May, 3, 2023
Almost a week after Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Lucy Frazer, presented the Gambling Act Review White Paper to the House of Commons, the Gambling Commission has already started implementing its recommendations.
The Commission (UKGC) will be focusing on over 60 areas of work set out in the White Paper, with project teams already in action to initiate work on the various recommendations. Although the full implementation might span several years, the Commission remains optimistic about making rapid progress in many key areas.
Most of the proposed changes aim to modify the Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP), which serves as the ‘rule book' for gambling operators. Any adjustments made to the LCCP will undergo a consultative process, with all feedback considered before implementation.
The first round of White Paper-related LCCP consultations is planned for publication this summer. Pre-consultation engagement with stakeholders has also begun in several policy areas. These discussions will be primarily focused on the application of the changes, with the aim of avoiding reopening debates on public policy issues already settled in the White Paper.
The Commission emphasizes the importance of various experiences and expertise in shaping the way the White Paper's commitments are transformed into reality. Their approach is informed by history, which has shown how well-intentioned policies can have unintended consequences when poorly implemented.
The White Paper pledges to increase the Gambling Commission's regulatory powers to combat illegal gambling and promote cross-government collaboration. This document will be the dominant policy initiative for the Commission in the coming years, encompassing stages of development, implementation, evaluation, and review. The magnitude of this undertaking necessitates that stakeholders consider and contribute to each stage in a manageable manner.
It's important to note that the current rules and regulations will remain intact until changes have been enacted through consultation or legislative action. The Gambling Commission stresses that the focus on implementing the White Paper will not divert them from ensuring compliance with existing requirements. They are prepared to continue taking action against gambling operators who fail to meet their standards, in line with their mission to protect consumers and meet the Government’s ambition of a gambling reform suitable for the digital age.
The Gambling Commission's Executive Director for research and policy, Tim Miller, is one of the key figures overseeing this process. With his team, Miller will be working hard to ensure that this ambitious initiative achieves its goals without compromising the integrity of the gambling industry or the safety of the consumers it serves.