Just like all other organizations, the UK Gambling Commission has to change all the time to adapt to new challenges and issues. This is especially important in the digital realm – and since the UKGC is in charge of handling online casino and gambling licenses, rapid shifts are happening right now.
Recently, UKGC published its business plan for 2019-2020, which introduced a number of changes in the British gaming world. Primarily, the commission will focus on “raising standards in consumer protection and harm prevention” across the entire gaming industry in the UK. This will be done through multiple channels and action plans, and we can expect many initiatives being taken by the UKGC next year.
In the introduction to its business plan, the UK Gambling Commission that the five strategic priorities of the organization remain the same:
- Protection of consumer interests
- Preventing gambling harm
- Raising standards in the gambling market
- Improving regulation
- Optimising returns to good causes from lotteries
According to UKGC, they will start working on improving customer complaints. Also, they will start exploring and researching the phenomenon of gambling via credit cards. Credit card debt related to gambling is closely connected to practices of responsible gaming and public harm, which is why it’s under the jurisdiction of the UK Gambling Commission.
The commission emphasized that 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of the UK National Lottery, which generated 39 billion GBP for good causes since its founding. In 2020, the UKGC will continue to aim to boost the National Lottery’s profits through marketing events and interaction. Also, next year will be the year when the competition for the next National Lottery license will be held (at the end of the year).
As far as financials go, the first section that the commission introduced by the commission was the amount of fees by industry leaders. The fee income represents 0.2% of the total industry revenue, while the biggest drivers are Betting with 32% and Casino with 27%, followed by Bingo, Machines, Lottery, Arcades and Software.
The action plan in 2020 will start with an investigation on gambling with credit cards and expert consultation. In the third quarter, the British Gambling Commission will most likely bring in new regulations that require UKGC licensed casinos to cooperate with reliable providers certified by FCA or other organizations. Next, the commission’s website will be updated and upgraded to be as helpful and easy to use as possible.
Among the biggest news of the business plan is that UKGC has published their National Strategy to Reduce Gambling Harms. It has been published at the same time as the plan and will be launched in the first quarter of 2020.
As part of the Prevent Harm to Consumers and the Public section of the business plan, the commission will ensure successful delivery, review and assessment of the strategy throughout the year.
Raising standards in the gambling market is also one of the most important points of this business plan. First, the UKGC plans to hold interactive events and issue publications that will deliver a best practice programme for all players within the industry.
In line with the same topic, there will be a number of events throughout the UK that will focus on the goal of standard raising in the industry.
The regulator will continue to provide oversight of the operators and key players in the industry through initiatives such as Know Your Customer (ID verification for purposes of anti-money laundering).