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Gambling Commission launches new consultations on fines

| By Kyle Goldsmith
The Gambling Commission has announced a number of fresh consultations in relation to financial penalties.
Gambling Commission

The hope is the consultations, lasting 13 weeks, will bring “greater clarity and transparency” to how penalties are calculated. The starting point for fines will be considered, as well as whether the penalties will be judged against the gross gambling yield (GGY) made during the breach.

The consultations will also cover financial key event reporting. The plan is to take into account “the increase in complexity of mergers and acquisitions” as well as the “increased globalisation” of gambling.

Kay Roberts, executive director of operations at the Gambling Commission, stated: “These consultations are part of our continued drive to ensure Britain has the world’s most effectively regulated gambling sector.

“We would urge all our stakeholders to take the time out to have their say on these consultations as all views on proposed changes will be considered.”

Gambling Commission’s response to white paper

These consultations come as a result of the Gambling Act review white paper. The white paper made proposals on how gambling should be regulated in the UK going forward. These are based on a governmental review of the 2005 Gambling Act.

The Gambling Commission launched a confidential reporting service earlier this month, allowing people to report criminal and suspicious activity anonymously.

That launch was in the wake of the Commission publishing statistics that showed a surge in land-based gambling. The sector has grown by over 20% in the last year, with business returning to pre-pandemic levels.

Total GGY grew 6.8% year-on-year to £15.1bn ($19.0bn/€17.5bn) for the 12 months from April 2022 to March 2023. This figure, accrued from all licensed remote and land-based gambling operators, was also up 6.6% on the last pre-lockdown period before March 2020.

GambleAware numbers highlight online slots as key issue

British charity GambleAware published statistics earlier this month that pointed to online slots as a particular area of concern.

Over a third of GambleAware’s contacts to its support services in 2022-23 were people experiencing gambling-related harm from online slots.

37.9% of those who accessed treatment were in relation to online slots, while internet sports betting was second with 15.6%. Fixed-odds gaming machines in bookmaker shops followed with 12.8%.

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