UK Gambling Commission Makes Player Commitment in 2016 Annual ReportPublished July 29, 2016 by Mike P
A new Gambling Commission annual report has recapped 2015/16’s regulatory changes and a possible fee reduction for 2017.
July 2016 marked the moment for the latest UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) annual report, with analysts and operators ready to review the industry’s financial performance. Crucially, the report was also used as an opportunity for the UKGC to reiterate the commitment it has to protecting players and safeguarding their interests.
Recapping 2015/16 Changes
In recapping the key changes for 2015/16, the UKGC explained how the industry now requires board members of gambling operators to introduce assurance statements that guarantee to ensure their service is safe, fair, and crime-free. The UKGC also made changes that required online operators to implement digital tools for players to monitor their gambling and activate self-inclusion triggers when necessary.
Given its demand for a player focus, the UKGC supported the philosophy by promising enhanced enforcement efforts against any operators who fell short of their agreed-upon responsibilities. Moving forward, all UK-licensed operators will need to demonstrate a concern for combatting money laundering and maintaining their social responsibility.
UK Operators Could Pay Less Fees
Meanwhile, the second major news story to impact UK gambling operators is the revelation that a proposed new scheme could reduce their licence fees. Working in conjunction, the UKGC and the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport (DCMS) has proposed for the yet-to-be-approved changes to be made in April 2017.
The decision stems from the UKGC explaining how its operating costs have decreased, meaning there is now the possibility of decreasing fees by introducing payment bands that are dependent on gross gambling yield (GGY). The UKGC estimates 1,900 of 3,000 operators would receive a reduction in their fees.
At present, the UKGC has a GGY band of £5.5m, with all operators under that level required to pay £13,529 a year. In the future, there could be bands of sub-£550k, £550k-£2.0m, and £2.0m-£5.5m. By implementing bands, this means smaller operators would be subject to lower annual fees.
However, any change is unlikely to be welcomed by the most successful operators, as a new top-end band has been proposed. If the UKGC can convince the government, then operators that surpass £550m will see a fee increase from £155,425 to £494,856 or higher.