Annual Report and Accounts 2020 to 2021
Parliamentary accountability and audit report
Opinion on financial statements
I have audited the financial statements of the Gambling Commission for the year ended 31 March 2021 under the Gambling Act 2005. The financial statements comprise:
- Statements of Comprehensive Net Expenditure
- Financial Position
- Cash Flows
- Changes in Taxpayers’ Equity; and the related notes, including the significant accounting policies.
These financial statements have been prepared under the accounting policies set out within them. The financial reporting framework that has been applied in their preparation is applicable law and International Accounting Standards as interpreted by HM Treasury’s Government Financial Reporting Manual. I have also audited the information in the Accountability Report that is described in that report as having been audited.
In my opinion, the financial statements:
- give a true and fair view of the state of the Gambling Commission’s affairs as at 31 March 2021 and of the Gambling Commission’s net expenditure for the year then ended
- have been properly prepared in accordance with the Gambling Act 2005 and Secretary of State directions issued thereunder.
Opinion on regularity
In my opinion, in all material respects, the income and expenditure recorded in the financial statements have been applied to the purposes intended by Parliament and the financial transactions recorded in the financial statements conform to the authorities which govern them.
Basis for opinions
I conducted my audit in accordance with International Standards on Auditing (ISAs) (UK), applicable law and Practice Note 10 ‘Audit of Financial Statements of Public Sector Entities in the United Kingdom’. My responsibilities under those standards are further described in the Auditor’s responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements section of my report.
Those standards require me and my staff to comply with the Financial Reporting Council’s Revised Ethical Standard 2019. I have also elected to apply the ethical standards relevant to listed entities. I am independent of the Gambling Commission in accordance with the ethical requirements that are relevant to my audit of the financial statements in the UK. My staff and I have fulfilled our other ethical responsibilities in accordance with these requirements.
I believe that the audit evidence I have obtained is sufficient and appropriate to provide a basis for my opinion.
Conclusions relating to going concern
Gambling Commission’s use of the going concern basis of accounting in the preparation of the financial statements is appropriate.
Based on the work I have performed, I have not identified any material uncertainties relating to events or conditions that, individually or collectively, may cast significant doubt on the Gambling Commission's ability to continue as a going concern for a period of at least twelve months from when the financial statements are authorised for issue.
My responsibilities and the responsibilities of the Commission and the Accounting Officer with respect to going concern are described in the relevant sections of this report.
The going concern basis of accounting for Gambling Commission is adopted in consideration of the requirements set out in HM Treasury’s Government Financial Reporting Manual, which require entities to adopt the going concern basis of accounting in the preparation of the financial statements where it anticipated that the services which they provide will continue into the future.
The other information comprises information included in the annual report, but does not include the parts of the Accountability Report described in that report as having been audited, the financial statements and my auditor’s report thereon. The Commission and the Accounting Officer is responsible for the other information. My opinion on the financial statements does not cover the other information and except to the extent otherwise explicitly stated in my report, I do not express any form of assurance conclusion thereon. In connection with my audit of the financial statements, my responsibility is to read the other information and, in doing so, consider whether the other information is materially inconsistent with the financial statements or my knowledge obtained in the audit or otherwise appears to be materially misstated. If I identify such material inconsistencies or apparent material misstatements, I am required to determine whether this gives rise to a material misstatement in the financial statements themselves. If, based on the work I have performed, I conclude that there is a material misstatement of this other information, I am required to report that fact.
I have nothing to report in this regard.
Opinion on other matters
In my opinion, based on the work undertaken in the course of the audit:
- the parts of the Accountability Report to be audited have been properly prepared in accordance with Secretary of State directions made under the Gambling Act 2005
- the information given in the Performance and Accountability Reports for the financial year for which the financial statements are prepared is consistent with the financial statements.
Matters on which I report by exception
In the light of the knowledge and understanding of the Gambling Commission and its environment obtained in the course of the audit, I have not identified material misstatements in the Performance and Accountability reports. I have nothing to report in respect of the following matters which I report to you if, in my opinion:
- adequate accounting records have not been kept or returns adequate for my audit have not been received from branches not visited by my staff
- the financial statements and the parts of the Accountability Report to be audited are not in agreement with the accounting records and returns
- certain disclosures of remuneration specified by HM Treasury’s Government Financial Reporting Manual are not made
- I have not received all of the information and explanations I require for my audit
- the Governance Statement does not reflect compliance with HM Treasury’s guidance.
