What Does Gambling Commission’s Three-Year Business Plan Look Like?

The Gambling Commission is the U.K.’s main gambling regulatory body. It supervises the gambling law and protects the British public from operators’ abuse. Seeing as the U.K.’s regulatory framework in the industry is the global leader, it is fair to say that the Commission works well. At the beginning of April, it released the new 2021 to 2022 Business Plan that addresses the Commission’s strategic goals for the next three years. Here are some of the highlights.

A Better-Regulated Industry

The gambling industry in the U.K. is quite well-regulated as it is, especially compared to other countries. There are many trusted casino platforms in Ireland, as well as throughout Britain that operate completely legally. Licensed gambling businesses are taxed, and consumers’ interests are protected.

The industry has proven very profitable in recent years. During the period between April 2019 and March 2020, the gross gambling yield of casinos reached £1.05 billion and is projected to rise further in upcoming years. Much of the profits come from online gambling, an emerging segment of the industry.

According to one of the strategic objectives, the plan is to improve regulation further in 2021-2022. The Gambling Commission will cooperate with the government on polishing the Gambling Act (U.K.’s primary gambling legislation) and focus on addressing pandemic-related changes in the industry.

A Fairer Market

Despite the regulation and the growing popularity of gambling, British consumers do not seem to trust the industry. Research shows that the public perceives it as much less trustworthy in 2020 compared to 2008. The Gambling Commission plans to focus on changing this.

In particular, one of the problems is that license holders fail to deliver information to consumers in an accessible way. Some of them use inconsistent and confusing terminology (for example, when describing different bonuses available to players). The Gambling Commission’s goal is to make the wording of terms and conditions uniform.

This has great implications for the British public. If all casinos are required to use the same easy-to-understand terminology and rules, there will be less ground for misunderstandings between operators and consumers.

Crime Prevention

Another strategic objective discussed in the Business Plan is “keeping crime out of gambling.” Some of the main steps the Gambling Commission intends to take are:

  • Targeting illegal providers. Among other things, the Commission will establish international partnerships with foreign regulatory bodies to identify and punish casino platforms that operate without a license.
  • Preventing money laundering. The Commission plans to reassess main risks (in light of the recent changes in the industry trends) and update its Money Laundering Regulations to reflect them.
  • Fighting event manipulation. Sports betting is one of the most rapidly growing segments of the gambling industry. The Commission addressed it in the Sports Betting Integrity plan and will stick to the plan going forward.

The National Lottery Proceeds

One-fourth of the money spent on the National Lottery goes to good causes, for example, financing innovative research. The total amount of ‘good causes’ proceeds collected over the past twenty-five years (since the establishment of the National Lottery in 1994) is over £42 billion.

However, the license of the Camelot Group, the current operator of the National Lottery, will soon expire. The Gambling Commission plans to have another competition to choose the best operator. The goal is to find a successor that will increase the value of the Lottery as a public asset even further.

So, What Is in It for Gamblers?

The Gambling Commission’s Business Plan promises positive improvements for regular gamblers. The increased transparency of operators’ terms and conditions will make it easier for beginners to orient themselves in the confusing world of gambling. They will know what they are paying for, what different bonuses mean, and what the prospects of winning are. In turn, the Commission’s war on unlicensed operators will hopefully decrease the occurrence of frauds. Overall, gambling will become safer.

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