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Regulatory decisions: Procedures and guidance for regulatory hearings

Guidance to assist Directors or the Regulatory Panel to carry out their regulatory functions in accordance with our policies and procedures and to comply with the law.

Deciding what should be done in the light of the facts found

Once the Regulatory Panel or Director is satisfied as to the facts, they must go on to consider whether in the light of the facts found it is appropriate for the Gambling Commission to exercise its regulatory powers under sections 117, 118 or 119 of the Gambling Act 2005.

The Commission carries out its functions in the interests of consumers and the wider public. This includes taking account of:

  • the need to protect members of the public
  • the need to maintain public confidence
  • the importance of declaring and upholding proper standards of conduct and competence by licensees.

In determining whether or not to exercise its regulatory powers the Panel or Director should have regard to the following published documents:

  • Statement of principles for licensing and regulation
  • Licensing, compliance and enforcement policy statement
  • Statement of principles for determining financial penalties
  • Indicative sanctions guide.

Financial penalties

Where the Panel or Director is minded to impose a financial penalty on the licensee and the licensee is present when the Panel or Director announces the proposed penalty and reasons, the licensee will have the option to make their representations to the Panel or Director, if the Panel or Director is of the view that this should be allowed.

In all other cases the Panel or Director’s decision will be accompanied by a notice which complies with the requirements of section 121 of the Act. The Panel or Director must consider the licensee’s representations before deciding whether to give the licensee a notice requiring them to pay a financial penalty. If, following those representations, the Panel or Director is of the view that a financial penalty would still be appropriate, a notice will be sent to the licensee in accordance with section 121 of the Act. The notice will confirm the amount of financial penalty and the date by which it should be paid to the Commission (normally 14 days from the date of the letter).


Where the Panel or Director decides to suspend a licence the decision letter will specify the time when the suspension takes effect and either the period for which the suspension shall last, or that the suspension will last until some specified event.

Revoking a licence

Where the Panel or Director decides to revoke a licence the decision letter will specify the time when the revocation takes effect.

Communicating the decision

The decision by the Panel or Director will be confirmed in writing within 14 days of the conclusion of a hearing. The written decision letter will normally comprise a statement of:

  • the matter being considered by the Panel or Director
  • a summary of the evidence and representations
  • the findings of fact
  • the decision
  • the reasons of the Panel or Director for making the decision.

Where appropriate, the decision letter will remind the recipient that they have the right to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Gambling).

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Determining the facts
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