The UK Gambling Commission Releases Advice on Covid-19
by Glenn Baird - March 19, 2020
The UKGC has today released guidance on how licences should operate in response to the growing concern caused by the Covid-19 Corona Virus.
In accordance with the guidance set out by the English health board, the Commission are advising anyone who can to work from home for the foreseeable future.
Despite this advice, they do add that all gambling operators must ensure that they have the staff they need to allow them to meet the terms of their licence.
The advice went on to state that in the event that operators cannot meet the terms of their licence they should offer voluntary partial or full suspension of their service.
The Commission also addressed online operators directly, reminding them that if they have to continue to act in compliance with responsible gambling regulations and to be aware that with social distancing measures in place there is a chance that more gamblers will take to spending money online.
“We realise that the unprecedented changes to daily life, and in some cases, financial uncertainty, will create challenges for your business,” the Commission said. “The changes will also increase the risks to some individuals, which means that despite the fact that these are challenging times we must all continue to protect consumers.”
The regulator has stated that there is no way for them to reduce fees that operators pay to obtain a licence. They are also unable to fast-track any licence applications at this time.
As the Commission themselves will have most of their staff working from home they have asked that any relevant paperwork is scanned and emailed to them as there will likely be no one in the office to pick up mail.
“Applications are a priority for licensing and although our teams are working from home, we have set up steps and processes to ensure we can proceeds with applications should anyone fall ill or become unable to work,” the regulator said.
“The Commission has a well-practised and comprehensive business continuity plan, which we have invoked with the intention of minimising the impact on our regulatory work and the advice and services we provide.”
The Commission has also stated that no operators should be using the current Covid-19 crisis as a market ploy of any sort.