UKGC: Holding an operating licence is a privilege, not a right

Posted:: Nov 11, 2020 09:14 Category: Europe , Posted by Laetitia

“Holding an operating licence or a personal licence is a privilege, not a right” Commission Chief Executive Neil McArthur for the UKGC noted in response to the disappointment in licence standards this year highlighted in the annual Compliance and Enforcement Report.

On November 6th 2020, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) published their first National Strategic Assessment, highlighting issues surrounding gambling fairer, safer and crime free, and their annual Compliance and Enforcement Report aiming to minimise risks to the licencing objectives, reduce problem gambling, and ensure the safety of customers 

Gambling-Commission-sign.x8913b7b4The latest annual Compliance and Enforcement Report is a compilation of findings of the UKGC’s casework against licence holders for the period April 2019 to March 2020, and highlights where work needs to be done to raise industry standards.

This year, the UKGC has amped up their push to combat illegal gambling and tougher approach to enforcement. 

Nonetheless, customer protection still remains a priority for the UKGC as case studies continue to demonstrate that benchmark triggers haven’t been effective in filtering out problem gamblers. Furthermore, affordability checks and appropriate evidence for funds available haven’t been satisfactory too.

Some strives included in the report are the following: 

  • 11 operating licenses revoked 
  • 630 reports of suspicious betting activity, sports rules breaches and misuse of inside information being managed by our Sports Betting Intelligence Unit 
  • 350 compliance assessments of land-based and online operators 
  • 12 financial penalty packages or regulatory settlements totalling over £30 million.


Commission Chief Executive Neil McArthur for the UKGCMcArthur noted regarding the tougher licencing requirements enforced by the UKGC: 

Holding an operating licence or a personal licence is a privilege, not a right, and we expect our licensees to protect consumers from harm and treat them fairly”. 

Our latest report shows that where licensees fail to meet the standards we expect, we will take tough action, including the suspension and revocation of licences. It also charts how we are shifting our focus towards personal management licence holders – those in boardrooms and senior positions need to live up to their responsibilities and we will continue to hold people to account for failings they knew, or ought to have known, about. 

McArthurMcArthur concluded with some final words, calling for the industry as a whole to create a safer gambling space: 

Everyone has a part to play to make gambling safer and learning the lessons from the failings identified in this report is one way of doing that

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