UKGC Responds to Accusations of Inadequacies
by Glenn Baird - June 30, 2020
Yesterday, a group of MPs in the UK labelled the UK’s gambling regulator as “toothless”, claiming that the UKGC has an “unacceptably weak understanding” of the harms of gambling. A claim based off the findings of a recent report into the industry.
MP Meg Hillier, chair of the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC), said the commission needed to be reformed.
“What has emerged in evidence is a picture of a torpid, toothless regulator that doesn’t seem terribly interested in either the harms it exists to reduce or the means it might use to achieve that,” she said.
“The commission needs a radical overhaul: it must be quicker at responding to problems, update company licence conditions to protect vulnerable consumers and beef up those consumers’ rights to redress when it fails.”
The Commission has responded by announcing it will take “additional steps” to ensure that problem gamblers are protected.
The report has called for a “radical overhaul” of UK gambling one proposal recommending league tables for operators in an attempt to name and shame those who are doing enough to protect vulnerable gamblers.
A spokesperson for the Commission said: “We are committed to making even further and faster progress to address gambling harms and were already addressing a number of the issues highlighted by the National Audit Office earlier this year.
“Over the past two years we have strengthened player protection measures, tightened the regulation of the online sector, introduced strict age and ID verification checks, brought in a ban on gambling with credit cards and been tougher through our enforcement activity.”
The Commission went on to highlight their introduction of an advisory ground called Experts by Experience, whose primary focus will be to provide advice on enhanced measures .
It said: “In recent weeks we have also established an Experts by Experience advisory group who will help us to strengthen our efforts and help ensure we make an impact where it matters.
“We accepted before the Committee that there is always more to do and we are carefully considering the findings of their report to see what other additional steps we can take.”
The industry’s self-regulation body, The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), has also responded:
It said: “The industry is working hard to raise standards to help problem gamblers and those at risk, though we note that both the regulator and the government have made it clear that there is no evidence that problem gambling has increased.
“Our industry is already heavily regulated. We mustn’t drive customers to offshore, black market, illegal operators that don’t have any of our safeguards, and we do want to see more action taken against the unregulated industry.
“We are committed to making more voluntary changes and driving up safer gambling standards. We will work with the Gambling Commission and the government to achieve this, particularly on the forthcoming review of the Gambling Act.”