Gambling Commission publishes new guidance for licensees amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Gambling Commission has released new guidelines for licensees amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UK Gambling Commission has published new advice for licensees in response to the concerns about the impact the coronavirus pandemic will have on the UK gambling industry.

What advice was given?

In its statement, the Commission said it is following guidance from Public Health England and has told all staff to work from home until further notice. The regulator has also encouraged operators to take a similar approach and work from home.

For land-based facilities, the Commission said that licensees must make sure they have sufficient management, staffing and oversight in place to ensure they are still in compliance with licence conditions and codes of practice (LCCP).

The regulator also said that licensees should assess whether or not they will be able to continue to comply with LCCP and consider voluntarily suspending their services if they cannot meet the requirements.

The Commission said: “We recognise these unprecedented circumstances will be having a significant impact on businesses and many will be facing uncertain and unsettling times. The changes will also increase the risks to some individuals, which means that despite the fact that these are challenging times we must all continue to protect consumers.”

What about online operators?

The Commission directly addressed online operators and said that due to new social distancing measure, more people will be working from home. Therefore, online operators must ensure they continue to act responsibility when it comes to individual affordability for customers and social responsibility interactions.

What about licences and fees?

In regard to licences and other fees, the Commission said that due to the structure of the current fee system, it does not have the ability to reduce fees or fast track licence applications.

The Commission also touched on the temporary licence application it has put in place and said that all submissions will be handled from staff members who are working from home. As staff are now working from home, the regulator said that all company documentation should be scanned and sent in through email to the designated account manager.

The Commission’s advice also said: “The Commission has a well-practised and comprehensive Business Continuity Plan, which we have invoked with the intention of minimising the impact on our regulatory work and the advice and services we provide. “

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