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Annual Report and Accounts 2021 to 2022

The Gambling Commission's 2021 to 2022 Annual Report and Accounts.

  1. Contents
  2. Keeping crime out of gambling

Keeping crime out of gambling

Gambling is a legitimate activity, but we know it can also present opportunities for criminal activity.

Great Britain’s regulatory framework is considered world leading, particularly in relation to working with partner agencies to detect and prevent crime. However, we are continuing our work with partners to target our activities to contribute to a reduction in crime associated with gambling and are continuing to hold gambling licence holders to account to ensure they are fully meeting their responsibilities – taking regulatory action where they don’t through our targeted compliance activity and enforcement powers.

Gambling companies operate in an increasingly global market which can see manipulation of betting events from serious organised crime networks operating at national and international levels. Our ability to collect, analyse and share intelligence with other regulators and agencies, and work collaboratively with other jurisdictions, continues to be key to safeguarding British consumers’ interests.

Our highlights in this area

The following sets out our highlights over the past year for the deliverable of keeping crime out of gambling.

We continued to build relationships domestically and internationally to share experiences and knowledge of the illegal gambling market to help reduce risks.

We continued to apply national and international best practice through the effective implementation of the Money Laundering Regulations and Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (opens in a new tab).

We updated our money laundering and terrorist financing risk assessment to reflect the current gambling-related risks.

We also continued with our enforcement activity against gambling operators and personal licence holders who failed to meet standards around anti-money laundering, social responsibility controls and customer interaction issues.

We suspended six operators. In total £26.1 million (£21.7 million in fines and £4.4 million in regulatory settlements) was paid by 12 operators as a result of fines or regulatory settlements.

We continued to work closely with sport bodies and law-enforcement partners to achieve regulatory and criminal outcomes relating to betting integrity issues – whilst also supporting the Sport and Sports Betting Integrity plan.

Our Sports Betting Intelligence Unit received over 600 reports which included issues such as suspicious betting activity, sports rules breaches, misuse of inside information and Gambling Act offences. Football and tennis account for the largest proportions of these reports, as was the case in 2020-21.

Our intelligence team generated 3,461 intelligence reports, relating to a number of issues including sports-related issues, social media lotteries, unlicensed remote operators and money laundering.

13 Incident Referral Forms (IRFs) were submitted by the intelligence team to our Incident Management Group (IMG) for consideration. A total of 165 IRFs were escalated for consideration this year.

Despite Covid-19 impacts, we conducted a total of 66 assessments of online and land-based operators.

We carried out 104 website reviews and six security audits. We also commenced seven personal licence reviews with four of those being finalised.

We processed 186 operator licence applications, with 1,469 individuals applying for a personal licence, helped by our new online portal service.

We published our fourth annual Compliance and Enforcement Report which outlined our extensive case work during 2020-21 alongside recommendations and case studies for operators to follow. We welcomed the media coverage for this report which helped to highlight good and best practice to the industry.

As with every year, we continued to ensure Boards focus on their responsibilities to be tested via corporate evaluations and assurance statements.

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