Gambling Commission to monitor and evaluate UK reforms

The review of UK gambling legislation is ongoing.
The review of UK gambling legislation is ongoing.

The regulator said it would take a “proportionate approach” to evaluating the outcomes of new measures.

UK.- The British Gambling Commission has stressed that it will monitor and evaluate any changes to UK gambling regulations as a result of the ongoing review of legislation. David Taylor, head of evidence assurance and evaluation, said the regulator would take a “proportionate approach” to assessing the success of reforms.

He said that the Gambling Commission’s role would not end once the reforms are implemented but that it would evaluate them carefully to ensure they generate the desired outcomes. The regulator and the government’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport have asked NatCen to help design a framework for process and impact evaluations and to make practical recommendations on the data needed to monitor and evaluate reforms.

Taylor said: “We need to establish if they are being delivered effectively, understand if they are achieving their intended outcomes and impacts, identify any unintended consequences, and capture learning to inform the implementation of future policy changes. The evaluation process is important, and planning for the evaluations is already well underway.”

He added: “Evaluating a package of potential measures like this will not be easy, which is why we must take a proportionate approach. The outcomes and impacts of some measures which are taken forward will need to be evaluated individually to explore whether each delivers the expected changes both for consumers and industry – but they should also be evaluated as a package to understand the overall effectiveness of the review, consultation processes and implementation of the measures decided on following consultation.”

As for the work of NatCen, Taylor said: “Drawing on NatCen’s evaluation expertise will be vital in identifying the most appropriate approach. It is possible that this could include identifying opportunities for conducting evaluation trials once final policy positions and implementation dates are decided upon following the consultation process.”

Taylor said the regulator will publish more details on its approach to evaluation through policy consultations, response documents and other updates.

Earlier this week, it was reported that the British Gambling Commission joined police, tax authorities and Cardiff City Council Licensing in a raid on an unlicensed gambling venue in the Welsh capital Cardiff. Police made two arrests in the operation on February 28 as part of a clampdown on fraud dubbed Operation Henhouse.

The operation at an industrial unit in the Splott area involved six warrants. The arrests were made on suspicion of money laundering and offences under the Gambling Act. Police say they seized six poker tables, a prize wheel, poker coins and chips and flat-screen televisions.

Meanwhile, the Gambling Commission has named the nine members of its new Industry Forum, through which it hopes to gain more insights and feedback from operators. Announced in September, the forum is the regulator’s fourth “special advisory” after its Lived Experience Panel, the Advisory Board for Safer Gambling and the Digital Advisory Panel.

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