All-Party Betting and Gaming Group to Assess Gambling Commission Competence

All-Party Betting and Gaming Group to Assess Gambling Commission Competence

An inquiry has been launched by the APBGG, the parliamentary All-Party Betting and Gaming Group, with a view to assessing the competence and effectiveness of the UK Gambling Commission.

While many believe the country’s regulator to be just about the best in the business in terms of keeping customers safe, this inquiry comes after several complaints were received by the APBGG regarding the Commission from those inside the betting and gaming industry.

Complaints Received Over several Years

Various bodies had already made comments in a number of reports following some disaffection that had been put forward regarding the Commission to the APBGG. Those comments, however, by the National Audit Office, Public Accounts Committee, and the House of Lords Select Committee on the Social and Economic Impact of the Gambling Industry back in 2020 were deemed to be unsatisfactory by industry leaders.

Although it appears, at least from the outside looking in, that as more and more gaming controls are implemented, it’s sure to anger betting firms more than the public. The APBGG acknowledges publicly that they need to challenge the regulator.

Scott Benton MP, the co-chair of the APBGG, has moved to state this publicly. He also said that complaints about activities of the Commission have come to him for some years from industry members.

Has the Commission Been a Law unto Itself?

Mr. Benton also pointed out that industry insiders have told him that they have been “too scared” to publicize their concerns about the Commission.

The principal reason appears to be that the only place industry people can go to with complaints about the Commission is the Commission itself. There is no other formal method of the complaint. Therefore, according to Benton, the APBGG has to provide a conduit for legitimate criticism of the Gambling Commission.

The APBGG say the complaints they have received include questioning of the Commission’s ability to function properly, although that’s not entirely specific, as well as times when the Commission has been seen to transgress its own powers as a regular.

Also, complaints have included the Commission being alleged to have acted directly outside of the regulator’s code, something that would be a serious breach indeed if upheld.

Deadline for Complaints Amid Continued Commission Shake-Up

Up to now, complaints received by the Commission have stayed in the house. They now, however, have been given until October 31st by the APBGG to submit said complaints.

If those complaints are received in full, and the current APBGG inquiry necessitates a report, findings will be presented to the Gambling Act Review with the CEO of the Gambling Commission then given a chance to respond on the record.

The Commission will be scrambling now to formulate a response, something that comes at a time of much change in the hierarchy.

After the famous Football Index scandal, previous chief exec Neil MacArthur left his role in March with Andrew Rhodes placed in temporary charge. Since then, Bill Moyes has also left his post as chair of the Commission, having been replaced by Marcus Boyle after the previous incumbent’s term expired.

If the Commission can get their house to at least respond, properly and publicly, to the complaints aimed at them, it will make for a fascinating November and even more so if the APBGG deems the complaints to warrant a full report on the matter.

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