Statement of principles for determining financial penalties
1 - Introduction
The purpose of this statement of principles for determining financial penalties
1.1. This statement sets out the principles that the Gambling Commission (the Commission) will apply and have regard to in exercising its powers to require the holder of an operating licence or the holder of a personal licence to pay a financial penalty.
1.2. This statement of principles applies both to circumstances in which the Commission exercises its powers to impose a financial penalty under section 121 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab) (the Act), or when the Commission is considering the matter of a payment in lieu of a financial penalty as part of a regulatory settlement with a licensee. Therefore references to financial penalties within this document should also be read to include payments in lieu of financial penalties.
The framework of policies and procedures
1.3. The Commission has developed a number of policies which govern how it carries out its statutory functions. As such this document needs to be read in conjunction with the following documents:
- Statement of principles for licensing and regulation
- Licensing, compliance and enforcement policy statement
- Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice
- Complaints procedure
- Corporate governance framework
- Indicative Sanctions Guidance
- Regulatory panel procedures.
The legal framework
1.4. Section 121 of the Gambling Act 2005 (opens in new tab) provides that the Commission may require the holder of an operating licence to pay a penalty if the Commission thinks that a condition of the licence has been breached. The Commission may impose a financial penalty following a review under section 116(1) or (2) of the Act (opens in new tab). The Commission also has the power to impose a financial penalty without carrying out a licence review. Once a financial penalty has been imposed the Commission pays received monies into a Consolidated Fund, once it has deducted its costs and a reasonable share of its expenditure, as set out at section 121(5)(c).
The scope of this document
1.5. Section 121(6) of the Act requires the Commission to, among other things, prepare a statement setting out the principles to be applied by decision makers in exercising the Commission’s powers to impose financial penalties, and to have regard to the statement when exercising a power under this section. The Commission shall review this statement of principles from time to time and revise it when it thinks necessary.
1.6. In exercising its powers to impose a financial penalty the Commission will have particular regard to:
- the seriousness of the breach of condition in respect of which the penalty is proposed
- whether or not the licensee knew or ought to have known of the breach
- whether the breach is an example of repeat behaviour by the licensee
- whether the breach arose in circumstances that were similar to previous cases the Commission has dealt with which resulted in the publication of lessons to be learned for the wider industry
- the nature of the licensee (including, in particular, the licensee’s financial resources)
- the timeliness of any admissions made by the licensee and actions taken to
- remediate the breach.
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Statement of principles for determining financial penalties - Applicable principles
Last updated: 8 December 2023
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23 March 2023 - formatting changes and corrected broken links.