UK gaming regulator presents new business plan for 2020/21
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) launched its new 2020 and 2021 business plan on Wednesday. Under the heading “Making Gambling Fairer and Safer” (“Making Gambling Fairer and Safer”), the plan focuses on player protection.
In the foreword, this is more important than ever given the current corona crisis, in which numerous people are turning to online gambling.
There are a total of five main points at which the UKGC wants to start:
Protect the interests of consumers
Prevention of gambling and damage to customers and society
Raising the standards of the gambling market
Optimizing the distribution of lottery taxes to charities
The agency says that gambling regulation could become significantly stricter in the future. Licensees who neglect player protection are threatened with immediate license withdrawal. This drastic measure goes hand in hand with the rapidly increasing numbers of online gamblers.
Neil McArthur, UKGC’s Chief Executive, explains:
As we publish this business plan, we are already seeing an increase in online slots, poker, casino games and virtual sports. Damage caused by gambling must be drastically reduced. If the providers cannot protect their customers from damage, we are ready and willing to act and, where necessary, to use our powers to suspend or withdraw operating or individual licenses.
The agency also advocates that the 2005 Gambling Act be fundamentally revised, as many politicians have already demanded. The UKGC wants to cooperate with the British State Department.
New license fees and changes to the National Lottery
The license fees for future licensees could also be increased. These are currently 0.15% of gross gaming yield (GGY).
For 2020/21, however, the UKGC does not expect any major changes in the distribution of fee income.
Compared to the last business plan of 2018/19, only the income from the sports betting sector could decrease by 2%, while that from the slot machine and casino sectors could increase by 1% each.
However, the compulsory national lottery fees are to be redistributed. The goal is to pass on a larger proportion of charity. This could mean that at the same time the amount of the prizes that are distributed to the players will be reduced.
These innovations could very probably come into force when the new operator of the national lottery has been determined. The current license is scheduled to expire in 2023.
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