Gambling Commission to change licensee reporting requirements from 31 October

The Gambling Commission has shared the results of a consultation about data collection.

The UK Gambling Commission has published the results of a consultation about data collection, the implementation of new measures and the standardisation of the data the regulator collects.

The consultation

The Commission’s consultation revolved around a number of proposed changes that the Commission said would “make data requirements more efficient for licensees” and the regulator.

The Gambling Commission received 70 responses during the 12-week consultation period, 50 of which came from licensees, seven came trade associations, three came from charitable, non-profit or academic organisations, six came from the public and four came from “other” respondents.

Proposed changes

Of the proposed changes, one would allow the regulatory body to “specify the form and manner” of the reporting of possible offences. On top of standardising data, the Commission said this would allow it to “reinforce the principle that responsibility for meeting the licence condition rests with licensees, not third parties.”

The Commission said that this proposal received a positive reaction, but some respondents voiced concerns that it should not be “overly burdensome” and that the implementation of timescales would help make the process clearer. The regulator created a standardized reporting template but rejected the introduction of timescales.

The regulatory body said: “We recognise that, in many instances, licensees will want to undertake due diligence to investigate the nature and scale of a potential breach. We do not, for this reason, think it practical to impose a ‘one size fits all’ time limit on reporting issues of known or suspected offences.”

Another change would involve removing or simplifying the amount of data licensees are required to report to the regulator. This includes only requiring non-GB revenue data instead of forcing licensees to break down revenue by game and sport. Gaming machine sale requirements would also be simplified, with the Commission only asking for the total value of sales.

The Commission said: “Overall, respondents welcomed the reduction in datapoints and commented that streamlining our data requirements would improve operational efficiency for licensees.”

However, some respondents voiced concerns that reducing the amount of data collected could have an adverse effect on the Commission’s knowledge of the gambling sector. In response to these concerns, the Commission said: “the removal of these data points will have negligible impact on our understanding of the gambling industry.”

The regulator also proposed the creation of a new license condition that would require land-based casinos to report any “systematic or organised” money lending. According to the regulator, this proposal was received positively, however, some respondents asked for definitions of the term “systematic or organized money lending.”

One respondent argued that there is no evidence to support the view that systemic or organized money lending is an issue on any gambling premises, and if it did happen, it should be reported to the police and ten the Commission.

The Commission also clarified that from now on, operators must report any data breaches that “affects the confidentiality of customer data” or prevents a licensee’s customers or staff from accessing their accounts for longer than 12 hours. Previously, licensees were required to report this within 24 hours.

The proposed changes will come into effect on 31 October 2020.

Another consultation

The UK regulatory body also published responses to a consultation on the information that licensees must publicly display on their sites.

These proposals would make changes to licence condition 8.1.1 and 8.1.2 and introduce a new licence condition (licence condition 8.1.3).

These licence conditions relate to standardising “the type of information that must be displayed on business-to-customer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) websites and mobile applications about an operator’s licensed status,” as well as “extending the requirements to non-commercial societies, local authorities and external lottery managers offering access to lottery products online.”

The commission said: “Our objective in making these changes is to improve visibility of a licensee’s licensed status for customers of online gambling products, supporting our work to keep gambling fair and safe.

“Standardisation of the form of displayed licensed statuses will also enable us to better use data tools when we carry out compliance activity to check the licensed status of a gambling website or mobile application.”

The Commission received 30 responses over the 12-week consultation period. Of these responses, 20 came from licensees, three came from trade associations, four came from charities, one from a member of the public and two came from “other” contributors.

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