British Gambling Commission aims to speed up enforcement process

The Gambling Commission has proposed settlement offers should be made earlier in the process.
The Gambling Commission has proposed settlement offers should be made earlier in the process.

The Gambling Commission has opened a consultation on changes to its licensing, compliance and enforcement policy.

UK.- The British regulator, the Gambling Commission, has proposed changes that would speed up its regulatory settlement process. It’s opened a consultation on a number of planned changes to policies on risk assessments, licensing, compliance and regulatory and criminal enforcement.

The consultation document makes proposals for enforcement actions that aim to change the current situation in which regulatory settlements are only agreed late in the investigation process. It proposes an addition to its Licensing, Compliance, and Enforcement Policy, stating that offers for settlements should be made early in the investigation process.

As for financial penalties, the regulator proposes to base fines on financial information provided by the licensee in order to take into account both the business’ financial probity and that of its owner or parent company. Under this change, if a business fails to provide information, the regulator will infer that it has funds available.

Another change would allow licensees to challenge interim suspensions at a regulatory panel of commissioners, which would be convened as soon as possible.

Gambling Commission regulation of stocks, shares and indexes

The Gambling Commission also announced that it is looking at its regulatory approach to products involving stocks, shares, indexes or investments following some controversy and debate over its remit.

The regulator believes these should be regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), but recognised that this is unlikely to happen before the end of the ongoing review of the 2005 Gambling Act. It proposes that in the meantime it no longer issue licences to businesses offering such products.

It said: “Products which are or may also fall to be regulated by other regulators, for example under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, create the risk of uncertainty as to where the regulatory responsibility may lie, so risking harm to the second and third licensing objectives.”

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Other proposals in the consultation include several clarifications on licensing criteria, granting the regulator the power to reject incomplete applications.

There’s also clarification on what changes must be informed to the Gambling Commission, including changes in a licensee’s ownership or control, regulatory returns, and variation applications if a business is likely to exceed its licence type’s fee category.

The consultation will remain open until February 9.

See also: UK armed forces to remove all gambling machines from bases

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