verbal explanations. You should be prepared to show us evidence of how procedures work in practice.

The type of assessments that we will conduct include:

Full assessments

A full assessment is an in-depth review of your business's compliance with the licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP).

A full assessment will typically consist of:

A full assessment will usually require attendance of your staff for 3 to 5 days, depending on the size and complexity of your business. Details of daily attendance will be agreed with our staff prior to the assessment.

Targeted assessment

A targeted assessment will focus on one or more specific areas of your business and will not cover all requirements of the LCCP.

However, if failings are discovered during a targeted assessment, we may review the wider business and conduct a full assessment. A targeted assessment will often be a follow-up to a full assessment to check improvements have been put in place.

A targeted assessment will generally take 1 to 3 days and will cover some of the elements detailed for a full assessment.

Thematic assessments

We may conduct thematic assessments where we are assessing one or more specific elements of your business.

Typically, this type of exercise will include a number of licensees and will be a very specific assessment.

We may conduct this type of assessment using some of the elements of a full assessment, or we may conduct this by way of questionnaire or discussion with key persons.

This type of assessment may be conducted where we wish to test the implementation of new LCCP requirements, or where we are looking to test the level of compliance for specific elements of a business.

This type of assessment will usually take no more than a day.

Assessment findings

Key concerns or good practice will be highlighted by our staff during the assessment. We aim to communicate the key findings of the assessment in a letter, within 14 days of the completion of the assessment. The letter will notify the outcome of the assessment and what happens next.

There are 3 outcomes from an assessment:

No follow up required

You will receive this letter following an assessment where there are no issues, or very minor issues identified.

Improvement notice

You will receive this letter following an assessment where we have identified serious failings, but we are assured that there is no risk of consumer harm or significant risks to the licensing objectives. We must have confidence that you are able to put these things right at pace. You will be given a maximum of 3 months, although depending on the issue we may give you significantly less than 3 months, to become compliant. We will reassess these areas after 3 months.

Consideration of regulatory action

Where we have identified breaches of our LCCP and there is evidence of consumer harm or risk of consumer harm, or there are risks to the licensing objectives, you will receive this letter. This letter means that we are considering whether the issues identified are sufficiently serious to open a regulatory investigation.

The outcome of that investigation may include suspension of your personal or operating licence, a review of your licence or a financial settlement. Other less formal action such as placing you in ‘special measures’ or issuing a warning may also be appropriate.

Special measures

To increase the tools available to us and to ensure swift interventions with failing licensees we have been piloting a ‘special measures’ scheme. The aim of this process is to raise standards immediately under strict supervision. Where licensees are being considered for regulatory action, we may consider special measures and notify you that it is an option. Special measures is an opportunity to achieve compliance before formal action. Failure to achieve compliance during the special measures process would lead to a regulatory investigation.

Special measures is only appropriate if:

Reactive compliance enquiries

Where we have received information or have concerns which suggest that a licensee may have fallen below the standards expected, we will conduct further enquiries.

This will also include compliance assessments undertaken by Local Authorities that are referred to the Commission. This may be through formal information requests or through targeted compliance assessments.

We have powers to make formal information requests and licensees will be expected to provide full responses within the deadline provided.