Fourth National Lottery Licence: Regulatory Handbook
32. Publication of our decision
32.1 Openness and transparency are central to our work. Publication of our enforcement work plays an important role in improving compliance and in increasing confidence in us as a regulator. In this section we set out our approach:
- to publishing during our investigation
- to publishing after we make our final decision
- to considering the removal of published notices.
During our investigation
32.2 Generally, we will only publicly announce an investigation in exceptional circumstances. This is to protect the integrity of investigations and protect the Licensee from being unfairly associated with unsubstantiated allegations. Exceptional circumstances may involve where matters under investigation have become the subject of public concern, speculation or rumour. We will only make an announcement if we consider it is desirable to:
- maintain public confidence in the National Lottery or the regulation thereof
- protect Participants
- prevent or deter widespread malpractice
- help the investigation itself, for example by bringing forward witnesses
- maintain the smooth operation of the National Lottery.
32.3 We will consider any potential prejudice caused to the Licensee who is, or likely to be, subject to investigation, and weigh this against the benefits of making an announcement.
32.4 We will not generally publish details of any preliminary findings during our investigations. In many cases, restrictions on the disclosure of information obtained in the course of exercising our role and duties is likely to prevent publication. These restrictions may include disclosing someone's confidential or legally privileged information or prejudicing other investigations or legal proceedings.
32.5 In exceptional circumstances, and where we are not prevented from doing so, we may publish details of an ongoing investigation. Circumstances in which we may do so include those where our investigation concern is made public, by ourselves or otherwise, and we subsequently conclude our concerns are unwarranted. In this example the Licensee may wish us to clarify the matter.
After we make our final decision
32.6 After we make our final decision, we will ordinarily publish our decision within 14 days (even if our decision is subject to appeal). Unless we have reason not to, we will also publish decisions resulting in regulatory settlement, and details of any undertaking. Consistent with our wider fairness and transparency obligations, we would expect to engage with the Licensee prior to publication.
Our considerations for the removal of published notices
32.7 Upon request we will review any compliance or enforcement-related notices that are published on our website. We will determine whether continued publication is appropriate, or whether such notices should be removed or amended.
32.8 In completing our review, we will consider relevant factors, in particular:
- the seriousness of the misconduct
- the nature of our action and the level of any sanction imposed
- whether we have continuing concerns in respect of the Licensee and any risk they might pose to the National Lottery objectives
- whether the publication sets out our expectations regarding behaviour for an area
- whether that message still has educative value and the public interest in the case (both at the time and subsequently)
- whether continued publication is necessary for deterrence or consumer protection
- the length of time since publication
- any representations made by the Licensee on the continuing impact on them of the publication.
31. Regulatory settlements Next section
33. Enabling Agreement and Fourth Licence: Concurrent Enforcement
Last updated: 1 February 2024
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