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The UK Gambling Commission with a New Three-Year Strategy
- November 15, 2017 By Oliver Young -
2017 has been a very active year for the UK Gambling Commission. With its actions and public announcements, the Commission made it clear that it intends to tighten its grip and ensure that all operators work in accordance with the laws and adopted procedures. The UKGC also announced certain changes.
At the beginning of the year, the UKGC announced that operators that don’t work in accordance with the law will be fined more heavily in the future. Then the Commission adopted a clearer position on eSports, announcing that it will follow more closely what’s going on in this department and for the remainder of the year, problem gambling became the main focus of the UKGC. Following Labour’s announcement that they will impose stricter regulations and the Government initiative to impose a lower wagering limit on FOBTs, it is evident that there will be a lot of work for the UKGC in the future.
More than 60% of Brits Have Gambled in the Past Year
The Commission has just launched its 2018-2021 Strategy, under the title ‘Making gambling fairer and safer’ and the strategy contains the UKGC’s strategic priorities and some important facts about gambling in the UK. Statistics show a growing number of people in the country who gamble. For example, almost two thirds of the population have gambled in the past year. The proportion of people who feel that gambling is fair and it can be trusted is a mere 34%, compared to almost 50% in 2008 and that is a worrying fact.
In addition, there are 400,000 problem gamblers in the country, and about 2 million people are at risk. A total of 6% of all men in the country are at risk, including one in every 10 men aged 16 to 34. Men are more likely to be problem gamblers than women. The figures clearly show why the Commission has set an aim to make the gambling market fairer and safer for all customer. Tackling illegal gambling and ensuring market integrity remain one of the top goals of the UKGC. The National Lottery also remains one of the Commission’s top priorities.
Five Strategic Priorities for the Commission
In order to be able to classify its tasks more accordingly, the UKGC formulated a set of five top priorities. The five priorities include: protecting the interests of punters, preventing damage both to punters and the public, optimisation of the lottery funds used for good causes, improving the way gambling is regulated and, last but not least, the Commission also pledges to raise the standards of the gambling market.
Protection of consumers includes improvement of the standard of information that is provided by operators to their customers in a way which would enable every punter to make an informed decision and eliminate disproportionate risk taking.
When it comes to harm prevention, the Commission wants to eliminate gambling as a source of crime and lower the impact that gambling has on the nation’s health and well-being. The UKGC is going to develop a national strategy for safer gambling. Money laundering is another issues that will be treated with a great deal of seriousness in the upcoming years.