Big Increase in Financial Sanctions from Gambling Commission
The Gambling Commission has reported a sharp uptick in the number of financial penalties given out in recent times.
Financial sanctions marked against gambling companies have risen as the firms are warned to ensure they do not take advantage of players forced to stay home and spend more time online during the UK’s second coronavirus-related lockdown.
Financial Penalties Up by Half
After the lockdown, the Commission published a new Compliance and Enforcement Report, which gave more clarity to the work it has been undertaking for the past financial year, ending March 2020.
Their work ensured that licenced online and retail gambling firms were staying in line with current rules and regulations. In the meantime, the regulatory body has taken steps to increase financial penalties handed out to such operators in breach of market regulations.
For the financial year 2019/20, a total of twelve regulatory settlements or penalty packages were handed out worth a total of more than £30million.
That figure means an increase of some 50% from the near £20million brought in from similar penalties within the year 2018/19.
As well as imposing financial punishments, though the Gambling Commission is keen not to give the sanctions such a name, the body also revoked eleven gambling companies’ licences and initiated reviews of some 49 personal management licence holders.
The latest measures imposed by the Gambling Commission clearly show that they are not perturbed by giving out harsh penalties to operators not towing the line, while such individuals shown to be responsible for bad decision making can also expect sanctions.
National Strategic Assessment Also Deployed
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recent implementation of a second nationwide lockdown in the UK has also applied to the gambling sector, with land-based casinos and betting shops instructed to close until early December.
With this in mind, Gambling Commission chief exec Neil McArthur has moved to remind gambling licence holders that stricter measures will be enforced to protect players at a time when they become more vulnerable online.
In the past, the regulator showed concern that some operators may choose to exploit a form of social isolation that comes with a national lockdown by targeting them with certain marketing materials. Because of this, the Commission has already implemented customer affordability checks and banned credit cards for gambling purposes.
So, as well as producing the most recent Compliance and Enforcement Report, the Gambling Commission in the UK is also releasing its very first National Strategic Assessment.
The Assessment has been implemented as part of the regulator’s efforts to ensure that gambling becomes both safer and fairer for everyone involved and keep money laundering out of the sector.
Reports provide more accurate information regarding the country’s gambling niche and detail the part of the Commission as the sector’s very regulator, aiming to prove competence.
This is not a given either. Some current MPs have taken exception to the way the Gambling Commission itself runs and questions whether it should continue in its current format. In contrast, others in the past have made no secret of their desire to obliterate gambling from Britain’s culture altogether.
While proper regulation is always welcomed, removing a citizen’s choice of whether or not they want to chase a thrill or even bet strategically by placing a few pounds on an event’s outcome should always be viewed as the authoritarian, power-seeking form of draconian control that it is.