Gambling Commission chair urges industry to raise standards

16 July 2018

William Moyes, chairman of the Gambling Commission, has issued a call for the industry to “step up” as the UK-based regulator seeks to improve standards in the sector.

Speaking in the organisation’s Annual Report, Moyes said while 2017-18 was a year of “considerable change” for the UK market, the current year will see more upheaval as the commission pushes ahead with its new strategy.

The three-year plan covers the period from 2018 until 2021, with a key focus on addressing issues the industry, government and society must tackle if the UK is to have a culture that treats the consumer fairly and tackles gambling-related harm more seriously.

The five main strategic priorities are to protect the interests of consumers; to prevent harm to consumers and the public; raise standards in the gambling market; optimise returns to good causes from lotteries and improve the way the Commission regulates.

However, Moyes said in order to achieve these goals, the industry must support the regulator in its efforts.

“This year will bring more change for the industry. We have set out ambitious plans for the coming year, and indeed for the life of our three-year strategy,” Moyes said.

“We cannot deliver this work alone. We need continued strong partnerships with other regulators, consumer representatives and government.

“Most importantly, we need the industry to step up and work to raise standards and reduce the risk of harm.

“The challenge now is to support the industry in the raising of standards and in making gambling fairer and safer for all.”

In the report, the commission set out its progress for 2017-18 and said it had achieved 38 of its 41 corporate business plan milestones in the past year, with the aim of delivering the remaining three in the current year.

The watchdog processed over 240 licence applications from prospective operators in the past year, with just over 2,000 individuals having applied for a licence.

In addition, the commission said it undertook 75 regulatory and criminal investigations in 2017-18, including the record £7.8m (€8.8m/$10.3m) fine for 888 following serious social responsibility failings.