Responsibilities of the Commission and Accounting Officer for the financial statements
As explained more fully in the Statement of the Commission and Accounting Officer’s responsibilities, the Commission and the Accounting Officer are responsible for:
- the preparation of the financial statements in accordance with the applicable financial reporting framework and for being satisfied that they give a true and fair view
- internal controls as the Commission and the Accounting Officer determines is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statement to be free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud of error
- assessing the Gambling Commission’s ability to continue as a going concern, disclosing, as applicable, matters related to going concern and using the going concern basis of accounting unless the Commission and the Accounting Officer anticipates that the services provided by the Gambling Commission will not continue to be provided in the future.
Auditor’s responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements
My responsibility is to audit, certify and report on the financial statements in accordance with the Gambling Act 2005.
My objectives are to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements as a whole are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error, and to issue a report that includes my opinion. Reasonable assurance is a high level of assurance but is not a guarantee that an audit conducted in accordance with ISAs (UK) will always detect a material misstatement when it exists. Misstatements can arise from fraud or error and are considered material if, individually or in the aggregate, they could reasonably be expected to influence the economic decisions of users taken on the basis of these financial statements.
I design procedures in line with my responsibilities, outlined above, to detect material misstatements in respect of non-compliance with laws and regulation, including fraud.
My procedures included the following:
Inquiring of management, the Gambling Commission’s head of internal audit and those charged with governance, including obtaining and reviewing supporting documentation relating to the Gambling Commission’s policies and procedures relating to:
- identifying, evaluating and complying with laws and regulations and whether they were aware of any instances of non-compliance
- detecting and responding to the risks of fraud and whether they have knowledge of any actual, suspected or alleged fraud
- the internal controls established to mitigate risks related to fraud or non-compliance with laws and regulations including the Gambling Commissions controls relating to the Gambling Act 2005, Managing Public Money as well as employment, taxation and pensions legislation
- discussing among the engagement team regarding how and where fraud might occur in the financial statements and any potential indicators of fraud. As part of this discussion, I identified potential for fraud in the following areas: revenue recognition and posting of unusual journals
- obtaining an understanding of Gambling Commission’s framework of authority as well as other legal and regulatory frameworks that the Gambling Commission operates in, focusing on those laws and regulations that had a direct effect on the financial statements or that had a fundamental effect on the operations of the Gambling Commission. The key laws and regulations I considered in this context included the Gambling Act 2005, Managing Public Money as well as employment, taxation and pensions legislation
- assessing the incentives for management to manipulate reported income and expenditure
- reviewing the Gambling Commission’s accounting policies
- using analytical procedures to identify any unusual or unexpected relationships and transactions.
In addition to the previous, my procedures to respond to identified risks included the following:
- reviewing the financial statement disclosures and testing to supporting documentation to assess compliance with relevant laws and regulations previously discussed
- enquiring of management, the Audit and Risk Committee and in-house legal counsel concerning actual and potential litigation and claims
- reading minutes of meetings of those charged with governance and the Commission
- in addressing the risk of fraud through management override of controls, testing the appropriateness of journal entries and other adjustments; assessing whether the judgements made in making accounting estimates are indicative of a potential bias; and evaluating the business rationale of any significant transactions that are unusual or outside the normal course of business
- in addressing the risk of fraud in revenue recognition, assessing controls over invoice raising and new licence awards in year.
I also communicated relevant identified laws and regulations and potential fraud risks to all engagement team members including internal specialists and significant component audit teams and remained alert to any indications of fraud or non-compliance with laws and regulations throughout the audit.
A further description of my responsibilities for the audit of the financial statements is located on the Financial Reporting Council’s website (opens in new tab).
This description forms part of my report.
In addition, I am required to obtain evidence sufficient to give reasonable assurance that the income and expenditure reported in the financial statements have been applied to the purposes intended by Parliament and the financial transactions conform to the authorities which govern them.
I communicate with those charged with governance regarding, among other matters, the planned scope and timing of the audit and significant audit findings, including any significant deficiencies in internal control that I identify during my audit.
I have no observations to make on these financial statements.
6 July 2021
Comptroller and Auditor General
157-197 Buckingham Palace Road
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Parliamentary accountability disclosures
Last updated: 22 July 2021
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