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April 1, 2020
The British Gambling Commission (“Commission”) has today published its annual business plan for 2020/2021 (“2020/2021 Plan”).
The foreword to the 2020/2021 Plan unsurprisingly includes some eleventh hour changes to address the impact of the Covid-19 virus, principally that certain of the activities and target dates may have to “flex” in light of the unprecedented circumstances. Nonetheless, the priorities laid down in the business plan for the forthcoming year principally echo its predecessor, being “an ongoing commitment to reducing gambling harm” and continued work “in making gambling safer, particularly online”.
The 2020/2021 covers the final year of the Commission’s current corporate strategy, and sets out a familiar five key areas of this year’s focus:
Protect the interests of consumers
The most notable point of inclusion here is the Government’s planned review of the Gambling Act 2005 which the Commission commits to provide support on.
The Commission will also seek to make gambling safer by introducing regulatory requirements where appropriate, including in response to industry initiatives covering responsible product design and the use of advertising technology to minimise exposure of children and vulnerable people to gambling-related advertising.
Prevent gambling harm to consumers and the public
An Experts by Experience Advisory Board is to be established, focussing on engagement with those who believe they have been harmed by gambling.
The Commission’s evaluation of its actions to reduce the risk of harm to children and young people will be published.
A review of the Commission’s current approach to measuring participation and prevalence of gambling is to be undertaken.
Raise standards in the gambling market
The Commission will continue “targeted action” to improve standards in the remote gambling sectors, presumably with its enforcement policy front of mind.
The regulator also commits to: (i) protecting against threats to betting integrity for international sports events hosted in Great Britain; (ii) delivering a programme of initiatives to raise standards; (iii) the introduction of an improved test house assurance framework; and (iv) the implementation of the Fifth Money Laundering Directive in Q4.
Optimise returns to good causes from lotteries
The principal action point relating to lotteries is the Commission’s intention to publish an invitation to apply for the fourth National Lottery licence.
Potential changes to the Commission’s fees are afoot, with the regulator set to provide advice to the Government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Improvements in the licence application process and guidance on Commission’s Corporate Governance process can also be expected.
The full 2020/2021 Plan can be found here.